I am so pissed off right now, I can barely type this. Normally I wait to write about these kinds of things until they are official, but this one is so obviously going to happen, it’s not even funny. I speak, of course, of the renewal of Montolivo’s contract. Sorry, that’s “Captain” Montolivo, or so I’m told. He represents the scourge of Milan these past three years, and the lowest common denominator of Berlusconi and Galliani’s decision making. You can call him whatever you want, heaven knows that when the kids aren’t around I’ve called him unspeakable things. But I refuse to call him one thing: Captain. He is not my captain.
|A fake trophy lifted by a fake captain. How ironic.|
Set aside Montolivo’s “skills” and let’s just talk about what he does as a leader. Nothing. Not one thing. Unless you count leading the insurrection to get two coaches fired so far (and another attempt this season, too.) And when he leads these mutinies, he miraculously always plays the next game. This time, it’s earned him 13 straight appearances. Appearances at the position of one Nigel De Jong, a player who has actually played in a World Cup Final, amongst other things. Something Montolivo is highly unlikely to ever accomplish. Unless he rats someone out or keeps getting coaches fired until he finds one who can get to a World Cup and do it with Montolivo on the pitch. Good luck with that one, Monto.
I may also be overlooking his leadership skills in the vacation photo department. When he was injured, he would tweet vacation pics of he and his wife while Milan were playing, even if it was only a friendly. Contrast that with De Jong, long before he wore the armband, who was rehabbing in a timezone nine hours away from Italy, and would still tweet good luck or congrats when the team played. Or he would tweet photos of his rehab efforts or inspirational quotes as he went along. No vacation pics at all. Sorry, Montolivo, but posting vacation photos while your team is playing does not make you a leader of anything except being a giant douchebag.
|"Thank you sir, for stealing the armband and giving it to me. It's so silky!"|
Montolivo used to be the leader of losing the ball on the pitch, but now Cerci has come along and taken that from him, too. He led the league in recovered balls, but it was kind of unfair, since he was recovering all of the balls he lost… no one else in the league loses so many at that position.
On the pitch, he is the first one to complain to the ref and the last one to shut up about the most ridiculous and innocuous things. You might say that it is the captain’s job to speak to the referee on behalf of his team, and you would be right. Only Montolivo did it even while not wearing the armband. Because he’s just a whiner by nature. He has the diplomacy of Donald Trump out there, only no one will be voting for Montolivo to be captain.
|"I've been told I have to start you, so..."|
Which brings me to my favorite part of his fairy tale (yes, I did just call him a fairy.) How he got the armband in the first place. After being at the club only a year, when Ambrosini was told he was retiring… wait, when Galliani announced to the public that Ambrosini was not being renewed, having not consulted Ambrosini at all, he also announced that Montolivo would wear the captain’s armband, having not consulted the rightful heir, vice-captain at the time Abbiati, either. It was almost as if the armband was written into his contract, having pissed off Fiorentina when he was negotiating with Milan and giving up his captaincy there. Truly, there can be no other explanation. There were a number of other players in line for the captaincy that were not only more deserving, but better leaders on and off the pitch.
But the best part of extending Montolivo is that we are taking an average, inconsistent, aging midfielder who has had big injuries, and signing him for another three years. He’s turning 31 next month, the age that Pirlo was when he was told he couldn’t have a renewal of more than one year. Sure, maybe Montolivo is taking a pay cut of his already overpriced €3,5m salary. But he is also handcuffing us to his slow pace, compulsive long balls, overall mediocrity, poor leadership, and I’m sure still too big of salary for three more years. This move represents every bad mistake Galliani has made since 2007. Only it highlights his “biggest regret” – letting Pirlo go. So having made that mistake, he is trying to make up for it by hanging on to someone not even half of Pirlo’s talent or character. Which is worse than twice as bad.
|Loki is right... but he's really only the god of the long balls|
I am absolutely furious, this is completely disgusting. Montolivo should have never come to Milan in the first place, let alone been given the captain’s armband. He is no leader, not on the pitch or off of it. His hysterics that got Seedorf and eventually Inzaghi fired are pathetic and not only should they have never been rewarded, they should have never even been tolerated. He is a whining, backstabbing, pathetic, poor excuse for a man, and almost as bad of a player. Milan has suffered with him for three years already, we can NOT afford to suffer him three more years. You can call him whatever you want, but he is NOT my captain.
This post inspired by @pdacquaviva’s favorite hashtag #NotMyCaptain
Our next match is
Milan vs. Hellas Verona
Sunday, December 13 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)