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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.

They've given so much, but it's still never enough

The game was really a reflection of our season. It had high points and times where we did barely enough to keep going and there were mistakes that were made. There were injuries, of course, and the football that still wasn’t great, there were tactics that were still questionable after all this time. At the final whistle, we had done enough today against SPAL, but still ended up short of our goal for the season.

Kessie had apparently looked at his stats this week and realized that he wasn’t quite satisfied with them this season. First he got the assist on Calhanoglu’s screamer of a goal in the 18th. 1-0 Milan. Then he scored a goal of his own in the 23rd. 2-0 Milan. Finally, he took the penalty in the 66th and converted that, too. His tally was two goals and an assist for this one match, perhaps some of the haters will be silenced. (Haha, who am I kidding? They can’t even count that high, but they’ll still hate.)

The dynamic duo tonight

As if to silence the media rumors of a possible exit, or perhaps just to prove what people say about him, that he is not great with his feet, Gigio injured his thigh trying to distribute the ball and had to be subbed off in the 21st. Makes you wonder if we could have kept the clean sheet had he not been injured. Just not quite enough. Also, Borini came off injured in the 80th. He injured himself doing whatever it was that he does, I guess. A perfect reflection of our season.

We did concede two goals unnecessarily. The first was a Vicari header in the 28th. I really think Gigio would have stopped it. The second goal was from Fares in the 53rd, not sure it was stoppable, but should have been preventable had the team been as focused as they should have been. Still, we finally got a ref call in our final match with the slightly questionable penalty for the foul on Piatek in the box. That was the thing that pulled us through and gave us the three points. We deserved the win, but just barely.

Maybe he injured himself rolling around trying to get a call

The part that got lost was that it was Abate’s last game for Milan, and apparently Zapata’s, too. Also likely Bakayoko’s last match and possibly more, but the other two have been with Milan for much longer and will stay in our hearts and memories, both good and bad, for much longer. All of those players who are exiting summarize perfectly the Milan curse: they were all good in their own ways, but just never quite enough.

The rumor mill has already been going full force talking about who is leaving and who is staying, and they’ve barely even touched on the players yet. Strong and repeated rumors of an exit of Leonardo as well as Gattuso, as well as lesser rumors about pretty much everyone else in management. At some point, we need to find some stability from top to bottom, but with FFP decisions looming in the next few weeks, it just feels like the merry go round keeps spinning and the changes will never be enough.

Just one more ounce of grinta before today was all we needed

We earned a Europa League spot, we will compete there for the third straight year. That is if UEFA don’t ban us. We missed Champions League by just one point. One match, one lineup, one tactical decision, one injury, one suspension, one shot not hitting the post, one goal not conceded, one player having a bad game. Just one. But the verdict feels perfect for a team whose mentality has been stretched and then regressed and then stretched again. We are still that team that can’t put together 90 solid minutes for more than a game or two, and as such deserve our fate. It seems that no matter what we do, it’s never enough.


This post inspired by the music of The Cure’s “Never Enough”