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Collateral Damage

Whatever criticisms any of us have about Gennaro Gattuso, no one can argue with what he has done for Milan. It is almost one year since he was hired after that whiny Montella was fired… finally. Gattuso has lasted through a complete change of management, a UEFA ban that was then reversed, and two transfer markets, even if one was non-existent for Milan. He has brought back the grinta to Milan, and taught all of our players except Montolivo what it really means to wear the Milan shirt. Only now, we have an injury plague of epic proportions, and part or much of the blame is likely on him. As much as his players love him and he loves them, they have become collateral damage.
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Milan 0, Juventus 2: Red Like the Fire

This match started with “Black like your fear” in a coreo that was as menacing as it was self-serving to the Curva Sud Ultras. The caption was where the hypocrisy lay, it read “I never left you.” I can remember quite a few times the Ultras left the team when they needed them most. And times when they protested against them, threatened them, turned their backs on them, etc. An A+ for the artwork, but a big fat F for authenticity. But that was just the beginning of the night, things went from bad to worse and ended with a new take on “Red like the fire.”

Milan-Juventus Preview: Doomsday

Milan fans would probably prefer to not be playing at all this week, especially with so many injuries. But as our luck would have it, we face the toughest team in the league on Sunday. Which also happens to be the team with the most accused rapists in Serie A. But always professional on the pitch, mind you. Vastly outmatched both physically and in poor character, Milan will probably have a starting line up of Primavera players and cousins and uncles and such, since nearly all of our starters are injured. And facing a team with as much quality as it lacks in class and basic human decency, it can only spell our doomsday.

Real Betis 1, AC Milan 1: The Fallen

We limped into this match, and somehow the draw seems okay. But we were stretchered off of this match. And as the injuries piled up, I saw something in Gattuso’s eyes that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before: fear. With the majority of our starters now on the medical lists, there is much to be afraid of. But after the final whistle, the most frightening thing was accounting for the fallen.

Europa League • Real Betis-AC Milan Preview: Walking Wounded

Many saw Real Betis as our biggest competition in our Europa League Group. But in our last meeting, Milan proved that we were our own biggest competition, with a performance that deserved the defeat, no disrespect to Real Betis. And that was in our house. So tomorrow, we have to go to their house and return the favor. Only I doubt they will be so helpful to play as poorly as we did. And also, our injuries make us more like the walking wounded.

Podcast: Fourth Place

Like a most improbable dream, Milan are in fourth place right now. Which is a huge shift from recent years and shows that while our football may not be pretty, in fact it may be really frustrating at times, it is more effective than it looks. And that Champions League objective might not be quite so far away as it has seemed all of these years without it.

Udinese 0, Milan 1: To the Death

This game was remarkably unremarkable for about 94 minutes. And then it got interesting. After so much back and forth and so many shots wide or saved, a serious of unfortunate events for Udinese led to one beautiful shot hitting the back of the net. With VAR checks almost doubling the six minutes of stoppage time, this game left it all to the death.

Udinese-Milan PREVIEW: Casualties

On paper, Milan should win this match. Milan are fourth, Udinese are in 16th. But then you start looking at Milan’s injuries, and it puts Udinese back in the game. That, tied with our away form this season and our fragile mentality, makes this game anyone’s for the taking. And despite Milan claiming a fourth place berth on Wednesday that is massive for our team’s mentality, Udinese probably want the win more. So whether it be for our physical or mental liabilities, we could give up points to the host team because of casualties.

Milan 2, Genoa 1: Grim Reaper

Genoa came to the devil’s lair, perhaps like naïve children hoping to trick-or-treat. And with a deflected own goal by Milan, it seemed for a bit as if they might take something home. But it was Halloween. And they were facing “red like the fire, black like your fear.” So instead, in stoppage time, they met the Grim Reaper, who came and took all three points from them.

Milan-Genoa Preview: Bewitched

This was supposed to be our first game of the season. But due to a tragedy, we are playing it on Halloween. Which is kind of creepy, really, a haunting memory of that horrific tragedy. But also strange due to the bewitched luck Milan has when tragedy occurs. We always seem to have an advantage before the tragedy, and then lose that advantage (and sometimes more) by the time our game is rescheduled. That is definitely the case with Genoa, between our beleaguered performances and their change of coaches and related improvement in form.