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Showing posts from September, 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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 historythere, 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.

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.

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.

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™.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.