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Chievo-Milan 1-2: bad game + Pato = 3 points

Sell, sell, sell! Let's cash in while we still can. What else could a club possibly do with the single most efficient striker of a generation? Certainly not show patience and allow him to build his game around the three magnificent traits he's shown so far - pace, dribbling and a certain cynical cool in front of goal. Pato did nothing right today, apart from winning the game and wonderfully setting up Robinho for what should have been another goal in Chievo's net. His passing was woeful, his movement seemingly random and his decisions childish. Is this a reason to get rid of him?


If your response to the above question is "Yes", then I'm afraid you're advocating a self-destructive move of the highest calibre. There's a reason coaching heavyweights such as Mourinho and Ancelotti want Pato - there is a strong foundation in Pato's style of football for one of the world's most murderous finishers. If you want to think of Pato as Kaka without the brains, be my guest. I prefer to think of him as an Inzaghi with more flair, more pace and better dribbling. We don't need this man to create play - we need him to score goals. The reason so many people are supporting the proposed sale of Pato is because, frankly, you're missing something obvious - if Milan's midfield did its job, there would be no complaint about Pato's style of play. As it is, we're stuck with a group of decidedly defensive midfielders with no creativity who leave it up to the strikers to do double the work in attack. Throw in a good passer and a dynamic box to box midfielder and you'll have one of football's most lethal weapons in Pato. A team with a proper midfield can afford to have a player who has little involvement in organizing play up front - think Inzaghi back when Rui Costa, Seedorf, Pirlo and Gattuso bossed every pitch from Greece to England.

But, enough about that. I suggested Ibrahimovic should be rested in my preview yesterday, and if Allegri was standing next to me right now, I'd be yelling 'I told you so' at the top of my lungs. Zlatan did little of value today besides having a hand in Robinho's goal, but since Robinho literally had a hand in the goal and it never should have stood, I wouldn't call that much of an accomplishment. The Swede was clearly fatigued and there was absolutely no reason not to give him a rest, considering our next 3 opponents are no less than Napoli, Juventus and Tottenham.

Merkel was begging to be subbed as soon as the second half began, in Allegri's defense I'll assume Boateng was only fit for 20 minutes or so. Prince is a welcome addition and should help speed up the transition from defense to attack in future games. I am shaking like a leaf at the very thought of ever seeing Oddo play left back again, as if he hadn't shown enough incompetence in his natural position on the opposite flank.

Van Bommel and Gattuso did a fine job at keeping Chievo quiet for most of the game, but Nesta had an unusually shaky performance in the back and hopefully will up his game for the next three fixtures - the importance of these games can't be stressed enough!

Milan muscled out a win today, but Napoli is a far more dangerous opponent than Chievo and a considerably better performance from the whole team will be necessary if Milan is to come out on top at Naples next weekend.