Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Europa League • Milan-Austria Wien Preview: Blitzkrieg


Bonucci sent a video message to the fans the other day asking for their support on Thursday because Milan can secure our place in the next round with a win vs. Austria Wien. And I don’t know about you, but I do whatever Bonucci asks me to do because he’s Bonucci. (translation: badass.) But it made me realize that after defeating them 5-1 in their house in September, Milan can be decisive on Thursday, even with our questionable performances of late and Montella’s woeful tactics and lineups. So I’m hoping for a blitzkrieg, or “lightning war” directly translated. It’s a swift and powerful, often surprise attack which is meant to guarantee victory in a war. So basically the opposite of how Milan have been playing.

Kind of like that

Monday, November 20, 2017

Napoli 2, Milan 1: Puzzled


You know when you are watching someone trying to put together a puzzle and you see how the pieces fit, but they don’t? No matter what, they can’t put it together. That is what it is like for Milan fans watching Montella’s lineups and tactics. And one cannot help but feel that if he could just put those pieces together, this team could actually win more games. But if it’s not Montella, or his beloved Tweedle Dee (Montolivo) and Tweedle Dum (Borini,) then it’s that damned VAR. No explanation at all for its random usage, I only know that it sucks to be on the wrong end of its misuse. Needless to say, this game left me puzzled.

THAT goal

Friday, November 17, 2017

Napoli-Milan Preview: Adding Insult to Injury


It’s been a tumultuous season so far. The injuries are starting to stack up, too, despite the new physical trainer, Mario Innaurato, finally being made official midweek. Then you add the woes of Italian football by not qualifying for Russia, sacking Ventura, and everyone calling for Tavecchio to resign, and it’s been a tough week. But just when you thought the pain was coming to a close, Milan have a trip to the San Paolo tomorrow to face the league leaders, who are in great form. It’s like adding insult to injury.

Yep. It's kinda like that.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Inconsolable Loss


I never thought I’d see the day when Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup. And just when it seemed that they were finally losing the shackles of the aftermath of Calciopoli, when Serie A was on the rise again in Europe. It is devastating for Italy, its players, and its fans worldwide. Some say it is a wake up call, an opportunity for change. But if anyone has ever survived a natural disaster, they would tell you it’s not a wake up call. It’s traumatic and devastating and life will never be the same. And for me, this failure to qualify is also those things. It’s an inconsolable loss.

Devastating.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Montella’s Panic Attack


Montella’s comparing this summer’s player purchases as “a new wardrobe” and then, ahead of his 15 th competitive match this season, admitting he still needed to find “which trousers go with which socks” was completely unnerving. Fourteen games played, and he still had no idea who his best eleven were. Unbelievable. It was even more unnerving than his formation choices and reasoning. But amidst all of this is the complete mystery of how he chooses his attack. Not just by formation, but by performances and goals scored. And the fewer goals we score, the more flustered and bizarre his choices seem to be. It’s like he’s having a panic attack.

"Help!"

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Triple Threatening


It’s not news that Milan have been struggling. Nor is it news that the injuries are starting to accumulate. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the first game of our third competition is only about a month away. So take the tactics, the mentality, the travel, the fatigue and injuries, and multiply it times three, because Milan’s results are about to be triple threatening.

Isn't this enough already?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sassuolo 0, Milan 2: Saving Montella


In unhealthy relationships, there is often the person who is causing the problem, and then there is the person who enables that person and feeds the dysfunction. Both are unhealthy, both contribute to the problem. This match highlighted that, because Montella, again going with the 3-5-2 and his mismatched “clothing,” had his dysfunction covered by the team and their win. Like the best of enablers, their performance not only produced three much needed points, but also contributed to saving Montella.

A victory for mentality and for Montella

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Salt in the Wound


With Sassuolo in 17th place, hovering just above the relegation zone, one would think that this would be an easy win for Milan, even playing away. But nothing is easy at Milan right now, and our performances have spiraled back downward rather than the brief improvement that we were seeing. Add to that our weariness from traveling and playing on Thursday in the Europa League, and this is not looking pretty. Not to mention that Sassuolo are both Milan killers and also the abysmal coach killers. With so much stacked against us, it’s impossible to see how a loss wouldn’t just be salt in the wound.

Well, at least we have one advantage

Friday, November 3, 2017

Europa League • AEK Athens 0, AC Milan 0: Black Hole


I literally fell asleep watching this game, and it was a far more worthwhile activity. Having watched every painful minute after waking up, I feel like my brain and soul were sucked into a black hole. Like that 90 minutes was 90 years of my life that I’ll never get back. Even worse that this match was played at the very stadium where we won our last Champions League Final. It was like if you went to an amazing venue to see a world famous rock band, and then the next time you were there, you saw a group of 75 year-olds playing accordions and falling asleep during their own songs. Yes, it really was that bad.

Like Montella, he gave it his best effort, but it wasn't nearly enough

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Europa League • AEK Athens vs. AC Milan: Into the Fray


After an action-packed but scoreless draw at the San Siro two weeks ago, Milan head to Athens for a battle of the best of group D. Milan are currently top of the group by two points, but that could change with a defeat tomorrow. With only one win in our last six competitive matches, Milan also need to get back to winning ways for morale purposes. But AEK are a tough team and not easily disposed of. Certainly they kept us off the scoreboard last time. So Milan are heading to Athens and heading into the fray.

Flashbacks

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Milan Horror Story


It was a dark and stormy night. After having changed ownership and then spent over €200m to buy a whole new starting eleven this summer, Milan were precariously perched at eighth place on the table. In their first 11 league games, they had lost a shocking five of them, making fans cower in fear. And every time they lost a match or played poorly, there were unholy voices whispering, nay screaming incantations of fear and dread regarding the club’s financial status and future. It was enough to make fans’ blood curdle.

They went from optimistic to ominous in just a few short months

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Milan 0, Juve 2: Trick or Treat


The Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating has really become a way for children to exploit their neighborhoods for free candy. But the origins were that the children would receive either a treat or perhaps a trick – a prank or something undesirable. This match was closer to that version of Haloween. Juventus got their treats, and Milan got tricked into keeping their coach despite yet another poor result.

Winning.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Milan-Juve Preview: Please Make It Stop


Despite a midweek win away to Chievo that was still underwhelming as far as performance, it feels like we have been hit by a bus… and then a train, a tank, and maybe impaled by a rocket. Between the poor morale and the even more poor performances, this is not the game we’d like to play this week. But here we are, facing Bonucci’s ex-club, but without Bonucci. Just please make it stop.

Seriously. Just make it stop already.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chievo 1, Milan 4: When Donkeys Fly


You’ve heard the phrase “when pigs fly,” but almost equally unbelievable is when donkeys fly. At least that’s how it worked out for Milan. After a long string of poor performances but sometimes getting results, then a string of improving performance without results, Milan’s luck finally switched when facing the Flying Donkeys.

The donkeys were not the only ones flying

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Chievo-Milan Preview: Grounded


Donkeys are not the most feared species on the planet. However flying donkeys are another thing altogether. And Chievo’s flying donkeys come into this match flying high in seventh place on the table. If Milan were playing as well as Montella deludes himself into thinking they were, this wouldn’t even be an issue, and we would also have a much higher spot on the table. However reality is very different from Montella’s perceptions and Milan are instead 11th on the table and plummeting. So Chievo are flying high and Milan are simply grounded.

Okay, some flying donkeys are to be feared

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Milan 0, Genoa 0: Dismissed


In a must-win game, Milan played a very stale stalemate with the 17 th place Genoa. Most will argue that we drew because we played 65 minutes on ten men. However Milan took 17 shots with seven on goal, and still failed to convert. So it’s not as if they didn’t have their chances. But if we continue to play like this, our Champions League hopes will be all but dismissed.

VAR strikes when you least expect it

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Milan-Genoa Preview: Hot Water


You have probably heard the analogy of the frogs in a pot. When placed in room temperature water in a pot, they are oblivious to the rising temperature of the water until it is too late and they cannot jump to safety. I feel like Montella and Milan have been starting to simmer in the heat of disappointing performances, and if they don’t start jumping now, it will be too late. Well at least for Montella, he definitely seems to be out of his element and in some very hot water.

Bertolacci in his rare upright, not rolling on the ground clutching his face position

Friday, October 20, 2017

Europa League • AC Milan 0, AEK Athens 0: Looking for Answers


Sometimes the result does not tell the entire story of a match. This was one of those matches. Milan had 60% possession, 24 shots and 9 on target, but still didn’t score. They played much better than they had in some losses, or even some wins, but still only got a point. Which opened up a lot of new questions, including many about whether or not Montella is fit for the job and how much longer they will give him. It also left everyone looking for answers.

A picture is worth so many missed chances

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Europa League Preview • AC Milan vs. AEK Athens: Pitfall


Milan are supposed to be focusing on Serie A. And that’s not going well for us at all. With the poor mentality and even worse performances, how much will Montella and the boys focus on the Europa League? Will Montella give some players a rest that have been playing the majority of the games? Or will he take this opportunity to do some more experiments with tactics? The thing is, although we are supposed to be focusing on the league, we are needing more and more desperately to perform well in the Europa League. And it is at this point of increased desperation that we face the toughest opponent in our group, AEK Athens. It’s a danger that could be overlooked in light of all of the struggles, a potential pitfall.

Tied with Austria Wien, but could sting like a bee

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

In Defense of Bonucci


In these days of social media and instant news, even the more respected pundits make rash judgments and generalizations about players, coaches, and games. Especially when there is controversy, a precedent, or a bandwagon to jump on. Bonucci leaving Juventus and coming to Milan was the controversy of the summer in Serie A. But it also created a magnifying glass-like effect on everything he has done since he made the switch. Meaning that whatever he would do, good or bad, would be magnified hundreds of times by pundits, the media, social media, and both Milan and Juve fans. Despite this explosive and unforgiving climate, today I wanted to offer a few words in defense of Leonardo Bonucci.

Everyone asking questions about his form, but no one actually watching it

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Inter 3, Milan 2: Snake Vomit


We’ve all seen times in life where the worst person gets away with murder, rape, or Calciopoli. And honestly, between Icardi and Inter, they have probably done all of that and more. But tonight Inter were the better team on the pitch for 90 minutes. And so as Milan fans, we are left cleaning the San Siro of all of that snake vomit before our Europa League clash on Thursday. You know, since Inter aren’t playing midweek at all.

The true Icardi hat trick... he looks like a moron no matter which hat he wears

Inter vs. Milan : Sent to Destroy



Kessie was Sent to Destroy

Friday, October 13, 2017

Inter vs. Milan Preview: So Much More Than Three Points


The Derby della Madonnina is more than just a football game, it’s a Derby like no other. This year, it’s even bigger than that. With both teams having been purchased by Chinese owners and hundreds of millions of Euros having been poured into them, the rivalry is even deeper and steeped in investment. Both teams are looking for a top four finish, and this is not just a mere three points in that race, either. So the usual pride and three points are not all that is at stake. With one team’s history filled with trophies won with beautiful football and the other team’s history filled with shame, cheating, and titles that don’t belong to them, the Derby would be fiery enough. But now that there are heavy investments and future success on the line, this Derby is so much more than three points.

He won't steal your wife, but he may steal your girlfriend's heart with his amazing goals

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Derby Like No Other


Il Derby della Madonnina is truly a derby like no other. It is fierce, yet it is family. It is fiery but not hostile. We share a stadium, a city, and our beginnings. And yet the two teams couldn’t be more different. In a world where derbies are so many things, this derby stands out for so many reasons.

The Baresi brothers were literal family, Franco being rejected by Inter ensured he was the ore successful one

Monday, October 9, 2017

Podcast: Borini for Captain


Milan are playing poorly, and mentality seems to be suffering. With three losses in seven league matches, everyone is getting stressed out. The players are under scrutiny. Montella particularly is under scrutiny. There have already been crisis meetings with Fassone and Mirabelli. But one solution has been largely overlooked, and this podcast reveals it: Borini for Captain.

The answer to life, the universe, and everything

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Case Against Montella


As soon as Bonucci was purchased from Juve, Montella’s free Milan ticket expired. No longer was he a pretty decent coach who did really well with no reinforcements. Now the questions started flying: Can he manage these players? Can he coach them to top four? Will he take this team to the Champions League and take Milan far into that competition? The fact is, the more a team spends in the mercato, the more pressure there is on the coach. And while people say that we should be patient and let the team gel, at the first sign of trouble, they are screaming for him to be sacked. But is there actual cause to sack him? Today I wanted to look at some of the reasons people are calling for his head, also known as the case against Montella.

The case against him is growing

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Poll: Montella


On the last podcast, I mentioned that it was too early to sack Montella. My argument was that we needed consistency and that if we expected the team to gel, then we needed to have patience. But the next day, he sacked his longtime friend and fitness director. And not only did he sack him, he did it via social media. Then there was the Roma match, where his paralyzed coaching impacted the eight minutes of collapse that cost us points. Next up is the Derby, which is not only three very important points against a team that will likely challenge us for a top four spot, but it’s also a source of pride. Many fans have strong opinions about this… what is yours? Please take the poll below and then feel free to explain your choice in the comment section below.

For the purposes of this poll, his future is in your hands

Monday, October 2, 2017

Milan 0, Roma 2: Disbelief


It was unimaginable that a team with Champions League aspirations would lose three of their first seven matches, even if they were a new team with so many new players. It was impossible to think that a coach who was under fire would wait until his team conceded two goals and a player asking to be subbed before he made a single change. So difficult to understand how a team like Milan would play a game that was so much improved to recent matches against their toughest opponent yet, and then implode in the space of eight minutes to drop three points. At the final whistle, I think everyone was in a state of disbelief.

Disbelief

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Milan-Roma Preview: The Prodigal Son

Not only did Montella play the best years of his playing career for Roma, but he also started his managerial career there. They gave him so much. Yet he claims to be a lifelong Milanista, and his passion for the red and black is obvious, no matter what criticisms anyone has of him. Speaking of criticism, this match he is like the Prodigal Son in more ways than one. With Milan having spent so much this summer, Montella comes to the San Siro having dropped points in the league twice, while the favorite Champions League brother, Di Francesco, has a game in hand and only lost once (albeit to Inter.) No matter which way you look at it, Montella comes into this one as the Prodigal Son.

All eyes are on the ex-Roma player and coach

Friday, September 29, 2017

Europa League • Milan 3, Rijeka 2: Distracted


A game that easily could have been 2 or 3-nil or better ended 3-2 because of some very late heroics after some embarrassing errors. Another less than convincing performance and more questions raised about Montella's safety, particularly after Carletto was fired by Bayern Munich earlier in the day and is an enticing alternative to poor Vincenzo at this point. Still without a fitness coach, with Montella having taken to social media to fire his boyhood friend and fitness coach of five years earlier in the week, it wasn't only the players who were distracted. 

Whatever with Silva's amazing strike, Borini the Assistor has arrived

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Podcast: Looking for Luck


Milan fans are pretty happy these days until there is a loss. Then it is an end of the world scenario. But not everyone wants to sack the coach after a poor 90 minutes. It’s important to keep looking forward and having healthy discussions about where the club is headed.

This man may be looking for the most luck

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sampdoria 2, Milan 0: Frustration


We knew it wouldn’t be easy. Playing at the Marassi. Playing at lunchtime. And playing a reasonably impressive Sampdoria to date. But I don’t know if anyone expected it to be this difficult for Milan. Sampdoria shut us down in ways that we didn’t know we could be shut down before. And Zapata finally got to assist his cousin, even if he was on the other team. When the final whistle blew, it was all about frustration.


Frustration.

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