AC Milan’s International Champions Cup schedule

In exactly one week, AC Milan will be back in action once again, as the pre-season kicks off in the United States. For Giampaolo, it will be a good opportunity to introduce the players to the new formation, while also making his verdict on a few players with an uncertain future. 

This year’s edition of International Champions Cup premiered in the middle of the night on Wednesday (European time), as Fiorentina beat Guadalajara by two goals to one. For Milan, the first match will take place in one week, scheduled for 03:00 on Wednesday. The Rossoneri will face Bayern Munich, who will be looking for revenge after losing this fixture two years ago by four goals to nil.

More importantly, however, the Rossoneri fans will get to see the first glimpse of Giampaolo’s Milan, set to deploy the 4-3-1-2 formation. That said, it remains to be seen which players will get the nod, although one could assume that the Italian will try to test as many players as possible. After all, the pre-season might decide a few players’ futures with the club.

In total, Giampaolo’s men will play three games in the tournament: two in the USA and one in Wales. In other words, a nice little warm-up ahead of the season’s start, especially since the opponents are of good calibre. In fact, after the tournament, Milan will only play one more friendly this summer: in Kosovo against local team FC Feronikeli.

Therefore, it will be important for Giampaolo to maximize these three games: from learning his squad the dynamics of the new formation, while also being able to test a few uncertainties. The likes of Andre Silva and Suso come to mind, as both have been linked with an exit for different reasons. The Portuguese striker will most likely fit in the system, while the Spanish winger could struggle in a more central role next season.

Along with the management, Giampaolo will then have to make a decision on the squad as a whole before the transfer window closes, making sure that he is as prepared as possible ahead of an important season. Down below, you can see the full schedule for the Rossoneri during the International Champions Cup.

62237617_2356360368022507_4613428923377633435_n

 

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Playwww.fantasyseriea.com now!

Roma acquire Mancini from Atalanta

mancini

Roma have signed Gianluca Mancini from Atalanta, their first addition to the back-line after losing Kostas Manolas and Ivan Marcano. The 23-year-old defender joins on a €2M season-long loan with a €13M obligation to buy from Atalanta (plus €8M add-ons) and inked a five-year deal.

Mancini took over the starting job in his second season with the Bergamaschi, after the departure of Mattia Caldara, collecting 30 appearances in 2018/2019. On top of showing considerable improvements and impressive muscularity in the back, he was a proper menace attacking on set pieces and found the target five times. He has been a regular in Roberto Mancini’s recent call-ups and featured twice with the Azzurri. The Goddess signed him from Perugia in the summer of 2017 after he displayed good promise in Serie B. Continue reading

AC Milan’s mercato gets complicated; from lack of sales to transfer blows

Despite closing in on their third signing for the summer, namely Bennacer, the Rossoneri are not satisfied just yet, having missed out on several of their targets. In fact, the management has been very active on the transfer market, but so far, only two deals have been successful: Krunic and Theo Hernandez. 

The road is long, given how much time there is left of the transfer window, but it’s also uphill as there are many things left on the to-do list for the Rossoneri. Furthermore, several targets have faded in recent weeks, making it even more difficult for the management to go ahead with their mercato plans. Continue reading

Rabiot speaks and Konami deal announced

rabiot

Adrien Rabiot gave his thoughts to Juventus TV after the first few days of training: “I am very happy to be here, this is a big club, with prestige and history. One of the reasons that pushed me to join was to improve and take one step forward in my career and this is the best place to do it. Playing next to some high caliber players will be special for my development and the continuation of my learning process.”

On his role: “I am left-footed and I like to do a little bit of everything, but If I to give a description, I would say that I am offensive player, who likes to attack and defend. As they say today, I am a box-to-box.” Continue reading

If Messi isn’t the Ballon d’Or, they should scrap it

Screenshot 2019-07-11 at 11.00.53

It’s long been contended that the Ballon d’Or has lost its shine as a worthwhile award.

Why?

Tactical voting, ridiculous PR campaigns designed to ensure certain players are front and centre around voting time despite having a poor year.

No definable metrics as to exactly how becoming the Ballon d’Or is measured. Continue reading

Ed Woodward and the monumental mistakes he has made

skysports-ed-woodward-manchester-united_4488542

In order for a massive football club to be successful consistently on the pitch, it must be ran well and be intelligently proactive off it. It’s one of the few and huge reasons to why the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus dominate their respective leagues whilst also convincingly challenge well in the Champions League, even if they haven’t won it for the last couple of years or so.

And then when you look at Manchester United, the money has always been there for the side to continue being ruthless time and time again. However, due to the lack of footballing knowledge of the Glazers as well as Ed Woodward, the most successful club in England have constantly gone back and forth whilst not finding the right medicine to take them back to where they used to belong.

Now, we dig deep into the mistakes that vice-chairman Ed Woodward has made…

Telling Rio Ferdinand he does not have a future at the club

At the time of the situation, the Red Devils went through a horrendous 2013-14 campaign under David Moyes. And to top it all of, Ed Woodward walked into the dressing room on the final day of the season and told Rio Ferdinand that his services are no longer required. The worst thing about it, the experienced individuals such as Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs left in the same summer, meaning that the United squad were missing the crucial veterans they looked up to.

For sure, he wasn’t going to remain as a regular starter at 35-years-old, but his incredible experience and likeable personality would have been something that the young defenders as well as the whole squad would have benefited from. United’s defensive issues unfortunately continued and were ongoing for the next few seasons, meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand went on to play his last year as a professional footballer at Queens Park Rangers in the next campaign, before eventually retiring.

Bragging to the media that the side can buy anyone in the world

One of the most uncomfortable statements made by Ed Woodward himself was back in 2014, where he had stated how financially dominant the club were, how the club’s strategy in the transfer window was well planned and how good the scouting department are. Five years on, United are in the same position, and have not been able to evidently prove these as a fact or a statement.

The club have never been the type to brag and publicise about their financial prowess or their ability to spend around £200million to £250million each summer window. However, since the interview was conducted by Woodward, other clubs have been able to poach extra money for when their respective players moved to Old Trafford, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred and Romelu Lukaku is the best examples, three individuals who are certainly not worth the figure they were brought for.

Hiring Ole Gunnar Solskjaer without keeping an eye out for other coaches

If we are being brutally honest, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wouldn’t have got the job on an interim-basis nor as the permanent manager of the club hadn’t it been for his previous success as a United football player. Otherwise, it would have been a similar situation of when the board had brought in David Moyes, someone who lacked the required intelligence and qualifications for the job. Looking quickly into Solskjaer’s managerial experience, he has managed only two small sides in Cardiff and Molde, which isn’t enough to warrant him a coaching position at a mid-table team such as Everton, Leicester City or Wolverhampton Wanderers, let alone a massive club like Manchester United.

On the other hand, the likes of Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane were quietly available before the 46-year-old Norwegian international had officially got the job, which does raise the questions of how Woodward had analysed the coaches before coming to a final outcome. Given that the proven managers in Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal were not able to lead the team to a title challenge, it does seem like the hierarchy opted to change their ways by bringing in someone that really understood the club’s style and mentality on and off the pitch.

Targeting/signing players by their reputation rather than by their quality

Going back to United’s recruitment and scouting process, it doesn’t seem like they actually have a plan in place and they prefer to do more business if they finish out of the Champions League spots. During the time where the club were preparing for Europa League football, they had still managed to bring in the top quality players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Not only that, but Woodward has evidently shown his love for a marquee signing over the last couple of years, where he attempted to bring in either of Gareth Bale, Kaldiou Koulibaly or Neymar, but the end outcome itself was purely expected. With how much time and focus is wasted on trying to lure players into Old Trafford through the lucrative contracts rather than the club’s ambition, it’s a must for the recruiters to find individuals through their quality and the rising potential they have.

Tactical tests at Milanello for Giampaolo: Calhanoglu, Suso and more

As expected, Giampaolo is getting to know the AC Milan squad ahead of the upcoming season, painting a picture of how the starting eleven should look come the end of August. According to Sky Italia, several players were tested by the manager during Monday’s training session at Milanello. 

Starting from the back, the defence tested is very similar to that of last year, also because there’s only been one signing on that front thus far. Giampaolo tried Musacchio and Romagnoli as the duo in the centre, while Rodriguez played as the left-back, although Hernandez is expected to start at the beginning of the season. On the right flank, Calabria and Conti will have to battle it out for a starting spot. Continue reading

Juventus introduce Ramsey

D_hHWuPXUAAb2Kv

Juventus held the introductory presser for Aaron Ramsey earlier today, with a small prelude in Italian before answering questions in English: “Thanks to everybody for being here today. I am happy to have joined Juventus, one of the biggest teams in the world. My Italian is not very good at the moment, but I am learning.”

On his fitness: “I have an injury, but it is going well, it is progressing nicely at the moment. I am doing a lot of work to try and get back as quickly as possible. I am not quite there yet to go into full training, but I am not too far away. I want to start working with the guys as soon as possible. Continue reading

Sensi satisfied by dream start to life at Inter

Atalanta-Sassuolo  serie A

Stefano Sensi spoke to Inter TV in the immediate aftermath of the Nerazzurri’s 2-1 victory against Lugano yesterday evening. Indeed, the Italian midfielder made the perfect start to life at his new club by opening the scoring with a sumptuous strike from distance. Here is what he had to say: Continue reading

De Vrij delighted to be working under Conte’s guidance

Stefan de Vrij

Stefan de Vrij spoke to Inter TV in the immediate aftermath of the Nerazzurri’s 2-1 victory against Lugano yesterday evening. Here is what the Dutch central defender had to say about how preparations for the new season have gone so far: Continue reading