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.

Isn't this enough already?

Last season, I was a huge advocate of NOT getting a Europa League spot. Even with much better players, it is taking its toll on us mentally and physically. Although if we didn’t play in the Europa League, when would we ever see the €38m Andre Silva? But here we are, struggling to gel, struggling with mentality, and struggling with injuries. And with a coach who is still struggling to match up his trousers and socks.

But wait, there’s more! The Coppa Italia awaits us. Just six days after our last Europa League Group Stage match, we will face the winner of the Coppa Italia Verona Derby on December 13th. And if we manage to win that, then just two weeks later, sandwiched between two Serie A matches and Christmas, we will face the winner of Inter and either Cagliari or Pordenone in the quarterfinals. So even better that this is the year Serie A decided not to take a Christmas break. Because it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Here is how the schedule looks from now until the end of the year:

Nov. 18            Napoli-Milan
Nov. 23            Milan-Austria Wien
Nov. 26            Milan-Torino
Dec. 3             Benevento-Milan
Dec. 7              Rijeka-Milan
Dec. 10            Milan-Bologna
Dec. 12   Europa League Round of 32 Draw
Dec. 13            Milan- winner of Chievo-Verona
Dec. 17            Verona-Milan
Dec. 23            Milan-Atalanta
*Dec. 27          Coppa Italia Quarterfinal (possible Derby)
Dec. 30            Fiorentina-Milan
*Should we win on Dec. 13th

New research published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows a significant increase in muscle injuries when players play every five days or less. When allowed to play every six days, those numbers are much smaller. Milan will have one seven day break in the last six weeks of the year, the rest of the time, they’ll play every three to five days. So with the Coppa Italia added into our schedule, and no Christmas break, we have so many more injuries to look forward to.

The third trophy we're risking our health and fitness for 

It’s easy to speculate how this group would have done without the Europa League. Or with another manager. But speculation doesn’t change our position on the table, nor our current injury roster. We are here, and this is what we have ahead of us. If we really want to achieve Champions League qualification, this is what it will take. And this is what it will be like in Champions League, too, only with much more difficult opponents. So I hope you don’t have too many plans for the holidays, because your team needs your support. Especially with a schedule that is triple threatening.

This post inspired by the music of Band Aid 1984’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”

Triple Threatening Triple Threatening Reviewed by Elaine on 7:46 AM Rating: 5
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