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Showing posts from January, 2016

Milan 3, Inter 0: Nirvana

Tonight, Mihajlovic described this match as his greatest joy as a coach, because convincing Derby wins like this go down in history. And he is right, he will now forever be part of Milan history. He also beat his good friend, who got himself sent off and is likely facing a ban, but didn’t even get his starting eleven right. That had to feel amazing. But I don’t know who felt the most amazing… the players for pulling off such an amazing win, the fans for waiting so long for such a beautiful win, or Mihajlovic for righting the ship well enough to achieve this amazing victory over our hated rivals. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that we’ve all reached nirvana.

Milan vs. Inter: Vengeance Has a Name

Milan-Inter Preview: Bloodlust

There are really only so many ways to say that I hate Inter. And yet every time I sit down to write a preview, the venom surges within my red and black blood. The veins in my neck and forehead throb and stand out, and my muscles tense up as I feel like I could punch the next thing I see in blue and black. That’s how I know it’s Derby time. It’s all about the bloodlust.

Boys Will be Boys

Every transfer window, it’s the same thing. Grown men all over the interwebs drooling and gossiping and speculating and fantasizing about which player will go here or there. They talk about swaps that would make a sporting director split his pants laughing, only they are dead serious about their fantasies. Sometimes, I think that in their minds, their little fantamercato dreams are their reality. Certainly they believe every rumor they read, never considering the source or even its plausibility. It’s real. It’s all real, even the conflicting rumors. I know I’ve certainly seen that level of commitment when they start posting lineups with their choices (often with players not even in their proper positions, mind you,) they even start fighting with one another. Over nothing. None of it ever happens. But that doesn’t stop them. Boys will be boys.

Coppa Italia Semis: Alessandria 0, Milan 1: Determined

There were two teams in the Stadio Olimpico today. One that was determined to get to the Coppa Italia final, and one that got an away goal. The first are just an inspiration in their Coppa run. Alessandria only have a little over 90,000 fans. But there were nearly 20,000 of them at the stadium for this historic match. That’s over 20% of their city’s population that turned up. When you compare that with Milan’s entitled, boycott-happy fans, it’s really embarrassing. Perhaps the only thing more embarrassing than Milan’s performance in comparison with a very determined Alessandria.

Coppa Italia Semis • Alessandria-Milan Preview: The Little Team that Could

Just like the children’s story where the littlest engine was the hero, Lega Pro side Alessandria have done what the bigger Serie A sides Palermo, Genoa, and even Roma couldn’t: get to the Coppa Italia semifinals. And I have to guess that Alessandria fans are just like the children on the other side of the mountain when the train brought their toys. For them, this is more than they could have hoped. Yet Milan’s inconsistency has got to have them dreaming even bigger now, and who could blame them? They are the little team that could.

Empoli 2, Milan 2: The Case of the Missing Midfield

Detectives everywhere are still searching for Milan’s midfield. It has actually been missing for some time, but randomly makes surprise appearances, like it did last Sunday vs. Fiorentina. Poor Fiorentina. I’m sure none of their planning ever involved having to play against an actual midfield that day. But I digress. As impressively as Milan’s midfield showed up last week, they were inversely proportionally missing today. As was our clinical finishing, our airtight defense, and all of the smiles we saw last week, too. In this case, the only clue is that the midfield is the key to consistency, hence the desperation to solve this mystery.

Empoli vs. Milan: Moving On

Sometimes it’s who you leave behind that helps you move forward the most

Empoli-Milan Preview: Double Take

Sure, we managed to beat Empoli when they came to the San Siro at the beginning of the season. Somehow. It wasn’t pretty. So technically, we could do the double. But it’s not as easy as that. This will be a crucial match for both clubs, who are one point and two positions away on the table. And Empoli will have the home advantage, too. One might think Milan would have an advantage after playing the game of the season on Sunday, but that’s just it… Milan have struggled to string together even back to back performances all season. So if you think this will be an easy win, you may want to do a double take.

Podcast: Mentality

It’s so hard to keep one’s head on straight with all that has happened at Milan. We lose or draw to a relegation side, and it’s easy to go to that dark place where we have spent so much time in these past few years. We win a game, and it’s easy to start building expectations too high again because we want to return to glory so badly. And that’s just the fans. But if you look carefully, the team at least seem to be gradually improving their mentality. However there are clouds on the horizon, with changes possible in the mercato and elsewhere. With a very fragile new mentality following a big win, it’s best to explore all things Milan with a grain of salt.

Milan 2, Fiorentina 0: Something to Smile About

People have been looking so myopically at each and every match that I’m not sure they’ve taken time to look at the slow and sometimes steady progress that Milan have made this season. Especially psychologically. These are mostly the same players that played the first half of the season, but now they work together and play with confidence. Well at least they definitely did today. But the confidence really has been building, and tonight it was amazing to see it all come together to convincingly beat a top five team at home. And keep a clean sheet, too. They definitely gave us something to smile about.

Milan vs. Fiorentina: Beware the Purple Assault

The kid will likely be busy, but let’s hope he can keep us in the game

Milan-Fiorentina Preview: Stepping Up

This match will be a proper test for both teams. Milan are still searching for some consistent results, despite having developed some grit and teamwork of late. Fiorentina are looking to return to consistency, especially after being beaten 3-1 by Lazio last week at home and being stunned by Carpi to be knocked out of the Coppa Italia in December. While they sit four places on the table and nine points above Milan, they are obviously prone to hiccups. Milan, on the other hand, are still searching for their identity and struggling to keep Mihajlovic from being axed by a foolhardy president who can’t see the forest for the trees. So it will be interesting to see which team will be stepping up.

Coppa Italia Quarterfinals • Milan 2, Carpi 1: Conquering the Minnows

So Milan sent Carpi out of the Coppa Italia, and Carpi sent Fiorentina out of the Coppa Italia. Does that mean Milan will beat Fiorentina on Sunday? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The match today was very encouraging, and we got the result, too. But Carpi are 19th on the table in Serie A, we were supposed to beat them in December and we couldn’t. Winning today was certainly a step up, but we will have to win a two-leg semifinal with either a Serie B side or a Lega Pro side to get to the final. And while Lazio, Napoli, Inter, and Juventus battle for the other semifinal spot, Milan were given the task of conquering the minnows.

Coppa Italia Quarterfinals • Milan-Carpi Preview: Now or Never

When we met Carpi in the league in December, we were unable to pry the three points from their little relegation zone hands. In fact, it was one of our worst performances of the season. While I know you’re thinking that Captain Zaccardo just brings the worst out in us, and you’d be right, this is different. We have the easy road to the Coppa Italia final, and if we miraculously win that, we would automatically qualify for the Europa League. It would be ridiculous to waste that opportunity. And while there are technically no easy roads, nor do I even want to think about what dark and sinister fate could await us in the final should we get past Carpi and then Spezia/Alessandria, we have to give this everything we’ve got. It’s now or never.

Roma 1, Milan 1: Okay

There was so much fear and anxiety going into this match. Not just for the team and the result, but for Mihajlovic’ job and the desperate need we have for consistency. Watching the first half seemed to confirm my worst fears, as it seems to go with every first half this season. But the second season was a pleasant surprise and was actually somewhat entertaining to watch. Despite the fact that Roma did not show up for much of the game, I am absolutely fine with the result. Even if we were so close to getting the three points, we were away to the Olimpico to a team with a lot of talent. So a point for me seemed just right. Okay.

Roma vs. Milan: The Gladiator

Roma-Milan Preview: Thrown to the Wolves

Saturday’s game comes on the back of a loss on Wednesday that was a pill apparently too hard to swallow for Milan fans. Like adding insult to injury, we are going to Roma to play at the Olimpico, two things that are always difficult to do even with a successful team. Roma’s fans have also struggled to deal with their team’s failings this year, at one point bringing 50 kilos (110 lbs.) of carrots to their training ground and calling their players rabbits (cowards.) But at least they spent their money and bought carrots, which are actually edible and show some concern for the health of their players. Milan fans just verbally assault their players and spew ridiculous dribble on social media, blaming everyone and everything they can for the loss as if we were top of the league and this loss came out of nowhere. Acting entitled to a victory when nothing at all pointed to the expectation of a better performance. Personally, I’d rather have the carrots. And at least Roma spent lots of money…

Milan 0, Bologna 1: Multiple Choice

Another game, another disappointment. A loss in a game that was winnable. Mistakes and missed chances proving costly. Costing us three points, to be exact, and if you believe the rumors and the lack of words from management, then it may cost Mihajlovic his job, too. But why we dropped three points in this specific match could be any number of reasons, real or imagined. So today, I’m letting you choose your own review… kind of a multiple choice.

Milan vs. Bologna: La Befana Visits Milanello

Podcast: Stuck in the Middle

It may be a new year, but we are nearly midseason and it seems that we are destined to remain stuck in the middle… in the middle of the table, in the middle of a neverending rebuilding, and in the middle of a crisis for fans. We are continually asking ourselves why we continue to support this club. But for many of us, there are a lot of signs of life with some of our players, and that is worth talking about. So near the midseason mark, it seemed appropriate to talk about our midseason player ratings instead of our usual search for justification of our devotion to this club.

Buon Anno, Buona Fortuna

There is a song called “Buon Anno, Buona Fortuna,” which means basically “Happy New Year, Good Luck.” I can’t think of a more perfect greeting for Milan and Milan fans this year than that. While we are still fighting a bigger battle within the club, there have been sparks of hope amidst the disappointments, too. So Happy New Year, and Good Luck.