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Showing posts from July, 2014

Faded Glory

We try not to talk about how badly Milan has deteriorated. But in just two pictures, there is a vast chasm of disparity that says more than a thousand words, buckets of tears, or a slow death by alcohol could say. The bottom line is that in 2007, not only were Milan in the Champions League, they won it. In Athens, Greece. In 2014, we have a team that are not only not in Champions League, they couldn’t even win a match with a Greek side in a friendly. And to add insult to injury, on Saturday, we face Liverpool, the team that the 2007 side beat in that final. It’s got to be hard for Inzaghi, who scored both goals for Milan in 2007. Now he’s tasked with facing off with the same club he beat back then with this excuse for a team. With so many connections, it’s hard not to notice how faded Milan’s glory truly is.

Podcast: Hopes and Fears

After reasonable success in their friendlies against Lega Pro sides, Milan put in two very poor performances against real teams in the ICC Tournament friendlies thus far. The mercato shows no promise, and to make things worse, the Serie A schedule was released and we face a very difficult start. So if you still have any hopes for this season, your worst fears seem to be being realized. We tried to find the small positives in what is shaping up to be another very painful season for Milan fans.

Severe Weather Conditions

If you saw the friendly vs. Manchester City yesterday played in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you’ll know that the game was delayed for about 30 minutes because of lightning and gusty winds. Fans had to take cover inside of the stadium or under the roof of Heinz Field and wait it out until the game could restart. But that shouldn’t have fazed Milan fans, especially not while their team wore those hideous yellow jerseys. We have weathered many a storm in the past few years, and we’re looking ahead at more severe weather conditions, too.

More Questions than Answers

Last night’s friendly vs. Greek champions Olympiacos was disappointing on so many levels. The 3-0 defeat seemed to extinguish any glimmers of hope amongst fans, not just because of the scoreline, but also the poor level of play. Even for those with low expectations, I think it was disappointing. But at the end of the day, it was just a friendly. And at least they won both of their friendlies prior to this against the Lega Pro sides, even if the wins were maybe not that convincing. You also have to factor in jet lag, the International players who just arrived, missing both De Jong (still on vacation after the World Cup) and Montolivo (injured,) and their intense schedule of events since crossing the Atlantic. I definitely don’t think this should be viewed as an accurate measurement of how the team will play this season. But still, it does raise more questions than answers….

One for the Money

Last night, my beloved team landed in New York City, their first stop on their tour of North America the East Coast of America and Toronto, Canada. (Yes, I’m still bitter that they won’t come to the West Coast.) After meeting fans this morning in New York, they will fly to Toronto, where tomorrow the Most Successful Club in the World Most Successful Club in Europe will face the Most Successful Club in Greece, Olympiacos (also the reigning Greek champions.) Hopefully, Milan will not be embarrassed, as this is definitely the most winnable game of the ICC Tournament for them. But with Inzaghi’s admission that the team he’s got right now would have to win with their grit and determination this season (translation: he does NOT have the quality he needs to win,) this North American tour is all about the money.

Friendly Fire

This week saw Milan play two friendlies, one on Wednesday against Lega Pro side Renate, and the other to fellow Lega Pro side Monza. While both were victories for Milan, they were hardly the 10-0 thumpings that Allegri’s Milan used to inflict upon their victims. Still, like they tend to do each summer in these friendlies, the young players shone. And as the players who played in the World Cup get ready to return and meet the team in New York for their US tour, here’s a little spotlight on some of the new and younger players as they head into the friendly fire…

How Level Is the Playing Field?

Taking a slight detour from obsessing about Milan today to talk about three different footballers who struggle with three different disabilities. These are not visible, obvious physical disabilities, but they all belong to a group of disorders known as “invisible disabilities.” Often, people suffer silently, but these three players live in the spotlight, which can be a blessing or a curse. However, thanks to their examples of taking their “weaknesses” and turning them to strengths, they can be an inspiration, not only to their fellow athletes, but to the world.

Schadenfreude

After Conte suddenly quit as Juventus manager on Tuesday, the rumors of Allegri to Juventus bubbled up almost immediately. It was hilarious to think of as a Milan fan, but I didn’t take it seriously. Surely with other options, including ex-Juventus star Zinedine Zidane, who recently left his tutelage under Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, Allegri would be their last option. And maybe he was, who knows? But as rumors became news and then he was officially unveiled by the club, the schadenfreude took over and left Milan fans everywhere giggling in delight.

Podcast: Finding the Right Milan DNA

It’s that time of year. The squad returned to Milanello and were also presented at Casa Milan amongst a day of festivities and over 2,000 fans. The Curva Sud started the season off right with an open letter to the club, too. The mercato is now in full swing, with a number of Milan players already out on loan or sold, and a few new faces, too. So much change, but most heartening for fans were the words of Mister Inzaghi, who talked about the importance of “finding the right Milan DNA.” And that is exactly what I think fans want the club to achieve this summer in training, in the mercato, and especially as a team.

Honor the Shirt

Mister Inzaghi was presented on Thursday at Casa Milan, and his press conference was like a salve to the soul for Milan fans. Amongst so many other things, he said, “My motto has always been 'Honor the shirt'. This has to be our motto now at Milan." Clearly, he hadn’t seen this season’s shirts, or he might have chosen a different motto. But his words and ideas and the respect he has for the club, management, the players, and the fans make him the ideal person to lead this Milan away from the past two years and back to success.

Calcio’s Greatest Shame

My first memory of Italian “justice” goes back a number of years when I read a little writeup in an American paper about a rape trial in Southern Italy. Everything pointed to the man’s guilt, but he was exonerated of all wrongdoing by the all-male court, who cited that the young woman’s pants were too tight, therefore he could not have removed them by himself, therefore it was not rape. Reading about this enraged my sensibilities, not only as a woman, but also as an American. Sadly, it is not hard to find injustice here, but at least the system usually fails because of human error or perhaps a legal loophole that actually requires intelligence and effort to find, rather than making up rulings at will. However, reading about that case prepared me for my shock from the ever growing laundry list that is Silvio Berlusconi’s resumé of legal allegations and the complete lack of justice for the man who gained much of his wealth and power due to Milan’s successes on the pitch. And yet, as il…

Justice

I am not a horrible person, despite what you may read about me on Twitter or elsewhere. But I did thoroughly enjoy the complete mauling of Brazil that Germany handed them yesterday. Why? Because for me, it was justice. Or at least Karma. I don’t usually enjoy a rout, it’s not good sport. But I enjoyed this one because of all of the unsporting behavior of Brazil’s players, federation, and even fans this World Cup. Their sense of entitlement knew no bounds, and even more than Uruguay’s horrific support of Suarez’ insane behavior or some of the very frightening referee decisions that impacted this tournament (like Dzeko's goal wrongly called offside), Brazil ruined what has otherwise been an amazing World Cup to me. So judge me if you must, but I thought that yesterday’s semifinal was justice.

Y'all Ready for This?

If you look up the word passionate in the dictionary, chances are you’ll find a picture of Pippo Inzaghi. Well on Wednesday, our favorite passionate player-turned-coach comes back to Milanello in charge of the First Team. Having only ever been sent off once as a player in his career, he has already been sent off at least three times in his career as a youth coach. Passion, indeed. So despite the douchebaggery that prevails in our management, it’s hard not to be excited for the many faces and emotions of Mister Inzaghi. Y’all ready for this?

Exclusive Transfer News

Now that the mercato is open, rumors are a dime a dozen. Fans and journalists alike apparently will not sleep until every last player is linked to Milan and every last Milan player is linked with a move away. But I’m impatient. I don’t want to wait until September to find out what’s going on, so with a little help from my wise young children, we’ve taken the liberty of predicting Milan’s entire mercato for you now. You’re welcome.

A Little Milan Love

With a little break between World Cup matches and the mercato officially open, I thought I would say something nice about Milan while I still can. Despite all of the douchebaggery of recent years, my heart is still devoted to the red and black. However, as I sat down to write about my love for Milan, I realized that I have captured my obsession many times over before. So today, please enjoy a bit of a retrospective of my Milan heart and feel free to share a little bit of your Milan love in the comments.