The economic crisis that has engulfed Europe especially Italy, is more evident in the current circumstances that affects the transfer activities of two of the country’s leading teams, who interestingly ply their trade in the same city and arena.
Both teams are on a kind of a re-branding/ re-organizational drive; moving away from the ideals of splashing the cash on the best established talents in the world, to looking for cheap young exciting talents; whilst also entering into part ownership deal (which I will never understand) for some other established or flourishing Serie A performers. Who would ever have thought that these great Milan sides would be facing such dire times. Imagine the great AC Milan foot dragging on paying an extra 1 or 2 Million Euros for Keisuke Honda or that Inter would sign largely ”unknowns” or turn to their young promising performers from the Next Gen Series to usher in the Mazzari regime.
As usual, Mino Raiola is not a mile away from controversy; some time ago, the top football agent made a rather startling statement; we all know the amount of influence he wields in the italian game. (read our Serie A review). He told Sky Sport 24: ”It is not a provocation but rather an idea; for me, two big clubs like Inter and Milan should merge to cut cost because they have hundreds of millions of expenses and rather than selling to foreign investors, they could form one single club for the city” (imagine a Berlusconi/ Moratti combo). It is not a completely strange idea. Infact, there is an interesting history in the rivalry between the Milan clubs. The Rossoneri and the Nerazzurri used to be one entity, until the ‘blue half’ broke away because of issues over the signing of foreign players. The Serie A sides have moved on from such racial and radical issues and both have their fair share of players from abroad, which they have utilized in different, distinct formations over the past few seasons.
At halftimeng.com we decided to have some fun with the idea proposed by Raiola to actually merge both current sides to put together a combined side of both teams; also taking into consideration how both teams play in terms of formations and tactics. Stramaccioni, who was sacked as Inter boss, after a dreadful campaign favoured the 3-4-3 formation, while his successor, Mazzari, who almost definitely will implement his 3-4-2-1 formation. Milan’s Allegri has however been reportedly instructed to go with a 4-3-1-2 formation and Riccardo Saponara has been brought in as the trequartista.
If both teams decided to take Raiola’s counsel on board, here is how they would file out in either Inter’s 3-4-2-1 or Milan’s 4-3-1-2: Irrespective of tactical set-up, i would pick Inter’s Samir Handanovic between the sticks, ahead of Christian Abbiati. If I am to pick a back three, I would take Walter Samuel, Christian Chivu and Philippe Mexes. The bank of four in front of them, would be Javier Zanetti, Kevin-Prince Boateng, EstebanCambiasso and Ignazio Abate. Fredy Guarin and Riccardo Montolivo would play off Mario Balotelli, who would be the main striker.
However, if I’m to go for a two-man strikeforce, Balotelli will be joined by Rodrigo Palacio, not Stephan El Shaaraway, who clearly on the strength of last season and the Confederations Cup performances cannot play with the former Manchester City man. Zanetti and Abate revert to the old-fashioned full-back roles, while Samuel and Mexes will form the central partnership. Montolivo, Boateng and Cambiasso will sit just behind the trequartista – Fredy Guarin.
3-4-2-1: Handanovic, Samuel, Chivu, Mexes; Zanetti, Boateng, Cambiasso, Abate; Guarin, Montolivo; Balotelli.
4-3-1-2: Handanovic, Zanetti, Samuel, Mexes, Abate; Boateng, Montolivo, De Jong; Guarin; Balotelli, Palacio
Send us your ideal combined Milan XI for fun, lets see how it varies from mine.
Written by: Ifreke Iyang