It’s been a far from ideal start to life as Milan coach for Marco Giampaolo given our struggles thus far after just four games of the Serie A season.
The Rossoneri have picked up just six points while scoring only two goals, and defeat to Inter in the Derby della Madonnina was another early setback at the weekend.
It doesn’t get any easier as we face a difficult trip to Torino on Thursday night, and so the pressure could continue to build on Giampaolo and the players this week.
Certain individuals have stepped up with Gianluigi Donnarumma and Alessio Romagnoli doing their part defensively, but there are two players who haven’t done anywhere near enough to get their coach out of a sticky situation as of yet.
Creative duo must be better
Hakan Calhanoglu and Suso have started every game thus far, with the latter even completing 90 minutes in all four outings.
Yet despite having prominent roles in this Milan side, they’ve managed just one goal and one assist between them, which ultimately sums up their entire stints with the club as they have often struggled for consistency and haven’t delivered as hoped, even for previous coaches.
Giampaolo has shown a huge amount of faith in them while tinkering elsewhere. Changes have been made in the full-back positions, midfield and up front already this season, but those two have been part of the core group of players who have been involved from the start.
Suso? He is a great player and I want to hold on to my great players. I told him this and I also told the management, there aren’t any issues. I love the way Suso plays and he can be decisive at any moment. Calhanoglu? He is so versatile, I can play him anywhere. – Giampaolo, August 3, as per Calciomercato.
There is little doubt over their ability and they’ve been decisive on many occasions previously, more so in the case of Suso, but we need them to be better in the coming weeks otherwise the struggles could continue.
For two creative stars with so much technical quality, vision and passing ability between them, coupled with being capable of posing a goal threat and seeing so much of the ball in games, it simply hasn’t been good enough from either so far this season regardless of Giampaolo’s tactical tweaks.
From Suso’s predictability in cutting in on his left foot and either swinging in a hopeful cross or taking a shot from distance to Calhanoglu’s sloppiness and lack of end product, questions will surely need to be asked sooner or later if we can afford to keep them in the line-up with such important roles.
Perhaps more worrying is the doubt that remains over their ability to produce at the highest level if they are struggling to unlock the likes of Brescia, Verona and Udinese.
The disappointing thing is that this is nothing new, as we’ve been questioning the pair for some time now. Despite that, they seemingly know how to impress their coaches, and they remain vital pieces in the XI.
However, patience is surely running thin for most fans now, as if they can’t be better and consistently deliver decisive performances, it has to be time for the likes of Rafael Leao, Ante Rebic, Giacomo Bonaventura and others to get more of a look in.
As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, Giampaolo is expected to keep faith in them and name the duo in his starting line-up against Torino this week. It’s time for the pair to step up and make their mark, otherwise either the Milan boss needs to start making changes or our troubles in the final third will continue as they have failed to deliver so far this season.
— MilanData📊 (@acmilandata) September 24, 2019