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Showing posts from July, 2018

Tottenham 1, AC Milan 0: So That Happened

Milan have picked up right where they left off last season, with missed chances the theme for the night. With only 44% possession, Milan took 16 shots, yet only five were on target. Yet the far more clinical Spurs took only five shots, yet three were on target. Couple our plague of not being able to score with our impressively poor defensive errors, and you get an unnecessary friendly loss. Yeah, so that happened.

Tottenham-AC Milan Preview: Gattuso’s Revenge

The last time we faced Tottenham was three years ago in the Audi Cup, when they beat us 2-0. Before that, it was in the Champions League, with the infamous Joe Jordan vs. Gennaro Gattuso matchup. Hopefully no one at Tottenham makes xenophobic remarks tonight, especially since it’s just a friendly, because we don’t need to tempt fate. Besides, it has been over a year now since Gattuso faced discipline for physical violence against someone else, it would be great to keep that streak going. I for one would like to see Gattuso’s team avenge the Jordan incident on the pitch with a win against a team whose mascot and namesake represent an ugly facet of the brutally barbaric and inhumane sport of cockfighting. I think it’s finally time for Gattuso’s Revenge.

Podcast: Milan in USA

In spite of all of the changes off the pitch, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Milan up close and personal here in Los Angeles. From stalking them at the airport to meeting Gattuso to watching them play right before my very eyes, it brought me great joy at a time when there are so many unanswered questions at the club.

AC Milan 1 (8), Manchester United 1 (9): Penalized

The only thing worse than an Interista is a Manchester United fan. And the only thing worse than a Manchester United fan is an American Manchester United fan. When they weren’t playing with beach balls, doing the wave, and trying to see themselves on the big screen during the entire game (instead of watching), they complained at every ref call, even some that went their way. Some of them chose to cheer their team only when they made a hard foul or if there was a Milan fan injured with, say, a possible head injury. But they cheered the penalties as if it was a World Cup final. I’m guessing that’s the only part of the game they understood. A shame that ignorance isn’t penalized.

AC Milan vs. Manchester United: California Dreamin’

Following two weeks of absolute turmoil at the club and with no one officially hired to replace Fassone and Mirabelli, our squad face the daunting task of focusing enough to play football again. After winning their friendly 2-0 on Friday vs. Serie B side Novara, the guys hopped on two planes to get to Los Angeles and have been maintaining a schedule that is difficult for even the most fervent fans to successfully stalk them. Not that I would ever do that, but how often do they come to Los Angeles? It’s been nine years since they were last here, so of course I’ve been stalking them. You, know, for all of you fans worldwide. Anyway, Wednesday night, at a stadium just 20 minutes away from my house, they will take on one of those English teams that Americans know the name of but have never actually seen them play. And I will be there. Will Milan win? Probably not. But who cares? I’m just California dreamin’.

Rehab

Last week marked a lot of changes at Milan. With the CAS overturning our European ban, then the shareholders’ meeting confirming the takeover by Elliott as well as changing the board, it marked the beginning of a whole new era for the club. But don’t expect it to be all sunshine and roses. Elliott have made it clear that they are not here for the fans. Their goal is a three year plan to rehabilitate Milan financially, with the goals of returning Milan to its glory as a secondary concept, and then only to support the first. So as fans, we need to be ready for the detox, withdrawals, and all of the other awful things that come with rehab.

Get Over Me

After a two year long abusive hostage relationship with Yonghong Li, Elliott Management Corporation stormed the building, took him down, and transferred us to a more stable rehabilitation center. It is reported that they will now hold us for another three years to further “rehabilitate” us. Odd that we would feel safer with the vultures in rehab, but after what we’ve been through, it really does feel more stable somehow. Just when I was emotionally preparing myself for the vulture mercato, though, Yonghong Li wrote an open letter to everyone, including us fans. So I decided to write a letter back. The message? Get over me.

Shareholders and Appeals and Friendlies, Oh My!

Our club has a lot of parallels between the story of the Wizard of Ozright now. For example, we just learned that the man behind the curtain is not an all-wealthy wizard, and so now our club is owned by a company that is much closer to Kansas than in some fantasy world. So now we are vulnerable and forced to take a path through strange woods, where we will undoubtedly meet shareholders’ meetings and appeals and friendlies… Oh my!

Podcast: Hope Is All We Have

Another change in ownership, a ban from Europe, and a zero balance mercato. When will Milan fans catch a break? So much to talk about, but nothing that we would like to be talking about. And yet as fans, we are still here, still emotionally committed to the red and black. So it seems that hope is all we have.

Stalled

I like to believe that Yonghong Li wanted to create a legacy for himself at Milan. And he seemed to want to help the growth of football in China, too. But instead, he will be remembered as the guy who held Milan’s mercato hostage twice trying to buy the club, then brought everything at the club to a screeching halt when he defaulted on his loans from Elliott Management. Between the European ban and subsequent appeal and the red tape that comes along with any change in management, Milan have just stalled.

New Kits: Look What the Cat Dragged In

When it was announced that Adidas was dropping Milan as our kit provider, we all feared the worst. Then Puma was announced as our kit provider, and we knew it would be even worse than that. Even still, I am not sure we could be prepared for the atrocious disparity between last year’s amazing Adidas first kits and the feeble offering that Puma dragged in.

Plan B

So Milan are officially owned by Elliott Management Corporation, the American hedge vulture fund that loaned Yonghong Li the cash to buy the club in the first place. This was the scenario that UEFA feared for Milan – not that Yonghong Li didn’t have the money, but rather that we would fall into the hands of a vulture fund – businessmen without morals who are just looking for a quick buck. And while UEFA themselves helped to push us into this position, it seems that Paul Singer and his Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited actually have a Plan B.

Podcast: Whatever

Raduno literally means “rally,” and that is what is supposed to happen to kick of Milan’s new season today. But what can we rally around? The new kit is poor, we don’t know if we’ll have Europe or not still, and now we don’t even know who will own the club by the time the season kicks off in five weeks. It’s hard to be excited about anything at this point, so as passionate Milan fans, sometimes we just have to say “whatever.”

Inter vs. AC Milan: The FFP Derby

The focus lately has been on AC Milan’s FFP punishment, a very harsh exclusion from European competition, reportedly primarily for “break-even” violations. But lesser known is that Inter have been sanctioned for FFP violations since 2015, and still have yet to meet their break-even requirements and thus will continue those sanctions again this year. Yet despite having consistently lost literally billions in recent decades, UEFA used kid gloves with Inter. Whereas Milan, who have been more consistently successful on and off the pitch up until the last few years of Berlusoni’s ownership, were thrown under the bus and run over with a very questionable ruling by UEFA.

The Penalty Shootout

There are many cruel and horrible things in this world that man inflicts upon himself. But in football, none are more cruel than the penalty shootout to determine the winner of a match. And, of course, the loser. Even worse when the shootout determines whether your team stays or goes home in a tournament. The most cruel, of course is when a penalty shootout determines who wins the world title and lifts the trophy, and who relives their missed penalty over and over obsessively for the rest of their lives as the loser. After 90 minutes of nonstop running, then another 30, the slightest error or the heroics of an opposition goalkeeper – just a split second – determines which players go home with tears of joy and which players go home with tears of agony. It’s literally the worst.

Maldini at 50

The legendary Paolo Maldini turned 50 last Tuesday. Although he retired from football in 2009, he still manages to keep busy with new adventures. But his birthday was also a chance to reflect on that incredible football career, as well as his life in general. He answered 50 questions from La Gazzetta dello Sport, and RossoneriBlog kindly translated them into English for us. If you click any link on this blog ever, please click that one and read every answer, you won’t be disappointed.