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Real Madrid 2, Milan 4: BLING.

Milan won their fourth consecutive Dubai Football Challenge, and more impressively they won vs. Real Madrid. You can dismiss it as a meaningless trophy, but our boys didn’t. They played with heart and grinta, and made the most of Real Madrid’s errors. And they won a CUP. The third trophy of the season. That’s right, people, BLING.

Real Madrid-Milan Preview: Family Reunion

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about families and spending time with them and such. But when the rich brother gets richer and the poor brother loses everything he has and gets even more poor, it’s more tragedy than football. So even if it’s just a friendly, tomorrow’s match in Dubai proves to be a very painful family reunion for Milan fans… both on and off the pitch.

The Transition

Mercato rumors of a swap for Torres and the potential for really just about anyone to leave the club in January highlight the incredibly transitional nature of Milan since the summer of 2012. Forget bandiere, the players who represent one club for most if not all of their careers. And does anyone even remember when we had senatori, those who spent many years at Milan? The current trend seems to be that if a player makes it 3 consecutive transfer markets and is still at Milan, then he is in line for the captain’s armband. What a vast difference from the squads who won all of those trophies whom we now rest our laurels on.

Must Be Santa

Who’s got boots and a kit that’s red…. and black? As our players and many fans around the world wake up to see what Santa brought them, it’s a great time to reflect on the good things that have been happening at Milan this year, too. So Merry Christmas from.... Santa?

Podcast: Dear Santa

Milan surprised at the beginning of the season, and again in the last two fixtures, with a win vs. Napoli and a draw with second place Roma. So we go into the holidays in seventh place, but only two points behind third place. These results have people dreaming of more than just sugarplums, but will Santa deliver the goods this Christmas for Milan fans? And if so, what exactly is it that he is supposed to deliver? What part of this season is fantasy and what part of it is reality? With pleas to Santa and coming off of a surprise result, Milanisti everywhere have plenty to talk about this Christmas break.

Roma 0, Milan 0: Bullet Dodged

Sometimes a draw is like a win, and tonight was absolutely one of those times. Coming into the match in seventh place, facing the second place team who were only one point off of the league leaders, I had planned to spend the match in a bunker to try to avoid the pain. So I can’t help but be happy with a draw, even if we only played really well for maybe 15-20 minutes of this match. We played well enough, we got our fourth clean sheet of the season, and stole a point, too. Like a Christmas present I wasn’t expecting, I definitely feel like this was a bullet dodged.

Roma vs. Milan: Fear

Roma-Milan Preview: In Bocca al Lupo

In English, it is considered superstitious by those in theater to wish someone good luck. So instead, they say “break a leg.” But in Italian, they have a great phrase for luck. They say “in bocca al lupo,” which means “into the mouth of the wolf.” The person then replies, “crepi,” which means “may he die.” Well on Saturday, we literally go into the mouth of the wolf. Whether or not the wolf dies or we die remains to be seen at the final whistle. But one thing is for certain, this fixture is never pretty.

Did Galliani Say It?

Any Milan fan knows that Galliani says a lot of ridiculous things. And since he turned 70 this year, he seems to like to play the “rambling old man” card a lot, too. Well it was Milan’s birthday, yesterday, and I think he thought it was a wedding where he was meant to give the toast or something. Only there’s a reason that 70 year old men don’t give those toasts. It ended up to be quite a long chat with the Milan Channel in the end. But do you think you are savvy enough to tell what he did or didn’t say yesterday?

Happy 115th Birthday, Milan!

Milan have looked better, let’s be honest. But if you were turning 115, would you look as good? I didn’t think so. After enjoying years of Italian and European history with all of the trophies to show for it, Milan are kind of in that awkward stage now. And while there was no Champions League or even Europa League draw for us yesterday, Sunday’s win was a great birthday present to give ourselves. So let’s celebrate 115 years of history, even if we may not be at the peak of that storied history. 115 years of passion and the club that all of our hearts belong to no matter where we sit in the table. Happy 115th Birthday, AC Milan!

Milan 2, Napoli 0: Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

The simple but wise Forrest Gump said it best, “Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get.” And the same is true of Milan this season. Just when we thought we could predict mostly underwhelming performances, conceding goals, and frustrating draws, Inzaghi’s boys wow us with a defeat of a more talented team and a clean sheet to sweeten the deal. Ninety minutes of grinta, where we thought that tank was starting to run on empty. Surprise. Of course, I have always loved chocolate anyway.

Milan vs. Napoli: Sulley “The Grinch” Muntari

Milan-Napoli Preview: A Chance in Hell

As we pointed out on the most recent podcast, Napoli may be doing better than Milan, but they are inconsistent. Additionally, they had to play a Europa League match yesterday, so they will likely be tired. But our best chance of overcoming them will be our home advantage and our 12th man. If we are the Diavoli, then the San Siro should be hell, and playing at home gives us exactly that: a chance in hell of winning.

Podcast: In Search of the Fortress

Since the last podcast, Milan produced a draw, a win, and then a loss, and have two big games looming before the end of the calendar year. We are still in search of consistency, and waiting for this team to make the San Siro a fortress again. The fans seem to be coming back, but will the team be able to soldier up and make other teams fear Milan at home? We discuss where the team is at now and some promising news for the future.

Genoa 1 , Milan 0 : Way Too Early

For the second straight week, I have had to get up at 5am to watch my beloved team play. I am not a morning person. And when I say that I am not a morning person, I would rather watch 11 Boneras play for Milan than wake up at this hour. So due to my lack of sleep (and thus ability to string sentences together,) as well as some holiday commitments, today you get a raw deal: instead of a coherent review of the match, you get my real-time notes as I watched the match. No editing, no filter. My apologies in advance to your sensibilities. It was just way too early.

Genoa-Milan Preview: On Fire

Going to Genoaalways seems to be an eventful affair. From the fatal stabbing of Genoa fan Vincenzo Spagnolo by a Milan fan in 1995 to the tear gas used on supporters three years ago outside the stadium that delayed the game as it wafted into the stadium, it’s perhaps a less heralded rivalry that always seems to get out of hand at the Marassi. But hopefully Galliani’s peacemaking efforts of giving them way too much money for their players and dumping our poor players on them who turn out to be gold for them will keep the tension at a manageable level and no one gets hurt. Instead of fans literally setting the Marassi on fire, let’s hope that Milan are metaphorically on fire instead.

Poll: Fortune Telling

Milan started out the season in first place, something we all knew would end sooner rather than later. They have since occupied nearly every spot in the top ten at one point or another. But how will Milan finish? Can you predict the future?

Vacation Destination: Derby della Madonnina

Recently, our very own Derwuin left sunny Southern Florida to head to cold Milano for the Derby della Madonnina. That's right, he was our very own 12th man for the Derby. He also toured the stadium, went to the San Siro museum, went to Casa Milan, the Milan museum, the trophy room, and more. You can see all of those pics by checking his Twitter timeline and also the last comment thread. Today, he has also been kind enough to share some very awesome pics of the best part with us: The Derby.

Milan 2, Udinese 0: Mind Over Matter

There were several “events” in this match, any one of which one could point to and say they were game changers. Most of which involved one or more of the referees, of course. And there are those who say that Signore Valeri decided the outcome of the game. But I would remind them of Milan’s barrage of shots, 18 in all, at least six on target. Or how much time was spent with Milan attacking. Or even just how well Milan played overall. So even if some of the calls did not go our way, our boys put mind over matter, ignoring the poor reffing, and absolutely deserved the three points.

Milan-Udinese Preview: Ready the Fortress

Udinese are in eighth place on the table just behind Milan. In fact only goal differential separates them. They have also been languishing with the draws, and I'm sure would love nothing more than to surprise and take all three points when they come to the San Siro on Sunday. Milan are coming off of a good game vs. Inter, but a disappointing result. With reinforcements in the form of several starters potentially returning, they will be hungry to earn their first win in five matches. So ready the fortress, Milan fans. This is shaping up to be a battle for the middle of the table.

Thankful

Here in America, we are celebrating Thanksgiving today. If you have ever celebrated it with an American, you will probably think that it is all about eating way too much, watching parades and/or American football, and fighting with your family. But its true meaning lies in counting your blessings, in showing gratitude for what you have. So today, as I spend the day in the kitchen cooking and then eating way too much food and maybe watching some Europa League, I will also take some time to reflect and be thankful.

The Age of Men

If you are familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien's epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy, you'll remember that there were different ages in the history of Middle Earth. The Berlusconi era at Milan has also seen changes in power. With the retirement of Maldini, I think we can all agree that most of the magical powers within Milan left the club. Sure, the other Senatori who were left may have stayed a few more years, but they were virtually powerless to affect the changes that were coming. Despite improvements in the squad this year, I think it is quite clear that Milan are now seeing the dawn of the Age of Men.

Milan 1, Inter 1: Evening at the Theater

It was a much anticipated Derby, even if the football was never going to live up to the hype. A sold out San Siro, the return after seven years of drums and megaphones to the stadium, and a new coach for Inter while a Milan legend oversaw his first Derby. The fans showed up in record-breaking numbers, the Milan Curva showed up with amazing coreografia as usual, and the Inter Curva did the same thing they've been doing for 45 years: suck. Perfect atmosphere for a Derby. And I think the players did their best, too. But perhaps the most disappointing thing about the night was that we were reminded once again of how diminished the level of play is in all of Serie A right now. Yet both teams  fought until the final whistle. They put on the best show they could in the theater that is the San Siro.

Milan vs. Inter: Pride

Shame.

Pride.


Milan-Inter Preview: Throwdown

It’s Derby time. Time for wrongs to be made right. For good to overcome evil. For the balance of Milano to be restored. Unless Inter win, of course. De Jong scored in April to give us our first Derby victory since January of 2011. Can we make beating Inter a habit? With so many changes to both sides, and three points toward a European spot at the end of the year, it will be anyone’s game. So let’s get ready for a throwdown.

Derby Villains

The Derby della Madonnina is always a heated affair. Even more so since Calciopoli in 2006, when Inter’s special brand of participation in the scandal gave them unfair advantages, including titles that stand even today. Kind of ironic, then that just ahead of the Derby, Inter would bring back the coach from that same time period, who clearly also has no qualms about the advantages his team gained or claiming the titles that Inter “won” under his tenure. So even more so than with other rivals, this Derby calls for a post profiling a few of the villains we’ll potentially face in the Nerazzurri on Sunday.

The Serie A Old Boys’ Club

Milan fans know that Berlusconi and Galliani have been stuck in their ways and have not kept up with all of the changes in football, hurting the club extensively. But what you may not realize is that they are part of a large group of similarly minded owners, club presidents and more who control much of Serie A. While there have been many factors that have contributed to Serie A’s demise, one of the most impactful has been the death grip that these old men hold on the league and their unwillingness to change or prepare for the future. Serie A is being held hostage by the Old Boys’ Club.

Selling Milan

You may have heard the phrase “selling ice to eskimos.” But Barbara Berlusconi has the task of selling manure as if it were gold. Taking a team that has not only fallen from grace, but whose quality has decreased exponentially in the last two and a half years, and trying to increase the revenue via clever marketing, increasing brand awareness, and selling more merchandise, amongst other things. She may as well have taken that ice job with the eskimos, because it is almost impossible for anyone these days to be selling Milan.

Calendar Boys

For years I wanted a Milan calendar for my wall, but could never find one. Then, last winter, Milan were selling a wall calendar and desk calendar combo for a very reasonable price, so of course I bought the set right away. I was thrilled and so proud to show my Milan pride. At least until I realized that there would be two transfer markets this calendar year. So the team whose photos are on my calendars is definitely not the same team Milan have now. So much for my Milan pride. Now when people come over and ask who that is, I have to tell them he’s an ex-Milan player.

Podcast: Milan Impossible

Despite early encouraging results, more recently the squad have shown that getting the Milan back that we know and love is not going to happen overnight. We fans have been tested already this season with a roller coaster first part of the season including wins, draws, losses, goals scored and conceded, and all of the hype that goes along with those things. Many of our players also want to play for their national teams, but how many of them will? We try to answer that and discuss the newer players and the season so far for you in this episode of Milan Impossible.

Sampdoria 2, Milan 2: The Long Way Home

The match everyone was watching to see which Milan would show up for did not disappoint. Four goals, five yellow cards, a red card, and plenty of action, it was certainly not boring. And while there were great moments like El Shaarawy breaking his goalless streak, there were plenty of question marks about the squad, their performance, Inzaghi, his eyesight, and our chances of making it back “home” to European competition. I think Milan have opted to take the long way home.

Sampdoria vs. Milan Preview: Well Blow Me Down

So Milan will be playing their fifth game in 13 days on Saturday. That’s like a baseball schedule, except baseball players don’t even work up a sweat. Worse still is that it is away in Genoa at the Marassi (aka the Haunted Stadium.) Oh, and did I mention that Sampdoria are in great form, in a deserved 4th place in the league? So yeah. This might be a good match to watch with one eye closed, watch while inebriated, watch with a support buddy, or all of the above. As Popeye would say, “Well blow me down!”

A Tale of Two Trophies

While you were sleeping or working or trying to get the aftertaste of Sunday out of your mind, Milan won another trophy. That’s right, this Milan have bagged two trophies so far this season and it’s only the beginning of November. Granted the names of the trophies are probably not the ones you’d hope we’d add to our collection. But they are a testament to the celebration of mediocrity that surrounds the club this season. Just a tale of two trophies, nothing more.

Trofeo Berlusconi Preview: Milan vs. San Lorenzo

Honestly, I don’t even know why we are playing this match. San Lorenzo is the Pope’s team, and Milan are the Devils, and we all know how that matchup ends: not good for Milan. Despite the fact that San Lorenzo could have a decent case of jet lag, morale at Milan can’t be good after that horrifying display on Sunday. So if it’s true what they say about mind over matter, then having a poor mindset is worse than jet lag. No matter which way you look at it, it’s not looking good for Milan midweek.

Milan 0, Palermo 2: Shattered

I’m not even gonna try to sugar coat this one, because there is absolutely nothing to sugar coat. Also, if you missed the game somehow and still have a little bit of optimism left, you should know why you shouldn’t. Not only did the newly promoted Palermo shatter Milan hearts in front of 28,000 fans at home with a decisive victory and some help from Zapata, they shattered the illusion that this Milan were going places, that we were doing something special, that Inzaghi was some kind of magician. They shattered the belief that somehow Galliani’s thrift store shopping for players had actually created a team out of nothing. This was not just one game, this was a revelation of what we all feared, but were hoping was not true. All our hopes and dreams. Shattered.

Milan vs. Palermo: Hope for our Midfield

With Muntari suspended, there is hope for Milan’s midfield today

Milan-Palermo Preview: When Death is on the Line

In the classic movie “Princess Bride,” the proud Sicilian Vizzini reminds us of one of the classic blunders: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.”Of course he tells us this mere seconds before his death, so I’m not sure that it is necessarily true. But then again, unless you believe the hype, hosting Palermo on Sunday will not be Milan’s death, either. But I still hope that Milan play fearlessly, like the Dread Pirate Roberts, against the Sicilian side. Because, you know, you just can’t be too careful when death is on the line.

Nightmare at San Siro

I remember it like it was yesterday, and yet I’m not even sure it was real. It happened on Friday, October 31st… Halloween. The Derby della Madonnina was scheduled to be played, and I had flown to Milano just to watch it. Through a friend of a friend of a friend, I had managed to get some really great tickets… right near where Berlusconi would be sitting, I couldn’t believe my luck. Little did I know that luck was not on my side at all…

Cagliari 1, Milan 1: Changing Fortunes

This Milan rebuilding process was supposed to be painful. And yet here Milan stand, having dropped points in back to back games, yet are in third place in the league. You know, that mythical spot we were supposed to attain at the end of the season that many of us considered 100% insurmountable? And we achieved that distinction this week by holding back a very dangerous side with the powers of Zeman supernaturally propelling them up the table. Coupled with the news of Allegri’s demise at the hands of Antonini and Matri, if I didn’t know better, I’d say Milan’s fortunes just might be changing.

Cagliari vs. Milan: Trust No One

The truth is out there

Cagliari-Milan Preview: Welcome to Zemanlandia

The last time we went to Cagliari, Balotelli was abused on and off the pitch, and Amelia was in goal. Now Balotelli is being abused at Liverpool around the clock, and Amelia is a player and technical director for a Promozione club (6th tier Italian football.) However, there’s a new sheriff in Sardegna, one whose teams play all-out attacking and entertaining football. I think his concept is for them to score as many goals as he smokes cigarettes, and that can be hard to keep up with. So before Milan’s record vs. Cagliari gives you some unfounded confidence, think again. And welcome to Zemanlandia.

Milan 1, Fiorentina 1: Parallel Universe

As a fan, first on my list of results would be a brilliantly played win with beautiful, entertaining football, of course. Second would be a win where we didn’t embarrass ourselves. And in third would be a draw where we played well but were evenly matched. Not making the list at all would be the way we played pretty much any game last season, which gratefully we seem to have gotten out of our system with all of those awful summer friendlies. But I thought this game was tense and exciting, with each team’s strengths neutralizing the strengths of the other team, a very evenly matched game. It was almost as if I were watching two teams from a parallel universe.

Milan vs. Fiorentina: The Matri Free Zone

Milan have a wealth of attackers, Fiorentina have no real forwards who are healthy and available. Fiorentina played in the Europa League on Thursday, Milan are not in Europe this season at all. Milan are a surprising fourth in the table, Fiorentina sit in a disappointing ninth. But one thing both clubs have in common is that Matri is not on either of their rosters this year, after cursing both clubs with his presence last year.

5 Reasons You Will Never Read a List of 5 Things on This Blog

There is a common journalistic format that involves making lists of five things. And while the people who write these lists get paid to count to five for you, I don’t. I am not a journalist, although I did take journalism before and therefore decided that I never will work in that field. Especially because I could never in good conscience take any compensation for writing the drivel that accompanies these lists. Well and for so many other reasons. I don’t get paid a dime and my work may never be read by millions worldwide, either. But at least at the end of the day I can look at myself in the mirror and go to sleep with my soul in tact. Also, because I have something these journalists apparently don’t have: respect for my readers.

Climbing Back Up

Every week of European competition this season hurts… a lot. A lot more than I thought it would. While it’s nice to focus on Serie A and maybe the Coppa Italia, playing in Europe is simply part of Milan’s DNA. The same DNA that Inzaghi is trying to restore. I don’t know for sure if we’ll make it back next season… I really hope so. But for now we have to be satisfied with climbing back up.

Verona 1, Milan 3: Konnichiwa, Verona

Verona fans were probably optimistic about their chances against Milan in their house, but I’m pretty sure any optimism they had was shattered by Honda’s second goal. To their credit, their team fought valiantly to the end, taking 22 shots, even if only eight of those were on target. But at the final whistle, they finished empty handed and sent Milan back home with all three points. Verona fans had undoubtedly hoped to injure Milan again, but they were given a surprise Honda greeting: “Konnichiwa, Verona.”

Verona-Milan Preview: More Than a Religion

Hellas Verona have surprised many this season with better-than-expected results. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of their campaign is their lack of goals. With only 6 goals in as many games, they are only behind Milan on goal differential. So if either team can take three points away from Verona on Sunday, it will be the team with the better defense. Or perhaps it will be the team for whose fans this game is more than a religion.

The Golden Matris 2014

Last year, following in the footsteps of RAI Rado 2’s Bidone d’Oro (golden trashcan) and Striscia la Notizia’s Tapiro d’Oro (golden tapir) awards, the Golden Matri™ award was introduced last Octoberas a way to measure complete and utter human failure in football. Keeping the tradition alive, there is plenty of failure to celebrate once again. So without further ado, I give to you the recipients of the October 2014 Golden Matris™:

Podcast: We’re Back…. Maybe

After a brief and very reluctant hiatus, the Milan Obsession Podcast is back… maybe. At least on an “as Elaine can find time to record” basis. So with seven weeks to catch up on, we tried to summarize the Milan team that is also back… maybe. With surprise wins, new players, an injury list that would make Allegri blush, and some experimental tactics, there was plenty to talk about during this international break. Served up with plenty of skepticism and a dash of that scarce thing called hope, now we’ll have to wait and see which comeback is more successful… Milan’s or the podcast’s.