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.

One team is moving forward, the other... 

So both Milan and Valencia finished eighth in their respective leagues last season. And they both have new coaches as of this summer. But that’s where the similarities end. Whereas Berlusconi refused investment from Peter Lim, Valencia allowed him to purchase their club. Milan has never been able to sort out their own stadium under moneybags Berlusconi, but Valencia have stuck with a project that was unveiled seven years ago and despite a lot of obstacles, especially financial, have a plan to have a new stadium of their own soon (to replace their own stadium that they currently have.) Speaking of stadiums, their 55,000 seat Estadio Mestalla was sold out last night. For a friendly. Milan can’t even sell season tickets. That just says so much about the faith in the management.

While it’s true that both clubs have also improved their squads somewhat this summer, Valencia actually have… what is that called again? Oh yeah, a youth project. Not like a fake one, where Berlusconi and Galliani talk about youth and then buy a Zaccardo, for example, a real youth project with many of their players 25 years old or younger.

I wouldn’t say that Valencia played a brand of football that was technically that much better or even nice to watch. But they capitalized on Milan’s mistakes, whereas Milan just made mistakes. A lot of mistakes. Remembering that this was just a friendly, Inzaghi was missing a lot of key players, and clearly was giving some players some opportunities, we can’t take this match too seriously. But seriously. There were a lot of mistakes.

However, what is most disheartening are the differences between the two clubs and how they are being run. Valencia have new money, new ideas, and are clearly planning to improve their spot in the league this year. Milan have old, tired money from a man whose legal troubles and his dog’s website leave him with little time or interest in the club. While Milan say that they are trusting in youth and want to improve their place, etc., what they have done says quite the opposite.

"Ummm... guys? I think you are supposed to pass the ball toward the opponents' goal"

Just look at the kits we wore for the match… Valencia went with a strong orange and complementary blue trim, modern but true to their heritage. Milan’s kits were very fashion forward, but have a logo celebrating their headquarters rather than their storied history on the pitch. They also have bold red and black stripes at the bottom of a white jersey, but instead of going “all in” as Adidas says, they only go half way around. Half-assed, like everything else being done at the top nowadays.

A lot of people are really upset about this friendly, but I don’t think the friendly was the problem. There were a very few moments of brilliance, and a whole lot of errors, but it was a preseason friendly. What I am upset about is everything else… from the transfer habits since the beginning of the Berlusconi era that have put us in the situation we’re in all the way through the excessive gross negligence with which the club has been run in the last couple of years in particular. We could sign Real Madrid’s platinum-priced team of stars, but if the douchebaggery continues, we’d still have problems on the pitch.

Milan's "youth movement"... no youth, and very little movement

So bravo, Valencia. Not just on the deserved victory, but also for successfully putting into place a plan for your future. While Milan still struggle like prisoners of two CEOs and the man who is the admin of as well as the fiancée to a 28 year-old woman who is younger than some of his children, Valencia are returning to that club which is like that favorite black shirt – it looks great with everything. Because orange is the new black.

This post inspired by the music of Oingo Boingo

Our next match is the
Trofeo TIM
Saturday, August 23
20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT) Milan vs. Juventus
21:45 CEST (3:45pm EDT) loser of 1st game vs. Sassuolo
22:45 CEST (4:45pm EDT) loser of 2nd game vs. Sassuolo

Orange is the New Black Orange is the New Black Reviewed by Elaine on 11:50 PM Rating: 5
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