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Showing posts from January, 2018

Coppa Italia • Milan 0, Lazio 0: Holding Pattern

Milan are undefeated in five matches now, with three wins in that streak. And while it’s obvious to look at the goals scored, considering that has been our biggest problem this season, this match begs us to look at how much the defense has improved: we have only conceded three goals in those five matches. Particularly in this match, when our arch-nemesis, Immobile, returned to the lineup but was kept off of the scoresheet. The man has scored 24 goals in 24 appearances this season, but not today. So even if the match wasn’t a victory on paper, it was a victory for consistency. Milan now seem to be in a holding pattern… and that’s a good thing.

Coppa Italia Semifinal • Milan-Lazio Preview: Hey

So with the controversy over Cutrone’s handball on Sunday still going strong, we get to face off against those same angry birds again tomorrow. Only this time, it’s the Coppa Italia semifinal, first leg, and this time I honestly don’t care about the result. It’s not just because it’s a midweek game and I’ll be racing home from work just to try to catch part of it. It’s just that for the rebuilding process, focusing on the league and earning a European spot that way is a much more productive goal at this point than hoping that all of the ref calls go our way for a measly Europa League spot from the Coppa Italia. So even if Lazio are certainly not going to be so nonchalant, I’m fine just relaxing and enjoying the match.

Milan 2, Lazio 1: With Heart and Hand

Gattuso has been bringing back the heart in this team, it’s really about all he’s got in his toolbox. But today’s performance was truly inspired. Not only did they play with heart, scoring first and then scoring again after conceding, they played with hand: Cutrone’s goal was actually scored with his arm. It sucks to be Lazio, but for Milan, it still felt like a deserved win. So many players had great performances, and the team finally seems to be playing like a team.

Milan-Lazio Preview: If the Eagles Don’t Get You…

So it’s time to play the Eagles again… no, not those Eagles. That’s American football, and that game is next week. No, this time we are playing the Eagles with the most racist fans in Serie A. In fact, these Eagles’ fans recently committed one of the most despicably racist and atrocious acts in a football stadium in recent memory. Then they got away with it – a relatively small fine for the club and no stadium bans for the fans, who don’t deserve the dirt they spit on. How that works, I’ll never know… I mean it is Italy. But this was low even for that embarrassingly low bar. I try to remember that those are the fans, not the players. But still, it’s a bitter pill to swallow that has no place in football. The moral of this story is that if the Eagles don’t get you, the racists will.

In Search of André Silva

Back in November, before Montella was sacked, I wrote about the problems he had in attack. Not just his ridiculous formation and tactics, but especially his personnel choices. And while Gattuso seems to be restoring some emotion to the squad, the struggle for goals is very real. And while he’s wisely changed tactics and is working hard to repair the fragile mentality of the team, he’s also clueless about how to find more goals. Specifically, he continues to trust only in Kalinic, leaving his younger, more talented strikers on the bench game after game. Most specifically, one very expensive Portuguese striker whom Cristiano Ronaldo himself dubbed as his heir. And so all of us are left in search of André Silva.

Cagliari 1, Milan 2: Winds of Change

This game risked being postponed due to high winds. But it also risked being a huge disappointment. However, the game was played, and it was likely only the Cagliari fans who were disappointed. For Milan fans, to string two wins together again was an unbelievable and refreshing surprise, especially ahead of the daunting double date with Lazio next week. But for today, the match gave us reason to believe again. Reason to believe in the winds of change.

Cagliari vs. Milan: Survivor

It’s time for the Tribal Council

Cagliari-Milan Preview: Here We Go Again

It’s like a predictable movie plot. Big club tries to renew with quality players. Big club stumbles and falls down the table. Big club meets smaller club near bottom of the table. Can you predict the ending? Because in a game where an apparent David meets a former Goliath, the club with the slingshot almost always wins. Anything is possible after a two week break, but facing off against the 16th place Cagliari right now is one of the scariest prospects for me. So get ready for disappointment, because here we go again.

Get Out!

The fans of most teams look at the transfer market as a time to purchase new players and improve their teams. But Milan have long carried too many players, and unfortunately, this new era is starting off with the same traditions. This month, we’re told, the goal is to “consolidate” our team… Mirabelli’s politically correct term for “selling surplus players.” Only he seems sadly unfamiliar with how difficult that is at a club like Milan. If he tries to sell a player for Milan’s valuation, no one wants to pay that inflated amount. Or if there are players like Paletta and José Mauri, who are virtually frozen out of the team, they still refuse to leave the club where they are treated like kings, despite playing like peasants. Which leaves Milan fans frustrated once again, and the kindest thing they have to say is “Get out!”

Podcast: Midseason Player Ratings

The late winter break is only really good for one thing: talking about the players and the season to date. So we took full advantage of the opportunity and hashed out every player in the squad just for you. You’re welcome.

One of the few Milan fans I could talk an hour about Milan with and not get bored is Pete. You can follow him on Twitter @PDAcquaviva for all of his wisdom about Milan and more. This time we talked about:
• News of the Week:Gattuso getting old, new partnership in China, GPS, Mirabelli speaks, Bacca assessment
• Player Ratings: Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Strikers Gattuso
• Coming up: Upcoming matches

Download this Episode

Thanks again to Pete for spending so much time haggling numbers with me and making me laugh. Follow him on Twitter for more thought provoking tweets and humor @PDAcquaviva.

Our nest match is Serie A Week 21 Cagliari vs. Milan Sunday, January 21 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)

Poll: Management Midseason

It’s hard to remember that Yonghong Li has not even owned the club for one whole year. We bought 12 new players and are already on our second coach. Results are not what anyone wanted or expected, but there are also a lot of changes for the good. There is transparency, great communication with the fans via the official social media, press conferences, and even weekly injury updates. We were warned well in advance that we wouldn’t do much if anything in this mercato, and so far, they are sticking to that. When Yonghong Li makes public statements, they are about the club and his desire to bring Milan back to greatness, not about himself like a certain former owner. And although his personal life and finances are shrouded in mystery, he has yet to be accused of having sex with a minor or any of the other myriad charges Silvio incurred during his time at Milan’s owner. Fassone and Mirabelli have been largely professional in all of their dealings, and haven’t done too poorly for newbies. …

The Troubled Hakan Calhanoglu

Fans have been largely disappointed with the performances of Hakan Calhanoglu since he came to Milan. I don’t know why, three goals and four assists in all competitions at this point in the season is great for a newcomer settling into the team. We also knew he was coming off of a four match ban and would perhaps take longer to reach optimal levels than the other players. But how much did we really know about the troubled Hakan Calhanoglu?

Podcast: Mysteries and Musings

We watch them play on the pitch each week, we support the club they own, but who are these people, really? Are there things we should know about them that we don’t? These were some of the questions we tried to find answers to, along with some of the more tangible things to discuss at Milan these days.

Milan 1, Crotone 0: The Right Place at the Right Time

Some games are fierce battles, or proper displays of talent. This game was neither of those things, really, no offense to any of the players from either team. But the winning goal that stood was from the guy who was in the right place at the right time to capitalize on the embarrassing error of Cordaz, Crotone’s keeper. And thank goodness for Bonucci being there, too, because Milan recorded 26 shots, nine of which were supposedly on goal, and only one goal was actually scored in this match.

Milan vs. Crotone: Sharknado Alert at the San Siro

Milan could use some help from la Befana today

Serie A Week 20 Milan vs. Crotone Saturday, January 6 • 15:00 CET (9 EST) This match will be shown LIVE on RAI Italia in the U.S.