Sunday, July 31, 2016

Possessed


Much has been said about Montella’s style of play that he is working to instill in the team. He wants them to play a possession-based game, with the ball always at their feet, dictating the game. Abate even said that they hadn’t worked with the ball so much since Leonardo (and he barely lasted a season.) But for all of the talk, we’ve simply not seen it on the pitch yet. And I know, it’s preseason, it takes time to instill the coach’s style of play, etc. But is it even wise to try? Did Montella look at the players he had at his disposal and decide on a playing style that suits them? Or is he trying to impose his playing style on them? It kind of seems like the latter, which means that rather than the team playing with meaningful possession, he’s going to simply seem possessed.

Is Montella going to be able to inspire possession? Or just be possessed?

Friday, July 29, 2016

ICC Tournament: Liverpool vs. AC Milan


Following this summer’s movie trends to remake the classics, this matchup also attempts to remake a Champions League classic. Only one team is a little rusty and the other team is unrecognizable. And the rusty team lost their friendly midweek, whereas the unrecognizable team surprisingly won (if only on penalties.) But the point is, like most remakes, this isn’t going to be a reprise of Istanbul or Athens. It’s a warmup match for a couple of teams who have been underperforming and only have a few weeks to find their footing before the real games start. So if you like your Liverpool a little rusty and your AC Milan unrecognizable, grab your popcorn and prepare to enjoy. But if you prefer the classics, just know that this match won’t be one of them.

Second friendly of the summer and we already have a trophy. Does that count as a carry-on?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Quattro Stelle: 1982 - The Finals


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

As history catches up to us, it somehow seems more exciting to write about a World Cup that some readers remember watching or were maybe told about it from someone who was there (says the blogger in her super soft cotton replica Italy 1982 World Cup Jersey.) This World Cup was particularly meaningful in that Italy were certainly not favorites coming into it, they had the worst start of any eventual World Cup winner ever with three draws in the first round, and they were crucified by their own media, too. But much like the team itself, Paolo Rossi went from villain to national hero in a matter of weeks, making this whole thing a bit of a Cinderella story. And that was eve before social media. However even with the epic Brazilian match, their biggest game of the tournament, behind them, the ride to World Cup glory was still one to remember…

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

ICC Tournament: FC Bayern Munich vs. AC Milan


This tournament is anything but friendly. I prefer to call it “assisted suicide.” Starting with the Bundesliga giants, Bayern Munich. While they aren’t to be blamed in any way, they will be pulling the plug on Milan fans’ hopes and dreams tonight. Coming off of four straight league titles and other assorted shiny objects, if their talent and skills don’t kill you, their coach probably will. He will seem mildly familiar to most Milan fans, having won a Scudetto, two Champions League trophies, two UEFA Super Cup trophies, a Coppa Italia & a Supercoppa, and a Club World Cup with the red and black. Bayern fans call him Carlo Ancelotti or maybe Mr. Ancelotti, but we know him as Carletto. Just kill me now.

Carletto's Eyebrow and his alter ego giving a press conference wearing a strange shirt. (Sorry, Philip Lahm is there, too.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Much Ado About Juve


With the extraordinary transfer market that Juve have meticulously pulled off this summer, a lot of people are complaining about Juventus. The typical childish taunts of cheating, doping, and more are being hurled around ignorantly by rival fans. And the animosity grows toward a club that has won five consecutive Scudetti, and now look completely unstoppable. Is it fair? Your knee-jerk reaction is no. But when you look at what they have overcome, how hard they have worked and suffered, it’s absolutely justified. And instead of being jealous, rivals should be taking notes and doing their best to narrow the gap. All of this hatred is really much ado about Juve.

Success risen from the ashes

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Milan Ladies: Heroes of Calcio


A while back on Twitter, I stumbled across an account called “Milan Ladies.” My first question was whether this was one of those accounts run by guys but using 15 year-old pics of female models in Milan kits and claiming to be girls just to get followers. But no, this account said it was the official account of Milan Ladies, playing in Serie B. So I followed. And I have learned so much since then. I mean did you even know there was a Milan women’s team? I didn’t. And everything I’ve learned about these awesome women since then has made them my heroes of calcio.

Girls just wanna have fun

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Quattro Stelle: 1982 - Group Stage


Quattro Stelle returns with the eighth post in a weekly series highlighting Italy’s four World Cup wins from qualifications to the finals. Read the seventh post here.

Prelude
For all of the changes in format and the scandal that rocked both Italy and this World Cup draw, Spain 1982 got off to a smooth start. It never ceases to amaze me how the beautiful game just quietly and simply rises above everything else off of the pitch to provide great sport, unparalleled entertainment, and every great once in a while a classic match that goes down in the books of history.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Podcast: Stressed Out


Whatever the opposite of news is, that’s where Milan is out. Everything is on hold until the sale of the club is resolved, one way or the other. And that date keeps getting pushed back and pushed back. Meanwhile, everyone else’s mercato is rolling on and our transfer targets are being signed one by one… by other clubs. Still, there are always things to talk about, so even if we’re all so stressed out, we’re still Milan fans… for now.

Yeah, it's kinda like that.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Poll: I’d Rather Be…


After playing the waiting game time and time again with Milan, most fans are just done. Done with the games, the delays, the deceit, the lack of activity in the transfer window, our “captain,” and so many other things. So for today, I thought I’d take a poll. Below is a list of things that are horrible, but still better than being a Milan fan. Please pick your favorite one(s) so we can put some perspective on how tough it is to be a Milan fan these days.

Very few things in this world are worse than being a Milan fan, being an Inter fan being one, obviously.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Saturday in Bordeaux


Tonight is Milan’s first friendly of the preseason. As the team have traveled to Bordeaux, it was with heavy hearts, their hearts filled with sorrow for the victims of the Nice attack. Even if Bordeaux is completely across the country from Nice, it is a country in mourning yet again. And while Milan fans have been incredibly frustrated with the lack of completion of the sale of the club and therefore no movement in the mercato, the events in France help us to put things in perspective and focus on more important things like the value of human life, the freedom to play football, and our ability to mourn with the families of the victims of tragedy. So what was initially just going to be a friendly has become a little more meaningful. Not just another Saturday in Bordeaux.

What kind of Milan team will show up?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Quattro Stelle: 1982 - Qualifications


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

The beginnings of the tournament held in Spain in 1982 can be characterized by two words: change and scandal. As for the change, FIFA expanded the tournament to include 24 teams for the first time.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Waiting Game


With yet another delay in the sale of the club, it feels like Milan’s status is just forever in limbo. Limbo comes from the Catholic belief that unbaptized persons who die go to a place that is neither heaven nor hell, but an eternal in between. Having been a Milan fan for long enough, I would honestly rather go to hell than just wait around for eternity. And yet, as a Milan fan, that is just what we are doing. While other clubs solidify transfers and train for a new season with guarantees and certainties, Milan’s status seems less clear every day. And our transfer market is frozen, too. Here we are, still playing the waiting game.

Who will let him say so many horrible things in public or play in the trophy room if he sells?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lies You Want Me To Tell You


Every year, the mercato gets more and more difficult to tolerate. At Milan, it has become the singular hope for some fans. As if everything that has destroyed this club these past four years could be overcome if we just get a couple of decent players. Or that having swapped out over 70 players in these four short years was a mistake, but these transfers, these players will make the difference. So people follow every account who tweets anything about transfers (most of them simply copying one another,) and check their phones every five minutes to see twenty different accounts all say, “The deal is almost done.” “The player will make his decision soon. Probably within hours.” And Milan fans will read these lies and retweet them and talk about them ad nauseum, even though the lies never change and nothing ever comes of them. Because following the mercato these days is like if football and heroin had a baby. It’s all just a bunch of lies you want me to tell you.

"He's cheating on me with transfer news. I'm out."

Friday, July 8, 2016

Quattro Stelle: 1938 - The Finals


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

Despite growing tensions throughout the world, France was hosting a successful World Cup. Well, not so successful for their National team, who had just been knocked out by defending champions Italy. But with four teams remaining, the tournament proved a positive distraction in the face of political turmoil.

The guys pose with Mussolini in 1938

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Raduno 2016


Today is the big day. The presentation of a new coach, the players returning to Milanello. Even with so much hanging in the balance, it’s kind of like the first day of school or something. Even in the darkest of years, Raduno, the Italian word for rally, feels like a new beginning. But this year, it’s like our parents moved across the country and left everything we knew behind. Well except Montolivo. I think he tied himself to the top of the car as we drove all the way across the country just to torment us. Still, for better or for worse, it’s time to open a new door and see if we can embarrass ourselves less this year than we did at the old school. Welcome back, Ragazzi.

Today is your big day, Mister

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fool's Gold


Having been fooled again and again by the Mr. Bee debacle, there has been a little bit of reluctance for some to believe that this new deal with this new consortium would actually go through. And maybe it was the distraction of the Euros or the reality of Berlusconi’s heart surgery, but a lot of people were waiting quietly for any tangible news on the deal. That tangible news came yesterday as Berlusconi was released from the hospital and confirmed that he had decided to sell a majority of the club to this consortium. And as he complained about not getting as much money for the club as he had wanted, he also mentioned that the agreement included a guarantee that the group would invest €400m in the club in the next two to three years. And that was all that social media needed to explode with unrealistic dreams and expectations once again. Like fool’s gold.

Montella admires the hardware of true golden eras gone by

Monday, July 4, 2016

Podcast: Montella Time


A new coach is the start of a new era. How long that era will last largely depends on how much power Berlusconi is given, if the rumors of the club’s impending sale are true. But for now, it’s a new coach, a new season, and a new mercato. Nothing says new like revamping your website and club channel, too. But will Milan’s past come back to haunt them? Or will we finally change for the good? This week the spotlight is on one man, the one they call l’Aeroplanino, to see if he can get us back to winning ways.

"What have I done?"

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Coaching Crisis at Milan


Just when you thought the coaching problem was solved with the appointment of Vincenzo Montella, a new crisis has developed at Milan. Unless I am mistaken, and with so many coaches in and out, I easily could be, but I believe that Milan are only paying one coaches’ salary. That is a phenomenon that hasn’t happened for over two and a half years, just before Allegri was sacked. I don’t know how Milan will function paying only one wage for the head coach position. This is a serious crisis.

"How could we possibly be paying only one coach?"