Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Podcast: Hopes and Fears


After reasonable success in their friendlies against Lega Pro sides, Milan put in two very poor performances against real teams in the ICC Tournament friendlies thus far. The mercato shows no promise, and to make things worse, the Serie A schedule was released and we face a very difficult start. So if you still have any hopes for this season, your worst fears seem to be being realized. We tried to find the small positives in what is shaping up to be another very painful season for Milan fans.

More fears than hopes

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Severe Weather Conditions


If you saw the friendly vs. Manchester City yesterday played in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you’ll know that the game was delayed for about 30 minutes because of lightning and gusty winds. Fans had to take cover inside of the stadium or under the roof of Heinz Field and wait it out until the game could restart. But that shouldn’t have fazed Milan fans, especially not while their team wore those hideous yellow jerseys. We have weathered many a storm in the past few years, and we’re looking ahead at more severe weather conditions, too.

The actual weather is the least of our worries.

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Questions than Answers


Last night’s friendly vs. Greek champions Olympiacos was disappointing on so many levels. The 3-0 defeat seemed to extinguish any glimmers of hope amongst fans, not just because of the scoreline, but also the poor level of play. Even for those with low expectations, I think it was disappointing. But at the end of the day, it was just a friendly. And at least they won both of their friendlies prior to this against the Lega Pro sides, even if the wins were maybe not that convincing. You also have to factor in jet lag, the International players who just arrived, missing both De Jong (still on vacation after the World Cup) and Montolivo (injured,) and their intense schedule of events since crossing the Atlantic. I definitely don’t think this should be viewed as an accurate measurement of how the team will play this season. But still, it does raise more questions than answers….

The doomed starting eleven

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One for the Money


Last night, my beloved team landed in New York City, their first stop on their tour of North America the East Coast of America and Toronto, Canada. (Yes, I’m still bitter that they won’t come to the West Coast.) After meeting fans this morning in New York, they will fly to Toronto, where tomorrow the Most Successful Club in the World Most Successful Club in Europe will face the Most Successful Club in Greece, Olympiacos (also the reigning Greek champions.) Hopefully, Milan will not be embarrassed, as this is definitely the most winnable game of the ICC Tournament for them. But with Inzaghi’s admission that the team he’s got right now would have to win with their grit and determination this season (translation: he does NOT have the quality he needs to win,) this North American tour is all about the money.

Ummm... where are the West BEST Coast games?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friendly Fire


This week saw Milan play two friendlies, one on Wednesday against Lega Pro side Renate, and the other to fellow Lega Pro side Monza. While both were victories for Milan, they were hardly the 10-0 thumpings that Allegri’s Milan used to inflict upon their victims. Still, like they tend to do each summer in these friendlies, the young players shone. And as the players who played in the World Cup get ready to return and meet the team in New York for their US tour, here’s a little spotlight on some of the new and younger players as they head into the friendly fire…

Niang and El Shaarawy in the match vs. Renate

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How Level Is the Playing Field?


Taking a slight detour from obsessing about Milan today to talk about three different footballers who struggle with three different disabilities. These are not visible, obvious physical disabilities, but they all belong to a group of disorders known as “invisible disabilities.” Often, people suffer silently, but these three players live in the spotlight, which can be a blessing or a curse. However, thanks to their examples of taking their “weaknesses” and turning them to strengths, they can be an inspiration, not only to their fellow athletes, but to the world.

Hard to believe his daily struggles

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Schadenfreude


After Conte suddenly quit as Juventus manager on Tuesday, the rumors of Allegri to Juventus bubbled up almost immediately. It was hilarious to think of as a Milan fan, but I didn’t take it seriously. Surely with other options, including ex-Juventus star Zinedine Zidane, who recently left his tutelage under Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, Allegri would be their last option. And maybe he was, who knows? But as rumors became news and then he was officially unveiled by the club, the schadenfreude took over and left Milan fans everywhere giggling in delight.

This is old news, but who's trolling who now?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Podcast: Finding the Right Milan DNA


It’s that time of year. The squad returned to Milanello and were also presented at Casa Milan amongst a day of festivities and over 2,000 fans. The Curva Sud started the season off right with an open letter to the club, too. The mercato is now in full swing, with a number of Milan players already out on loan or sold, and a few new faces, too. So much change, but most heartening for fans were the words of Mister Inzaghi, who talked about the importance of “finding the right Milan DNA.” And that is exactly what I think fans want the club to achieve this summer in training, in the mercato, and especially as a team.

Is the right Milan DNA here?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Honor the Shirt


Mister Inzaghi was presented on Thursday at Casa Milan, and his press conference was like a salve to the soul for Milan fans. Amongst so many other things, he said, “My motto has always been 'Honor the shirt'. This has to be our motto now at Milan." Clearly, he hadn’t seen this season’s shirts, or he might have chosen a different motto. But his words and ideas and the respect he has for the club, management, the players, and the fans make him the ideal person to lead this Milan away from the past two years and back to success.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Calcio’s Greatest Shame


My first memory of Italian “justice” goes back a number of years when I read a little writeup in an American paper about a rape trial in Southern Italy. Everything pointed to the man’s guilt, but he was exonerated of all wrongdoing by the all-male court, who cited that the young woman’s pants were too tight, therefore he could not have removed them by himself, therefore it was not rape. Reading about this enraged my sensibilities, not only as a woman, but also as an American. Sadly, it is not hard to find injustice here, but at least the system usually fails because of human error or perhaps a legal loophole that actually requires intelligence and effort to find, rather than making up rulings at will. However, reading about that case prepared me for my shock from the ever growing laundry list that is Silvio Berlusconi’s resumé of legal allegations and the complete lack of justice for the man who gained much of his wealth and power due to Milan’s successes on the pitch. And yet, as ill as that always makes me to think about, he is hardly calcio’s greatest shame.

While the players were basking in victory, their world was crashing down around them