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Showing posts from 2016

Beelieve It Or Not

Seeing as how I have time for one more rant in 2016, I have chosen to raise more questions about our probablepotential possible new ownership. After clearly reading my recent posts about the delays and also about their overall list of failures to date, Yonghong Li tried to explain a few things to allay our fears. Only it didn’t work. With every delay, his story changes. That’s not transparency, that’s just flat out lying. And with Milan’s recent history with potential mystery investors, I just don’t know if I canBeelieve it or not.

Silver and Gold

Everyone talks about the Supercoppa as “the 29th trophy of the Berlusconi Era.” And even if this trophy was more accidental than planned, specifically because this team arose from the ashes of Berlusconi’s unchecked spending which won him the first 28, it almost makes it that much more special. If the deal with Sino Europe Sportsever goes through, they will be taking over the club in only somewhat better circumstances than Berlusconi found it. That in a football world which has changed markedly since Berlusconi started. This trophy specifically is very special because it was won in spite of Berlusconi’s hip hip hoora speeches, reckless spending, tactical ideas, and myriad coaching changes. Berlusconi’s “young, all-Italian” idea was born from him closing his pocketbook, stopping the reckless sale of amazing youth talents like Aubamayeng, and realizing what he had all along in his youth sector. Accidentally. But with that said, let’s take a look at the other 28 trophies, an amazing feat…

Supercoppa: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Do you believe in Santa? Well Santa cannot bring a trophy, but belief certainly did. Even if Juventus did not play their best game, they are undeniably the better team… on paper. But trophies aren’t won on paper, they are won on the pitch (unless you are Inter, but let’s not go there. It’s Christmas.) Yesterday Milan proved that there is a reason to believe, and that with belief, heart, and 120 minutes plus penalties, anything is possible. And even if the confetti has settled on the pitch, there is still that fluttering in our hearts that Milan winning a trophy gives to us. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Supercoppa: Juventus vs. Milan: Just Happy to Be Here

After last season, Milan are so lucky just to be playing for the Supercoppa. But we got the easy road, playing Sampdoria, Carpi, and Alessandria on the way to the Coppa final, while Juve had to face Torino, Lazio, and Inter to get there. And it is also thanks to them that we are playing for the Supercoppa trophy, since we won neither the league nor the Coppa Italia final. But since they won both and couldn’t play themselves, Milan are going to Doha by virtue of being the runner up in the Coppa Italia. Literally, Milan are just happy to be here.

All I Want for Christmas

With the Christmas season upon us, I like to reflect on what I would like to see for Milan next year. We are in a strange place, suspended between owners, so much uncertainty for the future. And yet we’ve gotten some amazing results this year. Despite a loss to Roma and a draw to Atalantaand falling from third to fifth on the table, our season to date has been nothing short of remarkable. Given our previous years’ seasons, it’s nothing short of miraculous that we are playing for the Supercoppa on Friday. But reflecting on the past four years, I found a couple of old Christmas videos from that fateful year of 2012 that might lend some perspective on my wish list this year. Oh, and as for the videos, you’re welcome.

Milan 0, Atalanta 0: In a Fog

This match shouldn’t have been a surprise, Milan have been overachieving all season long, and so have Atalanta. A draw was actually the most likely scenario coming into the game, even if Montella seemed to think afterward that the result was not fair based on Milan’s efforts. But I watched the match, well what I could see of it through the fog, and I think Montella’s head might have gotten lost in that fog, too. Sure Milan had 58% possession, hope he’s celebrating that. But Atalanta actually had more chances.

Milan-Atalanta Preview: When Two Fairy Tales Collide

This season has been a fairy tale for the Serie A teams in Lombardy. Milan are in third place, Atalanta in a very unexpected sixth place, and Inter… well two out of three isn’t bad. With nine wins, a draw, and six losses, Gasperini has woven a magic spell that has seen his team play much better than expected. And with a little reverse psychology (“We will play possession football,”) Montella has also gotten better results from Milan. But what will happen with both fairy tale seasons meet?

Takeover Blunders

People with a cursory knowledge of the sale of the club are trusting and relaxed about the deal. To be honest, it seems that they see euro signs and fantasize about the players we’ll sign and skip all of the parts in between where the sale actually happens or not. Well, and there are plenty of fans who think we’re still having a big January mercato. They’re in for a rude awakening. But the truth is far from this fantasy world. The truth is that this deal is far from done, and there is still the very real possibility that it may never happen in spite of the €200m Fininvest has already received. Even if it does get done, the blunders of this imaginary consortium are quite extensive. And that means that after they take the club over, we may wish they never had.

Roma 1, Milan 0: The Reckoning

Milan have been living the dream this season. Winning with luck and mentality primarily, this match was always going to be a test for us. And it was a test I felt that we passed successfully. We played the youngest starting lineup in Serie A this season (via @OptaPaolo,) and we played a team who have a lot more quality and experience. And we gave them a run for their money. In fact, it really was more of a reckoning for Roma. Could they beat a young team having a good run who have been nipping at their heels all season long? Could they get the three points to put a bit of distance between them? Well they got their three points, but I’m not sure they played as convincingly as they have paid to, let alone to challenge for the Scudetto. So for both sides, it was definitely a reckoning.

Roma vs. Milan: Homecoming

Hoping for a nice flight tonight

Roma-Milan Preview: Bad Form

There are infinite previews outlining THE RACE FOR SECOND PLACE. But a story that eclipses Milan’s accidental rise on the table and Roma’s astounding ability to barely maintain second place is the Strootman Ban/Not Ban. So much whining from Roma fans, you’d have thought someone had died. No one talking about the poor conduct and poor sportsmanship. Certainly no Roma fans acknowledging precedence for other players in the past who served bans for either instigating or simulation, let alone both. And the FIGC clearly overturned the ban because the whining was simply unbearable. But from Strootman’s ridiculous and very unsporting behavior to the fans lacking a conscience of any kind, Roma are coming into this game with bad form.

The Great Wall of China

Delay. Another Delay. More Delays. The only news of the sale of Milan these days is how much longer it is going to be before the deal closes. But why is that? After the €100m non-refundable deposit was made, along with the agreement to close by the end of the year, I thought for sure it would really happen. Now we face yet another delay, losing out on another mercato. And the only one profiting from this is Fininvest. A profit of another €100m, to be exact. So Berlusconi and Galliani stay in power, holding the club hostage, and they’re getting paid for it, too. Our mercato is going to be strangled by not just two CEOs now, but three CEOs, two Sporting Directors, and a consortium of mysterious people who have yet to be identified. Not to mention that no one is disclosing whether Fininvest will even use any of that cold hard cash to spend in the mercato in the first place. People keep saying that there is a problem getting the money out of China to close the deal, but with a second depo…

Watching Milan: Outsiders

Last week, Marcello from the Milan Club Montreal wrote a public letter outlining his frustrations about the availability to watch Milan games outside of Italy. His concerns were things I think we can all relate to. Not just the added costs we have in trying to view Milan games, but even just the availability and quality. For example, despite contacting multiple people in Italy, he still doesn’t know if the Supercoppa will even be broadcast at all in North America. Compared with the relative ease and accessibility with which Italians have to Milan games and programming, it’s enough to make the rest of us fans feel like outsiders.

Milan 2, Crotone 1: Sharks and Minnows

Playing at the San Siro and going on a successful run that has surprised even the players themselves, you would think that Milan would be the sharks and Crotone, languishing in 19th place, would be the minnows. But despite a Montella-era record of 70% possession for Milan, Crotone often looked more to live up to their name, i Squali (the sharks.) And Milan squeaked out this win like some very lucky minnows.

Milan vs. Crotone: Calm Under Pressure

Even if Crotone bring a Sharknado, Donnarumma knows what to do

Milan-Crotone Preview: Nothing to Lose

To see where this Sunday’s opponents sit on the table, you would have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the table. They sat in dead last until last week, when Palermo dropped one below them on goal differential. (And yes, between that and a Coppa Italia loss, Zamparini did sack his coach this week.) Compound the 19th place spot with the lunchtime game, as well as the return of the mystical Djamel Mesbah, and it’s not a fixture I am looking forward to. Particularly since Crotone will literally have nothing to lose.

Derby della Madonnina Femminile: Remorse

The Derby for me always brings out the bestworst most fierce in me. But the unparalleled hatred I have toward Inter has more to do with Calciopoli than anyone or anything else. So, as this Sunday is the women’s Derby, it was only a slightly stronger than usual ferocity that had me salivating ahead of this match. But then I found out who the Inter Ladies’ captain is, and things got a little more intense. Her name is Regina Baresi, daughter of Giuseppe Baresi, former Inter player. And also the niece, of course, of Milan’s eternal captain and legendary defender, Franco Baresi. And suddenly, I want to teach that woman a lesson. A lesson of remorse.

When You Find Yourself In the Most Unlikely of Places

Have you ever found yourself somewhere and felt like you don’t belong here? Milan have that conundrum, tied with Roma on points in second place on the table after fourteen rounds. If you look at the summer spending alone in the top three, one of these clubs is absolutely not like the other. Or if you look at the experience and age of the players. Or recent seasons’ form. Or just about anything. Milan are the odd man out. And so we find ourselves with the pleasant job of figuring out what to do when you find yourself in the most unlikely of places.

Empoli 1, Milan 4: By Any Means Necessary

Some matches are won by playing well for 90 minutes. And then there was this one. Our mentality has won all of these matches, but it’s shown weaknesses lately, signs of slipping back into old habits. Like conceding immediately after scoring, for example. But that's not the only mentality issue we saw in this game. If you’ll remember, Montella came in saying that a manager didn’t need to get angry, but he changed his tune at halftime to produce the needed reaction. So a win by any means necessary.

Empoli-Milan Preview: No Regrets

Since Ricardo Saponara left Milan, fans have had so many regrets. And as he returned to Empoli, he gave us many, many more reasons to regret losing him. But this season has not been his best, and now Milan are in a position to be distracted by our changes in fortune. Despite giving up a last minute goal to Inter in the Derby that cost us two points, this week there is no time for looking back. We need to pick up three important points ahead of some big opponents in coming weeks. So no regrets.

The Trouble With Silvio

As the Curva Sud honored Berlusconi with their coreo on Sunday, Silvio had a lot to say. He said he was touched by their efforts, for example, and pointed out that they had worked on it for three months. But they had plenty of time to work on it, because it’s been nearly six months since the deal for the sale of the club should have closed. And note there is an end date on the coreo. It’s 2016. The deal was repeatedly promised to close by the end of this year. But now Berlusconi seems to be meddling once again, so much so that the deal could fall through altogether, according to sources in the media and his own words. Because it used to be that everything Silvio touched turned to trophies. But now everything he touches falls apart. And that is the trouble with Silvio.

Milan 2, Inter 2: Misery Loves Company

We knew going into this match that the outcome would be a surprise. With Inter’s literal wealth of talent and the new coach advantage as well as missing our best defender in Romagnoli, it could have ended very, very badly. But with Milan’s youth, positive mentality (it still seems strange to type that,) and individual brilliance, we could have pulled off the win against the odds. And until stoppage time, we nearly did. But instead we shared the spoils. We also share our spot on the table with Roma, who are miserable after losing to Atalanta earlier in the day. Because misery loves company.

Milan vs. Inter: Clean Sheets

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Milan-Inter Preview: Surprise Attack

The Derby della Madonnina is always intense. This one should be no exception. Milan were flying high before the break, and sit third place on the table. However, we should be missing our best defender in Romagnoli, which is a tough blow before a big game like this. Inter have managed to slither back up to ninth on the table, but sacked De Boer ahead of their last league match. However they have hired Pioli since then, after “casting” for a new manager. With the luck of a new manager’s first game on their side, it's impossible to predict how it goes. And with Tagliavento as our ref, we could all be in for a big surprise.

Holding Grudges

If you don’t know by now that I hate Inter or how much I hate Inter, you’ve never read here before or followed me on Twitter. It’s more than just a familial hate or some cross-city rivalry. I literally and completely hate them. The biggest reason is for their roles in Calciopoli and their denial of justice since then. But there are plenty of other reasons, too. And for all of those reasons, I condone holding grudges.

Counting Down

We’ve thought about this and talked about this so much for so long, and now it’s almost here. The sale of the club is set to be finalized on December 2nd. Silvio Berlusconi is staying on as Honorary President, but both Barbara Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani look set to leave. After all we’ve been through with Milan this past five years, a big part of me wants to count down the days, even the hours, and have a big celebration, bigger than New Year’s Eve. But then that nagging question I’ve always asked myself: would a foreign entity buying Milan be worse than what we’ve gone through? And then I get nervous and want to think about stopping time. So where are you? Apprehensive and afraid? Somewhere in the middle? Or counting down?


For years Juve fans have proudly referred to the Italian national team as “ItalJuve” due to the large number of Juve players playing for club and country. And rival club fans have sarcastically called it the same thing, implying a bias toward the club and it’s players, especially under former Juve coach Antonio Conte. But the tide has changed significantly. For at least the second international break running, Milan have had the most players called up for Italy, with six. So will this team be called ItalMilan?

Podcast: Milan Obsession’s Guide to the Galaxy

Life is strange. Sometimes when things are going great on one front, they fall apart on another. For example Milan are doing so well and don’t look to be stopping soon, which is absolutely fantastic. On the other hand, Inter sacked De Boer, who was doing so well at keeping Inter in the bottom half of the table. So many lessons to be learned, so little time. But for today, rather than searching for “the Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything…” I have a very quick podcast for you….

Palermo 1, Milan 2: Another One Bites the Dust

There’s this thing that Milan has been doing lately that I’m not sure what to do with. I think it’s called “winning.” Like even when we don’t play that great, we pull it off somehow. Just when our opponent least expects it. I mean Palermo are kind of the opposite right now, where they are more likely to do the opposite. But it certainly doesn’t stop them from trying. Or even scoring. But when the final whistle blows, the story is the same: another one bites the dust.

Palermo-Milan Preview: Important Life Lessons

Movies are filled with so much CGI and special effects now, but you don’t have to look too far back to learn some realistic and important life lessons from film. For example, in the movie “The Princess Bride,” Vizzini, a Sicilian, teaches us two important lessons shortly before (spoiler alert) his death. The first is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” I feel like we are narrowly avoiding that blunder with the Chinese takeover, since they are coming to us. But the second is a little more ominous: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” For us, gratefully, death is not exactly our fate if we are not triumphant on Sunday. However for Palermo, who are 19th on the table, relegation is definitely looming, and three points to them would definitely be a lifeline. Just as the Sicilian in the movie was outsmarted by the Dread Pirate Roberts, I am hoping that Montella will outsmart former Milan midfielder and current Palermo manager Roberto De Zerbi. Despite what Zam…

Vincenzo Montella: Doctor Strange

I have long mocked Montella’s possession-based tactics that he wanted for Milan. Beginning with the fact that I felt it was a system and style of play that he was putting on a team that was not suited for it. And so far, I’ve been proven right. But just like Dr. Strange having lost the use of his hands, then going in search of alternate methods of achieving his goal of using them again, Montella has tapped into other-worldly magical powers to achieve the results he wanted (even if his system still isn’t happening.) For me, this season, Montella has truly been like Doctor Strange.


Anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written about Inter knows that my hatred of them runs much deeper than the traditional “cousin” rivalry. And I don’t call them “merda” like so many other people do, because I feel like that is an insult to the actual merda. My Twitter followers always know when Inter has lost, because my schadenfreudesimply erupts onto my timeline. But as they seem to be winning just enough matches to stay clear of the relegation zone this season, it has still been one very delightful season for Milan fans. Milan have inexplicably climbed the table to currently sit in third place, while Inter sit in twelfth, having been as low as 17th at one point. Juxtapose Milan’s Curva at least pretending to care about their injured captain with their pathetic meltdown between their Ultra and their scumbag degenerate captain Icardi, and it just gets better for Milan fans. In fact, one might even call it Karmalicious.

Milan 1, Pescara 0: Shaky Win

Sunday morning, a 6.5 earthquake shook Italy, which was how our players started their day. I suppose you could claim that’s why they were so shaky against the lower table Pescara, but those players also started their day with the quake. In a match where Pescara dominated for large portions of the match, and they had two goals called off for offside, a neutral observer might have a hard time choosing which team would finish the day in 3rd on the table and which one would remain in 17th. But three points is three points. And even if it was very shaky and not enjoyable to watch, we did get the win in the end. The tactics may still be missing, the quality invisible, but the result was a win. For the fourth straight match at home. So we’re totally riding the mentality boat, even if all we could produce was a shaky win.

Milan vs. Pescara: Life Choices

It’s all about timing

Milan vs. Pescara Sunday, October 30 • 15:00 CET (10am EDT)* This match will NOT be shown LIVE in the U.S. * note the time difference due to European Daylight Savings Time ending


Milan-Pescara Preview: Swimming With the Dolphins

The last time we faced Pescara was at the end of the season in 2013. We beat them 4-0, an exclamation point to their eventual relegation. But now they are back in Serie A, having been promoted. Promoted in part due to the efforts of one Massimo Oddo. Does that name ring a bell? It should. I can only hope it is an emotional return for him to the San Siro. But with his team struggling just above the relegation zone in 17th, I am also kind of hoping it is with emotion that he leaves the San Siro – hopefully leaving three points with the team he once played for, and taking his Delfini home empty-handed.

Invisible Tactics

After calling out all Milan fans on social media following the Genoa match, I was bombarded on Twitter with all kinds of replies. Some just offered hate, but that is not anything new to me. Others offered hate in the very way I described, aimed at only two targets. Some argued with me just to realize that they didn’t actually disagree. Still others argued points I hadn’t even made, but that is Twitter for you. However the most curious ones for me were the ones who claim that we were playing great tactical football ahead of this match. However none of them could explain exactly what those tactics were or why this squad rotation was so devastating to them (other than going back to square one and scapegoating Poli and Honda, of course.) So I thought I would open up the discussion here, where there are more than 140 characters.

Genoa 3, Milan 0: Grab the Pitchforks

It is a curious phenomenon to me what happens on social media surrounding football. And I knew that with all of the hype that had been built up over the lucky streak we’d had, at some point our luck would run out and the pitchforks would come out. Nevermind that a loss like this happens to every team, even the greatest ones ever to play. Nevermind that it particularly happens to young, inexperienced teams, or teams who have had coaching or other changes, poor runs of form, etc. Nevermind that it often happens when teams play more frequently. All of those things apply to this team and this match, and for that reason, we as fans need patience. But patience is not a trait that Milan fans have any longer, so as soon as the first goal was scored, it was time to grab the pitchforks.

Genoa-Milan Preview: The Big One

Last week, both before and after the Juventus match, Montella said that Tuesday’s clash with Genoa would be the big test. After playing just three days earlier, being able to get a result away to Genoa would be a bigger test of our form and abilities right now. And I agree. Especially after surprising even ourselves with the win, having the guys be able to settle in, focus, and play a solid 90 minutes will tell us more about where we are heading than beating the number one team. And if they can’t, that will tell us something, too. Either way, though it is an early midweek match away to the twelfth place team, this game really is the big one.

Milan 1, Juventus 0: Elation

Mere words could never do this match justice. Particularly when you consider that this match was won with pure heart. Well and some luck. And young talent. Honestly, I don’t even know how this match was won. Juve were the better team. They played better. They had an incredible goal disallowed. And Allegri is still there. Oh, wait, that might explain part of it. But seriously, does any of that matter? We won. We beat Juve. And those precious three points that we miraculously stole from them put us in second for now, only two points behind Juve. The only word that could possibly describe how I feel is elation.

Milan vs. Juventus: Defying the Odds

Gigio knows the best way to face your idol is to play well against him

Milan vs. Juventus: Massive Buzzkill

Ever have a time when things in your life were just going well? Maybe not perfect, but it kinda felt like it? The troubles of your past and future were masked by the peace and happiness you were feeling in the present? Then someone or something comes along and lifts you up by the collar, slams you to the ground, and maybe steals your car? That is a massive buzzkill. And that is exactly what Saturday’s match could do to Milan fans, too. After so much joy on Sunday, we face our annoying ex and his rich team filled with talent, many coming back from injuries just in time, too. And we know that Allegri will strut in, smile/grimace, scream Dai Dai Dai! for 90 minutes, and a late goal from his random late bench sub will rip our hearts out and leave them on the pitch for dead in front of a sold out stadium. Because he’s just a massive buzzkill that way.

Money Changes Everything

After a joyful victory over Chievo on Sunday, and moving up to third on the table, it’s hard not to smile. But it’s also a little disconcerting not knowing what lies around the corner. I mean, for one thing, now that we’ve finally found some kind of balance with so many young players, will the purchase of the club by the Chinese ruin that balance? Will they spend money on older players, possibly with egos? And what of the emotional balance of the team? If they are already scouting players without consulting with the coach, how will that affect the mentality of the coach and squad? Funny that we kind of got what we wanted – a primarily young team, and that the other thing we wanted, for Berlusconi to sell the club, may actually undo everything else we’ve waited so patiently for. Money changes everything.

Chievo 1, Milan 3: Like The Most Improbable Dream

In “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” one of the BEST MOVIES EVER, Jack Skellington tries to explain the new phenomenon of Christmas to the people of Halloweentown. But as hard as he tries, he just can’t describe it… “like the most improbable dream.” My Sunday was much the same way. From the nuclear Karma bomb that hit Icardi and Inter, to Milan’s young starting lineup to the surprise win away to Chievo, to the table positions at the end of the day, I felt like I was living the most improbable dream.

Chievo vs. Milan: Flight of the Donkeys

Flying Donkeys are adorable until they score on you

Chievo-Milan Preview: Respect the Donkeys

There are no easy games in football. However, traditionally, upon hearing that our opponent was Chievo, Milan fans could relax and expect a win, as Chievo would typically be near the bottom of the table. But oh, how times have changed. Milan with our mentality issues cannot be expected to beat even a 20th place team if our lives depended on it. But more importantly, Maran has Chievo just ahead of us on the table, and playing consistently better with a team whose wages are a fraction of ours. So while my Chievo previews often celebrate one of the strangest mascots in Serie A, the Flying Donkeys, this time around, I’ve got to respect the donkeys.

The Maldini Litmus Test

When news broke this week that Paolo Maldini had turned down Sino Europe Group’s offer to be Technical Director for Milan, the dreams of many Milan fans died. Angered that our dream of having him be part of the club going forward was gone, many fans simply blamed the new ownership and/or prepared for more years of being ignored or abused. But amidst the anguish there is a larger lesson, as the statements from both parties provided a truth test for the new ownership. The group had previously made statements reaching out to fans and trying to win them back, but this litmus test offered a chance for them to step up and show whether or not they would back up their words with actions.


Montolivo has now had successful surgery on his knee to repair ligament damage that occurred in the Italy vs. Spain match on Thursday. He has six months of healing and recovery ahead of him, something no one should be envious of. However, that six months ironically gives everyone else a chance to heal, too. Either fans will find someone else to hate, or maybe they will be able to view his performances more judiciously when he gets back. I don’t know anyone who wishes harm or injury on anyone, but now that it’s happened, perhaps we can all find a little healing.