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Podcast: Out with the Old, In with the Youth

2013 has been a tough year to be a Milan fan, and the future of the first team is muddled with dysfunction from top to bottom, poor results and uncertain hope for the transfer window. But while we all bleed for the first team, there is tons of hope in our youth sector. So while we want to drink away the past year, today we toast to the future with part two of our “Youth Dreams” interview all about Milan’s Youth Sector.

Once again I have a very special guest coming to us from Milano. He calls himself the “Rain Man” of the Youth Sector, otherwise known as Francesco Battaglia of Milan Nextfame. This time, we talk about:
• News of the Week: Ciao Niang, Get better El Shaarawy, grudge match friendly, mercato madness
• Centro Sportiva Vismara: improvements
• Youth Teams:updates on the Primavera, Allievi Nazionali, Allievi I/II, Giovanissimi Regionali, and Pulcini 2005
• The Milan Model: 4-3-3
• Loaning Young Players: Bryan Cristante

Download this episode (right click and save)

Thanks once again to…

Au Revoir, M’Baye Niang

Most people think that “au revoir” means goodbye. But in fact, it literally translates “to the seeing again.” I am sure to use it with those I am fond of, especially those I wish to see again. And so, with Niang’s loan to Montpelier, I say au revoir instead of adieu. Because my hope is that his loan spell will get him some regular playing time, and Milan will see what they are missing and bring him back home.

The Milan View

The unrest at Milan has increasingly impacted my thoughts, and even my dreams… or should I say nightmares? The other night I thought I was hosting a TV panel kind of like The View with Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi. But was I just dreaming? Or was it real? When it was over, I couldn’t quite tell. So I thought I would recount it here and let you be the judge…


The Birsa Effect

The advent of social media has introduced a whole new battery of casualties. There are psychological injuries to everyday users, but have you ever considered the power of your words as they influence others? Not just other fans online, but the players themselves? This year in particular, I’ve noticed a trend that plagues Twitter and other online forums like a disease. A trend where words become more powerful than reality. I like to call it the Birsa Effect.

Doesn’t Anyone Know What Christmas is All About?

One of the best things about this blog is that people all over the world read it and many of them comment, too. And so at this time of the year, while I realize that many people who do not celebrate Christmas are reading, it gives me the chance to celebrate the traditions of many of our players and also the country they play in, as well as my own. For me, Christmas is so much more than a religious holiday. It’s about forgetting yourself and spreading goodwill and, just for a day or two every year, seeing the humanity in one another. 

Inter 1, Milan 0: To the Death

I was dreading this match. And then I turned on my TV to watch what was, in my opinion, Milan’s best performance to date this season. So I got my hopes up. The boys were playing with such fire and intensity, I was actually excited. But in the 75th minute, that all changed. One single substitution was enough to suck the life out of the team who had started this match to play to the death.

Inter vs. Milan: Snakes on a Pitch

Enough is Enough.

Inter-Milan Preview: Ophidiophobia

What is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” is turning out to be my worst nightmare. After scraping through the Roma match and my fear of wolves, now I have to face my very worst nightmare: my abnormal fear of snakes, or ophidiophobia. That’s right, it’s time for the Derby della Madonnina. And as if that weren’t scary enough, Inter are in 5th place on the table, while we languish in tenth. So I am nearly literally scared to death.

Podcast: Christmas Wishes

So much news with Milan, we celebrated the big number 114 with a Champions League Round of 16 Draw and a match with Roma. So we indulged in a little post-birthday celebration and then looked forward to Christmas. With so much tumult at the club, we dream big and hope for Santa to bring Milan some wishful presents.

Milan 2, Roma 2: Silence of the Wolves

In a game where Milan periodically showed signs of life, Milan were at least able to frustrate Roma and steal two points from the Scudetto contenders. It was a wild ride filled with cards and injuries, but in the end, Milan silenced Roma with a 2-2 draw on the 114th birthday of our club.

Milan’s 114th Birthday and CL Draw and Milan vs. Roma: Gamepost

Party like it's 1899

Milan-Roma Preview: Lupophobia

Some say the fear of wolves is irrational, but this year, Milan have every right to experience lupophobia. First Roma set a new league record by winning their first ten games straight. Then they have continued undefeated through the season to date. And now, their talisman, the legendary Francesco Totti is back. There is nothing irrational about fearing this team, particularly with Milan’s horrifying league record this year. So my diagnosis is simple: I have lupophobia.

What Will You Be Doing On Your 114th Birthday?

Longevity is a special gift. Not many can say that they made it to their 114th birthday. One such person is “Miss Susie,” a resident of Brooklyn, New York. She celebrated her 114th birthday this year at a senior center, surrounded by family and friends. Well this Monday is Milan’s birthday, and the club is certainly not going to be celebrating in some senior center. But it begs the question: What will you be doing on your 114th birthday?

Champions League • Milan-Ajax: Amazing

Milan are through to the Round of 16. If you didn’t believe in miracles before, surely you do now. After the miraculous and lucky season we had last year to qualify for qualification, to qualifying vs. PSV in August, to doing just enough to be in the driver’s seat for this match, Milan’s path to the Round of 16 was full of miracles. But in the end, it won’t matter how we got there, only that we did. Amazing.

Champions League • AC Milan vs. Ajax: Gamepost

There’s no scientific reason Milan should progress to the knockout round… …but that never stopped us before

Champions League • Milan-Ajax: Team Superior

So many of us fans have spent so much time complaining about how Allegri has not been able to instill the proper mentality into our team. But little did we know, his words are so powerful that he actually affected the mentality of not just one, but two teams. Back in October, Allegri said that Ajax were a superior team. At the time, it was so untrue. But the power of his words was so far-reaching that it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy – Ajax are in fantastic form, and Milan are barely registering a heartbeat. So on Wednesday, Milan get to welcome to the San Siro Ajax, also known as Team Superior.

Livorno 2, Milan 2: Maddening

For this review, I was completely stumped. So I opted for some help from other fans. I used a “Mad Libs” style approach, comparable to the maddening performance we saw today. So the words in bold were contributed blindly by others for hilarity. Thank you to: @FJGadsby, @abraham216 and @sposatoalnemico from Twitter as well as Sofia Principessa and Massimo the Greatest from the blog for their help!

Livorno vs. Milan: Gamepost

If Milan can only beat the superior team that is Allegri’s hometown club

Livorno-Milan: Homecoming

I have a little secret: I know why Allegri has lasted this long, against all odds. There was a clause in his contract that said he must remain as coach of Milan until they could face his hometown club, Livorno. (Okay, I may have made that up.) Don’t look for him to be sacked right away, though, because there is always the return leg in the spring. Whatever the reason he is actually still at the club, tomorrow he comes home for the first time in league competition at Milan. So hopefully, this will be a game he is invested in making a good showing.

50 Shades of Sexism

I have long been an advocate for the eradication of racism in football. I typically speak out against discrimination in any form, whether at a personal level, as it pertains to players at my club, or anywhere in the world. But with Barbara Berlusconi being given more power at Milan, it seems that men all over the world have reverted thousands of years to the caveman days. And now even Gattuso has shown his true colors. First there were the books, which take women back to the dark ages, now women in football are subjected to 50 Shades of Sexism. Really?

Podcast: La Doppietta

In Italian, la doppietta means “the double.” This week, we saw our team pull a double – two away wins back to back. And our management did a double in more ways than one. Galliani did a double take, and Berlusconi patched it up by doubling up his CEOs. And while the team’s doppietta was more than welcome, it remains to be seen what the far-reaching effects of Berlusconi’s doppietta will be on the club.

Catania 1, Milan 3: Under The Microscope

With the incredible drama this week with Milan management, this game had added attention and focus from the media. After such a horrible season to date, then going to Celtic Park and earning a win, Milanisti worldwide were looking to see if we could get two in a row. And for certain players, they will be always be seen as different, so they get a little extra “attention,” too. All in all, the club went into this game under the microscope.

Catania-Milan Preview: A Chance for Redemption

Just before the International break, Milan faced off against Chievo, who were bottom of the table. We played awfully, and the result was a horrible 0-0 draw. But now we have a chance to redeem ourselves. Catania have replaced Chievo at the bottom of the table on goal differential, and we face them on Sunday. So we have been given a chance to redeem ourselves and try to get a win against the team with the worst record in the league. Again. Will Milan find redemption?

Celtic 0, Milan 3: Some Italian Mob

In a crucial match for both teams, it was hard to know what to expect. On paper, Milan had the better team, and the advantage of a convincing 2-0 win at the San Siro in September. However with Milan falling apart and their current form so abysmal, as well as the massive 12th man advantage that is playing at Celtic Park, it really could have been anyone’s game. But it wasn’t. It was Milan’s, and with a shock defeat of Barcelona by Ajax, Celtic said “ciao” to their European dreams this season. I’m sure Barcelona will give them a proper sendoff at the Camp Nou in a couple of weeks. But their exit from the Champions League this season will be credited to some Italian mob.

Champions League Group Stage • Celtic-Milan: Foshizzle

In September, Milan pulled off a miracle. Despite terrible form in the league and an injury list that would make Milan Lab doctors drool, we pulled off a 2-0 victory over Celtic. Even more miraculous were the goals: they came from Zapata and Muntari, of all people. But maybe being the underdogs was what propelled us to victory. This time, we go to the passionate and fierce environment of Celtic Park, with Celtic in even better form, even if we have more points in our Champions League group than they do. But our injury list is hardly what it was last time, so I don’t know if that underdog magic will help us this time. And with the Curva Sud threatening and insulting the players during the match on Saturday, the boys could come out swinging or be even more demoralized, it’s hard to tell. Foshizzle.

Milan 1, Genoa 1: Fans Behaving Badly

There was a game. We drew, with Genoa playing on 10 men for 55 minutes. We took 39 shots, with 10 on goal, and only the one goal. And as horrible as that sounds, there was a circus that made that terrible, horrific performance look not so bad after all. I speak, of course of the Curva Sud, aka fans behaving badly.

Milan-Genoa Preview: How Did We Get Here?

It used to be that we feared conceding goals when Antonini was in our starting lineup. Now we have to fear him actually scoring against us. Because having left Milan at the end of the Summer mercato, he has found new form at Genoa, and has even been speaking out in the media about proving to those of us who didn’t believe in him that he actually can. And that would be just our luck. How did we get here?

Fondazione Milan

Last night, there was a gala event in Milano to celebrate 10 years of the Fondazione Milan, the charity arm of Milan, reaching out to those in need worldwide. To celebrate, the entire first team and many others got dressed up for the event to raise even more money for a great cause. In fact, over €250.000 was raised, with half of that going to help the relief efforts in Sardinia after Cyclone Cleopatra and accompanying flooding hit this week.

Podcast: Home Alone

Just as Milan is settling into their new home at via Aldo Rossi 8, President Berlusconi could potentially be sentenced to house arrest. So while there are signs that the club is building for the future, there are also signs of continued setbacks. Despite all of the confusion, the games must go on. And luckily for us, there is also some hope of building for the future with some of our players, too. Well, there’s hope so long as you don’t leave your keeper ‘home alone’…

Poll: The Kaká Dilemma

The problem with being such a genius coach and being given such a talented player is that it is hard to decide where he should play. And so, Allegri being the revolutionary, trend-setting master of tactics that he is will play him at one position and fall in love. Then he’ll try Kaká at another position and fall harder in love, and so on. But to save time in letting Allegri try Kaká at every single position, today, we are doing the socially responsible thing and polling Milanisti worldwide to choose the best position for Kaká to play.

Performances

In the last post, I talked about the quality of our current squad. While the performances of this year don’t reflect the quality of this squad, we do have more quality than we had at this time last year. So what of performances? If we have the talent, why aren’t we winning? Who or what is to blame for so many poor performances?

Quality

When a club like AC Milan produces performances and results like this season, people are quick to look for the reasons why. Some blame management, some blame the coach, some blame the players, some blame Inter, or any combination of those and other reasons. In fact in the last post, we answered 10 different questions about the poor performances. However, many right now want to blame the quality of the squad. Which is actually a little different than blaming the summer mercato, as the Curva recently protested. A few weeks ago, I wrote about this, but recent events inspired me to expound further. So I thought I’d take a minute today to talk about the quality of our current squad.

Meltdown at Milan

With such poor results, tons of media rumors, and even the Curva recently protesting against the club, many are asking questions about the meltdown at Milan. And lots of people have their own theories as to answers, too. But are they asking the right questions? Today, I’ve asked 10 of the really super duper ultra important and incredibly serious questions to Pete Acquavivaof DAI DAI DAI and David Swan of AC Milan Finance, and the three of us feel that we have really dug deep and come up with practical and reasonable answers and solutions for AC Milan at this delicate time at the club. You’re welcome.

Chievo 0, Milan 0: Nothing To See Here

The title says it all. I knew when I woke up at 5am to post the lineups and saw the 4-4-1-1 that Allegri was going to sabotage another one for us. And this against the bottom of the table side. Even better that they actually scored a goal that was wrongly called off. I think I want that 90 minutes of my life back. Certainly the 90 minutes of sleep.

Chievo-Milan Preview: Come Fly With Me

It has come to this. Tomorrow, we face bottom of the table Chievo, and we Milan fans have real and valid concerns about the result. Despite the Flying Donkeys having only one win and two draws, Milan could easily drop more points to the bottom of the table Verona team. It’s enough to want some wings of our own and someone to say “Come fly with me.”

Downsizing

Since February of 2011, Milan Obsession has been a haven for Milan fans to read and discuss all things Milan. This year, a podcast was added, too, for those who like to listen to all things Milan. Unfortunately, and ironically coinciding with the Milan meltdown, my personal life seems to be being run by Berlusconi and Galliani, with results courtesy of Allegri. Which means I am no longer able to keep up quite everything around here at this time. So it is with great sadness that I am paring back some responsibilities here.

Champions League • Barcelona 3, Milan 1: Predictable

At some point, playing the same team over and over is going to get stale. And if it wasn’t already for you, this match might have convinced you. Despite being a team in crisis, Milan still trouble Barcelona, even at home, but in the end, Barcelona are always going to come away with the win at the Camp Nou. It’s simply predictable.

Champions League • Barcelona vs. AC Milan: Gamepost

Last year, the Curva Sud said “Mangiamoli!” (“Let’s eat them!”)

This year we say “Non ci mangiate!” (Don’t eat us!”)

Podcast: Down But Not Out

Just when you think that Milan couldn’t spiral downward any faster, they surprise us with a bigger loss, more trouble with management or more mindboggling incompetence at every single level. But the fixtures keep coming, the players keep playing, and the fans keep bleeding red and black. We may be down, but we’re not out.

Champions League • Barcelona vs. Milan: This Too Shall Pass

As if it’s not hard enough to be a Milan fan right now, or even worse, one of the players, now we go to Barcelona on Wednesday to face our favorite European nemeses…. again. But it’s okay, because it’s just like beating your head against the wall. Which is just like watching pretty much every Milan performance this season. So it’s all good. Or not. But whatever, after Wednesday night, it will all be over… or at least until the next time Milan are in a Champions League draw. Which is looking right now to be a very long time in the future. But don’t worry, like everything else this season, this too shall pass.


Milan 0, Fiorentina 2: The Greatest Coach in the World

This was supposed to be Ambrosini’s night. His return to the San Siro, his chance to say goodbye and for fans to honor him. And honor him they did. With a heartfelt banner, a round of applause as he took the pitch, and a standing ovation as he left the pitch just after 30 minutes with an injury. He risked everything to be here tonight, and in his words, he said it was worth it. “I just wanted to thank the fans, as I did everything to be here for this game for a thousand reasons. I wanted to come full circle tonight.” But the warm and sincere righting of management’s gross wrong was still overshadowed by one thing: The Greatest Coach in the World.

Milan vs. Fiorentina: Gamepost

I miss you, Capitano

Milan-Fiorentina: Purple Pressure

I think the Viola have been waiting for this fixture since last May, when a controversial referee call was all it took for Milan to snatch third place in the league away from Fiorentina, allowing Milan to qualify for the Champions League and leaving Fiorentina to rot away in the Europa League. This created a new rivalry which saw them sell Adem Ljajic to now league leaders Roma this summer to spite us, as well as creating a whole new line of purple t-shirts: “il Rigore di Milan.” So yeah, no love lost whatsoever. And no pressure on tomorrow’s ref, either. The purple pressure is on.

Milan 1, Lazio 1: Fly Like the Eagles

Normally, when one hears the phrase “fly like the eagles,” it brings to mind soaring through the sky, being successful, and the like. But not today. These eagles have been flying pretty low. Then they got an injury list worthy of Milan, too. So they were more like crippled eagles. But hey, at least we’ve risen to the level of crippled eagles.

Milan vs. Lazio: Gamepost

Maybe eagles are not so bad after all

Milan-Lazio Preview: Gnarly Eagles

Okay, so I was like totally thinking about the game tomorrow, and I was like “Dude, what’s up with Lazio?" They were like totally trippin’, and then all of a sudden they’re like “Heyyy, now.” Yeah, like totally just in time for Milan. Thanks, Eagle dudes. It’s like a total buzzkill.

Parma 3, Milan 2: When Lightning Strikes

When lightning strikes, it is sudden, intense, and potentially fatal. If someone has seen lightning strike in person, they will usually take preventative measures to avoid being struck by lightning. That was not the case today, though. Despite an occurrence as rare as a lightning strike in the form of a goal by Matri, Milan let themselves be struck by lightning for a total of three goals, and a loss of three points.

Parma vs. Milan: Gamepost

Parma-Milan Preview: Nutella Revenge

They say revenge is sweet, and tomorrow, one team or the other will likely get a chance to taste it. Will it be Amauri, who, despite being a complete Matri (read: epic fail) at Juve, has since drawn blood against Milan at his subsequent clubs in the most painful of ways? Or will it be the legendary Mesbah, of Milan transfer abuse fame, who already has a goal in just one start and one sub this season? Or maybe will it be our favorite Nutella-loving ex, Cassano, who would like to repay our kindness when he nearly died by taking all three points tomorrow? Perhaps the revenge will belong to more than one person, like one or more of these players and also the former Milan player Donadoni, whom Milan have snubbed for a coaching position in favor of the tactically vapid Allegri. Or will the sweet revenge belong to Milan, despite the fact that our players could barely tie their own shoes for the first 8 weeks of the season?

Nightmare at Milan Lab

All of these injuries at Milan must really be getting to me, because I woke up the other day in a cold sweat, my heart pounding, and I couldn’t get this terrorized feeling out of my mind. It seems that I was apparently dreaming, and yet it all seemed so real, I’m still not sure exactly what happened….