Friday, April 29, 2016

Milan-Frosinone Preview: Like Canaries in a Coal Mine


Miners used to carry caged canaries down into the mines with them to help warn them of carbon monoxide or other gasses. If the canary died, the miners would know to exit the mine before they, too, were fatally poisoned. Frosinone are called the Canaries, and they are likely taking their last breaths in Serie A at this point. The question is, will Milan heed their warning? Our team gifted our fans a 4-2 win over Frosinone for a Christmas present, but are now more like canaries than miners themselves. Maybe we can pull off a win vs. the 19th place team, maybe not. Given the current overwhelmingly toxic climate at Milan, I’d say both teams are like canaries in a coal mine right now.

It may be too much to hope that Abate could score again against Frosinone

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hope and Alcohol


With all of the tumult and fans almost unanimously agreeing that selling the club is the only thing that will bring change to Milan, we are clinging to the hope that comes from news reports that a sale is imminent. Putting our faith in the great unknown, and having been relentlessly abused by current ownership, there is a belief that anything could be better than this. Which may not be true, but at least we have hope. And as so many Milan fans have discovered, when hope fails, there is always alcohol. This is what it has come to: hope and alcohol.

Champagne football... even in the good times, Milan and alcohol were intertwined

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Verona 2, Milan 1: Never Say Never


Mihajlovic said that he would never coach Milan. And then he did. And every game since he left, Milan fans grow more grateful. Berlusconi said that he had never seen Milan play worse football. And then he fired Mihajlovic, Milan fans have never been more hateful. There is a lesson here, or maybe more than one. Berlusconi has been wrong about a lot of things, but perhaps never more wrong than on this one. Oops, I shouldn’t have said never. Because the first lesson here is never say never.

He's too young to know how to suck that bad

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Podcast: Make Milan Great Again


Everyone was stunned when Mihajlovic was sacked and replaced with the promoted Brocchi with only six games and a Coppa final left. After seemingly finally doing some of the right things to actually rebuild after almost four years, this took us spiraling straight down to that horrible limbo between the champions of yesteryear and the success of the future. So while we wait to see what becomes of our beloved club, all we can do is talk about what can be done to make Milan great again.

Looks can be decieving

Friday, April 22, 2016

Milan 0, Carpi 0: U-turn


Berlusconi sacked Mihajlovic because he didn’t like the quality of football. Just think about that for a minute. Quality of football. If you saw this match, you’d know there was neither quality nor football. In 10 short days, Brocchi has had more influence on this side than I could have ever imagined, completely ridding the club of its new coach smell. He took a team that was playing some pretty good football and turned them completely around. Whereas under Mihajlovic, they would start well and end better, now they do neither. Last night, they started poor and ended just astonishingly badly. It was a complete u-turn.

Mauri didn't need such a poor performance from his teammates to stand out, he needed them to step up

Monday, April 18, 2016

Milan-Carpi Preview: New Coach Smell


After inexplicably downgrading coaches from a nearly 10 year Serie A coaching veteran to a coach with zero Serie A experiences last week, Milan got a lucky win away to Sampdoria. Ironically, the day before, Carpi capitalized on their cross-town rivals, Genoa, going down to ten men at the half. What resulted was a 4-1 win, their best win ever in Serie A, with the most goals ever scored by Carpi in the league, too. So while Milan are stumbling around the pitch trying to give Brocchi/Silvio their wannabe tiki-taka diamond midfield nightmare, Zaccardo is tweeting the victory stats, pics, and congratulations from the captain’s newly found spot on the bench. After holding the old Milan to a 0-0 draw in their house earlier this season, I’m pretty sure Carpi are finding their groove now. And nothing washes away that new coach smell like the 17th place team finding their groove on your team with only five games left to avoid relegation. Even worse when they can pull it off without their World Cup Winning captain, who is also your team’s ex-World Cup Winning benchwarmer.

"You've got a Poli and a Romagnoli? Well so do I. And I'm teaching mine to play tiki-taka football!"

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sampdoria 0, Milan 1: Naiveté


It was beyond naïve for Berlusconi to think that changing a coach at this point in the season could significantly change our fortunes. But the scoreline proves him right, doesn’t it? No, no it doesn't. Not for anyone who watched Milan take on Juve last week. Mihajlovic’s Milan would have likely had a bigger goal differential today, for example. Berlusconi insists that Milan were playing so badly under Mihajlovic. Does he really believe that this team played better today? In fact, with his tactics and lineups that he fed to the obedient Brocchi, Milan played worse today, even if it was obvious they haven’t forgotten everything Mihajlovic taught them just yet. But at this point in the season, for Berlusconi or Brocchi to take credit for anything is simply naïve.

Finally a goal, even if it was also controversial

Sampdoria vs. Milan: Showtime



We all know who’s pulling the strings on the Milan bench now

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sampdoria-Milan Preview: Whatever


So… I hear there’s a game on Sunday. Away to Sampdoria. Hmmm… I wonder if I’ll watch? After this insane week, I truly and honestly think I have better things to do at that time. Of course I still love Milan, and I want to support our players. But I just don’t know if I can stomach the train wreck that is almost inevitable to happen after changing coaches this week and still survive. Maybe I’ll record it and watch it when I have nothing else to do. Maybe.

Mister Megalomania: no coaching badges, but we all know who's calling the shots

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hey, New Guy


So for reasons unknown to football or humanity, once again, Berlusconi set the clock back to Year Zero this week. I mean, Welcome Mister Brocchi. It’s just hard to get excited in any way whatsoever about a new coach when we all know what is coming. I’m sure that Brocchi’s complete lack of Serie A experience will not stand in the way of the many, many successes he’ll have… in his six games plus a cup final that he’ll be coaching the first team for. And I hope he’s not offended by his name just being scribbled on masking tape on the door of his office or whatever at Milanello, but Silvio spent €150m on the club last year, so there is neither time nor money to get a nameplate engraved for him. I mean by the time it was ready, his contract would already be up. So it is with heartfelt sincere half-assed superficial emotion that I offer the best welcome I can for an interim/caretaker coach: “Hey, new guy.”

The masking tape says it all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Grazie Miha


Let me begin by saying this feels as bad as or worse than if someone I loved died. Mainly because my hopes for Milan and for finally rebuilding after almost four years have literally died. But not just selfishly, because I am also mourning the fact that Mihajlovic did not get the chance to finish what he started. And that the team, who have made so much progress this season, have lost a mentor and father figure. But my emotions are not only sorrow and anger. I also have a deep sense of gratitude to a man who turned rivals into friends and skeptics into believers in less than ten months. Grazie, Miha.

Ciao, Mister. Thanks for everything.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Year Zero… Infinite Loop of Pain


With Sky Sports, La Gazzetta, and everyone’s Nonna reporting that Berlusconi has sacked Mihajlovic and promoted Primavera coach Cristian Brocchi to the first team, the hearts of Milan fans everywhere are shattered. Everyone could see what Mihajlovic had done for this team this year, and it finally felt like we were actually rebuilding for the first time since the original Year Zero in the summer of 2012. That must have sent a warning signal to Berlusconi to reset once again, because we certainly cannot have happy fans or actually do anything that looks like actual rebuilding. While it is no secret that Berlusconi never confirmed Mihajlovic this season, not even after the epic 3-0 Derby win, he had recently said multiple times that he would look at Mihajlovic at the end of the season, and that if he won the Coppa Italia, he deserved to stay. But with the official announcement from the club expected tomorrow morning, here we are at Year Zero again. One infinite loop of pain for Milan fans.

What are you doing, here, Silvio? Is this a football club or a three ring circus?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Milan 1, Juventus 2: How to Lose Like a Winner


After the string of poor results led Mihajlovic to the desperation move of a ritiro this week, it was difficult to predict how the team would react. And the ritiro was meant to be indefinite, too, not just up until the Juve match but at least through the Juve match, depending on their performance. Whether the players were just scared to death of so much Mihajlovic, missed their families too much, were sick of each other, or simply thought their teammates just smelled too much, the reaction was clear in the performance tonight. They wanted this ritiro to be over. And even if the result was disappointing, they showed the world how to lose like a winner.

They look like winners to me

Milan vs. Juve: MIA




Thursday, April 7, 2016

Milan-Juventus Preview: Common Enemy


There is a long rivalry between Milan and Juventus, a rivalry that has been exacerbated by events of recent years. Despite the fact that many Milanisti feel Juventus are being punished by having Allegri as their coach, they continue to steamroll through the league and head toward yet another Scudetto. Whereas Milan, after showing signs of improvement, are in ritiro this week, that bizarre punishment/team-building practice that statistically rarely works. Milan have the most success in Europe, Juve have the most success in Italy. But whether you are a Juve fan or a Milan fan, I have an unusual take on how this game should be played. Both teams should band together against our common enemy, Inter. Meaning that both teams should play for Milan to win, as that is the result which will most harm Inter.

Standing together for the common good... and a Milan win

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Poll: Ritiro Nightmares


With our boys in lockdown at Milanello this week, it raises the question: Does a ritiro actually work? By having a “slumber party” all week, will it create enough intensity for Milan to overcome the deficit in quality and beat Juventus? Or even play well? Or will it feel more punitive and have the opposite effect, demoralizing the players and having them play worse (if that’s possible)? Will this slumber party bring sweet dreams or will it bring nightmares?

Will he valiantly lead them into battle? Or will they cry like little girls and give up?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Atalanta 2, Milan 1: Barbarism Begins Away


Despite perhaps the best preview ever being written for this match, Milan went to Bergamo with their dignity and came home disgraced beyond all reason. Not as much for the loss or the scoreline or Pinilla’s incredible goal, but for their pitiful performance. Well, and for the fact that I woke up at 6am to stream that train wreck, too. But that is only the beginning of the story, as a completely frustrated Mihajlovic has called for a ritiro between now and the Juventus match on Saturday. Ritiro is the Italian word for “training retreat,” where the players live and train together without any contact from family or friends for the set period of time in an effort to build unity and teamwork. But the reality is that it is a desperation move for a coach trying to keep his job and the players are typically more demoralized and less unified for being “punished.” And speaking of punished, after that match, I would not want to spend a week with Mihajlovic after playing like that. I mean the man just talked about how he liked to fight and doesn’t have much patience, and you take your life in your hands by playing so badly? They say barbarism begins at home, but this week, it began away… to Atalanta.

Adriano scores a gifted penalty, then looking for some determination from his team, finds none

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Atalanta-Milan Preview: Never Underestimate the Enemy


While I take my midlife blog crisis, my beautiful and talented daughter Sofia has offered to step in for this guest post. So read it and enjoy or I’ll come and find you and hurt you. She’s a child, people. And I know where you live.

She's even better at writing previews than she is at taking throw-ins