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Showing posts from June, 2015

Guess Who’s Coming to Milanello?

I cannot tell whether it is fear or excitement that surrounds the players’ upcoming return to Milanello on Friday. The hope and optimism for the mercato that swelled with news of the agreement with Bee Taechaubol crashed and burned like the Hindenburg when Galliani’s initial transfer attempts failed miserably. So now Galliani has been working overtime, planning a mercato like it’s 1986. The co-ownership deadline was last Thursday, contracts are expiring tomorrow, and the mercato officially opens on Wednesday. Yet with so little tied up so far, it leaves us all to ask: Guess who’s coming to Milanello?

Mister Mihajlovic

Never say never, that is the first lesson Mihajlovic learned after being asked to coach AC Milan. Fans were very quick to remember his promise that he would “never” coach Milan. And yet when the opportunity arose, he jumped on it, a decision that may just prove to be mutually beneficial. After seven years of experience as a head coach and two years as an assistant coach, it seems the perfect time to take the reins of a club like Milan. And for Milan, he may just be the perfect coach to steer us out of this mess. It is with a surprising amount of optimism that I welcome Sinisa Mihajlovic to Milan.

Mister Inzaghi: A Belated Farewell

It’s a bit belated, but it’s the least I could do to honor a Milan legend like Filippo Inzaghi. After saying goodbye to him as a player three years ago, I don’t even know if I could wax so eloquent this time around. But after two years coaching in the youth sector and this past year coaching the first team, we are parting ways again. Only this time we don’t know if he’ll ever be back. And no one could blame him if he didn’t ever come back after the way he was treated by the club. But it’s impossible for me not to say a proper goodbye to the man who gave everything he had to Milan, even if in the end it wasn’t enough. So for you, Super Pippo, a belated farewell.

Podcast: Party Like It’s 1986

1986 was an important year for Milan’s history. It was the year that Silvio Berlusconi bought the club, beginning the years of big spending and no accountability. It was also the beginning of Sinisa Mihajlovic’ senior playing career. And it’s the year that seems to keep on giving, as Galliani seems stuck in the year 1986 as far as his transfer dealings, and now we have Mihajlovic, former Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio, and Inter player as the coach who is supposed to pull us out of a slump that is actually worse than where we were in 1986. So there’s nothing to celebrate, but for this podcast, we’re going to party like it’s 1986.

Yellow Tie

Despite my usual cautious approach to the mercato, waiting until things are official, I am pissed off. Not that I expected as much as some people did after the agreement with Mr. Bee, since I’ve maintained that there’s no actual money until the deal is official. Nor did I agree with all of the transfer targets necessarily, at least not under the current state of Milan. But we desperately needed a young, talented midfielder. Whether or not that was Kondogbia may never be known. Instead, Inter get to find out. Inter. Our cross town rivals and orchestrators of Calciopoli. We should have never even let them into the race for Kondogbia, and now he is theirs. I think it’s time to hang up the yellow tie.

Mauro Tassotti: Unsung Hero

There is a saying “always a bridesmaid, never the bride,” which seems like a strange phrase to use for a footballer. But it couldn’t be more applicable to Tassotti, who spent his entire career being a backup to other stars. In fact, so much so, that now when he supposedly is finally leaving Milan after 35 years, I have heard nothing official about his departure yet, although it seems to be happening. Both in his playing career and his coaching career, he is truly an unsung hero.

Milan Martyrs

Many fans have spoken of their disgust for the way that Milan has treated its legends in recent years. From pushing them out, not even calling them before announcing they wouldn’t be renewed or giving the captain’s armband away, to pushing them into retirement and hiring them as a coach only to fire them or to give them a squad that no one could coach. To say nothing of the fact that so few even work for the club, they are treated like strangers in their own family. For a club that is known for its family-like relationships, it’s almost criminal that so many legends have become Milan martyrs.

Sacchi’s Milan Wasn’t Built in a Day

With the club suffering so much the past three years while Berlusconi has said he was unable to keep investing in the club, the promise of new investment has fans excited for the first time in a long time. Many fans are talking about the beginning of a new era and comparing this reboot to Sacchi’s Milan. I believe the implication is that Berlusconi spent big on a few players to reinforce the squad and they immediately won everything. But the truth is, Sacchi’s Milan wasn’t built in a day. Or even a year.

Why Things Are Looking Up

A lot of transfer talk this week, plus the recent news of possible cash infusion has Milanisti spirits high. But with only agreements in place for the investment, the coach, and an expensive player, nothing is official yet. However there is a reason that all of these good things are happening, the precursor to all of the potential good news: the new home kit. Wearing it, the team went two for two, including beating second place Roma. Which is no surprise after the kits they had to wear all of last season, because when you’re looking good, you have confidence. So say what you will about all of the changes at the club, but I’m going to give some credit for our changes in fortunes to the new kits.

Warning Signs

With Twitter ablaze with rumors and unfounded optimism, there seems to be little concern for the actual future. Or the past, for that matter. We all want so desperately to achieve success that lessons learned have been forgotten and all warning signs are being ignored. It is fine to have hope, it is amazing to think that we actually can have hope after the past three years. But as with every road and every journey, it might be good to proceed with caution.

Podcast: Laughter and Tears

It was difficult to find much to laugh about this past season, but there were plenty of tears. Tears and pain and frustration and drinking… lots of drinking. But if you’re listening to this podcast, you probably survived, one way or the other. So trying to add a little laughter, but unwittingly causing tears, we got together to try to make some sense of what just happened this year.

All Bark and No Bite

I was truly hopeful that Juventus could win the Champions League Final tonight. For many reasons, not the least of which is the Italian coefficient. Particularly since Milan are struggling so hard and will have to fight back to the top to get back into Europe, every Italian victory in Europe counts. But it turns out that the ninth time facing Barcelona in the Champions League was not a charm for Allegri, as Juve were all bark and no bite*.

The A-list Party

So the Champions League Final is here, and Milan weren’t even invited to the supermarket grand opening next door. So while we sit at home eating and or drinking our sorrows away, either Barcelona or Juventus will walk away with the trophy. And not just the trophy, but the treble for whichever team wins. I guess that’s just what happens when you’re on the A-list.

Year Zero… version four

Milan finished the season in 10th place, so obviously, it’s time for another reboot. Because nothing says Year Zero like another Year Zero. Or another one. Or even another one. So as the players are on vacation with their WAGS and friends, Galliani is doing overtime to ensure that Year Zero version four is the last Year Zero for Milan. At least until the next one.

Podcast: Game Over

Finally the torture is over. I’ve never been so relieved for Serie A to end. Between the poor performances, worse results, Curva’s lame boycotts, and Galliani being in denial and bringing in players by the dozens, this season couldn’t end soon enough. But what’s next? Based on the things we know and the things we’ve heard and the great unknown, we talked about the state of Milan, with the focus being on management.