Sunday, October 30, 2016

Milan 1, Pescara 0: Shaky Win


Sunday morning, a 6.5 earthquake shook Italy, which was how our players started their day. I suppose you could claim that’s why they were so shaky against the lower table Pescara, but those players also started their day with the quake. In a match where Pescara dominated for large portions of the match, and they had two goals called off for offside, a neutral observer might have a hard time choosing which team would finish the day in 3rd on the table and which one would remain in 17th. But three points is three points. And even if it was very shaky and not enjoyable to watch, we did get the win in the end. The tactics may still be missing, the quality invisible, but the result was a win. For the fourth straight match at home. So we’re totally riding the mentality boat, even if all we could produce was a shaky win.

No matter how ugly the match is, this is always a beautiful sight

Milan vs. Pescara: Life Choices



It’s all about timing


Milan vs. Pescara
Sunday, October 30 • 15:00 CET (10am EDT)*
This match will NOT be shown LIVE in the U.S.
* note the time difference due to European Daylight Savings Time ending



FORZA MILAN!

-->

Friday, October 28, 2016

Milan-Pescara Preview: Swimming With the Dolphins


The last time we faced Pescara was at the end of the season in 2013. We beat them 4-0, an exclamation point to their eventual relegation. But now they are back in Serie A, having been promoted. Promoted in part due to the efforts of one Massimo Oddo. Does that name ring a bell? It should. I can only hope it is an emotional return for him to the San Siro. But with his team struggling just above the relegation zone in 17th, I am also kind of hoping it is with emotion that he leaves the San Siro – hopefully leaving three points with the team he once played for, and taking his Delfini home empty-handed.

There is a big difference between swimming with the fishes and swimming with dolphins, Mister. Let's hope for the latter.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Invisible Tactics


After calling out all Milan fans on social media following the Genoa match, I was bombarded on Twitter with all kinds of replies. Some just offered hate, but that is not anything new to me. Others offered hate in the very way I described, aimed at only two targets. Some argued with me just to realize that they didn’t actually disagree. Still others argued points I hadn’t even made, but that is Twitter for you. However the most curious ones for me were the ones who claim that we were playing great tactical football ahead of this match. However none of them could explain exactly what those tactics were or why this squad rotation was so devastating to them (other than going back to square one and scapegoating Poli and Honda, of course.) So I thought I would open up the discussion here, where there are more than 140 characters.

Having players pose as assistant referees does not constitute tactics


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Genoa 3, Milan 0: Grab the Pitchforks


It is a curious phenomenon to me what happens on social media surrounding football. And I knew that with all of the hype that had been built up over the lucky streak we’d had, at some point our luck would run out and the pitchforks would come out. Nevermind that a loss like this happens to every team, even the greatest ones ever to play. Nevermind that it particularly happens to young, inexperienced teams, or teams who have had coaching or other changes, poor runs of form, etc. Nevermind that it often happens when teams play more frequently. All of those things apply to this team and this match, and for that reason, we as fans need patience. But patience is not a trait that Milan fans have any longer, so as soon as the first goal was scored, it was time to grab the pitchforks.

I think all of them are following me, too.... help!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Genoa-Milan Preview: The Big One


Last week, both before and after the Juventus match, Montella said that Tuesday’s clash with Genoa would be the big test. After playing just three days earlier, being able to get a result away to Genoa would be a bigger test of our form and abilities right now. And I agree. Especially after surprising even ourselves with the win, having the guys be able to settle in, focus, and play a solid 90 minutes will tell us more about where we are heading than beating the number one team. And if they can’t, that will tell us something, too. Either way, though it is an early midweek match away to the twelfth place team, this game really is the big one.

Can we follow that performance up?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Milan 1, Juventus 0: Elation


Mere words could never do this match justice. Particularly when you consider that this match was won with pure heart. Well and some luck. And young talent. Honestly, I don’t even know how this match was won. Juve were the better team. They played better. They had an incredible goal disallowed. And Allegri is still there. Oh, wait, that might explain part of it. But seriously, does any of that matter? We won. We beat Juve. And those precious three points that we miraculously stole from them put us in second for now, only two points behind Juve. The only word that could possibly describe how I feel is elation.

Elation

Milan vs. Juventus: Defying the Odds



Gigio knows the best way to face your idol is to play well against him

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Milan vs. Juventus: Massive Buzzkill


Ever have a time when things in your life were just going well? Maybe not perfect, but it kinda felt like it? The troubles of your past and future were masked by the peace and happiness you were feeling in the present? Then someone or something comes along and lifts you up by the collar, slams you to the ground, and maybe steals your car? That is a massive buzzkill. And that is exactly what Saturday’s match could do to Milan fans, too. After so much joy on Sunday, we face our annoying ex and his rich team filled with talent, many coming back from injuries just in time, too. And we know that Allegri will strut in, smile/grimace, scream Dai Dai Dai! for 90 minutes, and a late goal from his random late bench sub will rip our hearts out and leave them on the pitch for dead in front of a sold out stadium. Because he’s just a massive buzzkill that way.

Bonaventura knows losing to Juve is a buzzkill

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Money Changes Everything


After a joyful victory over Chievo on Sunday, and moving up to third on the table, it’s hard not to smile. But it’s also a little disconcerting not knowing what lies around the corner. I mean, for one thing, now that we’ve finally found some kind of balance with so many young players, will the purchase of the club by the Chinese ruin that balance? Will they spend money on older players, possibly with egos? And what of the emotional balance of the team? If they are already scouting players without consulting with the coach, how will that affect the mentality of the coach and squad? Funny that we kind of got what we wanted – a primarily young team, and that the other thing we wanted, for Berlusconi to sell the club, may actually undo everything else we’ve waited so patiently for. Money changes everything.

"Don't cry Locatelli, it's okay to play youth now."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Chievo 1, Milan 3: Like The Most Improbable Dream


In “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” one of the BEST MOVIES EVER, Jack Skellington tries to explain the new phenomenon of Christmas to the people of Halloweentown. But as hard as he tries, he just can’t describe it… “like the most improbable dream.” My Sunday was much the same way. From the nuclear Karma bomb that hit Icardi and Inter, to Milan’s young starting lineup to the surprise win away to Chievo, to the table positions at the end of the day, I felt like I was living the most improbable dream.

One of my favorite things in football, the team running to greet the fans after a win

Chievo vs. Milan: Flight of the Donkeys



Flying Donkeys are adorable until they score on you

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Chievo-Milan Preview: Respect the Donkeys


There are no easy games in football. However, traditionally, upon hearing that our opponent was Chievo, Milan fans could relax and expect a win, as Chievo would typically be near the bottom of the table. But oh, how times have changed. Milan with our mentality issues cannot be expected to beat even a 20th place team if our lives depended on it. But more importantly, Maran has Chievo just ahead of us on the table, and playing consistently better with a team whose wages are a fraction of ours. So while my Chievo previews often celebrate one of the strangest mascots in Serie A, the Flying Donkeys, this time around, I’ve got to respect the donkeys.

Respect the Birsa

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Maldini Litmus Test


When news broke this week that Paolo Maldini had turned down Sino Europe Group’s offer to be Technical Director for Milan, the dreams of many Milan fans died. Angered that our dream of having him be part of the club going forward was gone, many fans simply blamed the new ownership and/or prepared for more years of being ignored or abused. But amidst the anguish there is a larger lesson, as the statements from both parties provided a truth test for the new ownership. The group had previously made statements reaching out to fans and trying to win them back, but this litmus test offered a chance for them to step up and show whether or not they would back up their words with actions.

More Milan than Milan

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Healing


Montolivo has now had successful surgery on his knee to repair ligament damage that occurred in the Italy vs. Spain match on Thursday. He has six months of healing and recovery ahead of him, something no one should be envious of. However, that six months ironically gives everyone else a chance to heal, too. Either fans will find someone else to hate, or maybe they will be able to view his performances more judiciously when he gets back. I don’t know anyone who wishes harm or injury on anyone, but now that it’s happened, perhaps we can all find a little healing.

The scene of the crime

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Podcast: Getting Younger


During the International Break, there is time to reflect on how the season is going so far. As usual, it’s a mixed bag, even if the results are flattering to the performances. But the one thing that is obvious and everyone seems to agree upon is that Milan is getting younger. A lot younger. So many young players have been getting playing time, it’s actually very exciting.

Bringing the average age down and the quality of football up

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tour of Duty


This summer, Milan only had two players at the Euros, with only two other players on national team duty as well. While that number was greatly impacted by injuries, as well as our growing number of youth players, it seemed quite harsh. But for this International Break, we actually have 13 players on national team duty. Which means not only are the youth playing this time around, but we have a lot fewer injuries. So check out the list below and enjoy some football as our Milan players make us proud on their tour of duty.

Sunday's hero Locatelli when he played for Italy's U17

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fan Focus


Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about the past five years at Milan is how management have treated the fans like worthless peasants. They insulted our sensibilities for years by selling favorite players to balance their incompetent budgets. When the Curva spoke out against the big problems they saw, they ignored them or even worse, added insults to their sound bytes, leaving their legacy as fat, spoiled aristocrats who no longer cared about the club and certainly not the fans. But that seems to be changing with the new management. They recognize the schism between club and fans, and are wooing fans back with words that are like music to our ears. They seem to understand that a club is nothing without its fans, and are beginning their reign with a fan focus.

The new owners will attempt to honor not just the Chinese fans, but all Milan fans

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Milan 4, Sassuolo 3: Powered By Diesel


There is a lot of excitement about this Milan win, and a lot of theories as to how the guys pulled it off. But my theory involves a great new partnership announced this week between Milan and the awesome Diesel clothing company. I have previously argued that if a player looks good, he’ll play well, too. And tonight, our players arrived at the San Siro looking amazing. I have made no secret that I have long loved the Diesel brand, whose current slogan is “Be Brave, Have Fun.” And that is exactly what the team did tonight. So I’m gonna give credit for this one to Renzo Rosso & Company. Milan are powered by Diesel.

The guys are already taking to the motto of "Be Brave, Have Fun"

Milan vs. Sassuolo: Never Underestimate the Enemy



Acerbi always seems to find a way