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Showing posts from October, 2014

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.

Jérémy Ménez: French Revolution

You know those types of players who are undoubtedly talented but just aren’t able to consistently produce? Maybe they have injury problems or they don’t get enough starts to find their form or they move from club to club or so many other reasons. Well that seems to be the kind of player Milan have been shopping for lately, and it is exactly the type of player that Jérémy Ménez is. In his career, he’s shown plenty of brilliance, but has struggled to string together two consistent seasons. However with all of the talent and plenty of desire, I think Milan management are taking a gamble on him being a big part of our French Revolution.

Oh, Italy…

So while campaigning for FIGC President, Carlo Tavecchio made a racist comment. The Italian Disciplinary Committee “investigated” the matter and determined he did not do anything wrong. Yesterday, UEFA, who had held their own investigation, found that he did. They have banned him from participating in a UEFA congress or holding any position in UEFA for six months. Also, he will have to organize a special event in Italy to help raise awareness of racism and increase compliance with UEFA’s policies on racism. He is not stepping down, and the FIGC has vowed to support him. Basically, neither Italy nor Tavecchio know what racism is or isn’t. Oh, Italy…

Refs Gone Wild

Some of you may have read that title and envisioned one of the worst adult entertainment video series ever. But the rest of you know exactly what that title is all about. A 3-2 game between two Scudetto contenders in Serie A yesterday that was decided by a ref. Signor Rocchi, to be exact, whom Milan know very well. So today’s rant will be about what happens in games with refs gone wild.

Milan 2, Chievo 0: Keeping His Options Open

At the tender age of five years old, my sweet daughter received a marriage proposal from a peer who was equally sweet. Already wise beyond her years (her name means “wisdom,”) and not wanting to crush her dear friend’s little heart, she replied “I’m keeping my options open.” Well apparently, when it came to the tactical system or formation that Inzaghi had to choose tonight, he also wanted to keep his options open. He lined up a 4-3-3, but with lucky Bonaventura intentionally inserted and able to push up and Menez moving to the center to switch midgame to the 4-2-3-1, kind of like he did vs. Juventus. So by not making any set decision, the team eeked out the win and allowed Inzaghi to continue keeping his options open.

Milan vs. Chievo: Beware of Flying Donkeys

If Bonera plays, we should all take cover

Milan-Chievo Preview: The Sky is Falling

I can’t even imagine the reaction if Chicken Little knew that there were Flying Donkeys. After Milan drew with Empoli and Cesena, you’d have already thought the sky was falling. So when the Flying Donkeys land in the San Siro on Saturday, just remember the Boy Who Cried Wolf… wait, we don’t face Roma until December... Just try to be brave and keep your wits about you. Milan should be able to reverse their fortunes, but if for some reason they don’t, it won’t be the end of our season. And they’re just a bunch of Flying Donkeys, it’s not as if the actual sky is falling… regardless of what you hear on social media.

The Hole in My Heart

Since the inception of the Champions League in 1992, AC Milan have played in Europe every single season except the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. I barely even remember those years. I am so used to watching them play in the Champions League that I still find myself searching my TV guide for games even though I know I won’t find them. And although I was a proponent of having no Europe this season to help us rebuild, and I believe strongly that it is still needed, it still hurts, like a hole in my heart.