Udinese 1, Milan 0: No Ideas



Marco Giampaolo was a coach with ideas, they said. He would play his typical 4-3-1-2. During the summer, we saw such improvement in play, even if the results didn’t quite come. Then came the friendly with Cesena last week, and we were unable to put the game away against a Serie C side. That was worrying, but surely it was just a fluke. However against Udinese, we saw that it wasn’t a fluke at all. In fact, it seemed that Giampaolo had no ideas.

Already out of ideas?

The first half was troubling, with Udinese taking shots, but Milan’s biggest contribution a trio of yellow cards, one for each midfielder. And when I say midfielder, I use that word lightly. Both Paqueta and Calhanoglu are natural trequartisti, and Borini is a winger. That was the idea that Giampaolo had for our midfield. Meanwhile, Suso, naturally a winger, played as a trequartista, and Castillejo, also a winger, was playing up front as a support striker.

Granted, Biglia was injured. So Calhanoglu deputizing as the regista was necessary on some level. That was primarily because after a mercato that has seen five new players come to Milan, Giampaolo trusted exactly zero to start. Well Hernandez was injured, too. But apparently, playing five players out of position was better than playing the new players in position. Plus Kessie, who although coming back later than the other players from his vacation, was apparently less qualified to start than Borini, a winger, at that position.

One fateful moment

The second half got worse, as Udinese took more chances and nerves seemed to be more rattled. There was an incident in the 69th where Piatek was slapped, but there was no whistle, no VAR review. Tudor took this chance while there was a bit of a stop in the match to make a double substitution, fatefully bringing on a Rodrigo De Paul. It was his corner, immediately after coming on, that the other Rodrigo, Rodrigo Becao, headed in past everyone for the game winner. 1-0 Udinese.

There had been a VAR review in stoppage time of the first half, when Pasqua looked at a possible handball from Castillejo. But it was judged to have occurred just outside of the box, so no call was made. But in the 82nd, Pasqua went to the booth to review a handball in the box on Samir. Again, he made no call, but the replays clearly show that the ball hit not only his upper arm, but also his forearm, deflecting off of the latter. So Milan were denied a penalty.

Same players, different coach, same results

However, ref calls were the least worrisome thing in a match that saw Milan take zero official shots on target. We had the same eleven players that Gattuso used last season, but in a different system, and all played out of position. The most worrisome thing is that after the match, Giampaolo mentioned that he might switch to a 4-3-3 instead. After working all summer on the 4-3-1-2, and having a mercato that was also based on this system. He did sub on Leao and Bennacer eventually, each getting about 15 minutes, but not being able to make an impact. Not only did Giampaolo look visibly nervous, coming out of the tunnel looking like he might vomit, it seems that he is way out of his league. It feels like our ideas man already has no ideas.


This post inspired by the music of The Primitives “Crash”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 2
Milan vs. Brescia
Saturday, August 31 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)

Udinese 1, Milan 0: No Ideas Udinese 1, Milan 0: No Ideas Reviewed by Elaine on 6:41 AM Rating: 5
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