Milan's Tragic Luck

After years of decline and neglect of the club, Maldini had almost singlehandedly dragged Milan back on track. Creating a team with youth, talent, and fantastic football, returning to the Champions League this season was a dream come true. But for some reason, our dreams keep turning to nightmares. We were cursed with some very poor refereeing. And there are also the injuries. Not unlike last season, no matter how hard we work, and against the most insurmountable odds, just when we thought we had caught a break, we are slammed once again with another tragedy, more bad luck.

I blame Suárez (even though it was the other hand)

This season, the injuries have just been a constant stream of absences. Ibrahimović played once and got injured again. Giroud got COVID-19 and his couple of appearances were not yet 100%. Kessié came back from Japan injured, and has still not been quite himself. Just when fans were beginning to like Krunić, he got injured. Florenzi was brought in for experience and reinforcement, played a few games, had to have surgery. Bakayoko and Messias were both brought in as reinforcements at the end of the summer, but each played once as a substitute and then got injured. Calabria has now had two minor injuries. Kjaer missed a few games due to injury. 

But the strangest misfortune is with our goalkeepers. We started the season with four goalkeepers in the first team. Plizzari, our young third keeper, had to have surgery for a repetitive knee injury and will be out for three months. Now, yesterday, Maignan was suddenly recommended to have arthroscopic surgery on his left arm for some recurring pain. As of this writing, his estimated time out is not known, but estimates are between one to two months. Maybe it is just Karma for the way that fans treated Donnarumma for the past four years, but it is really unlucky. 

Too young for injuries like this

There have been a lot of muscle injuries, but there have been a lot of strange injuries, too. Fans are quick to blame the medical staff, but COVID, repetitive knee injuries, and arm pain for a keeper are not typical injuries. We talked about the injury situation on a recent podcast, including that the club had hired a new "performance supervisor" for athletics and injury prevention at the beginning of this season. Andrea Azzalin is a very experienced sports and strengthening coach who worked with Claudio Ranieri a number of times, and more recently with Shevchenko for Ukraine.

I just can't even...

Yet here we are, with more injuries than I can list. We had to go out and make an emergency signing in Antonio Mirante, who was out of contract after his Roma deal expired in June. He will now need to gain fitness, and may not be able to play in the Champions League even when he is fit because he is not on our list (although UEFA does make some exceptions for injuries and goalkeepers specifically.) Between he and Tatarusanu combined, we probably have one decent backup keeper. Such a shame that we could not hang on to Begović last year, who is now at Everton in the Premier League, as he is better than both of them combined. With our tragic luck so far and all that is at stake in Europe, he would have been worth every penny.

With most free agents, you get what you pay for

A season that started off with hope and excitement is once again dampened by circumstances beyond our control. Despite being undefeated in the league so far, it is easy to imagine that run ending as soon as Saturday. Our Champions League hopes look very grim. Tatarusanu is good sometimes, but you never know which keeper you are going to get. After having celebrated the fact that Pioli's system was working so well that you could slot in virtually anyone and still win, injury found the one spot we couldn't: goalkeeper. Maignan has been immense for us thus far this season, and it is difficult to imagine any of our backup keepers coming up with performances that even begin to rival his. Unless maybe Dida gloves up...

After all of the hard work and sweating blood to get to where we are today, Milan's players are facing another near impossible challenge. I am hoping with all of my heart that our keepers step up and prove me wrong. But it seems like the club are just cursed, that we are all once again victims of Milan's tragic luck.

This post inspired by the music of LIVE's "Lightning Crashes"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 8
Milan vs. Hellas Verona
Saturday, October 16 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

Milan's Tragic Luck Milan's Tragic Luck Reviewed by Elaine on 3:00 AM Rating: 5
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