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AC Milan
Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/15/2010

I've coined a new nickname for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Call him the cobra. In true serpentine fashion, he strikes unexpectedly and proceeds to retreat back into oblivion. The more I see him play, the more he reminds me of poor-man's David Trezeguet: a tall, lanky player who you might not even notice is on the pitch until he scores.

Due to another Borriello injury, sources claim that the Dutch striker will indeed be our target man against Manchester United. Now the most important question is: will the venomous Cobra strike? Or will he slither around the pitch unnoticed for 90 minutes?

Thoughts on Manchester United-Milan:

  • David Beckham's emotional game against his former team has been making headlines, but he played an uncharacteristically poor game against Udinese this past weekend. Usually a tactically sound player, he almost gifted an assist to Di Natale with a misplaced pass, and then made another Abatesque mistake which could have easily cost us points.

  • The most important aspect of the game is Rooney vs. Milan's defence. If Nesta and Thiago Silva are fit, then we can breathe a sigh of relief. But the second we replace either of them with our 58-year-old bearded backup Favalli, or the out-of-form Bonera, then Manchester's attack will run rampant.

    favalli.jpg
    Above is a picture of a youthful Giuseppe Favalli, taken shortly after World War II.

  • Ronaldinho's performance against Udinese was close to perfection. He had a hat trick of assists, and basically created all of our most dangerous offensive opportunities. Unfortunately, Ronaldinho's performances have been like smoke and mirrors. If he is in the mood to do well, he can single handedly dominate a game and make a fool of opposing defenders. But a few times this year we've seen El Gaucho fade into obscurity. Either way, he hasn't been in better form the past four years of his career, so there is reason for continued optimism.

  • Unfortunately, Clarence Seedorf will play for the sole reason that he has accumulated over 8,500 Champions League appearances during his illustrious career. I still am a firm believer that our BEST midfield right now is when Ambrosini, Flamini, and Pirlo are together. Seedorf might be the first player that FIFA 11 gives a statistic of zero sprint speed to. When him and Pirlo are together, we basically have two players who jog and are incapable of defending. And it's apparent because Ambrosini is hyperventilating after a minute of play trying to cover the entire midfield by himself.

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  • Comments

    Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/16/2010

    Hi Matteo,

    Awesome post, I am still laughing so loud that my wife and kids are wondering if I had grappa with my coffee for breakfast.

    I agree with all your comments, unfortunately we cannot afford to play Pirlo and Seedorf at the same time against this kind of opposition, we will be slaughtered. With Pato, Dinho and Huntelaar up front, we need more covering in the middle of the park and on the wings otherwise the likes of Nani and Valencia are going to wreak havoc. Manu will come with a 4 5 1 formation in order to dominate the midfield and push from the wings. We know that Pato and Roni do not defend, Seedorf and Pirlo neither as you rightly mentioned. Our fullbacks are not bullet proof, so they need help from their midfielders. Let's pray for some common sense from Leo and hope that Rino and Clarence will be watching the game from the bench. Let's hope on a good performance from the boys. Forza Milan.

    Posted by Derek on 02/16/2010

    Hey there Matteo,
    Once again, outstanding article! As always you make me laugh like no one else can in sports writing. Being a juve fan myself I read these articles with a different point of view from all of the milan fans. I believe that Seedorf is still one of the best experienced midfielders out there, however I have to agree with his lack in sprinting. I'm not going to even comment on Huntelaar (since for me he shouldn't even plan in the Serie A). Concentrating on the milan-man u game, I believe that there are little hopes for the rossoneri. Man U is just a better squad. They have youth, and speed if compared to Clarence Seedorf aka Usain Bolt. Milan will tie the first game at San Siro 1-1, and they will lose in the theater of dreams 2-0. Well Matteo, I hope to read another of your articles soon.

    Saluti

    Posted by Mussaver Ahmedi on 02/16/2010

    Vey good article,just what I was thinking about Ronaldinho,Favalli,Huntelaar & Beckham.I'm very happy that Thiago Silva and Nesta are both fit as they have formed a formidibale partnership,but as Nesta's legs go with age and constant injuries,I must say we need to purchase in the summer-the likes of Simon Kjaer of Palermo,Curtis Davies of A.Villa,Gamberini and Bocchetti of Viola and Genoa wouold all fit the bill.The only reason for Beckham to play,is that of it's fairytale story with Man United.He shoudn't play and Leonardo has recognised it, Pato will be playing for energy and skill and if Mancini wasn't cup-tied, Becks would be third choice. I'm equivocal about Seedorf,I agree in that he dosen't run a lot and Ambrosini has to work a lot for his age. But Ronnie dosen't do a lot defensively as well,would you take him out?Seedorf is still is a master class. He wun us the game against l'OM when he came on at half-time against Inter,he bought skill,quality and composure in the final third

    Posted by teesan on 02/16/2010

    still chuckling as i write my comments, absolutely delightful article!simply love it!
    As much as your comments reflect the state of each team on Paper (and perhaps current form) I am very wary of the Milan, they seem to know when to arise from slumber and strike (like the cobra you described) and the past records do not favour Manu winning at the San Siro.
    Nevertheless I am a Man U fan and I'm hoping Milan have an off day and man U play to their strentgh..... looking forward to a fantastic game of football.

    Posted by Papito on 02/16/2010

    Hi Matteo,
    Sorry to say but Huntelaar will not live up to the expectation,he wont be able to cope with the united back line. And as for the Milan defense they need to pray for the fitness of Nesta otherwise its going to be a syphony of goals from the devestating united attack.

    Papito

    Posted by Luis R Rinzivillo on 02/16/2010

    Hi Matteo,
    I have also been a Milan fan for the last 20 years!!!
    I think Milan still have a chance to beat ManU, they just need to play together and defend well.
    I hate to say it but Nesta MUST play, without him, our defend has no chance. I hope Nesta can play and that he is at 100%. Thiago Silva is getting better, so if both him and Nesta can start, I think our defense should be OK.
    As far as mid field, I like Pirlo a lot, he has a lot of talent nad ball control, but if he is not 100% fit we will have a problem.
    I would go for Ambrosini, Pirlo and Gattuso in the mid field.
    My only concern is that they played on Friday so they may not be 100% recovered.
    Its difficult to come up with the perfect roster for this game as many players are tired or not at 100%, but I still think, Milan has a few nice alternatives that we may see over the 90 minutes.
    FORZA MILAN!!!!

    Posted by Enrico on 02/16/2010

    Remember 3 years ago the same things' been said about Milan's old defenders and how Ronaldo and co would run riot but we all know what happened. Milan just need to put their act together and they would have a chance. Huntelaar would be noticed if balls are put into the penalty box.

    Posted by Toni on 02/16/2010

    As a strong milan fan.i know that milan is going to win this match by 2-0 at san siro. Trust pirlo, pato, hunt, diho they are all ready 4 this great match.

    Posted by nigel.f-Toronto on 02/16/2010

    Holy cow Favelli is 58.What the heck is he doing on Milan's roster .He should be in coaching or management somewhere.Any way I think Seedorf should start with Nesta ,Thiago Silva.They need to pass well against Man U.Anybody that has seen Man-U know passing is the key for this team theire trade mark.But you need to put alot of balls into the ManU penalty box.Or try some give and go 1-2.Because they compact everything around the 18 yard area.It will not be easy.Dida has to be sharp to give his team confidence.Milan like Arsenal love to possess the ball but do little attacking .That has to change to counter ManU.Good luck Milano

    Posted by LedobaMan on 02/16/2010

    Hahah! This is the most comical preview I've ever read! Had me on the floor in stitches. A lot of it is true indeed, but the sense of humour is undeniably sharper than a razor blade! Big up!

    Posted by Raul on 02/16/2010

    this will be a great tie. every time these two football giants meet in the champions league, they never disappoint.

    here's to a great game.

    forza milan of course!

    Posted by Ben on 02/16/2010

    Great stuff.

    Saying Milan have some age would certainly be an understatement, but it wasn't so long ago that Maldini was somewhat holding his own late into the twilight of his career. Experience comes with age and I don't think you can discredit that, especially in Champion's League play.
    I think the win against Udinese was extremely important. Taking anything but 3 points would have shown me that if Milan can't win at the San Siro against a bottom-table Serie A team, what will they do against one of the best teams on the planet?
    As with just about everyone else, I don't like Beckham against Man U. I like Gattuso if he's focused and playing aggressively smart, not running around all willy-nilly. If not I'd probably want to go with Flamini instead of Seedorf.

    Posted by ACMILANUSA on 02/16/2010

    Matteo,

    Seedorf is slow but he has great vision and creativity. True, him and Pirlo are not a good combo at this time in midfield.
    Favalli,...while your article is funny, I am not laughinh beacuse it gives me a heart attack every time I see him step on the pitch. For Rossoneri fans, it is terrifying. Same with Zambrotta. We need Antonini back. Oddo has been a noce surprise this season as well but who know how long it will take him to play in good form again.

    Great article. Forza Milan

    Posted by Michael on 02/16/2010

    I'm stuck at work God help me!

    What I want most to see out of this game is the attack and persistance we saw through the first 40 minutes against Udinese. I don't think ManU's back four are very good, and we can't let them just walk the ball up to the midway line. We have to make it a battle for them to even move the ball around in their own half. For that reason, we can't start Seedorf AND Pirlo. That will make us far too slow and far to easy to get through the midfield. We need Ambro and Flamini/Gattuso in there to keep the pressure on. I prefer Flamini, although he is always THIS close to a card, but Gattuso can still bring it. SEEDORF MUST NOT SEE THE PITCH! Ronnie, Hunter and Pato up front will be nice, but Pato looked awfully winded Friday and his passing was very poor. We may only see him for half a game.

    Posted by Lee on 02/16/2010

    what a hilarious article! but you'r wrong with the favalli pic. he already had those beard even before the WW2 ! jk

    anyway, im a manutd fan who is not very confident that manutd will have a good game against milan. because we all know that milan have a very very experience squad. and they always seems able to arise from their sleep and perform very well in matches like this.

    players like seedorf and pirlo who jog on the pitch, for me, are the most dangerous. why? because they know how to unlock defences wihtout even sprinting. make sense? well i guess so :)

    Posted by samson on 02/16/2010

    i am a manutd fan, but i must admit, this piece was brilliantly written.

    Posted by dennis on 02/16/2010

    who will win this game?

    Posted by Michael on 02/16/2010

    Matteo,that was a great article and that was the first time I have ever read your comments. I think we all know that both teams have great players and super star players who can change the game at any time. Peaople can't say what the final score will be but let's enjoy this great match we are about to watch. Thank you.
    MILANISTA PER SEMPRE ******* 7 CL TROPHIES

    Posted by Don John on 02/16/2010

    Hey there..Not a hardcore Milan fan to begin with but tons of respect to this decorated club.
    I think Hunterlaar could pose a threat to Utd's defence with his height and his some sense of scoring touch. If only Pirlo, Gattuso, and Seedorf were 5 years younger. Dida however might just be the one to cock up.
    Hopefully this game turns out to be one for the ages with all the hype surrounding it. All the best with tonight's game..

    Posted by Gbadamosi Hamed on 02/16/2010

    have also been a Milan fan for the last 7 years!!!
    I think Milan still have a chance to beat ManU, they just need to play together and defend well.
    MILAN 2 UNITED 0

    Posted by odane n richards on 02/16/2010

    i would like to think that milan can beat manchester but not shore if capabble. also i have lost my cable and want to know whats rong with pato i dont see his goal scoaring record moving?

    Posted by MIKE on 02/16/2010

    EXCELLENT BLOG MATTEO, I really enjoyed it, very accurate as well as funny.

    Posted by MIKE on 02/16/2010

    Good luck to you & all other MILAN supporters tonight.
    FORZA MILAN!!!!!!!

    Posted by Jurgen on 02/16/2010

    Hey, I believe that Seedorf is one of the important pieces of winning the game for Milan. He might not be the player he once was, but he has great vision and will make passes that other players just don't think about. Let's watch and see what happens. Go AC Milan!!!!!

    Posted by Pablo on 02/16/2010

    Excellent post, as always, and funny as hell... but regarding the game I think it will be a very tough game. We can certainly win, but without both Nesta and Tiago in the back I don't think we stand a chance...

    Posted by steve on 02/16/2010

    Really funny stuff.

    Posted by jashin on 02/17/2010

    Hahahahaha Seedorf.thats some funny stuff man. I was really excited to watch the game and to c dinho put on a show. Milan played good and ronnie was ecstaic at times but still fell short. I just hope KJH gets more invloved in the away leg so it looks Milan are playing with all 3 forwards insted of just 2. hahaaha 58 yr old faviali playd too. Rosseneri all the way to the FINALS.WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Posted by D on 02/17/2010

    Looked outstanding the first 30min.
    Bad break on the first ManU goal.
    Ronnie looked like he gave up most of the 2nd half - too busy complaining.
    Midfield fell flat 2nd half. and the insurgance of CS was a good one (even if he doesn't score).
    Anyone else notice Rooney tracking back at the end to stop the Milan push? Would be nice to see Ronnie and Pato play a little more D. Tough though b/c a big part of their game is catching that long outlet pass. At least the off wing should be coming back. KJH played more D than either of those 2 did.
    Valencia was a good sub for Man.
    Silva fall asleep on that 2nd WR goal? Ugh.
    At least ACM finished with some good energy - just a shame that it was missing the middle third of the game.

    Posted by tindo21 on 02/17/2010

    how many times have i been saying that dida should be sold, even for nothing. he is just an embarassment to a team like Milan. If it were van der sar in the same situation as dida, he would have saved the scholes goal....wonder what was so classic about it coz it was pure luck, and the second.......where he just watched and didn't even bother to dive. dida should just be let go, we don't even need ant cash for him....just pack ans go!!!! In that game i always felt that our 2 weakest links were Leornardo (tactical) and of course dida (always there to destroy the hard work put by the other lads).i think seedorf should have started and inzaghi put in at half time as huntelaar was nowhere to be seen.inaghi is a big game man and should have had more time.

    Posted by Emml on 02/17/2010

    why is it that no one comments on our goal keeping problem.. Milan is having a keeper in DIDA but not a safe pair of hands,, Edwin won the game for Utd if you ask me ..and oh Bonera was fine but it looks like he can't jump...

    Posted by Suryadi on 02/17/2010

    What a disastrous night at the san siro. Milan had so many chances to finish the match off. Ronaldinho was excellent but Pato was terrible on the right. He couldnt dribble past a defender to save his life. As a milan fan i was terribly disappointed. Milans main weakness = SPEED! Once antonini was taken off, man utd focused their attack from the right wing where grandfather favalli was exposed time and again for his lack of speed. Please milan buy new players! Please berlusconi stop frolicking with teenagers and buy new players! Im sick and tired of watching my beloved milan getting thrashed in european competition. Please bring back the days when opposing teams would wet their shorts when the sight of the red and black walk on the pitch! PLEASE!

    Posted by Israr on 02/17/2010

    United absolutely culled Milan

    GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED!!!

    Posted by ILONDIOR EMEKA on 02/17/2010

    Milan still has a chance to defeat man-u at old trafford.Just pray Ronaldinho keeps playing well

    Posted by Patty Kasonde on 02/17/2010

    Introducing Favalli for Antonini was the worst thing that could happen to Milan. I think Leonardo should have used common sense by moving bonera to the left wing and introducing Abate to occupy the right. how do you surely introduce a 38 year old favalli against pacy wingers like Nani and Valencia. anyway hope is not lost because Milan showed they could create chances, they just need to take them when they go to old trafford

    Posted by Pagliuca on 02/18/2010

    First, Congrats to United for the win. Second, for all you United fans don't get so flattered that you beat Milan. Milan beat Milan in this game not you. Milan outplayed and were sublime against United. Their weakness were wrong tactics and decisions by Leonardo, and Dida's inconsistant failure as a keeper. Dida for the most part is a good keeper but Abiatti and Storari are better because they are consistant. Dida is not. Third, Leo's inexperience and failure to put Flamini to start instead of Beckham was a problem. Pirlo and Ambro were work horses but Becks was not doing the same. Fourth, can't blame Favalli he had some good moves, but he was the better option and of course there are liabilities for this. Fifth,if Milan get a chance at OT they "may" pull it off. Despite if Vidic is back if Roni can get in that penalty box and do his magic. Either he's going to score or Vidic, Rio. etc will get carded and a penalty. Milan have a chance but a lot will develop on Leo's decisions. A lot!

    Posted by Pagliuca on 02/18/2010

    Part II: At Old Trafford, this is the ideal line up if Milan want to advance ahead.

    Abbiatti; Zambrotta-Nesta-Silva-Antonini;Flamini-Pirlo-Ambrosini-Seedorf; Roni; Pato. Roni as a half punta, and Pato is punta. No more of this winger thing for Pato. Flamini and Ambro should patrol the whole area while giving Pirlo and Seedorf free reign to work the ball around. If that Leo decides to go back to his 4-3-3 then I would take out Flamini and leave Seedorf. Thou, ill advised, but still effective have Roni as triquartista and Pato and Hunter as full Punta's. Sorry no Boriello, sure he does the dirty work but he needs to connect and score and he's not Milan material to do it.

    Forza Milan Per Sempre!

    Posted by BrunoZ on 02/18/2010

    Ronnie looked amazing for the first half but geeezeee man put those away. Same with KJH. Dida god that guy is a joke....again. The rooney goals where totaly avoidable. piss poor marking and dida doing nothing but watching like he does best. I was sooo happy watching antonini get up those wings and really give utd a headache. What a shame he got injured or cramps or whatever. I could not believe Leo went with favalli. Becks did what he could but damn ppl put to much pressure on him. anyways i still think we can make this happen at OT. FORZA MILAN!!!

    Posted by Italia on 02/18/2010

    Finally people are realizing that Milan should start using Filippo Inzaghi more. The guy is a natural goalscorer and thrives in big games. He should have started the 2nd half against Manchester United. He is a predator striker and very opportunistic. Too bad Leonardo and his inexperience have not seen yet the importance of Inzaghi to this Milan team. "Super Pippo" is a crowd favorite at Milan and should play more to score goals for Milan. Hail King Inzaghi.

    Posted by D on 02/18/2010

    I know this is for Milan posts but what a shame for italian football what UEFA did to Fiorentina. Disgraceful.

    Interesting to hear some of Berlusconi's comments. Give Leo credit for employing a 4-3-3 but some of his other managerial decisions raise some big questions. Questionable subsitutions (particularly the timing of them). Starting 11. Defensive strategy. It's his first post and he's learning, but Milan probably isn't the best club to take out for your driving test. The accelerator's touchy and the engine has more power than a first time driver can handle.

    Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/18/2010

    Some quality comments here. It's always interesting to see the opinions of Milan fans worldwide coming together on one forum to discuss their passion.

    My thoughts on the game: It really went sour when Antonini had to be substituted off for Favalli. Leonardo knew that two pacy wingers would be operating on that wing: Nani and Valencia. Putting the corpse of Favalli there is just asking for trouble. Why was Beckham playing? Only for the fact that his name is David Beckham. Would Mathieu Flamini have been a better choice in this particular matchup? Absolutely. I have a theory that Leonardo is pressured to start Beckham since he joined us to have a better chance of joining the English National Team. And also because we rent him for 6 months a year, so his services are limited to only half the season. Either way, he was fairly anonymous in this game. Was very surprised by the quality play of Daniele Bonera, who is making a case that perhaps he should be starting as a fullback.

    Posted by punditguy on 02/19/2010

    I agree. A better midfeild would have been Ambro, Pirlo, Flamini. Hope Borriello and Antonini is fit for the return leg. Huntelaar is a class player but he just hasnt played enough games to build a proper chemistry with his strike partners. I have no doubt that he will be a much more lethal striker than Borriello when he fines a groove. But for now there is a better understanding between Borriello, Ronnie and Pato.

    I hope in the return leg we take advantage of all the chance we get and put it away in the back of the net!!!

    Posted by Jurgen on 02/20/2010

    If they want to win they better start Seedorf. if not they should start him early in the second half.

    Posted by Rossoneri Sensation on 02/28/2010

    I Love Your Article, Great For Laughs & Truths About Our Club Also, ( I Too Beleive that seedorf will garner a 0 in sprint in Fifa 11) Keep Up The Good Work.

    Posted by FTB on 03/20/2010

    Felipe Scolari once said that to win in football, do the exact opposite of what Pele says, and you will win.

    Same applies to this correspondant, his opinions are as useless as tits on a bull.

    Flamini is in the ideal Milan midfield?

    Jesus, this team is in a hell of a lot of jeapordy if that's the case.

    You seem to have an excellent source of high grade crack cocaine at a very low price.

    Posted by ForzaMilan504 on 06/15/2010

    This loss in champions league to MANU really hurt LEO, Its your first run Leo you play to win the game but u lose sometimes and u learn from your mistakes and come back to fight another day which i hope u do. In da first game@the San Siro Da Hunter and i think Antonini missed golden opportunities in front of goal and u cant do that against MANU cuz it will come back to bite you as it did in the form of Rooney. These two games showed how old this squad is. Get those old players out of here and re-invest into the squad.

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    About
    Matteo Bonetti Born and raised just a few kilometers away from The San Siro, Matteo Bonetti has been watching the Rossoneri ever since childhood. The passion was instilled by a family whose fanaticism for the team dates back to the early 1900's. Instead of bursting with an obscenity laden tirade, or turning any object around him into a projectile weapon after a disappointing Milan outing, Matteo can now channel his emotions into a more effective, and most importantly: safe, manner - writing on a global platform. He is a young journalist whose grandfather was the Vice President of Milan nearly four decades ago. E-mail him: themilanguy@gmail.com, and follow him on twitter: @TheMilanGuy

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