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

The cat is out of the bag: Bonucci and Biglia could not play in this match or any competitive match yet. Not because they weren’t registered to play in the Europa League. Because they are not paid for. Imagine the man who couldn’t close the deal for the club for 11 months and finally did so only with a €300m high-interest short term loan from a hedge fund also doesn’t have the money for a €211m summer shopping spree? So now we wait until August 11th for some money to come in to pay for Bonucci and Biglia so we can officially register them with the league and with UEFA.

Remember August 5th last year, when the contract was signed and a payment made so that Sino Europe Sports could buy AC Milan before the end of 2016? That went well. They surely had the money every time they said they would, right? Sorry, I’m just kind of freaking out right now because if the money doesn’t come through, Bonucci & Biglia are surely not going to be waiting 11 months for if it does. They need to play. And this puts all of our “star striker” dreams into question, as well. How could we buy Belotti for €70-100m when we don’t have any euros at all?

Paid for (loan)

But oh, yeah, there was a game. And it was pretty terrible. And not just because we were missing Bonucci & Biglia, or even Romagnoli, Suso, Calhanoglu, and more. Literally the new players that we paid money for (except for Borini) all played really well. And the ones we didn’t spend money on… well some were okay, but most were terrible. Reinforcing the “you get what you pay for” concept.

Sure, there was Donnarumma’s point blank save on Mitrita in the 22nd. Or Cutrone’s incredible shot that was deflected and hit the post in the 27th. Or his header I the 65th that was just wide. There was the miracle in the 60th when Gigio had parried the ball away, and Mitrita’s follow-up shot was just wide. Or any one of Niang’s “almost” shots. But the determining moment was a free kick that Rodriguez curled expertly past their defense and keeper in the 44th minute. 1-0 Milan.

Perhaps they should have taken a collection instead of saluting the Curva

But those moments were tiny pearls of beauty in a game that was lethargic, sloppy, mistake-prone, and dreadful to watch. And that included players other than Montolivo, too. Craiova were just too fast and had too many shots for what this Milan team were capable of shutting down. Instead, the only thing that shut down was my pulse while watching.

However, the adage “You get what you pay for” was on display in Craiova. Despite miraculously winning the first leg with an away goal to show for it, football and all of the fans who were hoping to see some football, suffered terribly. And while this is not entirely unexpected, it is depressing. Our first European match after so long, and we very much disappointed. Yet more worrisome than the match is the news that Milan have yet to pay for Bonucci and Biglia for lack of funds. And if that continues, Milan will continue to suffer.

This post inspired by the music of The Damned

Our next match is
Europa League Qualifying Stage
AC Milan vs. Universitatea Craiova
Thursday, August 3 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

Europa League • Craiova 0, Milan 1: You Get What You Pay For Europa League • Craiova 0, Milan 1: You Get What You Pay For Reviewed by Elaine on 11:31 PM Rating: 5
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