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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!"

Carpi had a dream run in the Coppa Italia, knocking out the inconsistent Fiorentina before Milan (and Bacca’s rabona) put them in their place in January with a 2-1 win at the San Siro. Now they are dreaming of spending another season in Serie A, and their win against Genoa on Saturday has them truly believing. Belief is very powerful. With 15 shots on Saturday, ten of them were on goal. Ten shots on goal. Do you hear that Milan? For the Cinderella match that saw them score two goals in less than a minute after Genoa went down to ten men, then two more in the second half, Castori lined up Belec; Letizia, Gagliolo, Fabrizio Poli, Simone Romagnoli; Cofie, Bianco, Di Gaudio, Pascuiti; Lollo, and Mbakogu. With Zaccardo obviously on Twitter duty and Lasagna coming off the bench as a main dish super sub, it’s hard to know how to prepare for that level of belief. Castori will be without Gaglioli, who is suspended, and will still miss Brkic, Gnahore, and Bubnjic to injury.

Mihajlovic Brocchi Silvio will be without Niang, although he was cleared yesterday to start rehabbing after his surgery. Adriano is in doubt, but Kucka will be suspended for this match due to yellow card accumulation. Which is just as well, as we all know Silvio desperately wants all Italian nationals on the pitch, winning is much less important. And I’m sure that our Poli will play much better than Kucka anyway. Also, more Bertolacci… who doesn’t want to see that? My guess is that Silvio didn’t watch the football, just checked the lineups and determined we were playing badly without enough Italian nationals. Speaking of Italian nationals, all four scorers for Carpi on the weekend are Italian. Don’t even try to tell me that Silvio isn’t drooling as you read this.

"Wait, I'm on the bench again? On Twitter duty? I'm rocking those selfies, you know."

If you’re looking for optimism, read a fortune cookie. It would be great if Brocchi is able to tap into the explosion of confidence and consistency that was just around the corner for Mihajlovic and leave Carpi hungry for three points. But as I discussed in the previous post, it’s naïve to believe that this new system is just going to come together overnight. Also, the guys are still getting used to the drones… both the ones used to record practice and the droning that Mister Brocchi does. But maybe if the stars align, and they can figure out how to actually defeat a 17th place team in a league match, we can enjoy that new coach smell.


This post inspired by the music of Elaine’s “New Car Smell” mix


Milan vs. Carpi
Thursday, April 21 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI and BeINSports in the U.S.