Saturday, 29 August 2009

The End Of The Old Guard - AC Milan 0 Inter Milan 4

If there was ever a statement of intent from one team and the signal of the end of an era for the other then this match pretty much sums it up for both.

This evening an ageing AC Milan side were taught a lesson by a much more impressive Inter side. Who said Italian football was going stale? The problem is AC Milan are.

Starting with a side predominantly the other side of thirty may already show the reason for their loss. A lack of legs accompanied by a lack of strength on the bench all contributed to what must be classed as a demoralising loss. Goalkeeper Marco Storari, defenders Alessandro Nesta, Gianluca Zambrotta and Marek Jankulovski, and midfielders Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo are all players over thirty that started this edition of the Milan derby. The likely addition of David Beckham in January does nothing to dispel any signs of a team relying on the old guard.

Having Gattuso sent of in the 40th minute can not have helped but by then Inter were 2-0 up already. This was against an Inter side with a number of new signings in their starting line-up: goalscorers Thiago Motta and Gabriel Milito as well as the more stellar names of Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto'o.

Inter have done what AC haven't and that is rejuvenate their squad, liven things up a bit. The pushing of Ronaldinho to the focal point of Milan's attack - alongside Pato - is the Rossoneri's answer to this but does anyone realistically expect him to perform the wonders he worked at Barcelona in his prime, particularly if he is his being substituted in the 67th minute.

The introduction of players like Clarence Seedorf and Massimo Ambrosini, both ageing players who are arguably past their best, did nothing of note to change the pace of the game and Inter went on to score two more goals.

Desperate times for AC Milan call for desperate measures, with the signing of Klaas Huntelaar the only notable acquisition they should look to add further names in this short period before the transfer window closes. Otherwise they may find themselves struggling to gain a Champions League place in Serie A, let alone challenge for the title itself.

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