Montella: Players win, not tactics
Milan boss Vincenzo Montella insists victories are achieved “by the players’ quality, the Coach’s skill and club’s expertise”, not tactics.
Milan President Silvio Berlusconi recently admitted he took issue with Montella’s decision to set the Rossoneri up in a 4-3-3 formation as he argued a 4-3-1-2 traditionally suited the team.
“I don’t believe tactics win you titles or matches. Matches are won by players’ quality, the Coach’s skill and club’s expertise,” the Coach said at a Press conference ahead of Saturday’s match against Empoli in Serie A.
“And since the Coach and players have yet to show their ability to win [trophies], while the President and club won for 30 years, there’s maximum listening on my part.
“The President also said those things to me and, as Galliani said, the President’s words were listened to but not commented on.
“We play as if we have a No 10 anyway because Suso is a 10 and Niang is a striker.
“Romagnoli has recovered. Bertolacci has been out for so many months, we welcome him back with great pleasure.
“Empoli? I’ve watched many of their matches. They’re a team that are organised defensively and able to play well.
“There are no tactics that will secure the three points. To win, we need quality players, a good Coach and capable management.
“No Bacca? Lapadula wants to be a protagonist. He’s fine, but for the characteristics of our opponents, we may also play Luiz Adriano.
“Despite Bacca’s absence, we have some important solutions.
“Players affected by the takeover? If so, they’re not showing it, otherwise they’re showing its advantages.
“The lads are focused, we’re giving a great show of professionalism and desire to win, and that’s the most that can a Coach can expect.”
Torino - Chievo
Torino will look to make it three wins in a row as they host Chievo on Saturday, but might be without hitman Andrea Belotti.
The young Italian scored a late brace last weekend to seal a win against Crotone, bringing his total tally to 10 goals in 11 games and launching Torino to seventh place. Instead the Granata may have to rely on the services of ex-Chievo striker Maxi Lopez or Uruguayan talent Lucas Boye.
Regardless of who starts up front, Sinisa Mihajlovic has created one of the most potent attacks in Serie A and arguably the most entertaining. At the core of this team lie three young Italians, Belotti, Daniele Baselli, and Marco Benassi, whose play continues to inspire Azzurri fans always on the look-out for the next emerging talent.
The big man up front has begun to draw comparisons with Christian Vieri and will be sorely missed if his flu-like symptoms do not improve in time. The attack has been supported by fabulous wing play coming from Iago Falque and Adem Ljajic, both of whom may have to step up on Saturday to fill the goal-scoring void left by Belotti. Mihajlovic's men will be have to continue form to break past the notoriously stingy Chievo defence, who have veteran defender Dario Dainelli back.
Massimo Gobbi’s first goal in 100 games allowed Chievo to beat Cagliari last weekend, also leapfrogging them in the standings. Rolando Maran’s men had suffered two successive defeats against Crotone and Juventus, so that was a much-needed boost. The Flying Donkeys don’t score often, but when they do it proves crucial. Their lackluster attack will meet a confident Joe Hart, who will undoubtedly take this as an opportunity to notch his second consecutive clean sheet and fourth of the year.
Last season Chievo walked away with six points from their two matches against Torino thanks to goals from Valter Birsa and Lucas Castro. Birsa has fully recovered from his injury and could potentially provide a creative spark behind the strikers, while Castro will need to bring his A game against Miha’s well organized midfield.
While Sinisa’s style has surely brought back some excitement to the Olimpico, Torino’s backline has been somewhat mediocre, allowing 16 goals (13 since Hart’s arrival). Nevertheless, the stats seem to lineup in their favor. Chievo are a team who struggle to score on their travels and Torino’s defence has been better at home.
While the Granata have given up a goal per game at home, they have faced teams with relatively strong attacks such as Roma, Lazio, Fiorentina and Cagliari which may skew the statistic. The match on Saturday should prove to be an easier task, as the team looks to demonstrate that they’re not reliant on Belotti.
This game will see five exTorino players return - Birsa, Riccardo Meggiorini, Vittorio Parigini, Sergio Pellissier and Stefano Sorrentino.
AC Milan’s coach Vincenzo Montella