The day after receiving gifts, kids everywhere will ask each other excitedly “What’d ya get? Whether you celebrate Christmas, Boxing Day, Hanukkah, or any other holidays, there have been a lot of gifts exchanged throughout the world recently. But in all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, let’s not forget what Milan gave to us – on and off the pitch.
|"When it comes to read this campaign you have to be really, really sleep through grammar class"|
The AC Milan Twitter countdown is a gift that not even the most heartless person would regift. From cheesy photos to cheesier quotes to the translation problems that plagued the campaign, it was less of a gift and more of a slap in the face. Especially when you realized that they didn’t even bother to take special pics for it, they just re-used the same ones for all of their haphazard marketing. In fact, this campaign feels a lot like the way they’ve treated fans for a long time now, so it was actually perfect.
|Milan fans aren't even worth a separate photo pose... the ultimate re-gifting fail|
Milan’s top scorers so far are Bacca and Bonaventura. With twelve goals combined so far in the league this season, they are shining stars in a team that has seen so much mediocrity in recent years. Additionally, amongst players with 20+ shots, Bacca has the highest conversion rate in Serie A this year, according to @OptaPaolo. Also, Bonaventura is joint highest in the league in assists, with six. (The others who are tied with him are Saponara and Meggiorini.) And he made @OptaPaolo's Team of the Year, too, the only Milan player to do that. All of these are just stats, of course, but they have translated to some very lovely goals, and more importantly given hope when hope was nearly gone. And with any luck, they are the gifts that keep on giving.
Bacca and Bonaventura end 2015 as #ACMilan’s top-scorers with 9 goals each! https://t.co/BwZx5guYl9 #weareacmilan pic.twitter.com/m1ey2PVx8L— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 22, 2015
Back to back away wins… while they are not “turning a corner,” the Coppa Italia win away vs. Sampdoria and the league win away to Frosinone were very lovely gifts to the fans before the break. It remains to be seen what the team will give us in the new year. But as this calendar year fades away and they have a break before facing Bologna, we can dream… maybe not of sugarplums or a 20 game winning streak in the league to chase for the Scudetto, but of possibly more good results, and maybe even a first half we don’t have to be ashamed of. Nah, that’s probably being greedy. But the wins were very lovely, and I for one very much appreciate them.
A new AC Milan Christmas video that brought laugher and tears. Laughter at the irony of Mexes singing “I believe I can fly," and tears watching Cerci speak Chinese about as well as he usually plays. The training jerseys in those hideous third kit colors threatened to ruin the fun, but Niang wasn’t going to let that happen. And a little question mark when Mihajlovic wished a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the fans of the…. then paused before he said “Rossoneri.” Was the pause just coincidental, or is his heart and mind still with another team? This is like when your girlfriend gives you a new watch, and you’re not sure if it was just a nice watch she wanted to give you or she’s trying to tell you to be more prompt.
Transfer rumors have been spreading faster than the ebola epidemic did last year, with so many links in and out of Milan, you’d think Milan were going to continue swappingmore than a starting 11 worth of players each mercato. But my spidey senses are tingling here. The “out with the young, in with the undisciplined and washed-up has been” plan of loaning Suso to Genoa and bringing back the free transfer Boateng seems like all we are likely to get this mercato. (So one more player on the roster, one less young and upcoming player available to us.) Unless Galliani can pare down the squad to 25 like he keeps saying he’s going to do. Or another washed up former Milan player becomes available on a free transfer… look for Muntari or Bonera for sure. Sometimes with gifts, it’s best to be careful what you ask for.
|Galliani's ultimate regift/recycle policy: Out with the new, in with the old... how many times have we seen this now?|
As usual, Milan’s gifts this season are a mixed bag. Personally, I’m putting more faith in results on the pitch than in Milan’s marketing or transfer campaigns for the coming year. Because that has certainly gone better of late than the things management have control over. But hopefully that is not all you’ve received recently. Feel free to brag about anything special you’ve received from Milan or from friends or family in the comments section. They say it’s better to give than to receive. But all kids know the day after Christmas, it’s all about “What’d ya get?!”
This post inspired by the music of Veruca Salt