Friday, May 21, 2010

new blog

Next season's blog can be found at the URL below. See you there!

end of season


Its the end of another story. A story that wasn't a fairy tale even if the ending somewhat resembled one. We had a new, young coach who left the club because he refused to be dominated by the President. And we had an unlikely candidate become our best player and being pivotal to our European qualification.

This season, we witnessed the worst defense Milan have had in recent history. Abate and Antonini were employed at fullback position. Our central striker was Marco Borriello and Pirlo continued his dismal form for yet another season running. Flamini was benched in favor of Ambrosini, and that counted in the big games. The lack of a hard man in midfield enable teams to run riot and we were on the receiving end of 4-0 scorelines. We fans suffered remarkable humiliation in Europe and Milan became a laughing stock. So pay attention and you would know that not much has changed since last year.

However credit must be given to Leo who tried to make a difference. Even though he is complimented and congratulated beyond rational limits, Leo did takea bunch of hags and newbies and accomplished European qualification that even 'double' winner Ancelloti couldn't at one point in time. Ancelloti still had Kaka and Maldini. Leonardo on the other hand had an impotent Hunterlaar and and a lame Favalli. Kudos then to the departing coach.

Standout player for me, by far is Ronaldinho. He has been the most consistent player for the team. He leads the domestic table in assists and has scored a good number of goals. If Borriello had taken his chances, Borriello would have won probably won the Capoconnoneire and Ronaldinho would have been rewarded by UEFA for most assists in a season in football's recorded history. Alas, Borriello was too preoccupied with his dashing charm and hairstyle and less on the job of scoring goals. We saw very little of Gattuso and Inzaghi, even Seedorf. This is a very good sign. Silva performed bravely this season without the tutelage of Nesta. The Brazilian did all he could to save the face of the club from a defender's perspective, but when you form a line of defense with Favalli, Abate and Antonini, being Lucio also wouldn't help. Nesta kept things tidy at the back with his partner for large parts of the season it was a two man show.

Pato. This lad convinces me and goes the mile to bring me back to square one. I still don't rate Pato. Are you shocked? Not surprised, many are when I tell them the same. Agreed he is very young, but that is his problem. He is very young. He would do very well at a Chelsea or a Manchester United. But sadly, AC Milan is not a club for someone like him. The pressure on him is telling; this to such an extent that he goes missing, quite literally. Either he is having a bad game or he is injured. He has his days when he is almost unplayable, but there are many youngsters like that in Europe.

After yet another disappointing season, we now look at the transfer period to give us hope. We are linked with a host of promising names; Krasic, Dzeko, Otamendi and the likes. Not fancy names, but names that could make a positive impact at the club. Allegri seems favorite to take up the reigns for the coming season. A new era beckons? Let's hope so.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

farewell leo


AC Milan 3 Juventus 0

If you have read my blog of late, you would have seen the face above quite often. This is probably the last time you will see it in my blogs, be relieved. A fitting farewell for a man who the world believes has done a very good job with the squad that he had at his disposal. I think he has done a good job, but he could have done better. But I have repeated that on a number of occasions, so wont do that again.

This game should have ideally been a mouthwatering clash. Two of Italy's biggest clubs in a season finale. But alas, it was just a random tie with no real significance. Both clubs have experienced misery this season. After the game, I had no doubt which of the two clubs was in a more miserable condition. Juventus have lost 15 games this season, a club record not matched since 1962. Not sure they want to match it again, but so apathetic was their display, I don't think having hope is going to bring any solace. We rolled over them. How many times have I said that this season? You can only imaging how poor Juve were, unless of course you have watched the game. Antonini finished better than Iaquinta, Ronaldinho scored two goals with admirable precision and Milan dominated a game that should have been equally balanced. Call it drive from the players to bid adieu the coach of their team in respect or call it the apathy of the Bianconeri. The result speaks for itself. Seedorf had a good game and so did our defense. This hasn't happened very often this season, has it? Which brings me to wonder, how hard must Zaccheroni have tried to mess Juve up? I wouldn't have succeeded if I willfully tried. Yes, Juve don't have the best team in Europe, but a 3-0 loss to Milan, given the team Milan have is unjustified. Am I being ungracious to Leo's men? No, just being real.

Season has ended, its been a horros show of sorts. The wait has been painful. Now the wait begins for a new coach, a new team. More on that later. For now, lets stand up and applaud for Leonardo, for what he accomplished in his first season as coach, given his resources. Lets be glad, that his season ended in 'honor'.

Milan - Antonini 14', Ronaldinho 29', 68'
Juventus - /

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

behind closed doors

Giuseppe Sculli

Genoa 1 Milan 0

There are two ways a team can respond while facing failure with remarkable consistency. It could either emerge from the shadows like Batman or sink like the Titanic. AC Milan's run-in as been much like the latter. By the time you read this, the season would be over. Leonardo would have left the club and Berlusconi would have said for the umpteenth time that he should be coach. Fans would have protested in vain. Life wouldn't have changed much.

But its worth commenting on. Genoa have made concrete efforts to build their team after a stellar season. This season hasn't quite been the same but they had the ammunition and the defense to hold Milan at bay. Appalling work rate by the visiting side added to the result favoring the home side. Borriello characteristically misfired in front of goal. His season is still considered to be a success. Much to the extent that United have apparently bid 21 million Euros for the striker. Klass-Hunterlaar isn't compatible with Borriello and questions can now be raised on whether he is big club material. The goal we conceded though should be testamant to the fact that we have the most miserable defense amongst the top clubs in Europe. Text book header from Sculli as he was left unmarked. The man to be faulted here is Borriello. Well, surprise surprise. Neither can he attack, nor can he defend. Lippi however thinks otherwise. How else would you explain the call up to the national side.

Leonardo has had a tough time against the big sides. Or even the reasonably big ones. The goal was scored in the 57th minute and the coach couldn't gather a goal in 33 minutes against Genoa. Not saying they have a poor defense, no. Even if Criscito shackled Pato for most of the game, taking shots at the most out-of-form keeper in Italy should have helped. But we didn't do that either. However, the team bounced back against Juventus. Surprisingly.

Genoa - Sculli 57'
Milan - /

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

vague viola


AC Milan 1 Fiorentina 0

It's safe to say, Milan have been incredibly unpredictable this season. Just like how Fiorentina have been incredibly indifferent this season. Explains why this result surprises me and doesn't, both at the same time. If calculations be regarded, this was supposed to end in Fiorentina's favor. They have a better team, a better coach and are more driven than we are. But here we are, securing a place in next season's Champions League, arguably, undeservedly.

With Leo set to leave at the end of this season (thank goodness!), the team are adamant to end this season with 'honor'. I chuckle everytime I read/write that statement. Well, they have taken one step closer with this result. Our best player this season stood out, once again and won the game for us. I must admit that it would have been relatively easier for him with 3/4 first team opposition defenders out with injury. A few realizations dawned upon me after this game. Zambrotta and Antonini should take skating lessons; they are used to falling on the pitch when they are expected to stand tall and defend. Borriello can be transferred to a mid table team where he can be a 'prolific' hitman, because the number of chances he squanders, if converted can win us the Scudetto for the next 3 seasons. Huntelaar is over-rated, period. Seedorf needs to be reminded of his age and shown periodically where the goal actually is. Finally coming to Pirlo, he can be cast in a Hollywood flick as an invisible character. Think horror, slasher flick? Pirlo can rake millions because he is perenially anonymous. He would create a niche for himself in the industry. Not to mention the number of hours he spends at the salon when he should be practicing his set pieces.

With 2 games to go, I can't wait for this campaign to end. Ridiculed, insulted, torn apart, frustrated, humiliated, angered. Some of the feelings that I have experienced. With Leo leaving, these feelings might not necessarily reduce in intensity, but surely in number. Anyway, let's focus on Juventus and Genoa. Honor? We'll see.

AC Milan
- Ronaldinho 78' pen
Fiorentina - /