The great Milan spending experience is currently going awry while Barcelona are defying expectations with flying start to the season
AC Milan struggling to become a team
Eight new players in the starting eleven means time is needed to mould a team. You can spend $200 million in a transfer window, but you cannot buy time. AC Milan need more of it to find the right chemistry as a unit, but for now, Vincenzo Montella is failing to deliver and the Rossoneri are losing points compared with their rivals on the hunt for a Champions League spot. Time is needed, but there is never enough of it, and the Italian coach needs to up his game in order to avoid results like the 2-0 loss to Sampdoria at the weekend.
When Barcelona play freely they are still a league title contender
Six wins out of six for Barcelona, who are a real machine at the start of the 2017/18 season, leaving Atletico four points behind and Real Madrid already with a seven-point deficit. Having lost Neymar in the summer, no one could predict such a great start for the Blaugrana, who have been impressive, also demolishing Juventus 3-0 in the opening game of their Champions League campaign. The change of coach could be the key: evidently under Luis Enrique the team had reached a limit, and with Ernesto Valverde, the players play more freely and deliver results.
Morata needed faith
Alvaro Morata scored his first hat-trick in a Chelsea shirt, the icing on the cake of a fantastic start to his new experience, after leaving his childhood love Real Madrid in the summer. For the first time in his career, Morata is the undisputed starting striker, and he is delivering like never before. The feeling is the Spanish forward needed a coach who had faith in him and gave him the playing time necessary to be so devastating: Antonio Conte is just the right man for Morata.
Bayern, is this a plan for the Champions League?
A very slow start to the season for the German champions, with coach Carlo Ancelotti undergoing a lot of criticism. Integrating new stars like James Rodriguez has been difficult, his relationship with Thomas Mueller is at an historical low and results are disappointing. But this could mean one thing: Ancelotti has planned the season in order to be at the best condition from February onwards, when things get serious. In order to try win the Champions League. It’s a possibility that would explain Bayern’s issues.
Is Ranieri in for another miracle?
For the man who lead Leicester City to the most glorious victory in the history of the Premier League, doing well with Nantes in Ligue 1 will seem very easy. But Ranieri, as often in his career, is punching above his weight. The French press has called him a genius, only two points off third spot – the final to enter next season’s Champions League – after having his team scoring only five goals in seven games. Great defence, great counter-attacks. And the possibility of another sporting miracle on the horizon.