Since the beginning of the season, Milan have had a very unpleasant record of not being able to keep clean sheets. The question is why?
The season started with a defeat against Napoli. Milan finished the first half with 2 goals up front. But Milan failed to keep Napoli away from scoring and completing the come back. Since that match, Milan have been struggling to keep clean sheets.
One of the reasons is the space Bonucci has left since he went back to Juventus. When Gattuso arrived he managed to make a strong 4- man defense with Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli, and Ricardo Rodriguez; despite his attitude and bad start of the last season. This solid defense gave Gattuso more confidence to play attacking football. It was a period of great performance by the team. They kept playing attacking football even in hard matches with the likes of Roma and Lazio and walked out with two wins and two clean sheets.
On the other hand, in this season, Gattuso is putting up his best defense line and still cannot keep opponents away from scoring. Which forces him to play defensive football with counter attack, especially against big teams. The only player who changed from last year’s line up is Musacchio. The center back couldn’t not find a spot in the starting line up with neither Montella nor Gattuso. The problem of lacking a second super center back is the most likely problem at the moment. So why Caldara is not playing?
Caldara is the player who Milan chose to swap with for Bonucci. He has been practicing with the team since the begining of the season and he could not make it to the starting 11. After few first rounds of the Serie A, Gattuso in a press conference said that Caldara has not adapted to 4-man defense yet. Also Caldara himself said the same thing and said he is making progress. But now the Serie A is close to the 9th round and Gattuso still does not believe Caldara is good enough to take Musacchio’s spot to fix the defense problem and allow the team to play attacking football again.
The mystery falls between Gattuso and Caldara. Is it Gattuso’s fail to bring the best of Caldara or is Caldara’s mentality the problem to adapt to the 4-man defense?
Written by Mohammed Abu Alsaud