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Showing posts from June, 2016

Quattro Stelle: 1938 - Group Stage

This is the fifth post in a weekly series highlighting Italy’s four World Cup wins from qualifications to the finals. Read the fourth post here.

Prelude Despite the ever darkening political climate that would lead to World War II the following year, France was ready to play host. Ten stadiums hosted the various matches: Stade du Fort Carré, Antibes; Stade Cavée Verte; Stade Victor Boucquey, Lille; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille; Parc des Princes, Paris; Stade Olympique de Colombes, Paris; Vélodrome Municipal, Reims, Stade de la Meinau, Strasbourg and Stade Chapou, Toulouse. The tournament would be played from June 4th -June 19th.

Vincenzo Montella: The New Guy

Typically when a new manager is announced, I try to do a writeup about them, who they are, their experience, etc. But it is a task that has simply become too emotionally taxing due to the frequency of changes on the Milan bench. This past year, I was able to find what it took to write a little bio on Mihajlovic, but when Brocchi came, particularly due to the short length of his contract alone, he got the “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” treatment. So my dilemma now is that Montella was given the requisite “Maybe you’ll last a season, we’ll see” contract length of two years. I should probably write more than I did for Brocchi, but I find it hard to put the same amount of energy into this one as I did for Mihajlovic and his predecessors. So please forgive the result, it’s the best I can do with a heart that has been broken so many times by the new guy.

This is Not My Milan

Each time the rumor mills give us hope that something at Milan will be moving forward shortly, the reports are followed by further delays, further shenanigans from management, and decisions that show even further incompetence. Like the news that Brocchi reportedly is “stepping down” (since his contract is ending anyway,) followed by the reports that Milan have contacted Montella in regards to the coaching position. In fact all of the managers currently linked with the Milan bench are less than the coach the club fired in April. The only “plan” Milan could possibly be implementing is “how can we make this situation worse?” Only with that level of incompetence, it’s clear that they’re not even capable of planning that, they just got lucky. But we as fans are every bit the opposite of lucky. This is not my Milan.

Warning Shot?

The signing of Gianluca Lapadula this week seems to have taken everyone by surprise. And perhaps no one is more surprised than Pescara, who were pursuing a deal with Napoli for the 26 year old Serie B top scorer while entertaining offers from Juve, Sassuolo, and more. With Berlusconi in the hospital after having heart surgery and surrounded by young nurses, he was undoubtedly seeing more action than Milan’s transfer plans… or so we thought. We were all lying around scrolling past the very occasional rumor and waiting for news of a new coach or new owners. Meanwhile, The Condor swept in and grabbed Lapadula with his gnarled talons and snatched him out of the hands of our rivals. So what does this mean? Was this stage one of an actual plan for this summer? Or simply a warning shot to our rivals and others that somehow Berlusconi and Galliani are still breathing and not to be trifled with?

Quattro Stelle: 1938 - Qualifications

This is the fourth post in a weekly series highlighting Italy’s four World Cup wins from qualifications to the finals. Read the third post here.

Podcast: Waiting and Speculating

In the mostly quiet lull that we are all forced to endure while negotiations for the sale of the club continue, there isn’t a lot to talk about that is concrete. But there are a couple of little tournaments going on and a few things that are known. So give a listen and feel free to join in the conversation as we are waiting and speculating.

Why Football?

I often get asked about how I managed to fall in love with football. As a white female living in America, especially Southern California, with zero interest from my extended family, and having never played, I don’t know if I could be a bigger outlier in the traditional football loving demographic. And it’s not just something I chose to do to be different, either. It’s something I am incredibly passionate about, something I think about all day every day. So why football?

Where Are They Now? Part VI

In an astonishing turn of events, this sometimes factual, randomly entertaining series is in its sixth incarnation. I will let you be the judge of whether it is due to the popularity of the concept or the utter and complete lack of actual news at Milan these days. The series attempts to track the interesting lives of former Milan players, when they played for Milan, and if their lives are not interesting, then they inexplicably become a little more interesting here. It’s the magic of the interwebs.
If you are new to this series, you will absolutely not want to miss Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V, just for the Roman numerals in the titles alone. But don’t forget to read the infamous sixth verson of “Where are they now?” below…

Quattro Stelle: 1934 - The Finals

This is the third post in a weekly series highlighting Italy’s four World Cup wins from qualifications to the finals. Read the second post here.

Euro Fever

Football does strange things to people. Like possessing someone to write a blog religiously for over five years. Or creating podcasts that take an average of twelve hours of work per episode. Or waking up to watch games at 3:30 am. Or flying halfway around the world to watch a single match. But enough about me. Football fever is very, very dangerous. And with this Euro tournament, there is a strain of football fever going around that is particularly severe. I cannot emphasize enough that you take precautions against it to keep you and your loved ones safe from this terrible disease.

Ancelotti's Legacy

He’s one of the most beloved Milan coaches of our time, affectionately called “Carlito.” So many of his players said that he was like a father to them, and he certainly won everything with Milan. But now his players from his second Milan stint are retiring, and he has inspired them to take up the bench at clubs near and far. Several of them have even been in the spotlight this week, gaining promotion for their club teams or at the Euros with their national team. While it is yet to be seen if any of them will ever be remotely as successful as he is, you could say that they are Ancelotti’s legacy.

International Blues

Much has been said about the quality of Milan players these past few years. And yet through it all, Milan has typically averaged between 10 and 15 players called up for International Duty. We currently have only two players in the Euros, and two players in the Copa America. As if the current state of Milan in general isn’t hard enough for fans, we have to watch other clubs like Juventus, who have 12 players competing in the Euros (six for Italy alone.) It’s enough to give Rossoneri the blues.

Quattro Stelle: 1934 - “Group Stages” & Quarterfinals

This is the second post in a weekly series highlighting Italy’s four World Cup wins from qualifications to the finals. Read the first post here.
The tournament was set. It would run from May 27th through June 10th and featured the 16 teams that had qualified, 12 of them being European.

Even Though Our Love is Doomed

Many of you have noticed that I usually include a musical inspiration at the end of each post, a little personal touch that either ties into the post and/or was what I was actually listening to when I wrote. But today, I am taking the lyrics from a new favorite song of mine to create the post itself, as they so perfectly express how I feel about Milan lately. The band is called Garbage, the song is “Even Though Our Love is Doomed” (and the album comes out later this week.) While I seriously doubt that Scottish lead singer Shirley Manson or any of her American bandmates are Milan fans, if you listen to the song, you’ll see they capture how it feels to be a Milan fan right now very, very well. Eerily well.

Podcast: M is for Masochism

If you thought there wasn’t a lot going on at Milan, think again. Or I guess I should say that if you thought things were bad at Milan, think again. They can always get worse. Especially with the season over, the only entertainment is Berlusconi’s concept of a joke. And it’s more criminal than entertaining. With so much at stake but so little actually happening, many are questioning their fanship, and with good reason. For those of us who are still loyal to the club, we realize that the M in Milan is for masochism.

Finding Zapata

Zapata is an enigma. He’s incredibly athletic, strong, and very fast. But he also falls victim to “lapses in concentration.” As with so many players at Milan in recent years, the club seems to bring out the worst in him that way. Which is why a slow and aging player like Alex commanded the starting spot ahead of him this year. But last night, he was Man of the Match for Colombia vs. the United States. He scored his first international goal in 42 appearances for Colombia as his national team beat the U.S. 2-0 in the Copa America. He was brilliant, but it begs the question: How do we go about finding Zapata?

Quattro Stelle: 1934 - Qualifications

This is the first post in a weekly series highlighting Italy’s four World Cup wins from qualifications to the finals.
The inaugural World Cup had been held in Uruguay in 1930. Many European nations refused to take part due to the long travel by sea as well as issues with FIFA and the bidding process, and Italy was one of them. This time, however, Italy had successfully won the bid to host the World Cup. Their bid had been chosen over the Swedish bid, after a decision making process that saw FIFA delegates meet eight times.