Christopher Penn’s weekly column
It has been a week to forget for Milan fans as leads against Atalanta and Empoli were both squandered, resulting in 4 points dropped.
Something certainly needs to change – whether it be a new mentality, new formation or a new manager; however we seem to have stuck, rather than twisted, ahead of a match against the most exciting side in Serie A at the moment.
Sassuolo are currently sitting in the Champions League spots (before Saturday’s matches), with 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Spearheaded by former Milan attacking midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng, I’m filled with dread about what might unfold at the Mapei Stadium tomorrow night.
To compound matters, all three striker options – Higuain, Cutrone and Borini, are all struggling with knocks; whilst loaned out Andre Silva is free scoring in La Liga.
A tough scenario for Gennaro Gattuso as the pressure begins to build on the former Milan legend. With a gap already forming between the Rossoneri and fourth place and Antonio Conte still unemployed, it is up to Gattuso to prove his worth to the new American overlords – starting with the upcoming tough tie against Sassuolo.
In my opinion, I don’t think Sunday will be enough. The result against Napoli can be forgiven, but if the performances at Atalanta and Empoli repeat throughout the season, we will fall short of our top 4 aspirations. Elliott Management know this, they aren’t silly.
The blame however can’t be solely laid at the feet of Gattuso, and our midfield should be shoulder some of it for the slow start. The frustrating part is the fans were crying out for a playmaking midfielder and yet Bakayoko was brought in. A decision that, match-by-match, is being proven as a huge mistake.
Again we as fans are having the word ‘project’ forced upon us; and it is a seemingly tiresome word that has been overused at the San Siro since 2012 and the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva. The time for talk must end, and this current set of players must begin to show their worth – beginning with Sassuolo.