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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.


I started the summer questioning if our mercato to that point made the grade, having lost 10 players by that point and made purchases that didn’t seem to come close to replacing the quality we’d had. Most people felt at this point that it wasn’t good, but that it was too early to judge. Then I wrote about why it was important to keep Ibra, with the premise of keeping Thiago Silva a given. Then came the first Thiago Silva scare. And I was unfortunately spot on that any player could be sold for a price. Before the players were actually sold, I mocked the mercato, but not even I could have predicted the misfortune that was coming.

We talked about who to blame for the madness. And I facetiously labeled the departure of Thiago and Ibra as “the End of the World As We Know it,” I had no idea how those words would come back to haunt me in ways I could not imagine. But it is perhaps the post on loyalty that hurts so much at a time like this. Not just past players and managers pillaging our team, but our current players and manager and management. We tried to wait until the end of the mercato, like we were asked, but with just 10 days left for Galliani to do his magic, there is a deeper, darker magic at work, and it simply does not seem that any kind of magic can save our team this season.

Where did Cassano's smile go?

As of this writing, the swap for Cassano and Pazzini is not official, though it looks to be only an announcement away. Many fans are mad at Cassano, wondering how he could do this to him after we rescued him from Sampdoria, helped him through his stroke and heart surgery and recovery, and got him back on the national team and to Euros. And while those are fair questions to be asking, for all he’s done for Milan both on and off the pitch, I’d say we’re even. It is well know that he has been the heart and the joy of the team since he came, and he bossed the assists column whenever he played. Some say it was to be expected, given his Cassanate and personality. But the only thing he ever said was that if Thiago & Ibra left, he would want to leave, too. And yet he stayed all summer until now. I can’t blame him for wanting to get his smile & motivation back. I can’t blame him for not being able to find it in this shell of the team he signed on for.

However I think there is a deeper, darker magic brewing here. The same dark magic that saw Pirlo forced out of the squad. Yes, both he and the club acknowledge him leaving was a choice, but it was a choice made out of not having a place to play after 10 years with the club. A hand forced by the same person who froze out the legendary Pippo Inzaghi for his last two years at the club. A hand that was responsible for the outward display of anger and frustration from the legendary Seedorf, the same hand that kept him from playing both before and after. The same hand that caused Flamini to come out into the press and remind everyone that he was and had been fit to play, just not offered the opportunity around April or so of this year. The same hand Gattuso cited for the exit of he and Nesta and the other senators this year.

Does not play well with others. Especially talented others.

Yes, I speak of the hand of Allegri, whose crimes against the players of our team include these and untold numbers more. In fact, his crimes against Milan players number way more than Cassano’s myriad Cassanate. He and Cassano had at least one massive and open “heated argument” that we know of, and Cassano has been remarkably tight-lipped about it. But it was after this that he requested the transfer, so it is really not like any of his previous Cassanate at all. And I used to think Allegri was being set up for failure by management, but in hindsight, this has been a problem since he came to the club.

No, Cassano’s exit and the possible exits of Mexes, who has also argued with Allegri this summer, as well as now Mesbah and possibly Amelia speak volumes as to how much this club has changed, not just this summer, but since Allegri came to the club. Starting at the top with the discord that has been noted between Barbara Berlusconi and Galliani as well as other known disagreements with the board, to the ruthlessly stubborn Allegri using his “my way or the highway” to send way too many players packing, can you blame any player for not wanting to stay at Milan? I’m usually the first to call out the primadonna attitudes, but I wouldn’t blame the entire team if they turned in transfers this week. What was once a big, happy Milan family is now a club where everyone has a price, everyone is replaceable (even if it is not like for like and always a downgrade,) and management are too busy fighting with one another to notice their income has crashed faster than a decent player falling out with Allegri.

The Collar of Doom™was simply foreshadowing of a greater evil

We could blame the Collars of Doom™, but these problems are much older than that. Management’s tanking of the club has been in progress for about 25 years now, it’s just that it no longer has Berlusconi’s personally fabricated immunity to things like trials and fines or the help of a healthy economy to support wasteful spending. Or the perfect storm that is a coach who seemed harmless enough, but has been pushing out all of the world class players to try to recreate his own personal Cagliari here at Milan, his reign of terror is going into its third season now.

On the plus side, players like Traoré and Acerbi will now get playing time at a big club in Serie A, instead of playing for a midtable Ligue 1 or Serie B or even C1 side like they should be. But for us Milan fans, it seems like so much of this pain we are now experiencing could have been easily avoided. Watching the mass exodus of players this summer is painful enough. We were prepared for any success or otherwise that we would find after this summer with this motley group. But finding out all of the club and management’s dirty little secrets is more painful than anything we could have imagined. It’s not a lack of potential success that hurts anynore, it’s the loss of innocence and the revelation of the dark magic at work and a feuding management that makes this summer the Summer of Doom™. And I don’t even know how we make this better.


This post inspired by the music of Rammstein


Our next match is
Milan vs. Sampdoria
Sunday, August 26th • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)