Why would we rest players vs Venezia? We have 15 days after Venezia before the derby. Go full out for these 2 games, rotate in the coppa italiaI hope we can go full team against Atalanta and put some fresh legs against Venezia.
Win is a must to give Milan pressure against.......... Spezia.
Likely physical condition. Denzel has taken a few knocks last few games.I couldn't believe how absurdly complacent we were in closing Malinovskyi down in the first match.
I think he's a gun of a player, but he's also very much a one-trick pony. He puts the ball on his left foot and blasts it. Everyone in the league knows this guy has a great shot, don't let him shoot from distance.
Inexplicably, of all teams, we alone repeatedly gave him ample time and space to take shot after shot after shot from outside our box. That blew my fucking mind. I've watched Atalanta plenty of times this season and literally every other team just kept a man on him or otherwise closed him down with urgency. That alone reduces his impact by 90% and it's not that fucken hard to do.
I'm also not sure why Darmian is starting over Dumfries. I don't know what Dumfries has done to deserve getting dropped nor do I believe that Darmian is notably better in defence. If anything, Dumfries is in a patch of good form and his athleticism could be a valuable asset against Atalanta's dynamic way of playing.
It might just be simple rotation but even if that is the case, I don't believe this is the game to rotate. Darmian can play against Empoli or Venezia. Whatever. Hopefully Dumfries has a good impact coming off the bench.
No other surprises with the lineup though. I'm glad Inzaghi has the sense to start Sanchez instead of Dzeko who has been incredibly disappointing in recent weeks, if not months.
Today Gasperini is rightfully considered among the upper echelon of currently active Italian coaches. Despite what I think of the guy, what he's achieved with Atalanta is monumental.
We obviously hired him before any of this, before he had earned his repute. That said, there was also a lot of arrogance on our part as well. Banteritis can be a difficult disease to identify and often, by the time it's been diagnosed, it's already terminal. (On a side note, this is why I'm so harsh on Suning these days, because I'm identifying concerning symptoms of Banteritis, such as selling your star player for €110m and buying a 35 year old replacement for €1.5m..)
I still remember at the time, there was an overwhelming disdain for what Gasperini wanted to do which permeated the entire club from top to bottom, from president to fanbase. Everyone considered his 3 man defense to be provincial and far beneath us, keeping in mind we were recently European Champions.
Palacio was also considered not good enough for us (this is true, but he certainly became good enough for us when we signed him a season later because by this point we had reduced the quality of the squad so devastatingly.)