Inside for all 120′, the Belgian still played with the handbrake on both by the center forward and by 10. The manager: “He’s a 21-year-old player, a long-term project has been made around him”
It’s not only Charles De Ketelaere’s fault that Milan stopped suddenly, a moment after taking the exit exit from the Italian Cup, one of the declared objectives of the season. But he is one of the negative protagonists of the sudden and harmful stop: Charles, star of the summer market, is on track because Pioli relied on the reserves yesterday evening. And the reserves have once again demonstrated that the distance from the owners is too clear. An example above all: Pobega and Vranck, together, do not make Kessie, lost in the summer. Without Giroud, the attack does not break through. Leao does not have a sprinter who can replace him: but the manager Maldini reiterated that the club will not run for cover in January.
From five to 120′ in three days: acceleration, combined with speed technique, would be one of De Ketelaere’s best features. From the five minutes played against Roma last Sunday, when he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time (on cover in the area following Abraham’s double), to yesterday’s starting shirt. Inside for all 120′, but still with the handbrake on. First as a centre-forward, then as a 10, then again without a precise area of competence when the schemes were by now blown: certainly more inside the game, an acquired cog in the Milan machine, but too unconvinced and therefore inconclusive. It must be said that bad luck also put a spoke in his works: his header attempt, backwards, from a corner action was printed on the post and then easily caught by Milinkovic. The goalkeeper del Toro also gets in the way in another couple of shots, while on another occasion Charles would like to take pole position with a back-heel, again from a corner, which ends up wide. From there, nothing more. Pioli had given the starters a little rest, called back out of necessity: Ketelaere had started by occupying the penalty area. Or walking around it as is more usual for him. In all versions, still insufficient.
Maldini, now AC Milan manager and once an icon of the defence, had attempted to tackle before the match, to wipe out the negative judgments: “We’re talking about a 21-year-old player, on whom a long-term project has been made. You can’t thinking that a Coppa Italia match in January is a last resort: balance is needed”. It is not the last resort but Milan is not yet the paradise that Charles imagined months ago, when he was still pushing the accelerator to hasten the transfer to the Rossoneri. From the snappy start in the league, owner and man of the match in August against Bologna, the pace of march decreased: a whole series of performances at a reduced pace, disappointing, followed. Yesterday he and Milan didn’t even take advantage of an opponent forced to slow down due to numerical inferiority, from halfway through the second half onwards: instead he conceded the goal from Adopo on a restart, in the second extra time. And while Toro ran to celebrate with the fans, Milan was already at a standstill under the South: Calabria with folded hands to apologize.
January 12, 2023 (change January 12, 2023 | 08:15)
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