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.
|"That's right, your stuck with me in the middle"|
With a new year, I needed a new guest. So I invited long-time Milan Obsession reader Nathan. Follow him on Twitter for all of his Milan opinions @NathanTManuel. You can also read his guest post from a while back. For our middle of the season podcast, we talked about:
• News of the Week: Going home, marriage, family, team of the year, and schadenfreude
• Season Update: where we are in the standings
• Mercato Update: transfer news
• Midseason Player Ratings: rating all Milan players on a scale of 1-10
• Coming Up: a look ahead
Thanks again to Nathan for ringing in the New Year in Milan style. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @NathanTManuel for great opinions about Milan and more. And don’t forget to re-read his passionate guest post from last year.
Milan-Bologna Mini-Preview: Please Befana
This fixture looked delicious at the beginning of the season, when Bologna were in the relegation zone and showed no signs of life. But since ex-Milan player Donadoni took the reigns as coach in October, they have fought to climb to 15th on the table, and are playing more dangerously than their position on the table shows. In December alone, they beat Napoli and Genoa, and fell to Empoli 2-3 just ahead of the break. So instead of inviting Bologna for dinner, we face a tough battle with a couple of ex-Milan players who have something to prove. Never before have I pleaded so much with an old lady for something before… Please Befana.
|Sorry, guys, but could you please succeed elsewhere?|
Donadoni has never made it a secret that he wants the Milan bench. He mentions it regularly, and especially at any sign of the current Milan manager falling out of favor. So every trip back to the San Siro is an audition for him, and winning is even more important than ever for him. And he is bringing Destro back to the San Siro, a player who wasn’t really given a chance at Milan and has everything to prove. Scoring against us would quiet the fans who never believed in him. So expect a battle for sure.
When Bologna hosted Empoli before the break, Donadoni lined up Mirante; Oikonomou, Rossettini, Masina, Gastaldello; Crisetig, Taider, Donsah; Destro, Brienza, and Mounier. It seems that he will still be missing Rizzo, Giaccherini, and Krafth to injury. However with the transfer market opening up on Monday, keep in mind that players could be coming in or out, and if their contracts are deposited in time, I suppose anything is possible for Wednesday.
|I said Befana, not Boateng|
Mihajlovic is still missing Menez and Lopez due to injury, and it is unclear as of this writing whether or not Balotelli will be available yet. I believe Romagnoli will be suspended for this one for card accumulation as well. But of course, if the paperwork all goes through, he could have Boateng available for this one. Other transfer rumors may influence lineups, but the bigger question is will this Milan give us gifts or coal? Since we never know which Milan will show up, and especially with the two week break to cool our two game winning streak, I’m turning my pleas to Befana. Hoping that she can work the miracles no one else at Milan seems to be able to. Because we need this win, we need this three points, and I am watching at 6am. So Please, Befana.
Milan vs. Bologna
Wednesday, January 6 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)
This match will NOT be shown LIVE in the U.S.