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Showing posts from May, 2019

End of an Era

While everyone anxiously awaits a decision from Paolo Maldini as to whether or not he will accept the offer to be Milan’s next Technical Director, there is a lot for us to think about, too. Just a few days ago, Abate, Gattuso, and Leonardo were all at Milan. Now, none of them are. Their careers and fates all intertwined in some very interesting ways, and now they all left together. They also represent an end of an era. Not only because of their history together, but because as they leave, Milan is making some big changes to modernize the club and become FFP compliant. Even more than those three leaving, all of these changes represent the end of an era.

Grazie Gattuso

Despite the toughest of criticism toward our now former coach, Rino Gattuso left Milan with dignity and a respect that most other coaches will never receive. Like his playing career, he chose to leave Milan on his own terms, for the good of the team. And he walked away from the money, too, leaving his salary that would have been owed him behind. Because for him, it was never about money or fame. It was always about Milan. And when he had given all that he had and it still wasn’t enough, he stepped down. For Milan.

Next

As of this writing, the reports from most sources say that Leonardo will resign today, and that Gattuso will mutually rescind his contract. Two massive moves in a club that desperately needs consistency. Yet if they are both true, they are likely steps in the right direction. And while everyone is talking about what’s next, it’s important to look at why they are leaving, too.

SPAL 2, Milan 3: Never Enough

Milan’s season was such a season of change after so many years of decline. Maldini came back, and at times, it seemed that his return alone would be enough. But it wasn’t. Despite his leadership, despite improving the squad, despite the passion of all of the players and the fans, we fell one point short of returning to the Champions League this season. One point. It just seems like no matter how hard we try to claw our way back, it is never enough.

SPAL vs. Milan: Milan DNA

Will the outcomes of all of the matches resurrect our Champions League dreams?

SPAL vs. Milan: One Match to Rule Them All

Milan fans have become almost obsessed with returning to the Champions League. Although to be fair, their obsession is nothing on comparison to Juventus’ obsession with trying to win the Champions League. That obsession truly is more like the one ring, it has consumed and nearly destroyed them. No, Milan’s obsession with returning is a lot more like Frodo Baggins wanting to return home to the Shire after carrying the ring and seeing too much. We are a team that has traveled too far from home and are now ready to go back home. Only we have not escaped Mordor just yet. Not only does at least one more team need to drop points, but we face a worthy opponent in the eleventh place SPAL. As we discussed on the latest podcast, Milan have no choice but to win. This is one match to rule them all (or at least hopefully qualify for Champions League next season.)

Podcast: Fingers Crossed

Milan have left everything to the last matchday, and have given control of our European fate to rival clubs. Not that Milan fans needed any more anxiety in our lives, but it’s not particularly surprising, either. So while we are waiting for the final match, we talked about everything Milan, looking back and trying not to think too hard about the future, keeping our fingers crossed.

Milan 2, Frosinone 0: Con il Milan nel Cuore nel Sempre

This was a must-win match against a side who were already relegated. On paper, Milan should have destroyed Frosinone. But matches aren’t played on paper, they are played with blood, sweat, and tears. And they are played with heart. With this being Milan’s last home match of the year, there was at least one person for whom this match was played completely with his heart. It was Abate’s last match for Milan at the San Siro, and when he was subbed off to a 61,000 fan ovation, he revealed what was in his heart: Milan. Forever.

Milan vs. Frosinone: The Iron Throne

So many questions will be answered tonight

Milan-Frosinone Preview: The Penultimate Chance

It feels like Milan have been on their last chance for Champions League qualification for some time now. Indeed, we are not even the masters of our own fate, but must win both of our remaining matches and hope for the results of other teams to go our way. Despite the fact that Frosinone are already relegated, they will be playing for honor. Which is more than Milan has played for lately, so therefore still dangerous. Milan must end this match with three points if we even want to have a chance. This game is our penultimate chance.

Like Maldini

Fans were so excited this year to welcome Maldini back into the club. Finally, we could sleep at night. He represents the best of Milan and the best of all of us, and we knew our club would be safe in his hands. Because if it weren’t, he would be honest and tell us. Just like he was brutally honest about what he thought should be done when he wasn’t at the club. And he was always right, too. The fact that Galliani never listened to him or brought him back was one of the most painful parts of being a Milan fan in the post-Maldini era. Yet Maldini coming back didn’t solve all of our problems overnight. One of the reasons being that the players and fans haven’t followed his example. It’s hard to have a Maldini-esque Milan when we are not all willing to be a little more like Maldini.

Fiorentina 0, Milan 1: Miracle in Florence

I wasn’t sure Milan would be up to the task given their performances the past two and a half months or so, but somehow, they put in about 30 improved minutes of football and that was enough to take home all three points from Florence today. Which was a miracle for fans and also for the fact that we have often struggled to win in their house. Because we have left our fate in the hands of other teams, it’s impossible to know if this was enough. But being arguably our toughest match of our final three, it is a big sigh of relief to get the win. In fact, it’s a bit of a miracle.

Fiorentina-Milan Preview: He Wants Revenge

Remember that guy Montella? Spent a lot of time on his hair, matching his socks to his outfits, etc.? Probably spent as much of his time at Milan at Diesel getting all of his free clothes as he spent thinking about lineups? Yeah, that guy. Well he’s back at Fiorentina again, and still seems hurt about getting fired by Milan. So while Gattuso is just trying to save our season before he gets the axe, we’d better watch out for the pretty boy coach, because he wants revenge.

Podcast: Lost

Milan can’t even celebrate a win anymore because we are unravelling so badly it doesn’t feel like a win. Of course we’ve still been mostly losing, but adding on a ridiculous amount of poor discipline on and off the pitch. With the same tired tactics leading to worse performances and results, it’s actually not that much of a surprise that Gattuso and the team just seem lost.

Milan 2, Bologna 1: Despicable Milan

From soul-crushing performances and behavior that should be beneath even an Inter player, we managed to win this match in spite of ourselves. The game had everything vile about football: red cards, a player refusing to sub on and possibly cursing out their coach, and another probable season-ending injury that left another player leaving the San Siro on crutches. Did I mention we actually won? Yeah, that kind of got lost in all of the other stuff. Three very needed points that could not wash away the bitter taste in our mouths. Otherwise known as despicable Milan.

Milan-Bologna Preview: Make it Stop

First, we plummeted from third place all the way down to seventh. Meanwhile, the performances plummeted even further. There were discipline problems, racial abuse, and injuries. Now, ritiro, the most useless “team building” (read: punishment) activity ever known to man. And in ritiro, Caldara ruptured his ACL and will be out again for another 5-6 months. As if that weren’t bad enough, we are facing an in-form Bologna that are determined to climb the table as much as possible in their last four games, coached by our former manager, Mihajlovic. Please, someone, just make it stop.

Losing It

Milan are losing what we hoped was a strong grip on a return to Champions League for next year. Lost, too, are the hopes and dreams of Milanisti everywhere. But also completely lost is Gattuso. All along his journey as first team coach, he has struggled with tactics and systems and lineups. For a while, Milan survived on his grinta alone. The players swore their allegiance to him and their work ethic showed, even when the results didn’t come. But when the going got tough, he became more and more stubborn, until he lost not only matches, but also lost the team. In desperation, he’s thrown the whole team into ritiro… again. It’s so obvious that he’s simply losing it.

Racism Wins Again

Everyone is talking about how Milan’s Champions League dreams are on life support. Or how Gattuso’s time is up. But last week, two of our best warriors were racially abused. Well for more than just once, actually. And after all of that abuse, the FIGC handed down a suspended sentence of only a partial stadium ban to Lazio. Meaning that if fans behave themselves for 12 months, nothing at all will happen to them. Nothing. In 2019, our players and team got fined a total of €86,000 for holding up an opposition player’s shirt, but fans racially abusing two human beings get nothing. It’s beyond disgusting. And, in Italy, racism rules again.