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Showing posts from August, 2014

Milan 3, Lazio 1: The Power of the Shirt

Berlusconi will tell you it’s because he came to both Milanello on Friday and to the San Siro tonight that Milan won this one. Galliani will tell you that it was his shrewd transfer moves that won the game. But Milan fans know that it was neither. There is only one thing that is truly different this year on this team, and that is the man sitting on the bench. Inzaghi knows about winning, but most of all, he knows about what it means to wear the Milan shirt. And that is something all of the players have reported that he has focused on first and foremost. While this was only one game, it was evident that instilling this simple value had a drastic effect on the mentality of this squad, especially after such a poor preseason. Which luckily also translated to 3 points to start the season. The power of the shirt.

Milan vs. Lazio: Milan DNA

Inzaghi has taught the squad what it means to wear the Milan jersey

Milan-Lazio Preview: Persistent Eagle Problem

So Sunday we invite the Eagles to our house, something I don’t recommend you doing on a personal level, as they are quite large and may eat your pets or small children. But the San Siro is large enough, and if they had a pitch invader like Barcelona had last weekend, then the eagles might actually come in handy. Other than that, it’s hard to look at this game with much optimism, given that we haven’t yet received our CHAMPION STRIKER GIFT FROM THE PRESIDENT* as of this writing. (*no money back guarantee, you’ll take what His Majesty gives you, use of the word “champion” may apply to past performances or not at all, the only people expecting an actual champion are those who are over 70 years old and clearly delusional.)

Mercato Rant no. 653

Foresight. Planning. Direction. Budgeting. Transparency. Common sense. None of those things belong to Milan’s mercato nor its management anymore. After knowing for three months that their most talented player was planning to leave the club, they apparently did nothing to find a replacement. So management are just now calling everyone they know, running from club to club, begging to find another striker. While still searching for a winger and a midfielder, too. Because finding one or both of those any time before the last week of the transfer window is also not within their abilities. Meanwhile, ticket and jersey sales drop, fans turn to other clubs, and the rest of us are numb with pain… again.

Podcast: Don't Dream It's Over

A week that saw us lose our most talented player and then win the Trofeo TIM left Milan fans in a bit of shock and awe. With a mere seven days left in the mercato we are now at the mercy of Galliani and his ability to shake down other clubs for their players on loans and free transfers. But with another epic fail from management, the livers of Milan fans worldwide are suffering as if the season was well underway. And yet there is still a strange kind of anticipation as the season kicks off next week which makes our stomachs alternate between the nervous butterflies of the possibilities and the nausea of having been reamed once again by management. One thing is for sure, Balotelli has left Milanello, along with a lot of hopes and dreams.

Silver Lining

For all of the turmoil and dark clouds covering Milan this week, winning a trophy was a bit of a silver lining amidst the storm. Granted, it was not a trophy that Galliani can count in his “most successful club in the world” obsession, since this tournament is not sanctioned by FIFA. And granted, it was won playing two 45 min. halves against a team that just got back from a long Asian tour, and the other team who just played a competitive match on Thursday in the Coppa Italia. So it’s more like the bright sale stickers they put on food at the grocery store that is about to expire. It got our attention but doesn’t mean it’s what you need. But after the week we’ve had, it was a welcome distraction.

Allegri Day

It’s finally here, the Trofeo TIM tournament, aptly named by Galliani as “Allegri Day,” since he has now coached all three of the participating teams. And just like Allegri, the tournament is short, makes no sense, and is in no way sanctioned by FIFA. Allegri does stand a one in three chance of earning himself some more bling, though, so look out for Gangstallegri™.

My Love Affair with Mario Balotelli

This is a confessional. Maybe not the kind you were hoping for, but I’m sure you can find plenty of that kind elsewhere on the interwebs. This one is about my love for someone who is part mythical, part icon, part football, and yet 100% human. He changed my heart 180° when he came to Milan, and I will never forget him. I honestly don’t think there is another player on the planet like him, and his loss for me is being felt on so many levels. I have to face the facts, I am in love with Mario Balotelli. And now he’s walking out of my life.

In Search of the Perfect Relationship

Everyone wants to be loved. So finding that perfect relationship more than just feels that void, it completes you. Like when I found Milan. I knew that my life would never be the same, and that made me so happy. So even when my perfect relationship became abusive, like any good enabler, I stuck with it, trying to make it work. Because Milan has truly become the colors of my heart, so win or lose, I am staying in this relationship forever.

Where Are They Now? Part V

For my favorite (and only) recurring series here on the blog, I offer updates on former Milan players as well as when they played for Milan. You may have previously read part I, part II, part III and part IV in earlier installments. As with those editions, some information is factual, some is non-factual, depending on how entertaining the facts are. At a time when we know exactly where our current Milan players are and how just painful that knowledge is, this edition attempts to distract, deceive, and disarm even the most depressed Milan fan. So in case you ever wondered about our former players, here are the partially true answers to “Where are they now?”

Orange is the New Black

Looking in hindsight at the Trofeo Naranja match, one could easily see why I would use the title of a Netflix series about life in prison for my post. And I don’t mean the style reference alluded to in the title, either, although Valencia’s orange away kits are quite nice if you like the orange. But for me, the way Valencia as a club are headed shows that orange truly is the new black.

The Friendly Trofeo Naranja

Tomorrow’s friendly has a few intriguing twists to it. First of all, the bat in their crest inspires such ridiculous posts as this one from last year’s friendly. Second of all, there’s a trophy, the Trofeo Naranja, to be exact, only the trophy is not orange. But most intriguing will be the reception our own Adil Rami gets/gives from his former team after the meltdown which ultimately sent him our way.

Buon Ferragosto

Today is a big holiday in Italy, nearly everyone is off work and headed to the beach. Pippo gave the boys the day off, so I thought I might kind of take the day off, too, especially since I live here at the beach. So Buon Ferragosto and enjoy a beach themed post…

Then and Now

Keeping our heads above the murky depths of Milan fandom these past two years can be really hard. But we have some things to be very, very grateful for, two in particular. So if your optimism tank is still running on empty, count your blessings with me today and maybe together we can hope for seventh place this season instead of eighth.

Podcast: Fantasy Milan

It has been a tough couple of years as a Milan fan, most recently trying to stomach the friendly performances here in the USA. But suddenly, we are feeling like we are in a fantasy with two big exits and a couple of even bigger new signings. Still shell shocked and not sure what to trust or who to believe, our discussion is candid, but shows some hope and optimism again with these new “fantasy” signings as well as the exit of Robinho and Constant. Even if Milan’s mercato ends here, there is a glimmer of hope that the club is doing something, even if we aren’t sure it is necessarily the right thing for the future.

The Trouble with Diego Lopez

Even I was surprised and excited when I first heard the rumors that Milan were going after Diego Lopez. Going from spending next to nothing on keepers, and especially after waiting for and then subsequently getting Agazzi, I had given up hope that Milan even knew what a quality keeper looked like. But as the rumors became real and the deal for Lopez took shape, I realized that there was more to this than meets the eye. That maybe this wasn’t a good deal for Milan after all. Before you stop reading, please hear me out. Let me tell you the trouble with Diego Lopez.

The Legendary Pippo Inzaghi

“Oi oi oi, oi oi oi oi, Pippo Inzaghi segna per noi” The chant inspired by a Milan legend, the fans imploring Inzaghi to score for us. So simple that even kids could learn it quickly, so powerful that the chant and its accompanying emotions stuck with you long after the game. All because Inzaghi was as passionate or more passionate than the most devout fan, and if they sang his chant, he did everything in his power to score… for the fans, for the shirt, for the club, and for our hearts. People say that he celebrated every single goal like it was a Champions League final, and it’s true. His class, his devotion to Milan, and his unparalleled passion made him a Milan legend.

Something Worse than Milan

It seems that with Milan’s terrible preseason performances, there wasn’t much to do but to cower in fear ahead of yet another meaningless friendly. But then something ridiculously magical happened: Milan found something worse than them. And that spurred them on to a 3-0 victory and a much improved performance against Chivas Guadalajara.

Michelangelo Albertazzi: Kid Defender

Dude! So there’s like this kid who’s like totally awesome. He like loves pizza and is totally funny and likes to prank people and stuff. His name is Michelangelo, but his friends call him Mikey. He and his brothers Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael like to save the world. Oh, and then there’s this other kid who’s also called Michelangelo and is also totally awesome, and he likes to save his team. He’s a 23 year-old center back but can also play at left back. One of these kids is a Milan player, currently on tour in the United States, and one of them is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, coming once again to a theater near you this Friday. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

Fetus Steps

People always talk about “baby steps” when discussing small improvements. But despite the fact that Serie A kicks off in only four weeks and the chasm between this squad and Milan squads of the past is so vast, so far this preseason, we are really only seeing “fetus steps.” Improvements so small that you might miss them if you blink. Even if fetuses actually grow very quickly, everyone knows they never learn to walk until they are babies. But will this squad ever learn to walk at all? Liverpool fans sing "You'll Never Walk Alone," and that is exactly the fear of fans of Milan this season.