Wednesday, July 1, 2009

brand building

David Di Gennaro

Giuseppe Favalli

Andrea Pirlo

Alexandre Pato

The management this season has more than just a squad to build. The task ahead involves building the brand 'AC Milan' as well. The last few seasons have been lethal to the sustainability of this global sporting brand. The sale of Kaka is nothing but a sucker punch, one that Milan wont recover from for a long time to come. The road ahead is tedious and extremely challenging, but it can be done.

For starters, considering the sale of Pato and Pirlo is surely not the way to go. A diminishing presence we don't want to be, and certainly not become a 'Napoli'. We are far too big for that. Galliani recently came out in the press, and said that the club has rejected a massive bid for Pato. First of all, I question the credibility of the bid. The management is in a selling mode, and if whispers are to be believed, Berlusconi wants to recover as much as possible before he passes on this baby of his to a Sheik. Kaka's sale for an incredibly low amount is proof that balancing books is just a false story fabricated to appease the fans. Why sell Kaka, if the debt was only 68 million euros? But if Pato and Pirlo are sold, there is no chance for redemption. There is a good chance that we can get anywhere between 60-70 million euros for the pair, but the extent of damage it can cost is beyond repair. Pirlo recently showed the world that he cannot be written off. Also, Pato is probably the strongest player of his age on the planet. Moreover, these players are the core of the team, and after losing the heart and soul of the team over the summer, losing this pair is sheer disintegration. Its not like the club is in a state of penury. With the sale of Kaka, the club has balanced the books. So why sell anymore if we can't bring in competent replacements?

To make matters worse, we have renewed Favalli's contract by a year. People believe this has been done to reward Favalli's performance last season. It also is a way in which Silva can be mentored. I have a problem with both these approaches. Favalli looked good last season, well, so did Senderos. The reason being, Paolo Maldini. Favalli was good, but definitely not good enough. Every time we faced a strong opposition, Favalli would run for shelter. The coming season, we will be in Champions League, and God forbid we run into the likes of Madrid, United, Chelsea or Barcelona with Favalli in central defense. Coming to the mentoring bit, I personally don't regard Silva as a good defender. Having seen him play last season, his positioning and defending attributes are highly questionable. To have one mediocre defender being mentored by another is pointless. Its like one blind man leading another. Some say, Favalli is experienced. Ok, how much of the experience has he brought onto the pitch?

We have signed David Di Gennaro permanently from Genoa. The 21 year old Italian striker spent the last season with Reggina, and if i remember right, also scored against us. The benefit of having him in the side? He is homegrown, Italian and a worthy replacement to Pato in time of need. Word is we have signed Giacomo Beretta from U.C. Albinoleffe. Who is he you may ask. I don't know is what I would say.

For an Italian club to have a strong international fan base is more than just commendable. Its truly marvellous, what Milan have done over the course of history. They are globally loved, accepted and appreciated club. But, we are on the verge of decline. We have signed enough kids for the next 10 years, but what we need now are names, big names. Names that would bring recognition and recall in the mind of the spectators, names that would bring in the MNC's for endorsements and sponsorships, names that would make this club great again.

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