One of the most frustrating things about football is how results-dependent people are day to day. From the fans to the media and really everyone, when a team is winning, they are the best. Everyone else is the worst. But when you look at the big picture, some teams deserve accolades even when they slip a little. And some teams get accolades when they are not even living up to expectations. It's a shame that teams that have accomplished so much don't always get the respect they deserve.

Winning battles against all odds

Let's start with Inter. Their coach is paid €12 million per year and their players make a combined €149 million per year, the second highest wage bill in Serie A. Meanwhile, their owner's company, Suning, had to shut down all football operations in China. Milan's stadium project is also stalled because of their financial problems. But everyone is adoring the fact that they are top of the Serie A table, without acknowledging that they crashed out of the group stage of the Champions League like a team from a third world country that never belonged there. In fact, it is only because they crashed out of the elite competition that they jumped ahead in Serie A, which still took them some time to accomplish, while other teams stayed and competed in Europe. Stretching squads during COVID-19 and a compacted schedule and playing every three days is far more difficult than taking advantage of the fact that all of the other big teams were still doing just that.

Inter haven't won a Scudetto since their involvement in Calciopoli took out their biggest opponents and they benefitted directly by purchasing players from their opponents on the cheap, again because they hid their crimes and wrongfully prosecuted their opponents. They claim to have won five Scudetti in a row, when that first one was merely assigned to them by a crooked court system for a season they finished third, also known as the "paper Scudetto." It should not be a surprise now that they sit top of the league when they took advantage of their opponents' tougher schedules and injuries by failing in the competition that would have helped their club's financial problems the most. Why everyone is commending them for winning like this is beyond me. They should be ashamed.

Milan have faced far more adversity, while Inter take all of the credit while failing

Juventus, after nine straight Scudetti, are barely hanging on to third place by a point. Their faith in the completely novice managing of Pirlo could still cost them a spot in the Champions League next season, because the race is so tight. Their shame is accentuated by the fact that they have the highest wage bill by far, at €236 million per season. But every time they lose, the media are talking about them like an unwanted child, while every time they win, people say they are still in the race for the Scudetto. They claim that they are the only team that could catch Inter.

Which brings me to Milan. Milan have been in first or second place for this entire season. We were undefeated in the league from June through January. This feat was accomplished while having the youngest squad and playing the most games, due to our Europa League qualification matches. Our squad is paid only €90 million per season, the fifth highest wages in Serie A. What Pioli has accomplished this past year is phenomenal, yet he was never even in the discussion for any coaching awards. What this team accomplished while averaging at least five starters out per game for months is even more incredible.

One of these players is underperforming here

While Milan were winning, some people gave us the accolades that we deserved. But as soon as we lost a few matches, we were a nobody team again. We impressed against Manchester United in the Europa League (while Inter were napping midweek,) but when we had one error that sent us out of that competition, suddenly, we didn't matter again. All of the attention is based solely on immediate results, rather than looking at the complete picture. Once Inter jumped ahead of us on the table, we were ignored completely in the Scudetto conversations, even though we are still in second place.

Others may not acknowledge the incredible transformation that Milan have made, and even our own fans may forget when we suffer a draw or a loss. But when you look at what this squad has accomplished, and compare wages, games played, average age of the players, number of injuries, etc., it is truly miraculous what this team have done. Maybe the media won't give it to us. Maybe other fans won't give it to us. But as Milan fans, we owe it to this phenomenal squad to give them some serious R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

This post inspired by the music of Aretha Franklin's "Respect"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 31
Milan vs. Genoa
Sunday, April 18 • 12:30 CEST (6:30am EDT)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T R-E-S-P-E-C-T Reviewed by Elaine on 11:45 PM Rating: 5
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