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Showing posts from February, 2017

This Time It’s Different

If I had a nickel for every time Milan fans told me that this deal was different than the Mr. Bee deal, I could afford to buy the club myself. And the money would be there on time, too. “It’s different because there’s a €100m deposit,” they told me before the last big delay. “It’s different because there’s a €200m deposit,” they have been telling me since December. Yes, it’s different alright. Since Sino Europe Sports entered into an actual contract with Milan, they have cost us two transfer markets of improving the squad. Every single change we made in the squad had to be approved by all of those extra people, in a different time zone, with no cash to pay for anything. And that cost us dearly on transfers that even Galliani might not have screwed up on his own.

Sassuolo 0, Milan 1: And the Award Goes To…

On the same day that Hollywood were celebrating themselves in the most ostentatious of ways, Serie A were also rewarding Oscar-worthy performances. There were dives and tantrums, fouls galore, and questionable calls of every shape and size. In the end, it was a penalty taken incorrectly that gave Milan the win. But the award goes to a man with a pocket full of gold… or at least yellow. Calvarese gave out seven yellow cards in the first half alone. And that was not even the pièce de résistance of his performance, either. Penalty calls, penalty non-calls, fouls called, fouls not called, and even some questionable hair moments. So for all of these reasons, it is time to present the highest award in any league or academy for a performance that transcends art and sport. And the award goes to… Gianpiero Calvarese.

Sassuolo vs. Milan: Broken Heart Club

Not sure whose hearts will be broken at the end of 90 minutes

Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Chemistry

It’s no secret that Milan have an unusual relationship with Sassuolo. If by unusual, you mean a knack for losing to the little giants. But it’s not just their propensity, since being promoted, to beat us in the most spectacular of ways. I believe it goes all the way to the top. Their owner, Giorgio Squinzi, is a chemist by trade. He is also a lifelong Milanista and makes no secret about that. He has discovered the perfect formula to not only beat Milan, but to find amazing success with the smallest of budgets. It begs the question as to whether or not football is more science than sport.

Big Fat Paycheck

Whatever with Milan’s results this year. Whatever might seem stressful amongst the team or on the pitch, it’s nothing in comparison. Not even the sale of the club is as stressful as one singular thing: Donnarumma’s contract renewal. Gigio’s 18th birthday is this Saturday, and Milan fans have been losing sleep over whether or not he’ll renew with Milan and if Milan will offer him enough to keep the other clubs away. It’s not the player that we worry about, we know he’s Milan nel cuore. It’s his agent, Mino Raiola, the most despicable agent in football. He doesn’t care about the well being of his clients, he only cares about how rich they can make him. We look at Donnarumma and see perhaps the greatest goalkeeper ever. He looks at Donnarumma and sees a big fat paycheck.

Milan 2, Fiorentina 1: Still Dreaming

This match was hyped to be an important match in the race for Europe. With both teams having a point to prove, there was even more emotion in the air when they took the pitch at the San Siro. Those emotions often took over the rational thought of players and fans alike, much to the chagrin of Valeri and team. But in the end, the grinta that Milan have been surviving on won again, over any kind of good football and against a very worthy opponent. So we are still in seventh place, but now we are four points clear of the Viola in the hunt for Europe. With two goals and despite three center backs, Milan are still dreaming.

Milan vs. Fiorentina: Serie A Duel Club

Win, lose, or draw, one thing is certain: Sparks will fly

Milan-Fiorentina Preview: Point to Prove

Fiorentina will be arriving at the San Siro on Sunday just a single point behind us on the table. One point. Playing in the Europa League yesterday was likely all that much more of a reminder that they’ll want to be in Europe again next season. Milan were likely painfully aware all week that they are not playing in Europe again this season, and with the hope of an infusion of cash finally this summer, are all the more desperate to get back to European competition so that they can actually attract big players to the team. When you consider that both sides also earned a point when they last played each other in September in a nil-nil draw, on Sunday, both sides absolutely will have a point to prove.

Podcast: Another Year, Another Podcast

Six years ago, Milan Obsession quietly came into existence as a humble little blog talking about Milan. Four years ago, the podcast was added. And now, in 2017, I think it’s clear that I will never stop talking about Milan. Ever. Like it or not, I took this chance to have a great chat about Milan to celebrate these milestones. You’re welcome.

Lazio 1, Milan 1: Hijacked

This was supposed to be a gift for Lazio. A chance to jump into fourth place on the table, as Milan were coming to the Olimpico missing almost all of our defense and other key players. But despite their best efforts, including 23 shots with a whopping ten of those on target, their chance was spoiled by some grinta and a single moment of brilliance from Suso. And their fourth place plans got hijacked.

Lazio vs. Milan: Walking Dead

Lazio-Milan Preview: Wilderness Survival

Some people will intentionally put themselves in harm’s way under the premise of adventure. They put themselves in the wilderness with little to nothing and force themselves to find food and shelter and survive predators and the elements alike… for fun. That’s crazy. But then there are those who find themselves in a similar situation through no fault of their own, stranded because of an accident or something, and they must fight literally to live or die. That is Milan this week. With injuries and suspensions alike, they must go to the lair of the Eagles and fight for their European competition lives. Pippo Inzaghi’s little brother and his convocation of Eagles are already circling over the stadium looking for their red and black prey, while Montella is leaving his star players on the training table in search of a starting eleven that can survive this match. It is wilderness survival time for Milan.

Grinta

Italians have a word that loosely translates to “grit” in English, but there is more to it than just grit. Grinta is more like when you not only dig deep and play against all odds, but you play with heart, you leave your soul on the pitch, your every last bit of sweat and blood. Grinta is what we saw on Wednesday, when a tough away match got tougher. And tougher. And then even tougher. Until it seemed absolutely impossible that we were not down by multiple goals. And just when you just knew it was absolutely insurmountable, they achieved the impossible. The horror on the faces of the Bologna defenders as Pasalic’s goal hit the back of the net said it all. It was absolutely unfreakingbelievable. And it was all because eight and a half players played all 90 minutes with grinta.

Bologna 0, Milan 1: Never Say Dai

For years, Milan has had a mentality issue, that is no secret. First with that coach-who-shall-not-be-named who used to scream “Dai Dai Dai” as his only solution for the very problems he created. Then the laundry list of coaches since then who were given the task of making wine from water and obviously failed to work such miracles. Finally, Montella came along. And earlier results would seem to indicate that maybe he had solved the mentality issue. Then January came, and it became painfully obvious that he had simply masked those problems, and we were reaping the consequences. But whether today’s win was a one-off to test our mentality, or if it is an indicator that there is some permanent change, it was an incredible result against all odds. Certainly, it taught me to never say Dai.

Bologna-Milan Preview: Not Again

Seriously, we just played Sunday. Now we’re playing again? And away? With all of our fullbacks still on the injury table? Seriously, midweek games are terrible. For many of us not in Italy, the games are during the work day, and thus difficult to be able to watch. But after four losses in a row, our discouraged and wounded team are facing a team with a point to prove and an English speaking Twitter admin that legends are made of.

Milan 0, Sampdoria 1: Consequences

At the beginning of the season, I warned against some red flags that I saw with Montella as far as discipline, substitutions, and his preferred playing style. One month into the season, I wrote about them again. Then came the honeymoon period, when Montolivo was injured and everything started to click. Winning the Supercoppa made us feel like it would last forever, pumping optimism into fans at a rate that was impossible to sustain. And then came January. Early results were favorable, but the level of play was worrying. Oh yeah, and injuries. Now we just suffered our fourth defeat in a row, to the team who were in 13th place. And we get to play the new 13th place team midweek, ironically because of the Supercoppa and scheduling. All of that winning seems twice as far away now with every loss. It seems that we are finally reaping the consequences.

Milan vs. Sampdoria: A Visit From the Ex

Which member of the former happy couple will go home happy?

Milan vs. Sampdoria Sunday, February 5 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST) This match will be shown LIVE on RAI in the U.S.

FORZA MILAN!

Milan-Sampdoria Preview: Alternative Facts

My country has been overtaken by a truth-optional regime who have coined the term for their bold-faced lies as “alternative facts.” After such a hopeful first half of the season, I am struggling to come to terms with Milan’s current reality. So for Sunday’s match, I am going to go with this alternative reality scenario and tell myself some alternative facts.

Milan’s Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is an American holiday since 1887 in which the weather conditions at the time that a groundhog emerges from his burrow on that day are believed to predict either an early spring or six more weeks of winter. While I do not condone reaching into the burrow of a large rodent and dragging him out in front of a bunch of people who may have already been drinking at such an early hour for a silly weather prediction, this holiday also inspired a beloved film by the same name in 1993. In the film, Bill Murray plays a character who lives and re-lives Groundhog Day over and over until he learns some important life lessons. Much like that film, I feel like Milan are stuck re-living the same hellish nightmare over and over, and we may continue until we learn our lessons.