Friday, December 30, 2016

Beelieve It Or Not


Seeing as how I have time for one more rant in 2016, I have chosen to raise more questions about our probable potential possible new ownership. After clearly reading my recent posts about the delays and also about their overall list of failures to date, Yonghong Li tried to explain a few things to allay our fears. Only it didn’t work. With every delay, his story changes. That’s not transparency, that’s just flat out lying. And with Milan’s recent history with potential mystery investors, I just don’t know if I can  Beelieve it or not.

It all starts with a handshake

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Silver and Gold


Everyone talks about the Supercoppa as “the 29th trophy of the Berlusconi Era.” And even if this trophy was more accidental than planned, specifically because this team arose from the ashes of Berlusconi’s unchecked spending which won him the first 28, it almost makes it that much more special. If the deal with Sino Europe Sports ever goes through, they will be taking over the club in only somewhat better circumstances than Berlusconi found it. That in a football world which has changed markedly since Berlusconi started. This trophy specifically is very special because it was won in spite of Berlusconi’s hip hip hoora speeches, reckless spending, tactical ideas, and myriad coaching changes. Berlusconi’s “young, all-Italian” idea was born from him closing his pocketbook, stopping the reckless sale of amazing youth talents like Aubamayeng, and realizing what he had all along in his youth sector. Accidentally. But with that said, let’s take a look at the other 28 trophies, an amazing feat no matter what you think of Berlusconi.

Hoarder

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Supercoppa: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas


Do you believe in Santa? Well Santa cannot bring a trophy, but belief certainly did. Even if Juventus did not play their best game, they are undeniably the better team… on paper. But trophies aren’t won on paper, they are won on the pitch (unless you are Inter, but let’s not go there. It’s Christmas.) Yesterday Milan proved that there is a reason to believe, and that with belief, heart, and 120 minutes plus penalties, anything is possible. And even if the confetti has settled on the pitch, there is still that fluttering in our hearts that Milan winning a trophy gives to us. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Supercoppa: Juventus vs. Milan: Just Happy to Be Here


After last season, Milan are so lucky just to be playing for the Supercoppa. But we got the easy road, playing Sampdoria, Carpi, and Alessandria on the way to the Coppa final, while Juve had to face Torino, Lazio, and Inter to get there. And it is also thanks to them that we are playing for the Supercoppa trophy, since we won neither the league nor the Coppa Italia final. But since they won both and couldn’t play themselves, Milan are going to Doha by virtue of being the runner up in the Coppa Italia. Literally, Milan are just happy to be here.

Just happy to be on the plane

Monday, December 19, 2016

All I Want for Christmas


With the Christmas season upon us, I like to reflect on what I would like to see for Milan next year. We are in a strange place, suspended between owners, so much uncertainty for the future. And yet we’ve gotten some amazing results this year. Despite a loss to Roma and a draw to Atalanta and falling from third to fifth on the table, our season to date has been nothing short of remarkable. Given our previous years’ seasons, it’s nothing short of miraculous that we are playing for the Supercoppa on Friday. But reflecting on the past four years, I found a couple of old Christmas videos from that fateful year of 2012 that might lend some perspective on my wish list this year. Oh, and as for the videos, you’re welcome.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Milan 0, Atalanta 0: In a Fog


This match shouldn’t have been a surprise, Milan have been overachieving all season long, and so have Atalanta. A draw was actually the most likely scenario coming into the game, even if Montella seemed to think afterward that the result was not fair based on Milan’s efforts. But I watched the match, well what I could see of it through the fog, and I think Montella’s head might have gotten lost in that fog, too. Sure Milan had 58% possession, hope he’s celebrating that. But Atalanta actually had more chances.

Oh, look. Bonaventura's old teammates are giving him a proper welcome

Friday, December 16, 2016

Milan-Atalanta Preview: When Two Fairy Tales Collide


This season has been a fairy tale for the Serie A teams in Lombardy. Milan are in third place, Atalanta in a very unexpected sixth place, and Inter… well two out of three isn’t bad. With nine wins, a draw, and six losses, Gasperini has woven a magic spell that has seen his team play much better than expected. And with a little reverse psychology (“We will play possession football,”) Montella has also gotten better results from Milan. But what will happen with both fairy tale seasons meet?

So excited to be training with the squad again

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Takeover Blunders


People with a cursory knowledge of the sale of the club are trusting and relaxed about the deal. To be honest, it seems that they see euro signs and fantasize about the players we’ll sign and skip all of the parts in between where the sale actually happens or not. Well, and there are plenty of fans who think we’re still having a big January mercato. They’re in for a rude awakening. But the truth is far from this fantasy world. The truth is that this deal is far from done, and there is still the very real possibility that it may never happen in spite of the €200m Fininvest has already received. Even if it does get done, the blunders of this imaginary consortium are quite extensive. And that means that after they take the club over, we may wish they never had.

So close and yet so far. Who keeps moving that line? Oh yeah.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Roma 1, Milan 0: The Reckoning


Milan have been living the dream this season. Winning with luck and mentality primarily, this match was always going to be a test for us. And it was a test I felt that we passed successfully. We played the youngest starting lineup in Serie A this season (via @OptaPaolo,) and we played a team who have a lot more quality and experience. And we gave them a run for their money. In fact, it really was more of a reckoning for Roma. Could they beat a young team having a good run who have been nipping at their heels all season long? Could they get the three points to put a bit of distance between them? Well they got their three points, but I’m not sure they played as convincingly as they have paid to, let alone to challenge for the Scudetto. So for both sides, it was definitely a reckoning.

A bunch of kids

Roma vs. Milan: Homecoming




Hoping for a nice flight tonight

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Roma-Milan Preview: Bad Form


There are infinite previews outlining THE RACE FOR SECOND PLACE. But a story that eclipses Milan’s accidental rise on the table and Roma’s astounding ability to barely maintain second place is the Strootman Ban/Not Ban. So much whining from Roma fans, you’d have thought someone had died. No one talking about the poor conduct and poor sportsmanship. Certainly no Roma fans acknowledging precedence for other players in the past who served bans for either instigating or simulation, let alone both. And the FIGC clearly overturned the ban because the whining was simply unbearable. But from Strootman’s ridiculous and very unsporting behavior to the fans lacking a conscience of any kind, Roma are coming into this game with bad form.

I hope his shirt is okay.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Great Wall of China


Delay. Another Delay. More Delays. The only news of the sale of Milan these days is how much longer it is going to be before the deal closes. But why is that? After the €100m  non-refundable deposit was made, along with the agreement to close by the end of the year, I thought for sure it would really happen. Now we face yet another delay, losing out on another mercato. And the only one profiting from this is Fininvest. A profit of another €100m, to be exact. So Berlusconi and Galliani stay in power, holding the club hostage, and they’re getting paid for it, too. Our mercato is going to be strangled by not just two CEOs now, but three CEOs, two Sporting Directors, and a consortium of mysterious people who have yet to be identified. Not to mention that no one is disclosing whether Fininvest will even use any of that cold hard cash to spend in the mercato in the first place. People keep saying that there is a problem getting the money out of China to close the deal, but with a second deposit of €100m, I find that impossible to believe. This deal is being thwarted by the Great Wall of China.

Shrouded in mystery, but endless and uncompromising... just like the Sino Europe Sports deal

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Watching Milan: Outsiders


Last week, Marcello from the Milan Club Montreal wrote a public letter outlining his frustrations about the availability to watch Milan games outside of Italy. His concerns were things I think we can all relate to. Not just the added costs we have in trying to view Milan games, but even just the availability and quality. For example, despite contacting multiple people in Italy, he still doesn’t know if the Supercoppa will even be broadcast at all in North America. Compared with the relative ease and accessibility with which Italians have to Milan games and programming, it’s enough to make the rest of us fans feel like outsiders.

Great that these kids could easily watch at home or go to San Siro, but what about my kids?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Milan 2, Crotone 1: Sharks and Minnows


Playing at the San Siro and going on a successful run that has surprised even the players themselves, you would think that Milan would be the sharks and Crotone, languishing in 19th place, would be the minnows. But despite a Montella-era record of 70% possession for Milan, Crotone often looked more to live up to their name, i Squali (the sharks.) And Milan squeaked out this win like some very lucky minnows.

Exactly how I look after I just escaped shark-infested waters

Milan vs. Crotone: Calm Under Pressure



Even if Crotone bring a Sharknado, Donnarumma knows what to do

Friday, December 2, 2016

Milan-Crotone Preview: Nothing to Lose


To see where this Sunday’s opponents sit on the table, you would have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the table. They sat in dead last until last week, when Palermo dropped one below them on goal differential. (And yes, between that and a Coppa Italia loss, Zamparini did sack his coach this week.) Compound the 19th place spot with the lunchtime game, as well as the return of the mystical Djamel Mesbah, and it’s not a fixture I am looking forward to. Particularly since Crotone will literally have nothing to lose.

Adriano, look out! There's a shark behind you!