Welcome to the opening post of Milito’s Milan, it’s season four of my save following Diego Milito’s managerial career which started at Racing Club in Argentina were Milito spent three successful seasons before accepting the challenge of rebuilding a European giant that is Milan, AC Milan and not Milito’s former club Internazionale. Now for anybody who has not heard me mention before, I grew up watching Milan so when the face of my save Mr Milito got the job offer there was only one destination on my mind. The Milan board offered a 3 year contract which was accepted without hesitation.
With no philosophies to be judged on the board have given me a blank sheet to work with. So day 1 at the club I did what all dedicated FM player’s do and spend hours clicking around assessing everything and anyone who is at the club. Despite the excellent facilities at the club one thing that jumps out at you is that during the 3 years of this save to date the youth system at Milan has been left to decline to a poor status. The youth squad is very poor and requires a rebuild of the player development system at the club. For such a big club I expected to find an half decent set up but was surprised at how poor the youth squad is. On the staff side of things I felt the club was running on minium levels meaning this is another area to be addressed. A look at the 1st team squad and again I felt this is an area that requires attention if we are going to implement and work on a system to get the club to be competitive.
At Racing Club we used the following principles to build our tactical identity, these principles are how I like to see the game played and feel very strong about. It’s not difficult to work out that I am a believer in Verticality and influenced by Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, Arrigo Sacchi,Marcelo Bielsa and Josep Guardiola to name a few:
Plan A Milito
- Get the ball forward quickly without necessarily resorting to aimless long balls
- Retain possession only if the vertical pass is not on, and to open space for a vertical pass
- Commanding Mentality Be Pro Active
- Agressive Pressing
- Technical Players to enable moving the ball forward in a controlled manner
- A Narrow structure . (This narrow concentration of players gives players building up from the back or deep in midfield a greater number of options directly ahead of them)
- Width and variation is created more by fullbacks / wing backs or an attacker peeling wide rather than traditional wingers. The ball is only played wide to switch the point of attack or to shift an opponent out of position and away from a team’s preferred vertical line of pass. Players who start wide at the top end of formations will increasingly float central and become vertical options.
- Use a front 3 made up of varying options dependent on roles by having more ways of playing by using different roles (versatility)
- Use Ball Playing Defenders
By adopting the above principles it is vital that all our squads play the same way to create familiarity with the system of play enabling easier transition through the squads as we develop our youngsters. This also involves picking the right backroom staff to oversee the implementation of our tactical system. From the Director of Football and Head of Youth Development through to our scouts and coaching team we all need to be pulling in the same direction. It is no good us producing players who don’t fit in to our system. The medical side of things is also an important part of the puzzle in keeping players on the pitch because they are not learning / developing whilst being out of the game.
Recruitment Policy is something that I have looked at from day 1 when I analysed what I needed to do in order to get the 1st team squad to a point that will start the season with 23 to 25 players who can contribute to the above tactical philosophy. Now this ment me going in to the transfer market both recruiting and selling players to arrive in a position that I can be confident in taking the club in a new direction. My recruitment policy for our first transfer window therfore will see a larger turnover of players than future windows. I would also like to add that future recruitment will prioritise players of Italian nationality but more about that later.
This is the 1st team squad on day 1 when I took over the club:
And this is the 1st team squad after the transfer window closed:
We had a busy transfer window with 9 players coming in and 6 leaving the club permanently. Incredibly we had a net transfer spend of £0 after we spent £98m and recouped £98m from player sales of which Suso £32.5m (£41.5m) Bayern Munich, Piotr Zielinski £28.5m (£38.5m) Atlético Madrid, Mateo Musacchio £27m (£36.5m) FC Barcelona and Nikola Kalinic (£10m) Lazio.
Incoming and wearing the red and black this season will be Nathan Ake (£45m) from AFC Bournemouth, Gabriel Jesus (29.5m) rising to (£33.5) from Manchester City followed by David Luiz (8m) from Chelsea.
We have a very talented squad assembled and should push for some silverware this coming season with the boards expectations being pretty reasonable with them expecting us to finish top 4 and reach the Europa League Final. Now that I have balanced the squad I have decided to adopt some parameters for the rest of the save including player recruitment and player development. I have decided that we can only sign 1 non Italian player in any single season with no age restriction and can only sign 2 Italian players between the ages of 21 and 25 in any single season and 2 Italian players aged 18 to 21 in any single season. There is no limit on under 18 players. So to recap:
- The club can only sign 1 Non Italian player in a single season no age restriction
- The Club can only sign 2 Italian players between the age of 21 and 25 per season
- The Club can only sign 2 Italian players aged 18 to 21 per season
- There is no limit on Italian under 18 players signed per season
- The 1st team squad will be limited to a maximum of 25 players.
The emphasis will be on developing our own players first and foremost so the first priority if a 1st team squad player leaves will be given to our very own before going in to the transfer market. I want to create a club DNA that will take the club to the next level both on and off the field Financially, Scouting and player development.
I will also be using the youth team squads to try and recreate some past Milan managers tactics that when developed will drop in to one of the first team squad tactic slots to be used by Milito. After running a twitter poll the first system that I will attempt to recreate will be of Arrigo Sacchi