Pressure has increased on AC Milan manager Filippo Inzaghi in the last few weeks after his team’s winless run stretched to 3 matches after a 1-1 draw with Cesena. The club started the new season with a lot of positivity after winning the opening two matches. This even sparked suggestions of a title bid, but that soon went away after a 1-0 defeat against Juventus. They followed this match with a 2-2 draw with Empoli. Now, this 1-1 draw with Cesena has threatened not only to take the club out of the title contention, but also the race to finish in the top three.
Inzaghi was disappointed man after the match, as he felt that his team should have taken all three points for the performance and hard work they put in. As a result of this defeat, Milan are now level on points with local rivals Inter Milan with eight points on the board. Cesena managed to take the lead after just 10 minutes following a mistake from Christian Abbiati. For long periods of the match, Milan were searching for the elusive victory after Rami had equalised moments later. It did not come and Milan have now taken just two points from a possible nine in the last few weeks.
“Unfortunately we had the game in control and created a lot in the first half, but when you work so hard and don’t score in this heat you will pay eventually. We played very well in the first half, then got stretched out and it was tough to win after going down to 10 men. We probably deserved to score a second. I can’t complain about the team’s performance and their goalkeeper made some crucial saves, but we started to run out of steam when we didn’t make all that pressure count,” said Inzaghi.
AC Milan recently signed Fernando Torres on a two-year loan deal from Chelsea. The striker will become a free agent after two years since he has the same time frame left on his contract with the Premier league outfit. It is highly expected that Torres will sign for Milan on a permanent basis after the end of the loan spell. The 30-year-old has just brought an end to face difficult spell at Chelsea where he struggled for form consistently since 2011. Prior to the move to West London, Torres was one of the most feared strikers in world football.
However, a return of just over 20 goals in almost 100 league matches for Chelsea shows the kind of form that he experienced at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho, who has been saying throughout the summer transfer window that he saw Torres as part of the plans, says that he would have preferred to see the striker at Inter Milan rather than AC Milan. Mourinho has a special relationship with Inter after having won several titles including the Champions League during his two years at the club. Inter were thought to be in the race to sign the 30-year-old a few weeks ago, but there was no concrete offer on the table like that of Milan.
“I’m an Interista and I would have preferred if he’d gone to Inter. However, I hope that he does equally well at Milan. What I can say about Fernando is that as a person and a professional, there is nothing to doubt about him. He’s a fantastic boy and a great professional. However, he needed a change of scenery,” said the Chelsea manager, who finally appears to have signed a good striker in the form of Diego Costa. The Spaniard has made a great start to his Chelsea career with three goals.
The AC Milan defender Philippe Mexes is not that much worried about the poor performance of his team in the pre season games. He reckons that things will start falling in place for the Rossoneri once the main season starts.
Milan, after having a horror of a last season, is looking for revival this summer under a new manager, but, the kind of football that they have played against the English club Manchester City and the Greek club Olympiakos recently; it seems they have a lot of work to do before they go into the league matches.
City has a fantastic squad and they have emerged as one of the best teams in the world in the last few years. So, defeat against them can be understandable, but, the defeat against Olympiakos would have left the Milan fans concerned.
Mexes didn’t appear to be even slightly concerned though while talking to the reporters in the evening yesterday.
The veteran centre back said, “Look, the results have not been the greatest and we are disappointed about it, but, I would still say that the team is moving forward. The boys have been working their hardest in the training sessions and everyone is willing to do well.”
“I don’t think it would be right to put the responsibility of our pre season failures on the new manager. He hasn’t spent enough time with us to be expected to make a difference.”
“You are never comfortable with the defeats especially when you are playing for a team like Milan, but, what’s important is to understand which areas you need to improve in and we totally understand that.”
Milan’s first match in the upcoming Serie A is against Lazio. That’s a home game for them.
For the past few weeks Thomas Vermaelen has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United as the Belgium defender is a summer target of Louis van Gaal but the transfer has been stalled. In the previous season Arsene Wenger opted to play with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for the majority of the campaign which forced Vermaelen on having to sit on the sidelines of the team for a significantly long period of time.
Following the departure of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic from Old Trafford, the new coach of Manchester United wants to reinforce his defensive department and Thomas Vermaelen has turned into a top target. The Belgium defender can be used as a left-back or at the heart of the defence as a centre-back and that’s one of the main reasons on why Louis van Gaal is attempting to secure his services.
Having already signed Luke Shaw just demonstrates the importance that Van Gaal is setting into the backline of his team and a versatile player such as Vermaelen will improve it even further.
If Vermaelen does remain being an Arsenal player for the upcoming season, he will likely have to settle once more on a place in the sidelines of the squad considering the superb partnership of Mertesacker and Koscielny which allowed Arsenal on having one of the best defences of the previous season having only conceded 41 goals.
A move to Manchester United will allow Vermaelen to play a pivotal role in the club at Old Trafford as a first team player but the transfer will ultimately depend on whether or not Arsene Wenger is going to allow the Belgium defender on joining a rival club and how much Louis van Gaal is prepared to offer for his summer target.