A few days ago our new Coach had a few words to say about the topics highlighted. I will admit it appeared we had another Leo like “Yes Man” or “Company Boy” in the ranks but after reading his thoughts and words I have to say I am impressed and maybe, just maybe, this is the type of progressive breath of fresh air this team need to move forward. For the record talk is cheap, very cheap, but if the results come and the players buy into what he is selling this team may be readying itself for a bright future. While I harbor no intentions of anything above fifth place, if he can get this team playing with balance and firing on all cylinders then a poor year is a blip on the radar for potential future success. I am putting my thoughts/responses directly below his:
ON HIS FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
The reception I received was excellent. The lads showed amble willingness to work yesterday and that’s what counts. I liked the relationship in terms of respect amongst the players because I believe that respect is essential to work with great calmness. It will therefore be equally important for everyone to work in this way on a daily basis.
Respect for me equals good team chemistry and with good chemistry a team can be dangerous. You want to know that when the going gets tough a teammate will have your back and then deficits don’t seem insurmountable because of the bonds formed through respect. I LIKE IT.
ON THE PRESIDENT AND OBJECTIVES:
President Silvio Berlusconi did not put any pressure on me yesterday. He decided to speak yesterday and put out his idea. I was there as well for the journalists, but only the president asked me a question.
Yesterday, the president has shown great practicality and I think this is a quality that must characterize this team. What counts are the results and we must do everything possible to get them. If there will be teams that deserve more we must be equal to them, we are not here to suffer at the hands of our rivals.
I am simply going to focus on his statement, “What counts are the results and we must do everything possible to get them.” Very nice, a win is a win is a win, and in the end when your hands on the title no when remembers if you won pretty or ugly. I admire this mentality and hope that he can follow through on that in getting results. I also liked the bit about not being here to suffer at the hands of our rivals, sounds like a guy who has a bit of edge and no intention of rolling and being embarrassed by teams like Inter and Manchester United, hope he can deliver on that talk!
ON RONALDINHO AND WHERE TO PLAY HIM:
I do not think there is any doubt about the technical quality of Ronaldinho. He is an amazing player who is world-class, but in football today skill alone is not enough . It is necessary to build a balanced group and the strength of a team is that everyone must make themselves available to the group to get a good result.
Ronaldinho is a player who can become dangerous when he is playing out wide against a marker if he can come inside and get into a deeper position. He has a lot of qualities that can make the difference. He needs support from the team but equally he must make himself available to the needs of the team. Yesterday, he was a jet-lagged and not in the best physical condition. I only spoke to him for five minutes and I told him he was a very important from whom I expect a lot. Even the top players have to be in good shape if not excellent condition. You have to be in good shape to play and just like the other players if you are fit then you can show your skills.
I won’t say a word, Allegri has said it all already…
THE GAP WITH INTER:
I have a deep squad. This group still has a lot to give even if there are players who are over thirty years. At the same time, however, there are several young players. When we have everyone available we have the quality to do well.
What about the gap woth Inter? Last year Milan were a point off Inter, but then various incidents halted this pursuit. I believe this team can do very well, and achieve important goals and at least be in the top three and go as far as possible in the Champions League.
Perhaps alluding to his planned youth integration? I have always like Coaches who blend youth into the first team as opposed to throwing a Primavera squad into the Coppa Italia and watching the old men flounder on the weekend. Why not give both teams equal opportunity for success and in turn build that confidence for the players chosen. Can’t see I agree on the quality to do well, but maybe he sees something in the youth…
Pato is a lad of twenty. He is an amazing player that I think he still has a lot to improve on. He has so many qualities, both physical and skill-wise that even he realises this. A boy of twenty needs to grow as a man but also as a footballing phenomenon. Due to its characteristics Pato can play off a front man, can do everything.
Have to agree with him here as well, Pato does have a lot to improve more mentally than physically. His recognition skills seemed to get worse last season but Allegri seems to recognize his ability to “play off” a striker a trait that I think can make Pato lethal. Hopefully he is deployed that way and the success, assists and goals come in bunches!
ON THE DRESSING ROOM:
“I have to understand as quickly as possible how everything works here Milanello: from the players, staff, doctors, chefs, from the kit-room. Everything you need here at Milanello is important because if the team gets results it is the due to the merit of everyone from the kit-room to the president because it takes cooperation and respect from everyone.”
Actually like this statement too, you will never hear anything like this out of Jose Mourinho, because Jose believes that every success is his and his players. This goes back to chemistry and Allegri seems very aware of it and making sure everyone feels like they are playing a part, hope this continues.
ON HIS METHOD OF WORKING:
“It would be presumptuous of me to turn it all around and take a team that last year worked hard and was fighting for the league six games from the end of the season. Leonardo did a good job with the whole group. For my part, however, there may be different ideas. The current squad is more or less that of last year. Every season, however, is not the same and even the players themselves can change their performance from year to year. I will consider things game to game. It is a group that has won everything there was to win but has remained an ambitious group who still want to do well and know they have won a lot through skill. They won both through quality and because they have worked on it, for one and another and for the coach.”
Would have liked to hear a bit more about his “different ideas” but I guess we will wait and see for those. As for his, “considering things game to game” could we see a dynamic Milan capable of coming out in various formations/tactics to capitalize on the weaknesses of opponents!? That would be quite the turn from static XMAS Tree and 433 game in and game out. I am very interested to see how that pans out.
“I have great respect for Leonardo because besides being a good coach, he has demonstrated what he did at Milan last year that he is an educated person. I met him at the current coaches meeting and talked in general not specifically about Milan, but if another opportunity arose I would gladly talk to him.”
Not sure if I want the old coach talking to the new coach? Thoughts? On a personal basis I talk A LOT with various Coaches to get ideas, scouting, or anything else they are willing to share, but have never had the chance to speak to a predecessor, odd…
THE TEAM’S STYLE:
“Milan have players to play in different ways. Compared to the squad I had available at Cagliari, here at Milan there is a lot more technical players, more quality. Now there are still the Internationals such as Pirlo, Huntelaar, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta and others to arrive. I certainly do not intend to throw away the work of previous years, of Leonardo and even Ancelotti, but I intend to use it as a way to put forward my own.”
Not sure we can call Silva an International yet, and surely KJH’s lack of World Cup minutes will take him off that radar as well! Pirlo was injured and Zambrotta was, well, old and slow, so I wouldn’t hang my hat on our “Internationals” quite yet. No doubt Thiago has quite the future on the World’s stage, but the real question becomes is he serious when he says “others to arrive.” If so when????
ON THE TRANSFER MARKET:
“Right now I’m pleased with the squad I have available. If someone were to leave, the club will replace him with a player who can play for Milan.”
“Right now I’m pleased with the squad I have available.” First mistake, wouldn’t it be easier to honest here…oh wait the idiots in charge don’t listen anyway…
ON THE OBJECTIVES:
“What I wish is that this team plays good football, with good intensity, and is convinced of what it can do. To achieve significant results there must be other components, not just one. We need belief, technique, intensity, all these are important things. Winning is never easy, but we must start with a belief and the belief that one can and must do their best. This is the starting point.”
So I think Allegri agrees that a scudetto is a tall order. I would also like to think that with a team at this advanced stage of their careers, belief should be second nature. Hell, Oddo and Kaladze believe so much they may even think they deserve starting spots!?!?!?! Bottom line he is appearing to be realistic, and hopefully many of us are too, I just hope he has a chance to prove himself and not fired at the first sign of trouble. We need continuity not some disastrous Coaching carousel for the next few years. I do like the part about intensity though, it is not a word you hear often in Italy, there is not much Italians do with intensity (ever go to the bank or supermarket in Italy!) so it was refreshing.