Sunday, April 23, 2017

Milan 1, Empoli 2: Some Things Never Change

They say that old habits die hard and some habits die harder than others. To be fair, Empoli were playing for their proverbial Serie A lives, and credit is to be given to them, especially Skorupski. But in this match, Milan were haunted by what Mihajlovic called “the ghosts of Milan.” We saw defensive errors, an inability to score, conceding on a set piece… just like old times. And there may or may not be a correlation to the fact that Montolivo was back on the bench and Galliani came to watch the match. I’ll let you decide. But it also impacted the fans, who behaved like entitled douchebags. Some things never change.

"Yeah, Montella told Montolivo to warm up. Can you believe it?!!"

Milan vs. Empoli: Perception

After all Milan have been through, and now this. It’s devastating.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Milan-Empoli Preview: To the Pain

In the movie “The Princess Bride,” the hero, Westley, challenges the villain, Prince Humperdinck, to a duel. Not to the death, but to the pain. Like Westley, who had suffered immeasurable pain and even death only to be brought back to life by true love, AC Milan has suffered immeasurably these past five years. Still weak from the suffering, Milan’s sale is hoping to bring new life back to the club, our one true love. Empoli are near death… er… relegation, but still five points clear at this point. So Milan need to fight them to the pain… close enough so that they can still hear the shriek of every child at the sight of the 17th place club, just above relegation, wallowing in freakish misery in Serie A.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Back to Work

The Derby dust has settled, the closing is official, and Yonghong Li has returned to China. Berlusconi is counting his money and Galliani is probably not renting a bicycle or eating at Giannino. The media are busy pulling names out of hats and creating stories about bringing every single footballer in the world to Milan, and the fans are dutifully believing all of it. All of this can only mean that it’s time to go back to work.

The letters have cooled on those kits, now it's time to make good on all of those promises

Monday, April 17, 2017

Podcast: Finally

After eleven months of uncertainty, the sale of Milan finally closed. The 31 year legacy of Berlusconi is over. But this new ownership raises as many questions as it brings answers. And speaking of answers, after Inter came into the Derby with a two point lead at halftime, Milan’s defenders came back with two goals of their own to answer. So recording right after that match, you can imagine what kind of conversation this was.

Celebrating with the new management after the Derby

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Inter 2, Milan 2: Epic Karma

The irony was not lost on me. In November, Milan suffered a heartbreaking 2-2 draw in the Derby with a goal scored in the dying minutes of stoppage time. So it was only fitting that we should show Inter the same kindness today. And that draw feels like a win, considering the difference in our quality of players. And quality of coreo. The Curva Sud created a Robin Hood themed coreo whose second banner said “Every city has its problems,” aimed at Inter. We definitely won that one. But what a perfect result for us today, who were definitely the underdogs on the pitch. And what epic Karma for Inter.

"Milano: Every city has its problems"

Friday, April 14, 2017

Inter vs. Milan: Lunchtime

“Tastes like chicken”

Inter vs. Milan Preview: Of Serpents and Devils

People are still talking about the closing of the sale of Milan, as well they should be. Particularly since we are getting our first look at the new management today with the big press conference. But like the evil, all-knowing eye of Sauron, my focus has turned completely to the Derby. Because, hello? It’s the Derby. And not just any Derby. One that will likely matter if one team gets a Europa League spot or not. One that finds both teams on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to both their quality of players and their form. A tale of the lowly Biscione, or serpents, and the mighty (if a bit downtrodden) Diavoli, or devils. The Derby is always a tasty treat, but this one is shaping up to be spectacular.

Artwork from the wall in the tunnels of San Siro shows how the story is supposed to end

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Closing...?

It’s the only thing that could begin to distract from the Derby. A Derby with both teams separated by only two points. Both clubs aiming for a Europa League spot. Inter have more quality players, but Milan have better form and more heart. A game that could be one of the biggest of the year, and yet two days ahead of it, we are talking about something else. The only thing that is bigger than the Derby is the closing of the sale of the club.

Cartoon artist @Valerio Marini on the takeover

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Double Derby

The only thing more exciting than one Derby in a week is when there are two Derbies in the same week. And that is happening this week. In addition to our mens’ Derby on Saturday, Milan Ladies are playing their Derby tonight against Inter Femminile. Whereas the mens teams drew back in November, Milan Ladies have a loss to avenge from their home derby, also in November.

There's only one side to be on, but there are two red and black teams to support

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Milan 4, Palermo 0: Synchronicity

The dictionary defines synchronicity as “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” This weekend in Serie A would appear to be exactly that, at least as far as Milan are concerned. While Milan’s win was so incredibly heartening after recent performances, the results of other games also favored us, with Atalanta drawing to Sassuolo, Lazio losing to Napoli, and Inter losing to Crotone. That leaves us in sixth place with 57 points, just three points away from fourth place Lazio. More importantly, it leaves Inter two points behind us in seventh ahead of Saturday’s Derby.

They did their job, Crotone did theirs, too

Friday, April 7, 2017

Milan-Palermo Preview: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

After drawing with the 10th place team on Sunday, this week we face the 19th place team, Palermo. We have a lot in common with Palermo. Both clubs have crazy owners. And both clubs are in the midst of being sold to new crazy owners right now. But one team is in seventh, vying for a European spot, and the other is one foot in Serie B for next season. One club is waiting for a questionable Chinese businessman with a lot of loans to take them over, the other is closing their deal with an eccentric American. So I don’t know who will win, but I do know that one of these things is not like the other.

Worlds apart... new Milan and Palermo owners

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Podcast: Uncertainty

Uncertain performances on the pitch and an uncertain future have left much to the imagination. With a Derby on the horizon and a European spot becoming less likely with every unconvincing performance, hopes are starting to fade on the pitch. Similarly, off the pitch the newest closing date seems more likely than ever, but only because of a massive loan that brings more questions than answers. All of it adds up to all new levels of uncertainty.

And we thought our future was uncertain with this guy

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pescara 1, Milan 1: Off

Montella did well to bring mentality back to Milan, the biggest thing that we had been missing in recent years. But I’ve often wondered how much of it may have been accidental, as it’s gone missing this calendar year. Sometimes we’re missing it for the first half or the second half or for 20 minutes when an opponent scores two goals on us. And with injuries, it seemed an excuse for losing some of our form. But we had a lot of starters back today, and so there were no excuses for playing nearly 90 minutes without mentality. Everyone was just off.

Muntari can only watch with envy, knowing he once played for Milan, too

Pescara vs. Milan: Double Jeopardy

One attacks, the other stops everyone and everything in his path