Gabriella Berardi “The month of January was a busy one, 5 games and of course the January transfer window, to discuss the ins and outs of the month I’m joined with our regular guest Pietro Scola and sports journalist Gemma Gentile once again. Welcome to both of you, to start of today, we’re going to talk about the transfers that have been made.”
Gabriella Berardi: “Four Players have joined the club. To start off, Alphonso Davies. The Canadian winger, who can play as full-back as well, joins the side on a 6-month loan. Thoughts, about the transfer.”
Gemma Gentile: “Realistically, whether this is a good deal is whether a future fee is taken into the deal. We don’t know as of this moment, neither club has talked about there being one and reports about the transfer seem mixed, if the club has an optional future fee I think it’s an excellent piece of business.”
Pietro Scola: I think it’s an excellent piece of business either way. We can always use the depth and Davies gives us an option who can play on the entire left-side, multifunctional players is arguably something this side misses and with Davies there is a talented player who can bring that to the side.
Gabriella Berardi: “Our last confirmed transfer was another loan deal, Thilo Kehrer. He joined for 6-months as well and sources seem certain there is no future fee here.”
Pietro Scola: “Not much has to be said about this one, it’s a cheap deal for a good back-up. The deal works well for all parties and thus I’d say this is a good signing.”
Gemma Gentile: “I agree with you, Pietro. Kehrer is a talented defender and can provide that depth we lack at the moment, then when the summer comes it’s up to Connelly what he’s going to do. Sign a defender on a permanent deal or see if the youngsters can fill in and be the back-up players. Sorry to jump the gun a bit, but with Lacroix, there is a talented defender coming in. He could very well be able to make the step-up to back-up next year.”
Pietro Scola: “I think Lacroix is a good deal, but given the fact we look likely to qualify for Europe, I’d expect Connelly to get someone better and more experienced in.”
Gabriella Berardi: “Since you two already discussed the Lacroix deal, who signed or a fee of just over 500 thousand, we’ll move on to our last in and our first out as well. Eduardo Camavinga has signed and will join in the summer as he’s currently back on loan at Stade Rennais.”
Gemma Gentile: “I like this transfer a lot. Camavinga is a massive talent and managing to get him for only 10 million, while sides like Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid were all very interested is a fantastic piece of business.”
Pietro Scola: “I’m not saying he isn't talented, but I’m not sure if we needed him to come in. We have a talented young defensive midfielder in Bennacer and I’m not sure why you’d sign Camavinga and not perhaps a talented defender or winger. I think it’s good to have loaned him back out again, because with Bennacer and Biglia his game-time won’t be too much this year.”
Gabriella Berardi “Speaking of loans. Matteo Gabbia left on loan to Teramo, while Krunic has gone to Spartak Moscow. Thoughts?”
Pietro Scola “Good deals for all involved parties. Krunic did see some game-time but it’s better to see him leave for the remainder of the season and give him time to start games.”
Gemma Gentile “Couldn’t agree more. Krunic is talented, but right now he won’t make the team and it’s smarter to loan him out and let him play games.”
Gabriella Berardi “Now the transfers have been discussed, let’s take a look at the results of this month.”
Gabriella Berardi “Like mentioned, five games this month. One of which was a cup game. The season restarted with a win over Sampdoria, in which Romagnoli scored the only goal. Cagliari away, proved to be too tough to get points from and a 0-0 draw was the result there. Then the shock this month, the heavily rotated side lost out to Crotone, who beat us 1-0. However, the side bounced back and got two wins on the spin, beating Udinese 1-0 and Hellas Verona 3-0. What are your thoughts about this month.”
Pietro Scola “It was a good month I thought. The cup loss was unfortunate, but the game was played by the kids and wasn’t the main focus of the season. Getting knocked out early enables the side to completely focus on the league which might pay dividends come the end of the year.”
Gemma Gentile: “I disagree, the cup would’ve been something great to focus on and to make a stand, to show the other sides that AC Milan is back and getting knocked out in that fashion, stops us from doing so. It was apart from that a great month, especially defensively. Nothing seemed to break the side and it was quite pleasing to see.”
Pietro Scola: “It was a fantastic defensive performance, I thought Davide Calabria was excellent this month and, correct me if I’m wrong Gabriella, but he was voted player of the month by the fans, right?”
Gabriella Berardi: “He was”
Pietro Scola “And deservedly so. He kept a clean sheet in all 3 games he played, after being rested for the Cagliari game and was of course important in that Udinese win with his assist which broke the deadlock.”
Gabriella Berardi “Let’s see what these results did to the league table, shall we?”
Gabriella Berardi “We see once again a move towards top 4. Into 6th place, behind Roma on goal difference and only 2 behind Fiorentina. Connelly has said Europa League was his aim, but Pietro and Gemma, could there be more in it for Connelly.”
Pietro Scola “Potentially, results have been good and defensively there seems to be a lot more stability, so there’s potential.”
Gemma Gentile: “With every other side having to split their attention, Connelly has a minor advantage over them. It’s quite a long while to go, but the results are coming and if they keep coming, there’s a good chance.”
Gabriella Berardi: “Before we leave, there’s one more thing that should be mentioned. Connelly signed a permanent contract. He’s signed a deal until 2022, what are your thoughts?”
Gemma Gentile: “It’s deserved, I don’t anyone would deny that, but now it’s up to Connelly to maintain his form and show why he deserves.”
Pietro Scola: “Exactly Gemma, anyone can see the progress that’s been made under Connelly, but there are countless examples that managers start of well, then signed a new or permanent contract and then the results stop coming. Connelly should keep his head focused and not feel like he’s done what he needs to, because he hasn’t.”
Gabriella Berardi: “Well then, that will be it for today. I see you later this month to talk about the February results, which also include the Milan derby. Ciao.”
_______________________________________________________________________________ Aaron: He would've been, shame he didn't sign for us Scott: Most certainly, getting in young talented players and keeping hold of the ones that are there was the goal for this window and we've done so. TheLFCFan: Camavinga is a fantastic player and I'm confident he'll develop nicely Imagine: The early signs are promising, let's hope it can continue in the right direction Justice: Most definitely Jack: It would've been a very AC Milan signing, shame he didn't end up joining us
Firstly, congratulations to Connelly on meriting a longer-deal. He has certainly improved the fortunes of the team since being given the job. Results this month have been largely decent aside from the defeat in the cup. A piece of silverware would have been nice and a fairly early exit isn't ideal, but it won't be the end of the world. Cagliari can make for difficult opposition and I have faith that results like that won't be repeated too often from now.
Some very good transfer business. Lacroix could be a good player going forward. Camavinga is bound to be a star in Milan's midfield someday.
Gabriella Berardi: Welcome back all, it has been a busy month, but we are back and I’m joined with just Pietro Scola today to talk about this past month.
Pietro Scola: Thanks for having me back here, it was a very busy month indeed.
Gabriella Berardi: Exactly, so I think it’s best if we go straight into the results of the past month.
Gabriella Berardi: What a month it has been. Four wins from four, only one goal conceded and of course that incredible win over Inter. Pietro what do you think?
Pietro Scola: Incredible, the form in the league was of course picking up with 10 points in January, but to go through such a tough February and not just go unbeaten, but to get all 12 points is wonderful.
Gabriella Berardi: Let’s run through the games. First up was Brescia in what seemed like a routine 2-0 win.
Pietra Scola: It was a very routine win. Connelly’s game plan was clear, make sure Brescia know that his side wasn’t there to fool around. The start was dominant and the Paqueta goal was nothing short of deserved. Piatek scoring just before the half-time whistle gave Connelly to chance to take off some important players and easily play out the second half, which was exactly what happened.
Gabriella Berardi: Of course Connelly rested those players for the big game. The Milan Derby, Connelly’s first as manager and Pietro how do you think he did?
Pietro Scola: He did incredibly well. The side was still considered second-best by many, the underdogs so to speak. But Connelly told everyone beforehand that he only wanted one outcome, which was a win, and he fully deserved that. We took control of the match and after the 1-0 from Piatek it seemed like nothing could get in our way.
Gabriella Berardi: The final part of February were both played back at home, a 3-0 win over Torino and a 3-1 win over Genoa. How do you feel about those games, Pietro?
Pietro Scola: In the part of the season, these are the kind of games can make the difference, win them and you are in a good spot for maybe even Champions League football, but two losses and you’re having to play catch-up and with fewer and fewer games to go, being in control is much preferred. Both games were quite similar. Connelly wanted to be in control and got what he wished for.
Gabriella Berardi: There was a bit of a scare at the Genoa match, though. Genoa equalized and at that point in time AC Milan looked unable to create anything.
Pietro Scola: Certainly, but the fact that they managed to immediately score after is a showcase of Connelly’s character. The fighting spirit to not let one little knock, blow you away, to immediately get back out there and win.
Gabriella Berardi: As for player of the month, the fans picked Alphonso Davies and I know you’re not in agreement with the fans there.
Pietro Scola: Let me start with saying that Davies has been great this month, but I feel like his win is slightly swayed by him being a new arrival. For me Piatek was absolutely the key player this month. The winner in the Milan derby, the opener against Torino and the second, just before halftime against Brescia. Both of them were great, but for me Piatek edges it.
Gabriella Berardi: Well then, let’s finish this off by looking at the league standings
Gabriella Berardi: where we find Connelly’s side in 2nd, tied with Napoli. Pietro, do you think this is the start of something beautiful to come or is it all too early to tell.
Pietro Scola: Either way it’s too early to tell. 2 points less and you’re tied with 5th, however form is great and if Connelly manages to keep the momentum going, I’m certain they could end in the Champions League spots.
Gabriella Berardi: And that will be where we’ll end it. See you next time, Ciao.
Gabriella Berardi: Welcome back once again, I’m here joined by Pietro and with us today as well is Angelo Carbone, head of youth development at the club, with some exciting news for the future of Milan
Pietro Scola: Thank you, Gabriella.
Angelo Carbone: Great to be here, I’m very excited.
Gabriella Berardi: Well then, let’s look at the results of this month.
Gabriella Berardi: Of course it was International Duty time, which gives us only 2 games to reflect on, but once again a 100% win rate in this month. Making AC Milan unbeaten in the league in 2020, with only 2 points dropped.
Pietro Scola: An insane run, to say the least. Like you said, 2 wins from 2 in what were a tough away game at Fiorentina and a game away at bottom of the table Lecce.
Gabriella Berardi: Let’s run through the games. First up was that Fiorentina game, away from home. A 3-0 win in a dominant showcase. Pietro, thoughts on that game.
Pietra Scola: I can’t add too much to that. The only real criticism you could have is that the score should’ve been bigger. Davies and Piatek once again in great form on the day with the 2nd and 3rd goal as well as a Davies assist to set Kessie up. It was a wonderful display.
Gabriella Berardi: Then we left for Via del Mare, for a game against last placed Lecce.
Pietro Scola: That first half was easily the worst we have been this year. Players were sloppy and the team looked fatigued. But then, Franck Kessie, like a prime Connelly stepped up and completely took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Gabriella Berardi: It should come to no surprise then that Kessie was voted player of the month then.
Pietro Scola: Most definitely not. He was the only one deserving of that acclaim.
Gabriella Berardi: Before we go to Angelo, let’s take a quick look at the league table.
Gabriella Berardi: We see that both Inter and Roma managed to get 6 points as well and thus are still 1 and 2 points behind, respectively. But Napoli fell down to 5th after two draws. So Pietro, are the chances for Champions League football at San Siro next year more likely now.
Pietro Scola: It’s more likely for sure, but we still shouldn’t count ourselves rich, there’s a lot of football to be played still, so we’ll have to be patient.
Gabriella Berardi: Alright, thank you, Pietro. Now we’re over to Angelo, who is going to walk us through some changes for the under-18s.
Angelo Carbone: Thank you, Gabriella. We’ve seen a new year of academy graduates come through, ready to add themselves to the under-18s.
Gabriella Berardi: So, Angelo, who are the players we should keep a close eye on.
Angelo Carbone: First is Cesari. A tall and brave CB with great intelligence on the pitch. Second of all is Maldini, who is a striker. He can play on either wing as well and is a very skillful and hard-working player. And the third player I’m going to talk about is Coppola. Like Maldini, a striker, but his game relies a lot more on his finishing and his physicality.
Gabriella Berardi: Thank you, Angelo, we’re going to keep a close eye for sure and on that note. See you all next month for the penultimate monthly review. Ciao.
______________________________________________________________________________________ Justice: It's tight at the top, but with our momentum I do feel like we can break away from the rest of the clubs Jack: A great run of results to mark my comeback, for sure Scott: So when is your update coming TheLFCFan: Pushing Juventus for a title win won't be possible, but finishing strongly in 2nd is surely possible