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|
So the match can pretty much be summarized by two words: Milan sucked. There isn’t a lot more to say than that. Missing a couple of key players and almost all of their grinta, you know they played poorly when even the haters say that Balotelli, coming on in the 58th, played well. Our goal was a gift from Rocchi, a handball call in the box on Stendardo that was quite generous, which Adriano converted in the 5th minute.
After that, Milan were haunted, nay, possessed by the “ghosts of the past.” One ghost who has made 25 appearances for Milan this season goes by the name of Montolivo, or “Captain Montolivo.” I guess he is one of those mentally ill people who fancies himself a pirate or something, I don’t know. But his lack of pace, lack of creativity, and lack of really everything are like a black hole in our midfield, of which only one Bonaventura seems to be able to not get sucked into anymore. De Sciglio hasn’t been playing well this season in his natural position, so of course he was spectacularly bad playing out of position. Please, Honda, hope your foot heals quickly. Perhaps the haters will realize after today how much he contributes. Nah, who am I fooling? There’s a reason they’re called haters.
|For once, he was the only one who's workrate wasn't criticized today|
Speaking of haters, Twitter is full of them. A few people manage to get a bunch of lemmings to follow them, and suddenly they are poisoning the minds of an entire fanbase. And I know many of you reading this follow some of them, too. Which makes you partially culpable for their tweets, because if everyone unfollowed the people who think that Brocchi should replace Mihajlovic, they wouldn’t have their termite-ridden, water-damaged, rickety soap boxes to stand on, and I wouldn’t have to write this paragraph. Mihajlovic is the best thing to happen to this team since Ibra and Silva were sold, and he cost a lot less than some of the players you may have thought topped that list, too. If you think that firing him and bringing in anyone else at this point is going to change Milan’s fortunes this season, you may want to have your brain checked for some of those termites afflicting your Twitter timeline.
So Sassuolo are one point behind us and looking a lot more promising for sixth place, particularly considering that we are facing Juventus on Saturday. So maybe we don’t get Europa League. Is that really as bad as you think? Because until Mihajlovic or whatever third tier coach Berlusconi has in mind to replace him can solve this mentality problem for once and for all, we can’t afford to try to play in Europe when we can’t even beat a 14th place Serie A side. Despite today’s horrific display, Milan have made a lot of progress this season, and they still have seven games left to show if today was truly reverting back to their old ways or a humiliating embarrassment that will jolt them back to the level they were playing at just weeks ago.
|Perhaps they merely wanted to continue the Cesare Maldni tribute for 90 minutes by standing around and looking down the whole match|
Besides Atalanta and their fans, who absolutely deserved the victory, the only other person who will be grateful for Milan’s terrible performance is Rocchi. Because if we had played any better, his poor reffing would have been more obvious. Maybe that’s why he gifted us the early penalty, it was a weird bribe. But according to @OptaPaolo, this was Milan’s first loss of the season from a leading situation, so that would be a really stupid bribe for Milan to take.
There are players who obviously care, like Bonaventura, and then there’s that mentally ill pirate guy who rumors say is still close to being offered an extension. I don’t know if the players who care will have a chance to beat some sense into the ones who don’t this week, or if the apathy of the ghosts of the past compounded by the fear of Allegri’s Juventus will destroy the hearts of the ones who actually do care. I’m mostly thinking we should place bets on who even survives a week long ritiro with an angry Mihajlovic. Will he beat them until they regurgitate the three lovely dinners he bought for the team this year? Or will he kill one and serve him to the others to obtain their devout allegiance? Because if it’s that option, can it please be Montolivo that he kills? It would be like killing two birds with one stone, only two birds move much faster than Montolivo ever will.
|Mihajlovic shares some of his diabolical ritiro plans with Reja|
Today’s loss showed that not even Mihajlovic can overcome the bigger problems at the club. Or the termite issues affecting social media and our fanbase. These are larger issues that will have to be resolved before Milan returns to greatness. Or even return to the Europa League at this point. All we can do is keep supporting our team and unfollow the people who don’t even know how poorly Brocchi’s results have been this season to recommend him over a man who has given all that he has to do what no one else has been able to in recent years at Milan: get under Berlusconi’s skin. Oh, and some other things, too. So good luck to our players surviving a whole week without conjugal visits and with a very angry Mister Mihajlovic. Barbarism now begins at Milanello.
This post inspired by the music of The Smiths’ “Barbarism Begins at Home”
Our next match is
Milan vs. Juventus
Saturday, April 9 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)