It hasn't been easy being an AC Milan supporter for the last few seasons. The Rossoneri's management and on-field performances have led to further shortcomings, with fans pleading for drastic changes at the club.

Sinisa Mihajlovic's arrival at the Milanello in June relieved fans and brought promise of a better tomorrow. Club legend Filippo Inzaghi was cast away in the process, whose inexperience managing at the top flight landed AC Milan a tenth-place finish and yet another season without European football.

Mihajlovic, instead, was valued for his strict work ethic and would bring order and structure to the club. It's his way or the highway a tough approach that was needed to rid the disappointing passiveness that has been displayed for the past couple of years.

Different tactical setups were tested from a 4-3-1-2 to a 4-3-3 and quite a few players were purchased in the summer including Carlos Bacca, Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Bertolacci.

But apart from a couple good performances while using a 4-3-3, Milan were still not overly satisfied with AC Milan Home Shirt 2015 - 2016their play. A scoreless draw at the San Siro against Atalanta and a 1-0 away loss to champions Juventus was enough for the Rossoneri to deem the then-tactical setup no longer fit to continue forward.

A change was needed.

The 4-3-3 offered Silvio Berlusconi's club stretched play through Alessio Cerci, Giacomo Bonaventura and M'Baye Niang, providing trickery down the flanks. The ball was played more in wide spaces during the six matches in the setup, with Cerci particularly becoming a popular, but overall ineffective option out wide.

Nonetheless, the midfield which has been the biggest concern for Milan for a few years now did not form a cohesive unit on the pitch and appeared disjointed and unable to foster creativity and invention.

Bonaventura who has arguably been Milan's best player this season admitted to not enjoying his role in a three-man midfield, even going as far to say, "Maybe playing in central midfield limits my qualities a bit, but I try to give my contribution in any case."

Considering the depth of forward options available to him, Mihajlovic implemented a 4-4-2 system at the AC Milan Away Shirt 2015 - 2016club. The result? Milan impressively ran out 4-1 winners over Sampdoria at home, the first time the Rossoneri have netted four goals in a Serie A contest since defeating Parma last season with a 5-4 scoreline. Niang scored a brace while also assisting Bonaventura for the club's first goal.

Milan looked a completely different side and the change in shape has appeared to help the Rossoneri.

Let's now analyse the differences in tactics.

While wide players are predominately important in both the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2, the latter has them start lower in the pitch. Both Bonaventura and Cerci patrolled the flanks when absorbing pressure without the ball; they also pressed diligently and sprinted back in position when defending. The system helps cover all areas of the field, while alternatively becomes a 4-2-4 when in attack, applying pressure in numbers around the opposition's goal.

Although it appeared the two in middle composed of Riccardo Montolivo and Juraj Kucka would be overrun in midfield, the defensive discipline by the wide men made sure Milan stayed organized and compact.

A big positive for this shift in tactics is the return of Bonaventura in his natural position on the left where he previously played for Atalanta. However, his versatility has been a major talking point this season, recording five assists so far which is the most in the division. The 26-year-old has also created 28 chances for Milan, two times more than second-place Cerci and Carlos Bacca.

Bacca's partner in attack against Sampdoria was Niang. The latter's role in the squad allows him to drop deeper and act as a creative spark next to the former. The 20-year-old impressed in his loan at Genoa last season and he is already showing why the club brought him back to the San Siro. Confident and strong on the ball, Niang's future is a bright one in red and black.

Adriano Galliani was also pleased with new formation, saying after the last match, "The 4-4-2 also reminds me of the old Milan and I'd say it worked very well indeed. It's a step forward and easily the best home performance this season."

Milan's next opponents include: Capri, Verona, Frosinone and Bologna, providing a great opportunity to gain maximum points against weaker sides. With a new formation and Bonaventura in form, Milan can lay the bricks of a foundation to build upon this season.