Friday, August 31, 2012

Bologna vs. Milan Preview: Redemption

I don’t use the term “Epic Fail” lightly (okay, maybe I do, but in this case I’m not,) but I think most would say that Milan’s opening weekend match vs. Sampdoria was just that. However, we’re not alone Bologna’s opener vs. Chievo was also quite the Epic Fail, losing 2-0 away to Verona. So as we head to Bologna tomorrow night, both teams have something to prove. And both teams are looking for redemption.

Milan’s team bus arrives at Bologna (photoshop also an Epic Fail)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

“Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes.” 
 Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

For Milan fans, probably nothing is more beautiful than the Champions League trophy adorned with the red and black ribbons. Our European heritage is rich and decorated, with seven Champions League trophies to our name. So despite the Summer of Doom™ and the resulting despair amongst fans, there is still a twinge of excitement as we prepare to learn our fate in the Group Stage Draw of the UEFA Champions League. In much of the world, this will be during the afternoon or evening, but for me, I will hear the news over breakfast. So please enjoy this Breakfast of Champions. (Post will be updated with the draw as quickly as possible)

American culture meets European Royalty

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mercato Roundup: Tutti al Circo!

With Milan’s mercato supposedly complete, this summer has had the feeling of a giant circus adventure. You know, the really, really sad kind where circus employees are taking swigs of liquor behind the circus tents, the clowns’ faces are so scary, they don’t need makeup, and even the animals are taking drags on cigarettes. Yup, it’s been a wild ride, but Galliani swears it is over. And though he is like the boy who cried wolf, I thought I could take a day to peek at our new acquisitions, with player profiles hopefully coming soon for those we’ve not had a chance to meet yet. So, “Tutti al Circo!” Or, “Everybody to the Circus!”

The Mercato Ringmaster himself

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Allegri Reaction

Allegri is not a likeable guy. He’s not personable, he has a little bit of an odd voice, he looks like a Simpsons character, and his sense of humor is a bit dark and misunderstood. There are those who have been calling for his head for a while, others more recently. So after a game in which the papers said Milan “had no ideas” on Sunday, some were surprised to see some of us long term supporters drop our support. Was it reactionary? Yes. Was it based on only one game? Not for me. My decision was based only partially on tactics and formations, but rather more on taking a step back and taking a look at the bigger picture.

Not Mr. Popular or Mr. Lovable

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Milan 0, Sampdoria 1: When a Loss is a Loss

All summer we felt it. There were tremors when 10 players all left at once. But when the sale of Thiago Silva and Ibra came into focus, we all knew it: this would be too much to recover from in one mercato. Then Berlusconi’s confession that there was no money. That we would be buying on a budget, investing in youth (even if we’re courting 30 year-old Kaká at the moment.) It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that we would be vulnerable. Yes, even to a recently promoted Serie B side. Especially to a recently promoted Serie B side, as the people we’ve reinforced with so far come from that level or below. There’s no real way to put a positive spin on this. Sometimes you have to admit that a loss is a loss.

Pazzini is head and shoulders above the rest...
except maybe in match fitness

Milan vs. Sampdoria: Game On!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Milan vs. Sampdoria Preview: Let the Games Begin!

Over half of our team was surgically removed, chaos reigned from the manager to the management, and our hearts were run over a train… again and again. Living without calcio each summer is always hard, but this was one to remember. Or forget… Anyway, tomorrow, the moment we’ve been waiting for… when our boys take the pitch to begin the 2012-13 Serie A campaign. So fire up whatever viewing device you have, make yourself comfortable and let the games begin!

Will he recover to seek his revenge?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Buckle Up

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are approaching uncharted waters and the weather reports indicate possible storms ahead. Additionally, we are having technical difficulties that might contribute to a little bit of a bumpy ride. Please remain calm and fasten your seatbelts, and I am sure we will all get through this together. And thank you for flying Milan Obsession.

Prepare for takeoff

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Cassano-Pazzini Swap

Normally, I would do a farewell and a welcome post, but with the season opener upon us and Galliani Day™ looming near, there is simply not enough time. Besides, there is so much to talk about in trying to figure out where Milan’s next great champion will be signed from (my bet is on the MLS) as well as how to cope with Milan’s suicidal summer, so this post will have to do double duty. Which is fair, considering these players  played side by side to form one of my favorite striker pairings in recent memories, then each leaving Sampdoria for one side of Milan for a year and a half. This swap is just another part of their intertwined careers, so I suppose they are used to sharing.

Their partnership at Sampdoria left them tied together forever.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Blankety-Blank-Blank Season Preview

Normally around this time I would be posting a semi-comprehensive preview of our season, much like my illustrious former co-blogger, Jovan, did last year. But with so many questions hanging in the balance and our first match to be played before the beloved Milan holiday, Galliani Day™ (August 31st), it makes that task impossible. So I give to you the Blankety-Blank-Blank Season Preview, and we’ll let the club fill in the blanks come September 1st.

Last year's favorite Galliani Day™ gift

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Summer of Doom™

I was supposed to have written all of our welcome posts for the new players by now, but I’ve spent all summer writing farewell posts instead. And now it seems that there are still more to write, with very little time to write them. I should also be writing a season preview, but what is there to preview? What started out to be an obvious summer of change escalated into a summer of tumult. But with the events of the past few days, I think we can justifiably say that this summer has become the Summer of Doom™.

2011-12 squad... more grey than red.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Milan vs. Juventus: Keeping Scudetto Hopes Alive

The plan was to play well, but lose. We wanted to fire a warning shot to Juve, but not ruin our Scudetto chances before the season even began with the Berlusconi Trophy curse. And certainly not get any injuries. And I think that we accomplished just that. (Well except for perhaps Abate and Antonini with injuries, that has yet to be seen.) Not only that, but ESPN seemed to support our efforts, with a fantastic spelling error that added insult to victory…

According to ESPN, everyone is going nuts over Juvenuts.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Milan vs. Juventus Preview: The Curse of the Trofeo Berlusconi

It’s a preseason friendly. Which means that is shouldn’t mean anything, right? It doesn’t really. Except for the curse. Yes, the legendary curse of the Berlusconi Trophy. The curse that whichever team wins the trophy does NOT win the Scudetto that year. That’s not a good way to start off the season.

The curse continues

Friday, August 17, 2012

Perfect Pitch

It’s no secret that the old San Siro pitch was a death trap. With more injuries sustained there than a lifetime with Melissa Satta, this summer’s renovation was long overdue. But how did they take such a giant hazard and turn it into the perfect pitch? Rather than post the videos or graphics or photos of what really happened, I prefer to let my imagination tell you the story…

The beautiful new pitch may have taken more work than meets the eye

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Francesco Acerbi: Meet Your Destiny

He’s always been a Milanista. It was always his dream to play for Milan. So when Milan came calling, it was perfect… almost. If only his father had lived long enough to see him wear the jersey. But Acerbi thinks about him all the time, and is sure he is smiling from above, thrilled that his son has finally achieved his dream. Francesco Acerbi, meet your destiny.

Still transitioning from tourist to teammate

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Performance Anxiety

Let’s face it, not everyone can perform on the big stage. And although Milan’s cast this year includes fewer stars, our schedule still demands important performances from both the stars and the supporting cast. So I thought I would find out which of our new players will live up to his expectations, and also which players might not. Take the polls and tell us what you think!

Wearing the #13? No pressure at all...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bakaye Traoré: X Factor or Non-Factor?

He was the surprise signing of the summer, with no one being more surprised that Milan wanted him than the player himself. His contract with Nancy was up, he wasn’t being tracked by other clubs, there were no other offers for him, but Milan came in before the season ended to negotiate a deal for him, it was clear he was an intended purchase. However, there are questions about the French-born Malian midfielder who has come to us via 11th place Ligue 1 side Nancy. Having been scouted by Milan and only Milan, will he prove to be an X factor, a variable which will most impact our season’s outcome? Or will he follow some of the other French players we’ve had and prove to be a non-factor?

Into the great unknown for our virtually unknown new midfielder

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grazie Thiago

He’s not even had his presentation yet with the new club, but watching him at the Olympics with Brazil, I thought I had better bite the bullet and send him off properly. With the initial sting of him leaving gone, the ache of seeing a Milan backline without him has set in, so by the time we actually see him in a PSG shirt, we may be a little more prepared with this new and terrible reality.

An incomprehensible loss

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

AC Milan 1, Real Madrid 5: The Sky is Falling

I’ll be the first to admit that I have played the part of Chicken Little, of “The sky is falling” fame, since the end of the season. To be fair, losing 12 of your highest quality players all at once is a bit of a natural disaster of comparable proportions. But I wasn’t as concerned with having a Scudetto-winning or Champions League contending team this season, my concerns are for the future of the club in general. People criticize those sounding the alarm, but the alarm finally got through to some people watching the match tonight. Nothing gets through to people like a 5-1 loss.

Cristiano Ronaldo: "I'll see your goal and raise you one."

AC Milan vs. Real Madrid: Game On!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

AC Milan vs. Real Madrid: Play Ball!

Wednesday night, at one of the most famous baseball parks in the world, a game of football will be played in the city that never sleeps. And it will be played by two European footballing giants. In fact, they are two of the best known and most successful football clubs in the world. With world class players (and Bonera and Antonini) as well as world class coaches (okay, “class” may be a stretch on this one,) this could prove to be one of the most epic matches of the year. Except it’s only a friendly. So check your outrageous expectations at the parking lot, and Play Ball!

Who will score the first home run?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Manic Mercato

Summer mercati always make people crazy. But this summer has got to take the cake. Between the mass exodus of the Senatori and the theft of Ibra and Thiago, speculation ranges from the practical and cost effective to the ridiculous and overpriced. With the match between Milan and CD Olimpia finished, and the team travelling to New York tomorrow to face Real Madrid on Wednesday, I thought we could take a day off and join the ranks of Fantacalcio.

The mercato makes people do crazy things, like Inler wearing the lion head at his unveiling

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Milan 3, Olimpia 1: Are You In?

Most preseason friendlies are a little more relaxed, a time to give the coaches a chance to try new players and formations. But given the immense changes and general feelings of mistrust amongst Milan this summer, it seems like our boys are out to prove themselves to us before the season even begins. In fact, at the end of an interview with Nocerino the other day, he looked straight into the camera and said this to the fans: We are Milan, we feel part of Milan, and we are honoured to be Milan – but we need you, we want you at the San Siro. We’ll be waiting for you.” And then he backed it up with 2 goals today for emphasis. Are you in?

Robinho and Nocerino are in. 100%.

Friday, August 3, 2012

AC Milan vs. CD Olimpia Preview: Honduran Giants

Unless you follow Central American football, the name Club Deportivo Olimpia may not ring a bell. But for anyone who has ever followed Honduran football, they would know that CD Olimpia are like the Juventus of Honduras. They are the most successful team in the Honduran league, having just won their 25th title. So while their name may be unfamiliar to you, they are the best of the best where they are from, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Berlusconi Files

In an effort to appease fans and give everyone an idea of where the club is going, yesterday, Silvio Berlusconi went on the Milan Channel to address the public. What he said was largely expected, but I guess it was good to hear it from him. Now the question is: How much of what he said was true? I decided to take history, probability, current dealings of the club, and a healthy dose of speculation and give his words the Milan Obsession Lie Detector Test™. Let’s see how he fared…

"I swear to tell mostly the truth" (with fingers crossed behind my back)