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#46   Diablotelli.

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 03:11 AM

Yep, Adi, that's exactly what I felt about our attacks, we just couldn't create any, we had majority of possession but that's useless unless you create chances, we looked clueless with the ball, and you would have thought a midfield with Aquilani, and Seedorf, and not to mention an attack that offers creativity in Cassano would create some chances for Pato to score, unfortunately that wasn't the case. I think this match underlines the fact that Ibra is needed. On to Udinese next... Another team that has blistering counter-attacks, god help us.
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#47   Irriducibili

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 03:38 AM

Did he really expect anybody to read that on camera? FAIL

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Allora, tutti quanti insieme, anch'io, diciamo così in campo, TOTTI.. SEI UN BARBONE!!!!

In Basso a Destra: Ala Giappone

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#48   Phil Parma

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 05:47 AM

Don't worry because Napoli isn't a scudetto rival as well. Not comparing Cesena to Napoli, because there's no comparation possible, though.

Once Napoli find their-selves in pressure, they will turn out to be just like the other teams. And now with the Champions League going on, even worse it will get for them. More than half of their squad don't have experience on the CL, and that will make them tired and accuse the pressure. Also, they can't look at their back and say "Heck, this shirt is heavy", like any Inter, Milan or Juventus player can do. I don't think they are serious contenders to be honest.

They're still very strong and organasing team and Juventus, Inter, Milan will have some problems with them. Unfortunately, they haven't big squad like Juventus, Milan, Inter and it will be huge minus for them. It's too early to talk about scudetto, it's 2nd fuckin round.

Edited by Charlie Champagne, 19 September 2011 - 05:47 AM.

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#49   Rodgers

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 07:26 AM

:lol: That's hilarious. I don't share your nonchalance, Rivelinho. Napoli may not have put together a squad that can challenge for the Champions League, but they are without doubt a very serious contender for the league title - injuries permitting. As Faisal said in his post, there was a point last season where Napoli had the opportunity to wrest control of the standings, but through inexperience and the lost points that resulted from it, they slipped down the order. I certainly don't think Napoli is going to romp to the title (there is much more to come from Milan, for one), but to write them off as also-rans right after they did away with last season's champions in what was quite an emphatic manner is irrational. From a Milan perspective, I thought the team lacked shape, creativity and direction when attacking and suffered from a lack of energy to fill space during the defensive phase. Boateng's high pressing was sorely missed, and while I thought Nocerino had a decent game, Seedorf offered next to nothing in helping to stem the speed and efficacy of Napoli's counters. We were discussing before the game about the roles of Seedorf and Aquilani, and from what I could tell, they generally occupied the areas that we had hoped they would (Seedorf at LCM, Aquilani at CAM). Without Boateng, a midfield of Aquilani, Seedorf, Van Bommel and Nocerino does not have nearly enough pace and energy to offer enough protection against Napoli's explosive midfield running. Add to that the inability of both Seedorf and Aquilani to offer any real control of the midfield or attacking thirds, and you're left with a limp, stale hole in the centre of the formation. In future, when Milan are facing teams like Napoli, Udinese and Palermo who have all caused us trouble in the past with their direct, no-nonsense counter attacking play, I would be very much in favour of only one of Aquilani/Seedorf starting the match - preferably with Boateng at CAM. Up front Cassano and Pato picked up where they left off against Barcelona - no where. For two supremely skilled individuals who have had success with a number of striking partners, I find it remarkable that these two have zero chemistry between them. Ibrahimovic is another player who was missed in this game, if only for his ability to pull goals out of his hat and occasional acceptance of his role as Milan's first layer of defence. Cassano's cross for Aquilani's goal was great, but he cannot continue to only provide one moment of quality among a thousand of mediocrity. Of the two, Pato always seemed the more likely to score, and it should be the Brazilian who retains his position once Ibrahimovic returns. It's also baffling how this same team could keep Barcelona down to two goals, and even manage to score two of their own - and then concede three goals to Napoli. In terms of defensive organisation, it was like watching two completely different teams in the red and black. Hoping for improvement soon.

Problem with playing both Cassano and Pato is that none of them are players who can make the ball stick. Pato is all about speed so the minute he gets the ball, he dances off. Cassano will try all these audacious flicks and passes but again, he's not a player that's gonna retain you possession. The problem with playing 2 of these types of players is that they're losing the ball before the midfield is actually able to support them. You can play with both Pato and Cassano if you have a quicker midfield who can support them. Milan do not at this present moment. I think Milan need Ibrahimovic fit and ready asap.

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I'll drink to that

#50   fidelity

fidelity

Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:53 AM

Cassano will try all these audacious flicks and passes but again, he's not a player that's gonna retain you possession.

Criticizing Cassano is already an errand for the humorless and the soulless, but to nitpick an area of strength in his game just kind of makes you look like a tit.

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#51   Rodgers

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:51 AM

I wasn't criticising him, just pointing out that he is guilty of conceding possession too easily at times.
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I'll drink to that

#52   adriano.

adriano.

Posted 19 September 2011 - 12:08 PM

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#53   fidelity

fidelity

Posted 19 September 2011 - 12:10 PM

Thoughts, now that I've finally caught a replay of the game (damn 2:30 a.m. kickoffs):
  • Fuck 2:30 a.m. kickoffs.
  • Cavani is so deceptive. He looks like a scrawny, gangly kid who lacks the coordination to cut his own hair, let alone run. But there's a hidden bit of pace there, maybe not in the first step, but the second and third bring him up to speed with anyone marking him. And the scrawniness is actually leanness; he can't get pushed around much, and Milan wishes it had a striker who tracked back as tenaciously and persistently (that was Cavani back winning balls in the midfield in the 80th minute when Hamsik and Lavezzi were already resting on the bench). The greatest part of his game remains his runs. It's like watching Inzaghi or Chicharito. He knows where to go, feigns and delays, and then efficiently moves into space. Not even Nesta could deal with his movement, which is kind of mind-exploding.
  • I count myself among the few Pazienza fans in existence, but Inler is a substantial upgrade. It's fair to say that him plus Gargano is among the best midfield pairs in Italy, and that the two outmatched a four-man Milan midfield. Dzemaili looks pretty good too, though his finishing was awful.
  • Seedorf is a good human being. His charity work around the world is impressive, and he's the only Milan player who will graciously speak to the press in the far-flung corners of the world during preseason tours (it helps that he speaks four languages fluently). But, as mentioned by exactly everyone, he simply cannot compete at this level anymore. The cultivated touch and emotional contributions are still there, but he's far too static to carry in a Champions League knockout match or scudetto tussle. I imagine Seedorf will gently be allowed to move on in the summer, and just in case anyone forgot, I totally called dibs for MLS like three years ago.
  • This wasn't the match to highlight it, but I've enjoyed how quickly Nocerino has settled. He's perhaps not the most gifted soccerball player, but he's a competent all-arounder, capable of contributing on both sides of the ball. His energy and versatility make him a worthwhile reserve pickup.
  • I enjoy the tactical flexibility of Napoli's 3-4-1-2. Need another body in attack? Push Hamsik along Lavezzi and Cavani. Want more midfield presence? Have Hamsik tuck into the midfield line. Looking for more width? Spread the back three to let the wide players push forward more. At any point the system can put more bodies in more areas than most formations. I also like that four starters (Aronica, Maggio, Dossena and Gargano) can play as fullbacks, so it's easy to switch to a back four if needed. The novelty of the system means it will take quite a while before teams start figuring out how to exploit it, maybe even a year or two, possibly longer in Europe.
  • Cassano is perfect in every regard.
  • More specifically, I liked his crosses. The percentage of times his crosses found a Milan player was abnormally high (3/4); I only saw one miss. He does a thing where he'll cross behind where the defense is backtracking to find a late runner into the box, which proves far more likely to cause danger than to put it between Nesta and Silva or too near the goalkeeper.
  • At some point in a supremely talented player's career, he flips a switch in his brain and goes from potential to protagonist. I would like to crawl into Pato's skull and flip this switch. Do you remember the last time Napoli played Milan? We saw Angry Pato. We saw fury, determination. We saw a player capable of winning matches, of winning league trophies on his own. I think everyone here agrees that that player is somewhere in Pato's corporeal form. Since then all we've gotten is slightly frustrated, frustrating Pato. He's more muscular this year, more handsome even. But you get the sense he's waiting around for the ball to fall just right, for the perfect circumstances. You get the sense he's settling for a nice comely girl twice his age when he should be out fucking triplets in a grimy club bathroom, sans protection. I want to see the sheer drive, the flat-out unwillingness to let any mortal being prevent him from scoring copious amounts of goals and then going home and having copious amounts of unfettered sexual intercourse. It's in there somewhere. It's just never quite clear how to make a player become all he can be; some never quite figure it out, and they slip away a lamentable tribute to greater alternate futures. Pato's not in danger of that yet, I know, but still one worries.
  • I still haven't figured out what Aronica does to upset people so. His challenge on Nesta was rough, but no worse than Nesta gives out, certainly not worthy of being kicked and then shoved in the throat. Last year I didn't think he deserved the abuse either, since his hand didn't really touch Robinho's face. Anyone have a clip of his fight with Ibra? Guess some people just reek of douchebaggery.
  • Aquilani should have finished when Cassano set him free with the score at 1-1. Huge, huge save by De Sanctis. This game was rough for me because, although I wanted Napoli to win, I want everything Cassano and Aquilani touch to embody perfection so that maybe one day the rest of the world will love them an eighth of a percent of how much I do.
  • Milan didn't play nearly as poorly as the comments in this thread suggest. Milan had 63% of possession, eight shots with four on target (Napoli only put four on frame as well), and completed 86% of its passing. [Stats via WhoScored] There are issues (sharpness in front of goal, lackadaisical midfield play, a slew of shitty leftbacks not cutting it, and Allegri's inability to switch to an effective plan with the game slipping away), but none so major as to hold very deep ramifications.
  • Mark van Bommel was, I thought, the purchase of the January window. This season, however, he's been useless. I can't tell if it's the relaxed play of an older player who earned his last big contract already or if he's just settling into the season. His tepid tackle on Gargano in the buildup to the second goal in particular was damning; a younger, more malicious van Bommel would have picked up the yellow to prevent the breakaway. He didn't even foul once all game! Scandalous.
  • Here's maybe the sexiest picture of all time:

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#54   adriano.

adriano.

Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:24 PM

  • Fuck 2:30 a.m. kickoffs.
  • At some point in a supremely talented player's career, he flips a switch in his brain and goes from potential to protagonist. I would like to crawl into Pato's skull and flip this switch. Do you remember the last time Napoli played Milan? We saw Angry Pato. We saw fury, determination. We saw a player capable of winning matches, of winning league trophies on his own. I think everyone here agrees that that player is somewhere in Pato's corporeal form. Since then all we've gotten is slightly frustrated, frustrating Pato. He's more muscular this year, more handsome even. But you get the sense he's waiting around for the ball to fall just right, for the perfect circumstances. You get the sense he's settling for a nice comely girl twice his age when he should be out fucking triplets in a grimy club bathroom, sans protection. I want to see the sheer drive, the flat-out unwillingness to let any mortal being prevent him from scoring copious amounts of goals and then going home and having copious amounts of unfettered sexual intercourse. It's in there somewhere. It's just never quite clear how to make a player become all he can be; some never quite figure it out, and they slip away a lamentable tribute to greater alternate futures. Pato's not in danger of that yet, I know, but still one worries.

  • Your pain is felt.
  • I've caught myself worrying the same thing about Pato over the last two seasons. I don't think I agree with you that it's Angry Pato that needs to show up more often, but Focused, Thinking Pato. When he's angry, he becomes petty, and before you know it he's shoving people around and throwing his arms about after losing the ball. Then he gets injured. That game against Napoli was in my opinion, Pato's best all-round performance in a MIlan jersey. He took over corner duties that night too, and it seemed as though he had decided pre-match that he was going to run that game from start to finish. My memory ain't what it used to be (it's never been much), but I don't think he was angry in that game. He was just hellbent on making sure everyone who watched knew what he could do. These days he's too busy puffing his chest out and pouting after one of his dribbles doesn't come off they way he'd planned.

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#55   fidelity

fidelity

Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:35 PM

Leading up to that game, the huge talk in Serie A was that Ibrahimovic and Pato were incompatible, and the general consensus was that you stick with Ibra. There are a couple key moments in that game, where Pato goes Fuck You, Ibra, and just does shit on his own. The assist to Boateng, for one, when Ibra was open for longer. The third goal is another, when Pato shoots instead of passing. Those are the bold, dickish moves of someone who is Angry, not someone who is Thinking.

But yes. This Petulant Pato isn't much.

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#56   adriano.

adriano.

Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:52 PM

Haha I would contend that the Ibra hype led to Focused Pato. Thinking Pato is the one that made the bold, unconventional pass to the 3-yards-out Boateng over the 16-yards-out Ibra, and slowed his break just enough to enable Ibra to catch up to him and pry the centrebacks apart so that he could get his shot off for the third goal.

Maybe we have different definitions of Angry.

Edited by adriano., 20 September 2011 - 01:53 PM.

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#57   La Vecchia Guardia

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 02:17 PM

If I was the one who brought up the point that Zac did, or even gave the same response that Adriano did, I would be crucified, been called a Pato-hater or a closet Inter fan, and probably banned from the Milan section somehow. Bunch of hypocrites. :P

Having said that, I agree with you two. I think Adi's right when he says that you have different definitions of angry, I feel that you're both looking at and describing the same thing, just wording it differently. But perhaps all three of us can agree that the end product of whatever Pato is feeling makes him want to go out there with a point to prove, and it makes him work passionately to prove that point.

That's all well and good to say, we all want him to go out there and be like that, but the bigger issue is this: why isn't he naturally like that? Why does it take a situation such as the Ibrahimovic issue to bring that out? Why is it forced, inconsistent, and not just the norm?

The answers that I can think of for those questions are all bad, because they don't exactly hold the potential for change. Answers like he's been at a club where an immense talent means that you can get away with being a bit apathetic as long as you get the bare minimum result - players like Kaka' in his later days, Ronaldinho, arguably Cassano and Ibrahimovic, Seedorf, etc. Or an answer like it's just part of who he is - a very chilled person. This is a trait that is useful for him because it means he's rarely nervous or overwhelmed no matter who the opposition is or how big a game it is, but one that is also bad because it means he never feels obligated or pressured to prove himself.

Another possible answer which I suppose projects a better future is that Pato, since his arrival, has never played in a system that's been purely built around him or with his primary benefit in mind. Barely a starter for Ancelotti, a winger for Leonardo, and playing in a formation which never has an actual CF with Allegri, with a partner - who is an SS like Pato - that is rather difficult to play/get along with. Maybe when Zlatan leaves, and we buy a pure CF, Pato's true Ballon D'Or potential will blossom and turn into something tangible.

Till then, he's not exactly terrible is he? :P

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And who are you , the proud lord said, that I must bow so low?


#58   adriano.

adriano.

Posted 20 September 2011 - 02:31 PM

Faisal, I've had enough of your shit! Here we are discussing something as harmless as how Pato's mindset affects the way he plays, and you come in here all guns blazing and tear into him with your three paragraphs of hate. I can't even look at you right now.
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#59   Rodgers

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 02:43 PM

Is there any player that Faisal actually likes?
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I'll drink to that

#60   adriano.

adriano.

Posted 20 September 2011 - 02:45 PM

I bet he's got a thing for Cavani right now.
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