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Showing posts from September, 2012

Parma 1, Milan 1: It’s a Wash

Like the rain pouring down on the Stadio Ennio Tardini, this game washed away the dreams of the Milan faithful of winning two in a row. With one “fallo stupido di Montolivo,” as my Italian commentator said, all of El Shaarawy’s hard work and his beautiful goal was washed away. I think we still made some progress today, but like the scoreline showed, it was mostly stagnation. Oh well, at least we had the Curva, their songs were louder than the Parma fans and must have given strength to our boys.

Parma vs. Milan: Game On!

Parma-Milan Preview: The Land of Ham and Cheese

There is a tiny little Italian deli just a few blocks from here. The owner is a Juventino, actually, but I forgive him because he supplies me with all sorts of delicious imported Italian food products. One of my favorite treats is to go for sandwiches, they make this amazing Prosciutto sandwich with plenty of delicious Parma prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes on this hearty Italian-style bread. I eat these sandwiches as often as possible, but I make it a point to eat them on the days that we face Parma. Parma is where the best prosciutto is made, and it’s one time that I truly feel like I can almost devour the enemy. So you can guess what I’ll be having for lunch tomorrow.

Milan 2, Cagliari 0: The Curse is Broken!

Milan finally drew blood on our home pitch, at the expense of Cagliari. With Allegri up in the stands, two other players banned, and our usual injury parade, this was actually quite the feat. After more media coverage lately than we’d had in years and the accompanying grief that goes with it, we needed the win even more than the three points. Maybe the reason we finally broke the curse is because while Inter have Faraoni, we have the one true Il Faraone. He certainly seemed legitimately regal tonight. The curse is broken!

Milan vs. Cagliari: Game On!

Milan vs. Cagliari Preview: Bring on the Vagrants

Tomorrow we are hosting a bunch of homeless people. Theirs is an epic story of the kind one only finds in Serie A, as they are currently technically without a home stadium to play in – at least one the fans can watch them in. And on Sunday, they lost a potential 3 points because of it, too. Which means they are a well-rested bunch of vagrants, likely angry because of everything that happened, too. So Milan are really going to need to step it up to be able to conquer the homeless team. Bring on the vagrants!

Udinese 2, Milan 1: Be Careful What You Ask For

Coming into the game we asked for a lot. We wanted better tactics. Check. A better lineup. Check. More drive and passion. Check. Zapata in. Check. Boateng out. Check. And we got it all and then some. Which left us down to 9 men, and asking ourselves, with such an incredible improvement in play and 61% possession, how did we lose that one? It’s definitely a case where we should have been careful what we asked for.

Udinese vs. Milan: Game On!

Udinese-Milan Preview: Zebrette Crossing

On Sunday we are away to Udine to face a team almost as unlucky as us. They were squeezed out of the Champions League on penalties, and lost Luis Muriel for 2 ½ months to injury. Of course, they did pull out a 1-1 draw to Russian side Anzhi yesterday in the Europa League. And they didn’t lose 14 players over the summer, even if they sold 2 of their best like us. And Guidolin’s job isn’t being micromanaged by their sporting director, nor is his job under pressure from fans and the media. Nor did Guidolin have a very public argument with a former Udinese legend and current youth coach to make matters worse. Nor do they already have more than 1 injury per game average after having a season of 307 injuries, amongst other things. So maybe they are not so unlucky, and I guess we should be prepared to be trampled by some little zebras. Beware of Zebrette crossing.

Guest Post: Letter to Milan

Amidst all of the turmoil of this summer and the recent performances, lots of fans are voicing concerns. One of my fellow Milanisti, Gino De Blasio, put his concerns in the form of an open letter to AC Milan, and I have the privilege to share that with you today. Please enjoy this Guest Post from a lifelong Milanista…

Champions League – Milan 0, Anderlecht 0: Progress

There is a saying that we take two steps forward, one step backward. But this is still progress. Well Saturday, we took two steps backward, so I waited anxiously to see if we could claim some of that progress back. Well, we did. It may have been hard for fans to see it because we are still all seething from Saturday’s debacle, and many have already placed Allegri’s head on a platter. But if you take a deep breath and sit back and think about the match, it was progress.

Champions League - Milan vs. Anderlecht: Game On!

Champions League – Milan vs. Anderlecht Preview: Lucky Charm

I used to believe in luck, but I am not so sure anymore. Take, for example, this stat: Both times Milan have previously faced Anderlecht in the Champions League, Milan have gone on to win the title. Which would normally make Anderlecht our lucky charm, right? But this season, things are simply different. This season, we’ll be lucky to get past Anderlecht at all. With the way our fortunes have changed this summer, we’ll need a whole lot more than luck in the Champions League this season.

Milan 0, Atalanta 1: Beaten by a Girl

With this new Budget Milan™ I look at every game as lose-able, there are no guaranteed wins. But I had really hoped that we could pull this one off. Especially at home. With the new pitch, neither Milan nor Inter have won yet at the San Siro. Wouldn’t it have been nice for Milan to break that streak? But Atalanta, true to the goddess they are named after, were not going to fight like typical girls. You can never judge “La Dea” (the Goddess) like an ordinary woman. Because if you do, you might just get beaten by a girl.

Milan vs. Atalanta: Game On!

Milan vs. Atalanta Preview: Bring on the… Goddess?

Yes, that’s right, on Saturday, we’re playing a bunch of girls. But not just any girls. Atalanta is named after the Greek goddess of the same name, so naturally, they are called “La Dea,” or “the Goddess.” But Atalanta wasn’t any ordinary woman. Myths say that she was abandoned as a baby by her father, who wanted a son, and thus she suckled and was raised by a she-bear. So she learned to run and hunt like a bear. She was later known for being very strong and athletic and competing with (and beating) many men (some of whom lost their life because of it.) Which goes to show you that you can never judge a team named after a woman. You never know what they are capable of.

How Much Should a Scudetto Cost?

With all of the disclosure of wages this week, I though it would be interesting to look at the wages of clubs who have won the Scudetto in recent years. How many players on a Scudetto winning squad make €2m or more? Is it necessary to have a lot of highly paid players, or can the trophy be won by a squad with reasonable wages? Realistically, how much should a Scudetto Cost?

M’Baye Niang: Driving Force

He’s only been with the club for two weeks today, and already, he’s made a name for himself. Not so much on the pitch, for which he has been given all of 2 ½ minutes so far, but for his off the pitch exploits. As you must have heard by now, Niang was stopped by the police for being an underage driver on Sunday in Milano. While it was initially reported that he told the police he was Bakaye Traoré, who is staying at the same hotel as Niang, he said on Twitter yesterday that he only said he was driving Traoré’s car. He also apologized to all of the fans, to Galliani, Allegri, and his “magnificient club.” At least he knows how to apologize. But I also hear he knows a thing or two about scoring, which is why he is the youngest player in the squad this year. At only 17 years old, M’Baye Niang is looking to become Milan’s driving force.

Sono Pazza

Yes, I’m crazy. This should not be news to anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written. But sometimes being crazy pays dividends. Like seeing things and hearing things that no one else can. So I decided to tell you about something I saw and heard that probably no one else did. It was an interview I had with Giampaolo Pazzini. Here is the transcript. Please enjoy while I have tea with my imaginary friend and go feed my 157 cats.

Cristián Zapata: The Magician

One of our most important signings of the summer would be our newest center back, Cristián Zapata. When asked about the pressure of joining his new club, he said, “Being Thiago Silva’s ‘heir’ does not weigh on me. I’m not remotely frightened of the pressure that comes with that. I’m here to prove I am worthy of Milan.” He didn’t say it to be cocky, as he followed it up by saying that he knew we had lost to of the best center backs in the world, and he simply wanted to do his best. But I like that he was fearless and he doesn’t buy into the pressure some players would. He’s not Thiago Silva, he’s not Nesta, but he is the one they call “El Mago,” or the magician. And that’s definitely good enough for me.

Kévin Constant: Midfield Reactor

On the bench, one would never guess the amount of power that sits, restrained. But when he is unleashed in the midfield, it may as well be a nuclear meltdown, because his energy level is well above radioactive levels. He is tenacious, determined, and quite fast, troubling the opponent like no one else. And if you give him even the slightest look at goal, whether it be at close range or from distance, he is also going to trouble your keeper. I speak, of course, of Kevin Constant, midfield reactor.

Patient Zero

If the pandemic currently affecting Milan fans world wide is called “Year Zero” by Allegri and the club, then today I thought I would look at “Patient Zero.” Every pandemic has an origin, and if this new “Budget Milan™,” made up of players not ordinarily considered qualified to wear the Milan shirt is the disease, there must be an origin for this disease. A player who infiltrated Milan and singlehandedly brought down the quality level. Of course, everyone must realize by now that I speak of Daniele Bonera, Patient Zero.

Bologna 1, Milan 3: A Little Help From A Friend

The last time we went to Bologna, we got a lot of help from one Signor Rocchi. So much help, in fact, that the FIGC gave him a little vacation afterwards. Today, Signor Tagliavento also did his best to help us, but maybe not to the same extent as Signor Rocchi did. I’m just wondering what the fans at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara think of Milan now. Hopefully, they realized that we actually did win this on our own merits, despite a little help from a friend.

Bologna vs. Milan: Game On!