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Showing posts from 2011

Felice Anno Nuovo

First and foremost, a hearty and sincere Happy New Year to all who read this. I cannot believe this blog will be one year old in February, it has been so much fun to share Milan with all of you, and I look forward to another great year with all of us talking about the greatest team in the world!

Midseason Favorites

As we ring in the New Year as Winter Champions (gotta say it while it lasts!) and seeing how it is nearly midseason, I thought it would be fun for us to share our favorites of the season so far. In May, we chose a few of our favorites post-season, so now I’d like you to share your favorites pre-season up until now, including the SuperCoppa, Champions League matches and exhibition matches. Below are my favorites, be sure to share yours, too!

Pippo Miiiooooooooo!

Warning: Kleenex may be required for this post.
Rumors of the imminent departure of 38 year old Filippo Inzaghi from Milan in January have picked up steam. While he has tried to be very professional over the last couple of years, I have a feeling that some ugly truths will come out in the aftermath, whether about the club, the coach, the player or all of the above. So before our innocence is lost, I thought I’d better do a little bio on the man I call a legend, a player whose name is in nearly every record book possible for his predatory brilliance on the pitch.

That’s What She Said

So a little personal rant for your Monday, from a girl. More specifically, me. I had written a similar piece for another blog about a year ago that was never posted, so while I am recovering from holiday delights to write a proper post, enjoy a little estrogen.

Buon Natale

It’s Christmas at AC Milan and for many around the world. While echoes of “Peace on earth, good will toward men” warm the hearts of millions, the Rossoneri continue to warm my heart. On the pitch and off, our squad continue to bring joy to the world. They also continue to bring us results, as we managed to climb the table to become Winter Champions again! So as we celebrate this special holiday, here are a few “gifts” for you from our beloved Milan…

Thiago Silva: Silent Knight

Some people say they like the strong, silent type. If that’s true for you, you probably love Thiago Silva. And what’s not to love? Milan’s Brazilian born center back is Serie A’s best defender, as chosen by the league last year, and argued by many to be the best center back in the world right now. He is quiet but powerful, precise yet unyielding, a formidable force for opposing attackers to beat. Add to that his speed, tactical awareness, and passion for winning, and you have a player with the valor and strength to rival the knights of old.

Cagliari 0, Milan 2: Waterlogged

Our trip to the island was not picturesque or lovely, but rather very, very wet and sloppy. However, we did come away with three points, which was the main objective, so I guess we were not really concerned with appearances. And those three points put us top of the table, if only temporarily, depending on the result of Udinese and Juventus. And despite the wet conditions, we got a clean sheet, too. So I guess we can forgive our tired heroes their waterlogged performance.

Cagliari-Milan Preview: Island Vacation?

Tuesday our boys travel to the lovely island of Sardegna to take on Allegri’s former club, Cagliari. But it will be far from an island vacation, as we need these three points to keep up with Juventus. With Juve and Udinese battling on Wednesday, there could be a shuffling at the top of the table, and with 3 points, Milan have the chance to take the lead. So the pressure is on for our boys to leave the island with a win, or perhaps they will have to swim back to the mainland.

Milan 2, Siena 0: Crisis Averted

Going into this match, we were missing most of our first team defense, which was a huge concern for me. I wondered if we would be able to pull off a win, even if it was at home to the team in 17th place. But with a little luck and maybe a little trickery, we managed to get the three points. Crisis averted.

A Celebration of Excellence

If you are looking for the preview of Saturday’s Siena game, click here.

Milan-Siena Preview: The Other Bianconeri

At the top of the table sit two storied football teams that both wear black and white stripes. But we are not playing either of them this weekend. One would have to look all the way down to the bottom of the table in 17th position to find Saturday’s opponent. They are newly promoted side Siena, or the other Bianconeri.

Philippe Mexès: Le Carton Rouge

During our recent Champions League match vs. Viktoria Plzen, we finally got a good look at a player who was just coming back from a long-term injury. It was center back Philippe Mexès, who transferred to Milan this summer from Roma after seven years with the Giallorossi. While he is undoubtedly talented, he also has a bit of a stigma as a collector of the red cards, or les cartons rouge, as they say in his native French.

Bologna 2, Milan 2: Surprise

I usually like surprises, but not in football. I mean anything can happen in a match, but certain surprises are not good. In a match where Milan were expected to win convincingly, this match had far too many surprises for me.

Bologna-Milan Preview: Will Work for Points

Heading down to Bologna on Sunday seems innocent enough. We are tied for second on the table, they are dancing with relegation in 17th. But a team near relegation is never predictable, they’ve definitely got something to prove. Especially after getting knocked out of the Coppa Italia on Thursday by league leaders Juventus. So we will probably have to work for our 3 points, as things are not always as they seem.

Dear Santa

In searching for any evidence that the gods of football exist, and having found none outside of two Manchester teams going out at the group stage of the Champions League, I turn to the next best thing, Santa. In Italy, he is called “Babbo Natale,” and apparently, he made an appearance on the pitch before the Chievo game. Anyway, with Christmas quickly approaching, I thought I would appeal to him for some of my football related wishes.

Plzeň 2, Milan 2: Heart

In a match that only mattered to one side, the game was definitely one sided. Plzeň came out hungry, and despite lacking the quality of even Milan’s B-team, their heart made up the difference. In a birthday gift to their coach on this day, they scored two last minute goals to take 2  meaningless points from Milan and book their place in the last 32 of the Europa League in style.

Plzeň-Milan Preview: Life’s Lessons

Tuesday we head to Prague to face Viktoria Plzeň. Having qualified for the Round of 16, we have nothing to lose, but they have a Europa League spot to gain. So you can bet that they are not going to take this match lightly. Certainly, when they came to the San Siro in September, they earned our respect. But will they earn our 3 points? Or will they earn a valuable life lesson?

Genoa 0, Milan 2: Tears of a Griffin

It is never boring when Milan play in Genoa, and tonight was no exception. Tear gas, a red card, 7 yellows, plenty of fouls and a coach whose job is in jeopardy were a few of the highlights. But in the end, Milan left with 3 points. Leaving il Grifone with nothing but bruises and tears.

Genoa-Milan Preview: Character

As if the recent flooding in Genoa wasn’t tragic enough, there is talk after Genoa’s Sunday loss to Cesena of their always entertaining coach, Alberto Malesani, getting the axe. Malesani himself has some interesting theories about why, but then again he is an interesting guy. So we’ll start today with a press conference video that put him on the map of crazy managers.
WARNING:This video contains explicit language (in Italian w/Greek subtitles) If you don’t speak Italian, or you don’t care, then feel free to count how many times he uses the word “cazzo” (basically comparable to dropping the f-bomb in English.)

Milan Misfits

They say that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” At AC Milan, I think they take  that very literally. Recently, Milan have sought out players with “criminal” histories, bought them on the cheap, and then rehabilitated them into proper football stars. From Cassanate to nasty challenges to going AWOL, Milan don’t seem to worry about their past  misbehaviors, and to look at them now, Scudetto winners with families in tow, it would be hard to pick them out of a lineup. So I opened up their records to refresh your memory of the “misfits” amongst us…

Milan 4, Chievo 0: Donkey in the Middle

There is a cruel game kids play around here where they take the ball away from the little kid and call him the “Monkey in the Middle,” then play keep away with the ball. Tonight’s match against Chievo was reminiscent of that game for me. It was hard not to feel bad for Chievo. Whereas I was concerned before the match about their giant-killing ways, the Flying Donkeys were completely outclassed by Milan from start to finish.

Milan-Chievo Preview: When Donkeys Fly

With Chievo coming into our matchup on Sunday tied in 9th place while we sit comfortably in 3rd, one might think this match should be very cut and dry. But there is a reason Chievo are in 9th and our city rivals still sit in 16th. And it’s not because they are easy fodder. Having home field advantage may be our only real advantage. Well, that and wearing that Scudetto patch on our kits. But still, you never know what’s going to happen in a world where donkeys can fly.

Milan 2, Barca 3: Showtime

I so wanted to win this one. To show the world that Barca are not invincible. To back up Ibra’s smack talk. And to take first place in Group H. But outside of the obvious scoreline, I was proud of our boys today. They fought a good fight and they put on a good show. Of course the stars of the show were those Barca boys and that fabulous ref, but not necessarily for their footballing skills. But what a show it was, cards, goals, and just about everything a fan could want outside of a win.

Milan-Barcelona Preview: Come And Get It

Although both Milan and Barcelona have booked their tickets to the Round of 16, the first place spot in Group H is still in contention, even if Barcelona still clutch it in their tiny Catalonian hands. Barcelona may be defending their title, but Milan are hungry to take it from them, which makes our boys all the more dangerous.

Fiorentina 0-Milan 0: Purple Frustration

It’s hard to feel good about a match where your team maintained nearly 70% possession and took 12 shots, 4 on goal, but still left with nothing on the scoreboard and only one point. Even harder knowing you are going into a big Champions League match where you need every advantage you can get, psychologically especially. And still worse when you think of what could have been.

Fiorentina-Milan Preview: Viola Surprise

With Sinisa Mihajlovic being sacked and Delio Rossi being appointed coach, Fiorentina are truly a team in transition. It’s not as if they are bringing an unknown group of players to the pitch on Saturday or anything. But sometimes when a new coach takes over, it almost seems like a brand new team. Between the tactical unknowns and playing at home, they certainly have the upper hand as far as knowing what to expect. So we must be prepared for the Viola surprise.

The Favorite Shirt Poll

Obviously, we all think that red and black are the best colors in the world. And it is hard to go wrong with shirts (or any apparel for that matter) that are red and black. But when pressed, most of us would probably admit to a favorite Milan jersey of recent years. After outing myself for my fashion expertise last week and the subsequent jersey discussion, I thought we should take a poll to see which of the five most recent home jerseys is the most popular. (Sorry, ladies, players not included.)

The Two Faces of Berlusconi

So in case you are living under a rock, or here in America, Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister of Italy on Saturday night. Yes, that is the same Silvio Berlusconi who owns our beloved club. And yes, as I understand it, he is thinking of stepping back into the club full time. Well, that is when he’s not attending court dates for the three ongoing cases currently against him. You see, there are two faces of Berlusconi - the benevolent purveyor of world class players and thus trophies for AC Milan, and the corrupt Italian businessman and politician. We can only hope they stay separate, for the love of our beloved club.

Where Are They Now? part II

Do you ever wonder what has happened to some of our ex-Milan players? In my second installment of the question that is on everyone’s mind, I've compiled another list of some former players, the years they played for Milan, and their current whereabouts and pastimes.*

Io Elaine (or I, Elaine)

I have often thought of myself as the Ibra of bloggers - brilliant, talented, tough, good looking, able to carry a team on my shoulders, feared, and able to pull off the ponytail look with style. Well, actually, I am none of those things except for the good looking, the ponytail part, and maybe the feared, but for different reasons. Also, like Ibra, I like to talk about myself a lot, sometimes in the third person. Anyway, with Ibra’s autobiography being released this Friday in Italy, I thought it was time that I told my story, too, Ibra style. (Only mine is much, much shorter, considering I’ve not really done anything with my life.) Also, for my story, you will not need to purchase a book, it is right here for you for free. You’re welcome.

Antonio Nocerino: the 500.000 Euro Man

‘Twas the night before deadline and all through the club
Not a Flamini fill in was sighted, not even a sub, But Galliani in his brilliance was calm as could be, He’d heard about something from his pal Zamparini!
Away to his phone he flew with such haste, A deal must be brokered, no time to waste! The next morning, as transfer deals settled like snow We had a new player called Nocerino!

Milan 4, Catania 0: Dodging a Bullet

In my preview, you may have noticed that I was a bit concerned by Catania’s form this season. They are a tough team and have split the points with 5 opponents as well as having beaten Napoli last week. So I was hoping that not only would we score early and often, but avoid conceding a goal at all costs. And Milan did not disappoint.

Milan-Catania Preview: Parade of Elephants

Everyone loves a parade, or so they say. But with gli Elefanti coming to town on Sunday, I’m not sure Milan are quite ready to enjoy raining on their parade  of elephants with all of this week’s distractions. The Catania squad are currently in an impressive 6th place on the table, and I’m sure they would be happy to take advantage of Milan’s distractions. Whereas even if Milan are 4th on the table, the distractions of traveling midweek for Champions League and more importantly Cassano’s heart surgery this morning are sure to be weighing heavily on their minds and bodies.

Il Cuore di Cassano

You would have to have been living underneath a rock this week not to know that Antonio Cassano is now set to undergo a small surgery on his heart and will not return to football for at least 4-6 months. But all thoughts of club and country get pushed aside now as our hearts turn to the man, his family, and friends in this difficult time. But what can we say about a man at a time like this whose only flaw is that he is all heart?

BATE Borisov 1, Milan 1: Missing Cassano

Hopefully no one told Cassano that Milan were playing for him tonight, because the result shows just how much they missed him, and we wouldn’t want to make him sad. Hopefully they just happened to turn off the TV at the hospital at the end of the first half and he is dreaming peacefully right now of a team that played pretty well.

BATE Borisov-Milan: Moving on?

This match sees Milan on the verge of progressing to the Round of 16, and it also sees BATE on the verge of being eliminated. So, depending on the corresponding results of the Plzen-Barcelona match, while Milan could be moving on with a win, BATE could be moving on out of the tournament with a loss. It’s a battle of who wants it most, Milan with their eyes firmly fixed on Champions League glory this year, and BATE desperate for survival.

Roma 2, Milan 3: The Return of the Champions

This fixture has long been a low-scoring one. In fact I read somewhere that no more than 2 goals had been scored by both teams in this fixture since 1998. But all of that went out the window with 5 goals scored today, in what is typically a very frustrating match. And for the first time in a while, Milan took 3 points in Rome. Certainly in the Stadio Olimpico tonight, they involuntarily welcomed the return of the champions.

Roma-Milan Preview: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

I am eagerly awaiting Saturday’s match. Even if I’ve been disappointed in the past, the Roma match is one I always want to win. I’m not sure exactly what it is, maybe it’s that they have won more of our fixtures lately, but I get a little excited at the opportunity to turn them into whimpering little wolf pups.

Milan 4, Parma 1: The Nocerino Show

In my preview post, I suggested that Ibrahimovic would get the hat trick in this match to follow Kevin Prince Boateng’s performance on the weekend. But I was wrong. While Ibra did score, it was Nocerino’s hat trick that elevated Milan to 5th on the table, 2 points shy of leaders Juventus. Benvenuto al Milan, Nocerino!

Milan-Parma Preview: Something to Prove

Milan are coming off of a win on the weekend that was nothing short of miraculous. But the reason for the miracle was the worst half of football they have played in a very long time, having conceded three unanswered goals to 19th place Lecce. Wednesday’s match will give them the chance to show whether or not that first half was a fluke or a huge red flag on the season. Meanwhile Parma, sitting 14th in the table with three wins and four losses will also be looking for some redemption by taking down another Scudetto contender and earning a much needed three points. It seems that both teams have something to prove.

Keeping with former Parma sponsor Parmalat’s ad campaign featuring adorable little ones in cute animal costumes, I thought Giovinco could help sell some milk in Parma's colors. Certainly, the costume was the right size.

Lecce 3, Milan 4: Prince Charming

Okay, so imagine there was this damsel in distress. She woke up at 3:30 am to see her beloved team play, only something went dreadfully wrong and her team were down 3-0 at the half to 19th place Lecce. Never did she need a hero like she did on this day. Luckily for her, there was someone who could rescue her from her misery. With a 15 minute hat trick, she was rescued by Prince Charming, aka Kevin Prince Boateng. And his trusty knight Sir Yepes.

Lecce-Milan Preview: Circus Time

I cannot help it. Every time I see Lecce’s home uniforms, the circus music starts going through my head. And even though we sit in the lower half of the table right along our yellow and red striped friends, we are on the climb and they are… well, they are in deep trouble already. So let’s go to the circus and play like we did vs. Palermo with a convincing win and maybe some extra goals to help our goal differential. Everyone likes a circus, right?

Milan 2, BATE Borisov 0: The Unbeautiful Game

The scoreline may seem convincing, but the way Milan played tonight was not so much so. Even the stats are a little misleading, as Milan had 60% possession and took 28 shots. The clue to the less than convincing part was that of those 28 shots, only 5 were on goal. And the truly unbeautiful part was the foul count. Milan had 21 fouls, BATE had 19. However in the end, the result is the most important part. So pretty or not, we’ll take it.

Milan-BATE Borisov Preview: Start Your Engines

It’s not so hard to write about Serie A, I watch so many games I’m surprised my husband hasn’t left me yet. But in the Champions League, we meet teams that even the interwebs seem to know little about. However, that is not the case with BATE Borisov. I actually was able to learn quite a bit online about them. Enough to know there is one word you should know about them: Tractors.

Milan 3, Palermo 0: The Awakening

After struggling against both injury and a tough schedule so far this season, this match was highly anticipated as a litmus test for the reigning Serie A champions. A litmus test that was passed with flying colors. Not even putting Bonera on the pitch for nearly 60 minutes could stop Milan’s big comeback. No, tonight would be the Awakening, a remembrance of our winning ways.

Milan-Palermo Preview: Starving

Palermo’s owner, Maurizio Zamparini, certainly has a good sense of humor. He appointed current coach Devis Mangia, whose last name literally means “eat,” just like you may have been implored by your nonna repetitively, “Mangia! Mangia!” But just because Palermo have made a meal out of us in the past, it doesn’t mean we’ll let them do it again. Sorry, boys, the kitchen is closed. We’re sending you back home starving.

Scudetto Repeat Poll

After getting off to a rough start, many are doubting that Milan will repeat their title run from last year. With 10 of 15 points available dropped in the first 5 matches, it’s easy to see why the doubt. However when you look at the injury Armegeddon we’ve had as well as a schedule that’s been fairly tough so far, maybe it’s not quite time to give up hope just yet.

The Ghanaian Prince

People may not realize that Milan is flush with royalty. There is El Shaarawy, “il Faraone,” Aquilani, “il Principino” or “the little Prince,” and there is our Ghanaian Prince, Kevin Prince Boateng. All of these “royal” players wear the same red and black striped jersey, yet none of them are created equal. While they all bring their own talents and abilities to the team, there is only one who has a royal title in his legal name, and that is Kevin Prince Boateng.

A Little T & A

So even though it’s the International Break, I thought we could talk about a little Trequartista & Attack, or T & A. (Did you think this would be about something else? Get your mind out of the gutter!) Despite conceding way too many goals already, it’s our attack that concerns me the most, more specifically getting the ball forward.

Dreaded Locks

Footballers are synonymous with hairstyle blunders. In fact, the list of horrifying coifs is probably longer than the list of players who have won the World Cup. While some hairstyles are iconic (Ruud Gullit’s dreadlocks come to mind) others are the source of visual nightmares.

The Last Man Standing

A wise friend of mine who was a goalkeeper for many years before coaching taught me, “If the ball winds up in the back of the net, it had to pass 10 of your teammates first.” For some people, this may sound like a copout. But if you’ve ever stood between the ball and the net alone with only a pair of gloves for protection, you’ll know that she was right. The keeper truly is the last man standing.