Friday, September 22, 2017

Sampdoria-Milan Preview: Proceed With Caution


There are no easy games. And even if there were, this won’t be one of them. First of all, it’s never an easy game at the Marassi. The stadium was built to intimidate, the fans heed its call, and there is too much history there, too. But this time Sampdoria have also started their season out on the right foot, so they will likely trouble us, too. Despite both teams having played on Wednesday, only Milan have to play again on Thursday of this next week. Like we did last week, etc. So we have fatigue and squad rotation to contend with that Samp just don’t have to worry about. We need to proceed with caution.

History

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Milan 2, SPAL 0: Sufficient


You know those games where you earn three points, but the game itself wasn’t anything to remember? That would be this match. Despite dominating the newly promoted SPAL and taking 20 shots, seven on target, Milan failed to score on the run of play. Capitalizing on two big errors from SPAL, Milan took all three points. They didn’t do anything particularly memorable, but they did enough. And that’s all that was needed.

United

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Milan-SPAL Preview: So We Meet Again


The last time SPAL faced Milan in Serie A, Milan won the Scudetto and SPAL were relegated. That was 49 years ago, and so very much has changed since then. However the newly promoted SPAL certainly hopes to change their fortunes this year, having played in Lega Pro just two years ago. And even if the cards are stacked against them, they are a club with a long history who are looking to write more history this season. So we meet again.

Can they wreak more midweek mayhem?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Milan 2, Udinese 1: VARma™


Besides the fact that I have completely lost my appetite for lasagna after this match, I couldn’t help but notice a bit of VAR Karma, or VARma™. Udinese’s president, Pozzo, had spoken out in favor of VAR this week, as he felt it would end his perceived referee favors to Juventus. Little did he know that VAR is all powerful and all-knowing, and it could also impact his team negatively, too. So while Milan were being force-fed some Lasagna, Udinese received some VARma™.

VAR was MOTM in front of nearly 50,000 fans

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Milan-Udinese Preview: Seeing in Black and White


Usually it’s all about the football. But this week, Udinese’s owner said something that distracted from the football. He said he liked VAR because it took away the referee favors he believed Juve have been receiving. Which is a very uninformed, small-minded, but all too common misconception that is contradicted by actual facts. His words highlighted the zebra in the room and distracted from the fact that Udinese have to travel to the San Siro on Sunday to face a team who actually statistically has had advantages from time to time from referees. Plus face actual VAR, which so far doesn’t favor anyone. But that is what happens when you are seeing in black and white.

Someone had a bad week

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Europa League • FK Austria Wien 1, AC Milan 5: Edelweiss


The flower called “Edelweiss” is Austria’s national flower. In German, edelweiss means “noble-white.” Well tonight in Vienna, it was Milan who were wearing the white jerseys, and they drained any nobility out of the poor Austria Wien side. To take the analogy a step too far, Milan’s project was in full bloom against the Violets. (I told you it was a step too far.) But it was a convincing win with many positive points to take away.

The white kits with the Europa League patch on one sleeve and the 7 Champions League patch on the other are lovely

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Podcast: In the Trenches


Serie A is underway, and Milan qualified for the group stages of the Europa League. With some exciting wins, fans were excited, but now with a massive loss to Lazio in the league, there are a lot of doubts flying. So I think we can say officially that Milan are in the trenches.

Those are some beautiful trenches

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Lazio 4, Milan 1: Deluge

The game was delayed an hour because torrential rains made it very difficult for fans to get to the stadium. Many thought the weather was going to be our biggest challenge. But a storm called Immobile and some felled trees floating around the pitch in the form of our players proved to be much more problematic. And once the goals started to rain on Milan, there was a proverbial deluge.

The consolation hero

Friday, September 8, 2017

Lazio-Milan Preview: Weather the Storm


There is some very heavy rain in parts of Italy this weekend, and Sampdoria-Roma was already cancelled because of it. It’s definitely raining very heavily in Rome, threatening our game, too. But even if the weather permits our match to be played, the torrential rain is not the only storm we face on Sunday afternoon. Lazio and the other Inzaghi are waiting for us, waiting to prey on our newly formed squad and pick us apart like the Aquile that they are. So even if the rain slows down, Lazio won’t. And it will be Milan’s job to weather the storm.

Well that's one way to face the rain

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Poll: MVPs


As we come off of the international break, it’s time for some quick predictions from you. Who are your MVPs? Which player at each position do you think will stand out this season? The player who will be consistent, stay healthy, and continue to impress throughout the whole season? Please take the polls below and let us know who you think will be a star at each of the outfield positions by the season’s end.

Montella is hoping we have some answers for him 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Franck Kessié: Midfield Destroyer


He’s young, but fearless. Powerful, yet skilled. He’s considered a box-to-box midfielder, but he was also one of the youngest players ever to score six goals in a season in the top five European leagues. And amazingly, he played center back up until two years ago when his coach at Cesena put him in the midfield. It seems that Kessié can do just about anything, but other teams will most likely simply call him a midfield destroyer.


Scores goals so amazing, they get called back for offside

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Road to the Champions League


AC Milan and the Champions League are as predictable as Inter and losing. Or at least they used to be. And speaking of losing, it was rude of Inter to lose so much at the end of last year and leave us with the Europa League qualifying spot. That makes our job harder. Because everyone knows that AC Milan and the Champions League are synonymous, particularly holding the second most titles of any team. Seven titles alone is why we need to get back. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt us financially, either. But getting back to the Champions League isn’t going to be easy.

Do we have the squad to lead us back toward this kind of glory?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

End of Days


Officially gone is the beloved/hated tradition of Galliani Day™. It used to be that the last day of the mercato belonged to him. Long gone are his “Fine as we are” declarations. No more “There are three days of the Condor, and I always strike.” Now our mercato is decided largely at the beginning of the transfer window, and fans are not left starving for improvements. So this transfer window officially marks the end of days… or at least the end of Galliani Day™.

His practices were more than a little archaeic

Monday, August 28, 2017

Milan 2, Cagliari 1: Finding Milan


Rome was not built in a day. More importantly, AC Milan did not become AC Milan overnight. We’ve all talked about what rebuilding would be like and how long it might take, and our new management have certainly sped that timeline up by purchasing so many quality players. But it’s still going to take some time. And we saw that vs. Cagliari. It wasn’t the greatest game. But the team are finding themselves. And finding Milan.

Who says we had no quality last year?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Milan-Cagliari Preview: Home Sweet San Siro


Cagliari are like the foster child that everyone looks at with pity. They started their season away to Juventus and now have to travel to the San Siro to face Milan. Ouch. Meanwhile, Milan fans are anxiously awaiting the chance to welcome their team at home. After a record breaking Europa League qualifying attendance of 65,000 fans, season ticket holders are waiting to see their newly revamped team at the San Siro. Sorry, Cagliari. This season is not smiling kindly upon you. But for Milan fans, we are thrilled to host anyone in our renewed fortress, home sweet San Siro.

Hoping for a hero's welcome

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Europa League • KF Shkendija 0, Milan 1: Powered By Red and Black


When Milan were wearing the red and black last week, they seemed unstoppable. Meanwhile, Shkëndija, wearing their white jerseys seemed harmless. This week, Shkëndija were wearing the red and black, and were a completely different team, with a lot more chances and a much improved defense. On the flip side, Milan, while wearing the white kits, almost seemed like Superman’s kryptonite, they were so much worse tonight than last week. So it seemed, at least for this tie, that the team that were powered by red and black played best.

Consistently amazing

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Europa League Preview • KF Shkëndija vs. AC Milan: Hold Out


With six goals on aggregate, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where we leave Skopje empty-handed. I think everyone involved expects Milan to be the red and black team of these two included in the draw on Friday for the Europa League Group Stage. However, literally anything can happen in 90 minutes, and going to Macedonia and playing in their almost-home stadium, they have to believe there is still a chance. Milan have to be prepared and be vigilant to hold their lead, and it never hurts to score some more to be safe. We need to not resist the urge to be cocky and simply hold out.

We can't let all of their hard work last week be for naught

Monday, August 21, 2017

Crotone 0, Milan 3: Shark for Dinner


On paper, an early penalty cut Crotone down to ten men and they conceded three goals in the first 25 minutes. But as is always the case, there was much more to see than that. And Crotone fought hard throughout the match, all credit to them. But in the end, Milan had shark for dinner.

Three goals, three points, and a win to start the season

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crotone-Milan Preview: Shark Fury


Having recently survived watching Sharknado 5, the one thing that was painfully obvious was that the best way to defeat sharks is with a chainsaw. However, FIFA don’t allow players to wield chainsaws on the pitch, so unfortunately they will have to rely on their footballing skills. Thank goodness we finally have some players who have skills that are exciting enough we won’t miss the sharks being ripped apart by chainsaws. Because that is seriously awesome. And seriously, Crotone are a frenzy of sharks with a lot of fury.

I'd choose him to lead the fight against a Sharknado anytime

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Europa League • AC Milan 6, Shkëndija 0: Apocalypse


An Antichrist leading people astray. War and violence. Natural disasters, pandemics, plagues. Famine and death. Judgment being exacted on the wicked. The whole earth shaking. Montolivo scoring a brace. These are the signs of the Apocalypse. You have been warned.

Enjoying the moments before death and destruction will hit

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Europa League Preview • AC Milan vs. KF Shkëndija: Battle of the Red and Black


This match will be interesting. Two teams, both of whom wear red and black, but from very different backgrounds. Milan are in this Playoff Round because of a fall from grace, whereas KF Shkëndija have worked very hard to ensure they are here. One team has glory, money, and a major European city to claim as home. The other team comes from a city whose population could almost completely fit in our stadium. But regardless of where they come from or how they got here, in 90 minutes, anything could happen. Football doesn’t care what language you speak or how many people live in your city. It’s a battle from start to finish. And this time, it’s the battle of the red and black.

Looks like someone saw that ridiculous Shkëndija video...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Podcast: In League with the Devil


The team has been renewed. The preseason matches have been played. And whether or not Milan is ready, the new season is upon us. There is plenty to talk about, plenty to try to predict, and more than enough excitement in preparation for this much anticipated season. How this ends, only time will tell. But either the Devil is coming back, or we are in league with the devil.

i Diavoli are ready

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Poll: Season Predictions


Last week you chose your Favorite Signing of the Summer. Over the weekend, you had the chance to review the Season Preview 2017-18. Now it’s your chance to make some predictions. Take the polls below and let us know where you think Milan is headed this season.

How will they do?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Season Preview 2017-18


With one of the most incredible transfer markets ever, this season there is finally something to really talk about. It’s been so long since there was anything exciting enough to preview, I have to confess that this is very refreshing. Certainly, it is nearly impossible to predict what will happen, but there are also plenty of things to look forward to… finally.

Milan are back... or at least well on their way

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

AC Milan 1, Real Betis 2: Welcome to VAR


For years, people have begged for video replay in football. Get those calls right, they said. The use of video technology will finally put those questionable ref calls to rest, they said. Especially after the “gol di Muntari” incident a few years back, Milan in particular lobbied for video technology. So FIFA researched it and tested it, and even Serie A tested it last season. How ironic, then, that VAR would be the star of our friendly, literally turning the result upside down and visibly upsetting our players. Welcome to VAR.

VAR: making all of this guy's other calls look horrible since 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

AC Milan vs. Real Betis Preview: Going Green


Tomorrow night in Catania, Milan will face Spanish side Real Betis. I assume this match was organized to put Carlos Bacca in a very large suitcase and have Betis drop him off at Sevilla’s stadium when they head home. But then again, maybe not. Besides, we probably want some money for him. Or, with the Trofeo TIM having been cancelled this year and us not facing Sassuolo preseason, maybe Milan felt the need to play another team with green colors. It’s really hard to know. In reality, this is actually just another preseason friendly. Our last one, I believe. A good chance for Montella to try some things out, like his previously mentioned 3-5-2 formation, now that Bonucci and Biglia are eligible to play in competitive matches. So it’s the perfect time to go green.

Will we struggle against this green team preseason?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Poll: Favorite Signing of the Summer

Milan have signed an impressive ten players in the summer mercato so far. Or, as I like to call them, nine signings plus Borini. Now that we’ve had a chance to see them in action, even if only for a few minutes in a friendly or Europa League qualifier, I’m curious as to which player(s) is your favorite?

Which signing is your favorite so far?

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Milan Love Story


Everyone remembers their first love… how suddenly, for no rational reason, their heart was no longer theirs. My heart was given to AC Milan, against all odds, and I know I’m never getting my heart back. Neither distance, language, horrible stream, failing management, terrible players, nor anything else has been able to change my heart. In fact all of those things have simply made my love stronger. In good times in bad, in wins and in losses, my life has become a Milan love story.

Who could help but fall in love?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Europa League: AC Milan 2, Craiova 0: Picture Perfect


There were over 65,000 fans in the stadium. The Curva prepared a lovely coreo that read “My heart is sad when far from you.” And Montella lined up a starting 11 without Montolivo or Borini. All of the hype, all of the hope, all of the money spent this summer were resting on this game, the first home game with the new squad. And the first European game Milan have played at the San Siro in over 3 years, even if it was just a qualifier. It was bound to be brilliant or an epic fail, but not likely anything in between.

Oil on canvas by Giacomo Bonaventura

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Europa League: AC Milan vs. CS U Craiova: Homecoming


After five years of dwindling crowds, Milan fans are giving a hero’s welcome to their team. Tomorrow is the first home game since the massive mercato, and the San Siro looks to be repaying the efforts of the new ownership with over 60,000 tickets sold so far. They are hoping for a sellout, which actually could still happen. After seeing the stadium next to empty for so long, it will be amazing to see it so full again. Especially on a Thursday night, pre season, and a Europa League qualifying match at that. But it is a welcome that the team and the ownership deserve, a kind of homecoming.

The first leg we played like a cardboard cutout

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Podcast: PTSD


Some people suffer from a serious condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is not to be taken lightly. Milan fans have also suffered over five years of trauma, and in some ways we may have our own version of PTSD. Nothing brings the flashbacks and anxiety back like talks of funding or deadlines, and there has been some talk about those things lately. However, there is football being played now, and still so many good things to talk about that we can still enjoy being a Milan fan better than we have in a long time.

Did we buy eight players and put two on layaway?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Europa League • Craiova 0, Milan 1: You Get What You Pay For


After 90 minutes of terrible football, I realized that we played as well as can be expected in July with the players we fielded. We could have fielded better, but we haven’t actually paid for those players yet. So as every misplaced pass, every time a Milan player was beaten by a Craiova player, etc. transpired, it became more and more obvious that you really do get what you pay for. And Milan haven’t paid for all of our players yet.

A moment of brilliance (paid for) in a sea of mediocrity

Europa League • CS U Craiova vs. AC Milan: Mangia Mangia




Romanian is a tough language

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Europa League • CS U Craiova vs. AC Milan: The Final Countdown


Thursday sees Milan finally return to Europe. Not to the Champions League, where we have seven trophies. But rather to the Europa League, the only major competition we’ve never won. And we are not going into the group stage, either. We will have to play two qualifying rounds just to get there. While I am still not convinced that this is a good idea for Milan right now, as it would be better to focus on getting a top four spot in the league, it’s off to Romania we go. For Milan’s return to Europe, it’s the final countdown.

It could be their Gustavo vs. our Gustavo

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dressed to Kill


Our transfer market has us prepared to just crush it on the pitch. Best team on paper that we’ve had in years. But sometimes it’s not enough to just be talented. Sometimes, players need a little extra something to give them the confidence they need to play to their potential. With a background in fashion, I understand the importance of looking your best when you want to be your best. Already, after the Bologna match, I wrote about how our incredible new first team kits helped us secure sixth place, amongst other things. But now, finally, not just our away kits, but also our third kits have been released, and if they are any indication of how well our team will be playing, you can rest assured it will be an amazing season. Because with these new kits, Milan will be dressed to kill.

Quality players require quality kits

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dress Rehearsal

Tomorrow in Shenzhen, Milan will face off against Bayern Munich. Not only will we face our old friend Carlo Ancelotti once again, but there will be another face off with another transfer target: Renato Sanches. Normally, it would just be a preseason friendly in which the results don’t matter. But with the Europa League qualifying next week and two poor performances already, Montella is under pressure to pull off a decent performance. Just think of it as a dress rehearsal.

Ready to rule the world... or China... or something

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Friendly Fumbles


Let me preface this with the fact that I know we have only played two preseason friendlies, and that they literally don’t matter at all. Except maybe to fans. Friendlies are an opportunity to try new things, play some players that you might not otherwise give playing time to. They are not to be taken seriously, or as any indication of how the season will go. Still, one has to wonder if Montella hasn’t already made some friendly fumbles.

Are the poor performances in friendlies justifiable? Or should Montella be worried?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Podcast: Bonucci Madness


They said it would never happen. But “they” are mostly Juventus legends who are clearly not up to date on modern football, or Juve fans who have had their hearts ripped out, stepped on, and shipped to Casa Milan. And “it” was Leonardo Bonucci agreeing to come to Milan. And be our new captain. And possibly impregnate our women. (Okay, I may have made that last part up. There is a lot of hysteria around this transfer. Forgive me.) With five new players coming in since the last podcast and more possibly being signed as I type this, Milan’s mercato has become a frenzy of spending, celebrating, and sheer excitement for the future. Please join us as we celebrate Bonucci Madness.

Fans greeted Bonucci like little girls at an Ariana Grande concert

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Two Sides of Leonardo Bonucci



When the reports of Bonucci’s agent offering him to Milan came through, I laughed. Why would arguably the best center back in the world right now leave a club he just won six consecutive Scudetti with betray that club and come to a direct rival? This was a classic mercato rumor. But as the reports became reality, my laughter turned to tears of joy. In three short months, this new management have managed to create a project that would convince a world class player to believe enough in their project to not only agree to a five year contract with the club, but to accept the captain’s armband, too. A champion, a man who has consistently proven his worth on and off the pitch, and for both club and country. The kind of player Milan have been lacking since so many of the Senatori left. And yet, there also seem to be two sides to Leonardo Bonucci.

Welcome to the right side, Captain Bonucci

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Donnarumma Double


Even before taking control of the club, Fassone made it very clear that they were willing to do just about anything to renew Gigio Donnarumma and keep him at the club. And while his renewal was filled with missteps by everyone along the way, Fassone did pretty much bend over backwards to get the renewal done. That included loaning out the last of our other young, talented keepers and bringing Antonio Donnarumma back to deputize for his “little” (as in 1 inch taller than him) brother. So instead of just keeping Gigio, we did the Donnarumma Double.

Will they negate each other in the long run?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Embark


After eleven months of waiting for the sale of the club and three frantic months of new ownership and incredible transfers, Milan will embark on their new adventure on the pitch. Not just paperwork and purchases, the actual football that we’ve all been dreaming off. Will we get the football of our dreams? Highly unlikely that it will be anything close to what we want, considering they’ve only been training together for six days. And some of the players who had national team duty haven’t even joined the squad yet. But every journey has a beginning, and for Milan’s return to beautiful football, let’s hope that journey begins in Lugano.

Ready to take the first step towards playing like Milan again

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Farewell


So much focus has been placed on all of the new arrivals that I have failed to thank those who have left us or will likely be leaving us shortly. Not only to thank them for their service to Milan, but to thank them for making space in the squad for our new players. So it is with gratitude (in varying degrees) that I say thank you to these players, and farewell.

Sometimes dreams come true, they just don't end the way we want them to

Friday, July 7, 2017

How Far We've Come


If this mercato hasn’t blown you away already, you must be new not only to Milan but to football in general. With Andrea Conti taking his medicals, he will be our seventh signing and the mercato hasn’t even been officially open a whole week. Every club in the world is jealous of us. But if that isn’t enough to make you feel grateful, La Gazzetta dello Sport published the starting eleven as of July 5th for the past ten years, along with the signings to date each year. Check them out. Then you’ll see just how far we’ve come.

*Nessuno means no one, those years we hadn't signed anyone by July 5th

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Starting Point


Today is the day. There have been a lot of benchmarks leading up to this new management and new season and new Milan. But today is the day the team resume training at Milanello. It’s known as Raduno, or rally, when the fans gather to watch the first day of training for the team. The beginning of a new season, the most highly anticipated season in years. It’s almost impossible not to dream of the possibilities. But one thing is for certain: today marks a starting point for the new Milan era.

Every dream has a starting point. Mine is learning how to say this guy's name properly.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Podcast: Raduno 2017


With the team returning to Milanello, there is excitement in the air. All of the new signings not only give Milan fans something to talk about, but also something to finally truly dream about. There are some players leaving, some deals yet to be worked out. But for the first time in years, the return to Milanello will actually feel like a rally, or raduno.

They're doing their job, now it's time for us to rally around the team

Friday, June 30, 2017

Gratitude


Despite the Borini signing, which makes less sense the more I think about it, the team is returning to Milanello on Monday a much better team than when it left. We can finally function in the mercato for the first time since January of 2016, and we also have the funding to buy players worth talking about. Not only that, but our CEO and Sporting Director had plenty of time to scout quality players while waiting for the sale of the club to finally close. The mercato officially opens tomorrow, and we already have four quality signings and Borini. So perhaps it’s time to express a little gratitude.

Grateful for two amazing kits so far

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rude Awakening


It was 6am and I awoke reluctantly. I started to check Twitter to see if anything interesting had happened in the few hours that I had been asleep. At first I thought I must still be asleep. But I kept reading and everywhere was reporting the same thing. That Milan had reached an agreement with the newly relegated Sunderland to bring Fabio Borini to Milan for about €5m. Talk about a rude awakening.

It honestly would have made more sense to sign this Fabio

Sunday, June 25, 2017

How Social Media Is Killing Football


I thought that by writing about death threats, it would be a wake up call to Milan fans from all of the Donnarumma controversy. But such is the power of social media that not only did they not even bat an eyelash that an 18 year old player and his family were threatened, they questioned the sources supplied, mocked the very existence of them as well as persecuted anyone questioning them. Which of course was only the smallest minority of people on social media. Then their hate fervor turned into forgiveness (or is that fickleness?) And then, when Donnarumma’s and Raiola’s social media accounts were used and said that they would meet with Milan again after the Euros were over, fans flip flopped again and started the hate cycle all over. Once again, social media is killing football.

You, too, can be an expert in 140 characters or less