Pioli in the pre-match: “Choice dictated by the conditions, he lost a bit of brilliance”. The Portuguese no longer affects and it is difficult not to think about the nodes of the contract renewal
The sensation is now becoming quite clear: Milan and Leao, with each passing game, give the impression of being further and further away. An impression that evidently arises from the roar of the results, which do not help the environment and above all do not help situations in the balance such as that of the Portuguese. But if the question was already thorny when the Devil was marching at an adequate cruising speed, let alone now that he finds himself on the precipice.
This match further infected the wound for two reasons: in general due to the extent of the defeat, and in personal terms due to Pioli’s choices. In fact, the pre-match “title” in the Rossoneri world was only one: surprise Pioli, Leao out with Rebic in place of him. That is, it is not the first time that Rafa has been on the bench – it had happened three other times throughout the season -, but in this case the decision made noise because this Milan desperately needs to cling to those who are potentially able to change their face at matches. To those who know how to break them. To those who can score. Like Leao. To a direct question Pioli, a few minutes before the kick-off, replied as follows: “It’s a choice dictated by the conditions, Rafa played a lot and lost a bit of brilliance. He is an important player for us, he will still be in the current match ”.
Technical choice therefore, even if there is a current of thought that classifies this choice as a sort of punishment due to the attitude in the last few games. There are essentially two arguments to be made. The first: Leao is an excellent player but he is not a champion (at least, not yet), and therefore he suffers from collective hardships like the others. The second: it is still legitimate to expect something important in difficult moments from those with above-average qualities. Here, in this sense the electrocardiogram is flat. Rafa comes from a series of performances without a trace, in which help from his teammates was often lacking in the non-possession phase and, at the same time, in which he tried to solve the team’s problems on his own. Going to wage war against everyone, with opposing defenses lined up, attempting preposterous conclusions from senseless positions, trying to forcefully slip into where not even a pin would have gone. Put simply: in this enormous moment of difficulty, it seems that the Portuguese has lost his sense of teamwork.
The attitude of the body would seem to confirm the dark moment also in mental terms, twisted around his reasoning on the best road to take for his future. Pioli assures him not, but seeing him play, Rafa really seems to have his mind elsewhere. Where, perhaps, not even he knows. But probably not as strongly at Milanello as it could have been a month ago. A question of results, of the implosion of a sporting project which right now has ceased to provide certainties. Progress on the contractual situation has now ceased for a few weeks and we have returned to a noisy stalemate. That exclusions like those of today – obviously net of Pioli’s legitimacy in the choices – do not help to unravel. It is one of the many problems gripping the Devil right now. But it is a highly relevant problem.
January 29 – 18:18
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