For those of you who have not heard it, the kind folks at Beyond the Pitch interviewed me in a 35 minute podcast covering all subjects dealing with AC Milan. A great, candid interview. Listen here. Also available in iTunes by searching for Beyond the Pitch. So if you're ever at the gym needing that extra bit of motivation to kick you into 6th gear, I hope the sound of my voice emanating from your headphones can give you that extra inspiration.
- Have you heard that song 'All I want for Christmas is You' by Mariah Carey? I was thinking of taping a remix titled: 'All I want for Christmas is to never see Daniele Bonera in a Milan strip again.' His performance against Udinese was historically atrocious, it had an eerie eau of Digao. Bonera was caught out of position on the Sanchez header, on the Denis goal in the 89th minute, and was embarrassed by Toto Di Natale on the one vs. one goal. I'm not a professional defender, but I know enough about football to notice a technical gaffe right away. Everyone in the world could have predicted Di Natale cutting to the middle of the box to strike it with his favoured right foot. Everyone of course, but Bonera. I might have overestimated him a bit in my podcast by calling him a bag of fritos when compared to the filet mignon that is Alessandro Nesta or Thiago Silva. He is now relegated to Eukanuba puppy chow status.
Thiago Silva desperately needs Nesta beside him in defence
- I'm going to take a page out of the Harry Potter series by referring to Leonardo from now on as the one who shall not be named. We've heard it all by now, former coaches calling him a traitor, little kids on TV insulting him. As we move past all that noise, the more pressing issue is that he really has improved Inter on a noticeable level. The energy they had against Napoli was something that was sorely missing the first half of the season under Rafa Benitez, or as I like to call him: the best gift a Milanista could have ever received. Round #2 of the Derby della Madonnina is going to be an absolute frenzy.
- One of my fellow statisticians on twitter provided me with the following fun fact: Cassano has three assists in 37 minutes for Milan. Once Fantantonio loses all the extra weight he put on from eating two pounds of nutella every day, how will Max Allegri incorporate him as a starter? It almost seems certain that Pato will re-injure himself, as he always does after a string of 2-3 quality games. It's very unfortunate however: Pato has three games this season where he has scored a brace. If only he could remain healthy, I have no doubts he'd challenge for the capocannoniere title. Moving on to Cassano, the most logical starting line-up to me is for him to be slotted as a trequartista behind Ibrahimovic & Pato. But under Title 8 in Article IV in the handbook titled The Pato Corollary it clearly states: Pato must not remain healthy for longer than three weeks. Under this rule, it has become obvious that the attack we'll most likely see is with Cassano & Robinho hovering around Ibrahimovic. What I've noticed, however, is that Ibrahimovic is often too isolated if paired only with Robinho. Max Allegri needs to stick with the 4-3-1-2 system and keep another attacker fairly close to Ibra.
- I'm very impressed by the progressions of the youngsters. Unfortunately they'll only play if half our squad is missing. The technical Alex Merkel has a high ceiling and Strasser has shown to be a versatile midfielder. I was pleased with his performance in the past two games, as he's shown enough quality to score, cross, and also track back to defend. I have little doubts that his future is in the Milan kit.
January Transfer Window Talk:
- Mildly surprised here. Ronaldinho was sold to Flamengo rather than Gremio, where he can dance Salsa all day & eat dozens of Pao de queijos. I wish the very best for him, always loved him as a player and a public figure. His smile every time the camera zoomed up to his face was refreshing to see, especially in this new football era where passion for the game may not be the number one motive to step onto the pitch and perform. Hopefully I'll catch a few Flamengo games in the near future.
- The talk was that Galliani & co. would bring in a central midfielder to replace the decomposing corpse formerly known as Slowdorf. The two main targets were Poli of Sampdoria, and Lazzari of Cagliari, who Allegri knows very well from his time coaching that team. Now it seems that both are still very distant, and Lazzari seems to be on his way out only if Cagliari can find a viable replacement. The talk has now shifted to Phillippe Mexes. Don't let his blonde ponytail or baby faced appearance fool you, he is a raging hothead if there ever was one, a red card threat who commits silly fouls and is a bit too inconsistent. However he is a tremendous upgrade at the central defence. Actually, even planting a palm tree next to Silva would be a major upgrade at this point. We'll see how this plays out.
- With Onyewu going to Twente, I'm puzzled at the entire situation. Why was he never given a chance? Why did I only see him play once in a Milan shirt for five minutes? Was he really that bad, or was his injury really that severe? Poor guy even told Milan that he'd play for free this year. Unfortunately 'playing' really became 'sitting' for free. Hope there are greener pastures in the Dutch Eredivise for Gooch.
As we conclude this article, the question I pose is: What player would you like to see come in during the transfer window? And let's not even mention the swirling voices surrounding a possible Pato - Balotelli exchange. This summer is about to get much more interesting folks..
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