It's been a chaotic season in Serie A, and perhaps no team has embodied that chaos more than Milan. The one-time titans of Italy have been trying to claw back to the top of the pile, but have three wins and three losses so far this season. They're a confusing side to try to figure out right now, so we reached out to our partner SB Nation blog that covers them, the AC Milan Offside, and spoke to editor Tim Fontenault, who was kind enough to tell us everything we wanted to know.
The Siren's Song: Milan have had what, to an outside at least, looks like it's been awfully up-and-down so far. How do you feel about the way things have gone for the rossoneri this year?
AC Milan Offside: I think the word I’d use as a Milan fan is "irritating." When it seems like everything is going to start to click, something goes wrong. I was certain after the decent showing against Inter, things were going to improve drastically, but the two wins after that were shaky, and the loss to Genoa was a disaster. Now, Milan is without Alessio Romagnoli for a tough match, and I’m worried Milan might hit another wall.
TSS: Napoli nearly hired Sinisa Mihajlovic at one point this summer before he joined Milan. How do you think he's done as Milan's boss? Based on what you've seen in the early days, did Napoli miss out on a gem or dodge a bullet?
ACMO: I’m not sure Mihajlovic and Sarri have had enough time in charge of their respective clubs to get a good enough read on where they stand. I like Mihajlovic’s 4-3-1-2 system. Once he has a proper trequartista (a healthy Jeremy Menez, hopefully), we will see Milan’s attack start to flourish a little more. Defensively, I think it’s been hard for him to find a center back pairing that works because one is getting sent off every other match. Midfield has been worrisome, but guys are out of position by necessity right now. I know the makings of a good coach include being able to adjust to adversity, but overall, I don’t think he’s had a chance to really demonstrate what he can do yet.
TSS: What's been the biggest surprise for Milan so far this season, for good or for ill?
ACMO: I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Juraj Kucka. It was tough for him to come in on a move from Genoa and have to play one day later, then have the international break. But since the break, Kucka has been an inspiring player in the midfield. He’s getting into dangerous positions, which is more than can be said about some of the other midfielders. I’m also the world’s biggest Mario Balotelli fan [ed. note -- you might be surprised!], so I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to the 25-year-old striker for his composure and threatening play in the attacking third so far.
Thanks to Tim for taking time out of a very busy day to help us out with his answers, even if he's flat wrong about being the world's biggest Balotelli fan. You should give him a follow on Twitter, and if you're a fan of the University of Connecticut, you should check out another SB Nation site he helps run, the aptly named UConn Blog. We also answered some questions of his, so head over to the AC Milan Offside and read up.