Marco Giampaolo and the formation selection


With the start of the season, Marco Giampaolo has been named the head-coach of AC Milan. He came from Sampdoria where he had a successful system and tactics which made him noticable by many including AC Milan’s legendary former coach Arrigo Sacchi.

Giampaolo has spent this pre-season trying to make Milan players adapt to his system. Unfortunately, it did not work as he had to admit after losing the season opening match saying “I can’t change Milan players”. In the second game, he started using the “Christmas tree” formation 4-3-2-1. The players despite dealing with a new formation, they felt more free and confident. But the most important thing to notice was the dynamic change between formations during the game. The following formations are the possible options which Giampaolo can use in the middle of the game to make breakthroughs.


The simplest and most known formation in the game but still effective due to the tactics that can be used in it. During Milan’s game vs Brescia, Milan used this formation to create spaces. Knowing the disadvantages of his old formation, Giampaolo decided to use 4-4-2 to create spaces for the wingers against Brescia’s compact 4-3-1-2 formation where Calhanoglu managed to find the space to score a free header. Also, this formation is not new to milan players as Gattuso had to use it in some situations which makes it reliable.


This formation is the one all Milan players know very well. Most of milan players arraved when Montella was in charge. Since then, Milan’s main formation has been 4-3-3 because it is the most suitable for the players abilities and this is where Suso shines as the star of the attacking third. Despite the high flexibility of this formation, many Serie A teams managed to find a way to counter it. There are many disadvantages when Milan uses this formation but the main one is lack of creativity. However, because it is well known for the players, Giampaolo can recreate the tactics to make it more effective.


This is the formation Giampaolo knows the best and it can be his deadliest weapon even if it is not used from the beginning. Giampaolo knows when this formation can work and at what conditions it can make breakthroughs. With that being said, depending on Giampaolo’s reading to the match, he can switch to this formation if he sees the chance especially since the players have practiced using it the whole pre-season.

It is not certain that Giampaolo will stick to 4-3-2-1 especially after the arrival of Ante Rebic. Now he has more options and he has the time too during the international break to study his options. During the latest interviews, it was clear that he is not a stubborn person and he continuously have talks with Maldini and Boban. This is a good sign that he is looking for the best for the team over his ego.