Okay, I know that there will be a football match. And I know that the team is actually called Juventus, not Allegri. But I have acute anxiety over something else entirely: That face. I barely even care what happens on the pitch, it will be a win, a draw, or a loss. There will be no ‘Gol di Muntari,’ because there’s goal line technology now, and obviously no Muntari. But I am terrified of having to see Allegri again, to hear him screaming “Dai Dai Dai!” like a possessed broken record player. Even if he is nominated for the coaching Ballon d'Or and is also The Most Interesting Coach in the World. So although I know I should be thinking about the game, I can’t help it. Every time I close my eyes, all I can see is that face.
|A face not even a mother could love|
In Serie A, Allegri’s team are coming in from back to back wins. Having been hovering just above the relegation zone as recently as a few weeks ago, they are now miraculously in seventh place just behind us on the table. But that was before the international break. While on national team duty, Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Mandzukic, and Caceres all picked up injuries, and are all questionable to be available for Signore Dai on Saturday. (Although to be fair, he did not break those ones.) Additionally, he will be missing Padoin, Asamoah, and Pereyra to injury. Feel free to guess how many more players can be injured between now and Saturday night. The Dai’s the limit.
|Why are my players always injured?|
The big question will be which Allegri will show up? Will it be the tactician who made Barcelona cry and complain about watering the pitch? Or will it be the zombie manager who screams his whiny little screams more frequently the more goals his team concede? Let’s hope that the Allegri Effect™ is in full force, that might actually be entertaining to watch. In reality, it will likely come down to which team sucks less, as I mentioned on the last podcast. But honestly, I’m not thinking too hard about it, because all I can think of is that hideous face.
|Watch out, ladies, Signore Dai is in the house|
Milan, in preparation to meet Signore Dai, have prepared a lengthy injury list to honor him. Balotelli just had surgery yesterday for his groin injury, so is obviously out. And Menez is still out, along with Diego Lopez. De Jong was so petrified of seeing that face again that he made sure to get a muscle injury without even playing a game. Bertolacci is very doubtful for this one, while Abate, Alex, and Mexes are all likely to return from their injuries.
|"I'm too sexy for this shirt"|
I don’t envy Mihajlovic’ job. Not only does he have an inferior squad, but he’s still trying to beat the Allegri out of the players he does have, and now he’s got to tell them they have to face the Dai Master. If I were him, I’d be having them train with recordings of Allegri’s senseless screaming all week and teach them to learn to ignore it. That way we have a chance of coming out of Juventus stadium in one piece. And as for those fans of theirs, at least we know that Mihajlovic can hold his own. Because Mexes will likely be punching someone, screaming at the ref, or just plain injuring himself trying to outdo his random spectacular goals.
|OMG, now the face is eating his own players! Run, Morata, run!|
It’s weird to be coming into the game ahead of Juventus on the table. But that may not last the 90 minutes anyway. My hope is simply no controversy, no run-ins with racist or douchebag Juventus fans, and no new injuries. Oh, and of course, minimal camera footage of that face.
This post inspired by the music of Danny Elfman’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Soundtrack
Our next match is
Allegri vs. Milan
Saturday, November 21 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EDT)
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI in the U.S.