And we are back! In this second part of our beginners guide to AC Milan Women's team we're gonna focus a bit more on the players, formation and tactical choices made by the man in charge, former rossonero striker Maurizio Ganz, who was known as the "el segna semper lü", which means "he who always score" in the milanese dialect. Again, take a seat, grab your favorite pen, or pencil, a notebook and it's on.
How do they play?
At the start of the season, Ganz first choice of formation was an 4-4-2 with a diamond in the midfield. The rossonere had played in this system, and won, against Fiorentina, San Marino and Pink Bari in the Serie A, scoring 9 goals and taking just 1 goal against Pink Bari. But then, came the big game against Juventus in the San Siro. The team didn't perform that bad and we can say that if the penalty was not awarded, as the game went on, it would probably end with a goalless draw. But then, we cannot change the past, the loss came and Ganz decided to make same changes and adjustments.
On the next round, against Empoli, the coach fielded a 3-5-2 formation, maintaining the attacking duo and a trivote: a three women midfield with a regista. Ever since though, the perfomances have not been very pleasant or entertaining because they tend to prioritize defending and long passes for the striker rather than building up the game. But the team has been very cynical and precise, collecting 18 of 18 points, getting vital victories against direct opponent such as Fiorentina, Roma and Sassuolo, scoring 13 goals and taking only 2 on the way, making Milan's defence, so far, the best in the league. It's safe to say that this 3 woman defence seems to be here to stay.
Who is who?
Now you know their history, who the bosses are, and how the Rossonere play. That's very very good, but, tell me, do you know who is who? Would you recognise any of our players in the field the same way you do with the Men's team?
Let's start this sector with an easy one. Our website header have a fan favorite italian national team striker and who happens to be our team captain since last season, most prolific goalscorer of the rossonere this season, number 9 on her back, the one and only Valentina Giacinti. So, one is gone, ten to go, but don't panick, we're here to help. As we said, this team plays in a 3-5-2 formation, so let's break it down to you, sector by sector, starting with the missing one:
The "one" who is always taken for granted in every formation, our starting goalkeeper is Maria Korenciova, who is also the slovakian national team starting goalie. There has been no arguing our number 12 is the best keeper we have in the roast since 2018.
Milan have a defending duo who works wonders since the start of the season, with complementary qualities and also the same name. An elegant, tall and inteligent defender as Laura Agard, who sports the number 36 on her back and a gritty, tenacious and technical player who was once a midfielder and now a respected skipper, Laura Fusetti that, with the blessing of il capitano France Baresi himself, took upon herself the responsability to wear the legendary number 6. Besides having the same number, they are both right footed and, in order to balance that, Giorgia Spinelli, a tall and left-footed newcomer who also chose to wear a well-known number to milanisti, the number 21, took the remaining spot and is doing a great work both in defending and attacking, with two goals and an assist to her name. Note that they are all brunettes.
This is where the games are won and Milan surely has this area covered. The wingers are, on the left, Linda Tucceri-Cimini, a left-footed blonde attacking arrow who wears the number 27 and is our free kick and corner specialist, and, on the right, Valentina Bergamaschi, another attaccking-minded that wears the number 7 and got the nickname "BergamAssist" last season for her, let's call it solidarity in the field.
The core of the midfield is composed, at least in the last few games, by our number 15 jersey, Refiloe Jane, or Fifi as she is known, a South African international who does the sometimes-overlooked destructive job, intercepting passes, marking the adversary attackers and recovering the ball. Alongisde her, we have the young scotish player Christy Grimshaw, the number 11 of this team, and an established name in the game, one of the greatest, Veró Boquete, who chose the number 87, her year of birth, and is the creative mind of this team, the real commander in chief on the pitch.
Finally, the attack. Composed by two very different players, one of them we already know, our captain Valentina Giacinti. Her partner in crime, although an uncanny professional and very experienced player, is not very known in Italy, the British striker Natasha Dowie, our very own number 10, is more an point of reference in the penalty area than an all-around player. She would rather receive the passes with her back to the goal, hold it and await her teammates to receive the ball back then make a run than, like Giacinti, call out for the ball and attack the spaces, relying on her speed.
Where to watch
That's the tricky part. As the Women's football in Italy is gaining its momentum right now, a few of their games are avaible on TV. But, Milan is one of the clubs that is able to broadcast most of the Rossonere games, for free, on the club's official application.
As Bugs Bunny would say, that's all, folks! Those are the basic info in order to keep you up-to-date about the Milan Women's team so far. Their next game will be on this saturday, january 16th, against Hellas Verona and, perhaps, we could see some changes in the starting eleven. Stay tuned here on Milan Reports for more on the rossonere!
Image Credits: acmilan.com