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Showing posts from September, 2016

Milan-Sassuolo Preview: Kryptonite For Mere Mortals

Kryptonite is green. Sassuolo are green. Coincidence? I think not. Sassuolo have traditionally been Milan’s kryptonite, with four wins and two losses in their league matches. But now, Sassuolo are also the Kryptonite for the rest of Serie A, finishing sixth last year and impressing in their Europa League debut this year, too. In particular, Berardi is Milan’s worst Kryptonite, with his radioactive four goals vs. Milan in January of 2014, the only player to ever score four goals in a single game against Milan. So we face a team that can not only take down Superman, but also mere mortals.

The Debate is Real

While some people are debating about little issues like foreign policy and world domination and such, there are much, much bigger issues that need to be discussed. Like why Montolivo is still in the starting lineup based on his overall performances this season. Or why Montella’s subs are so late and have such little impact on the match. Or whether anything will ever be done about our players relentlessly hounding the ref for every call that doesn’t go our way. Let the candidates running for election attack each other and sling mud, Milan fans have more important concerns. The debate is real.

Fiorentina 0, Milan 0: Fortunate

I wrote in the preview that this match was dependent upon how Fiorentina showed up. And then they actually did show up. Dominating in both possession and play, 20 shots on goal with five on target, we were lucky to escape with a point. There was also ref controversy, with both teams leaving the pitch thinking “what if?” But Milan weren’t able to do more than stave off a hungry Fiorentina. And so for all of those reasons, I would say that Milan were fortunate.

Fiorentina vs. Milan: Finding Common Ground

Who says hate can’t bring people together?

Fiorentina-Milan Preview: Finding Fiorentina

When looking at the table, it can be deceiving when you see Milan in sixth and Fiorentina in ninth. First of all, Fiorentina have a game in hand thanks to an apocalyptic level hail storm when they went to Genoa. Also, where Milan have had some good luck, Fiorentina have had some bad luck. So on paper, Milan could be poised to win their third straight match. But matches aren’t played on paper. And we are going to their house, the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Just because Montella had his best luck there doesn’t mean he’ll still have it as a Rossonero coach. But most importantly, it depends on which Fiorentina shows up. Will it be the Viola team that defeated Roma last week? Or the team that were lucky to come from behind and steal a point from Udinese midweek? So much depends on if Fiorentina are successful in finding Fiorentina.

Poll • Bacca: Making of an Assassin

Bacca has proven divisive at times. He’s received criticism from coaches, former players, and more for being too one-dimensional and not moving enough off the ball. Most recently, after being benched by Montella for a “confrontation,” he came off the bench to score yet again (and the “confrontation” and benching was poorly reframed as a simple squad rotation.) This summer, there were talks of him leaving Milan mounted due to him being our most marketable player, the sale of whom we would allow us to buy multiple other players at different positions. Some fans were against his move at all costs, others were happy to see him go. But whichever side of whichever argument you were on, the stats are something that can’t be argued. The player who left La Liga as the most efficient player, with the most goals scored per shots ratio (yes, ahead of Messi and Ronaldo,) has now set a Serie A record with 23 goals scored from 45 shots on goal. He is Milan’s very own assassin.

Milan 2, Lazio 0: Special Mention

I have not yet agreed with Montella’s assessment of how well the team played for any of these matches so far. He’s been more than generous with the praise. And now he’s gone and used the “I don’t have a magic wand” line of doom. But luckily for him, Bacca did his job again, and Niang stepped it up, too. As did others. In fact, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that this was the best Milan have played so far this season. I wasn’t blown away, but I did see more heart, fewer mistakes, and better discipline. And three points doesn’t hurt, either. I’ll give this one a special mention.

Milan vs. Lazio: Keep Dreaming

Probably the only way to remove Montolivo from the starting lineup

Milan-Lazio Preview: What You Need To Know About Eagles

Eagles are incredible creatures. A 15 lb. bird can take down a deer that weighs multiple times its body weight. Their grip is phenomenally strong, some are strong enough to crush the skull of their prey, and their talons are often razor sharp, too. They will take and kill their own prey, they will steal prey from each other or from other animals, and they will also eat prey that is already dead, such as roadkill. Some of them will even begin to eat their prey while it is still alive. This is important to know, as we are hosting Lazio on Tuesday, also known as le Aquile, or the Eagles, and Milan often play more like roadkill.

Sampdoria 0, Milan 1: The Bacca Show

I’m going to preface this one with the fact that we won. Three points. Because you may not ascertain that from the rest of this post. And while Donnarumma continues to be our MVP, this game was the Bacca show. Even though he didn’t start. And partially because he didn’t start. But it certainly wasn’t the Montella show, and I’m starting to sense his days are numbered. And not just because of Bacca, either.

Sampdoria-Milan Preview: Mad

Sampdoria fans are mad after Montella left their club for Milan. You see, they had paid to get him out of his contract at Fiorentina. That and he was a much better coach than his predecessor, Walter Zenga, who really needs to just stop and let people remember him as a goalkeeper. Seriously. And they forget that we also paid them to get Montella out of his contract. But despite Giampaolo getting them off to a decent start this season, it is reported that the Sampdoria fans will protest Montella. Because I guess that’s just what they do. It’s not enough that we’re facing a team with a better record at their home stadium. And not just any stadium, but at the Marassi. All on a Friday night. But then I suppose that stadium alone could drive anyone mad.

Podcast: Reason to Hope

The season started, the mercato ended, there was an International break. Oh and there was big news about the sale of the club. So much to talk about, some good, some not so much. But amidst all of the news, the progress toward the sale of the club stands out the most, and gives fans a reason to hope.

Milan 0, Udinese 1: Trauma

I think my friend Kriskor said it best in a comment that he made around the 65th minute or so of the match: “The problem with not scoring even though we were better is that they might score and we might lose the game.” Perhaps it seems obvious, but it was not obvious to our team. For a side that is supposed to be possession-based and attack-minded, they kind of got the first part right, with a record 64% possession for one of Montella’s games. But without the latter, the possession was once again meaningless, and the scoreline became a trauma.

Milan vs. Udinese: Tactics for Dummies

Obviously this team needs to go back to the basics

Milan-Udinese Preview: Doing Things the Hard Way

When the Serie A schedule was announced, this fixture looked like a bit of a reprieve after the Torino and Napoli matches. It’s being played at home, and was also coming after the international break, so it was hoped that players would be rested and healthy and we would have had more time to train together. But leave it to Milan to make things more difficult. With players injured, suspended, and coming back from international duty, facing Udinese definitely does not look like much of a reprieve after all. Leave it to us to keep doing things the hard way.

Building a New Tomorrow

Yesterday as the announcement came that Fininvest had received the remaining €85m of the deposit from the Sino Europe group, I for one breathed a huge sigh of relief. I had previously expressed my concerns about the tiny €15m that they had put down, and had been counting the 35 days while holding my breath to see if they could raise the rest of the €100m deposit. Now that they have, there are other pieces falling into place that will all point to the final closing of the sale of the club. Finally, Milan are building a new tomorrow.

Milan Glorie: Enduring Greatness

We know them from the days of glory. They are legends and heroes, the ones who made Milan great. And while they are often nowhere near their peak physical fitness or the form we knew them to have, they continue to give of their time and talents. Not just to represent the club they made great, but to give back to others. They fly all over the world to play matches for charity. Their continued generosity is a sign that not all of the class and success has left Milan. AC Milan Glorie are a symbol of the club’s enduring greatness.

Bournemouth vs. Milan Friendly: Just As Well

So we’re playing a friendly today in England, a testimonial match for Warren Cummings. At first, I felt terrible for the poor guy, facing this Milan side, with our 12 best players all out on International duty. But then I realized that the Scottish player just retired from seventh tier English side Havant & Waterlooville, and I realized he might actually be looking forward to this match. Especially since Bournemouth are in their second consecutive season in the Premier League and just made a great signing in loaning Jack Wilshere from Arsenal, who will likely be debuting for the Cherries in this match. It should be a great match for Cummings and for Bournemouth. And that’s just as well.

Moving On…

With the close of the transfer window yesterday, Milan fans breathed a small sigh of relief. Well it would have been bigger, but we’re just not certain yet. You see, that should have been Galliani’s last mercato. The last time he had absolute power over Milan’s transfers, the absolute power he had created for himself over the years. So fitting that not only did La Gazzetta dello Sport give our mercato the lowest rating of all of the Serie A teams, but that his last transfer would expose him for who he really is. There’s nothing like going out in a ball of flames. But for Milan fans, I think we’re mostly just hopeful that he’ll actually be moving on.