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Showing posts from November, 2017

Podcast: Lowered Expectations

With the long overdue yet surprise sacking of Montella and the unfortunately predictable promoting of Gattuso from the Primavera squad, fans are dealing with yet another change at the club. And not a change for the better. Despite making a coaching change to improve results, management have chosen a coach who is least likely to do that. It seems the club have lowered expectations.

Shake It Up

Montella’s time was limited, we’ve known that for a while. But ever since reports came out that Gattuso would be their go-to guy if Montella was sacked, fans became much less excited about losing the frustrating, mediocre tactician. Ambrosini, Gattuso’s former teammate, has suggested that sometimes chemistry can overcome experience in a team. That was really kind of him to say that about his friend. But it’s about as realistic as finding a pot of gold on the way to work tomorrow. Even Fassone and Mirabelli aren’t promising results, they simply claim that this is the change needed to shake it up.

Milan 0, Torino 0: Montella’s Last Stand

Some people go out in a ball of flames, others go out in 90 minutes of mind-numbing frustration. Montella did not do the first. But after over 51,000 fans watched this side “dominate,” yet draw to Torino, Montella was finally sacked. The irony of Montella being sacked after facing Mihajlovic is not lost on me, especially with the direct juxtaposition of quality and spending on players, but the result being level. And we can’t say we didn’t see this coming, either, especially since Montella had so many problems just even matching up his clothes.Still, with the lack of action on management’s part to date, it was nevertheless a bit of a surprise to find out that this was Montella’s last stand.

Milan-Torino Preview: Sitting Bull

For those of you familiar with American history, you’ll recognize the name of Sitting Bull. He was a Lakota spiritual leader who inspired victories for his people such as the Battle of Little Bighorn, aka Custer’s Last Stand. Well the Bulls of Torino also have a spiritual leader whose name you will recognize: Sinisa Mihajlovic. And he has led his people to 9th place on the table, just one point behind Milan, despite having missed his star scorer, Belotti, for a while to injury. And yes, that is the Belotti that Milan fans wanted this summer. But he’s back alongside the unpredictable Ljajic, the underrated Iago Falque, and our former Niang. Together, they create a formidable attack that any team should be wary of, especially if their coach is like Sitting Bull.

Europa League: AC Milan 5, Austria Wien 1: Déjà vu

We knew coming into this match that we should come out on top. Not just because we beat Austria Wien so handily before in their house, but because they were plagued with injuries. After Bonucci challenged Milan fans to show up to the San Siro, about 18,000 fans did. I don’t know what everyone else was doing, because it wasn’t Thanksgiving in Italy. But maybe they knew that Milan would win in spite of themselves, capitalizing on Austria Wien’s mistakes and trying not to make too many of their own. They missed out, though, because the game was kind of a spectacle, even if the scoreline was more like déjà vu.

Europa League • AC Milan vs. Austria Wien: A Milan Thanksgiving

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 housein 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.