Monday, August 29, 2016

Meager Mercato

While some Serie A teams have enjoyed a feast of a mercato, Milan are experiencing yet another famine. After the €90m gifts that seemed like a feast to Milan fans last year failed to rescue a team in perpetual trauma, Berlusconi’s announcement that he would be selling the club fueled dreams of a mercato to end all mercati. But even selling the club in a timely manner was too much to ask for, with the late announcement preventing much of anything happening, it feels like once again, Milan fans are left starving with their empty hands out.

A visual metaphor for Milan's transfer market this summer

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Napoli 4, Milan 2: Southern Discomfort

Montella said he was happy with the performance, but he might be the only one. I mean it’s Napoli, I don’t think we’ve won there in like five years or something, but the performance had very few highlights. There were twelve cards, with a coach and two players sent off, and three stitches in Albiol’s face. I’m not even sure if Sarri should be happy with his team’s performance, despite the four goals. It was all a bit of Southern discomfort.

A great goal deserves a one game vacation. Am I right?

Napoli vs. Milan: Holding the Ball

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Napoli-Milan Preview: Southern Pride

Saturday we head south to Napoli. They are always a club to be feared, particularly when playing at the San Paolo. But this year, they have some fears of their own. After selling their capo cannoniere Higuain to direct and hated rivals Juventus, they seem to be afraid of winning. That was especially true last week when they were away to Pescara and were down 2-0, and were only able to claw their way back to a 2-2 draw. They still have plenty of talent, and many have speculated that losing Higuain simply opens up even more scoring options. But don’t tell that to the fans. They are still “mourning” in their own special way. It’s that good old fashioned Southern pride.

That's an expensive cover for a trash bin

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Poll: 2016 Predictions

With the mercato closing in a little over a week and the season opener in the books, I thought today would be a good time to take a poll to see where everyone thinks we’ll be in the league at the end of December when we face Juventus in the Super Coppa. That would hopefully be after the club sale closes, and looking into a mercato with €100m to potentially spend thanks to the Sino Europe group. So take the polls and feel free to let us know why you voted the way you did or whatever in the comment section.

What do YOU think?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Milan 3, Torino 2: Diversion

First I have to say that one diversion for me were Torino’s away kits. They all looked like beauty pageant contestants, with a sash that said “Suzuki.” So I kept giggling thinking that they were all apparently competing in a Mr. Suzuki pageant or something. But giggling aside, winning our season opener was such a positive for Milan. We had only won one of the past five openers, so it was really important. And with a fairly empty San Siro, the win will be important for coming matches, too. But the win was also a bit of a diversion from the issues of recent years and even weeks, a very refreshing diversion  indeed.

Always good to see this kind of action

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Milan-Torino Preview: Karma

When your eccentric billionaire owner runs your club into the ground, then twists the knife in your back by inexplicably firing the best thing that happened to the club in recent years, then proceeds to trash that coach in the media, you have to know that it’s all going to come back and haunt you. The coach who was fired, is of course Mihajlovic, and he is bringing Torino to the San Siro to haunt us. Though historically, Milan have done well against Torino, the summer fixtures are reversed this time around. So a Milan win or even a draw would be a great way to start the season, but beware of Karma.

Montella says this team is ready for Torino, even if what we saw on the pitch says otherwise

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Quattro Stelle: 2006 - Semifinals & Final

This is the twelfth and final post in a weekly series highlighting Italy’s four World Cup wins from qualifications to the finals. Read the eleventh post here.

Although it has now been ten years, I remember Italy’s 2006 win like it was yesterday. And even if the events off the pitch seem to still impact Italian football, I will always remember that day when talent triumphed over greed, football over corruption. Nothing can take away the exquisite joy of Italy lifting its fourth World Cup.

The game of the tournament

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Podcast: Transformation

It’s hard to believe what has and hasn’t happened this summer. With a preliminary agreement finally in place, an unimpressive preseason, and a very light mercato, fans are left to meter their excitement with a large dose of reality. With the new season starting up before the physical transformation of the club and our team, it’s harder to be excited or optimistic about the first half of our season. I think most fans are watching as closely to see what happens off of the pitch with our transformation.

Changes in ownership and management... will the players on the pitch follow suit?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Preseason Anxiety

Last summer at this point, we were at least cautiously optimistic, with the club having invested approximately €90m during the transfer window. We also had a coach who had a good track record and was very passionate and outspoken (translation: easy to believe in.) So although we were still missing some pieces and still clinging to some dead weight, many fans really believed we could get back into Europe last season. But this year… it’s all so strange. When the preliminary agreement to sell the club was signed, some people acted like we won the lottery. But it’s really more like when your dad takes a new job at a new company and there is the opportunity in the future for more pay, but you need new shoes now. With the sale delayed for so long, we are limping into this season with a very minimal mercato and a coach who doesn’t have as much success under his belt. Plus, those friendlies… some of the scorelines ended okay, but if you watched the games, it was more than enough to give you preseason anxiety.

That's his confident face