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Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 01/25/2011

Zlatan Ibrahimovic. We loathed him when he donned the serpentine kit of Inter. We mocked him when he failed to show up consistently on the European stage, causing Inter to exit the Champions League prematurely. Finally, we laughed even more when Inter sold the Swedish hitman to Barcelona because Ibra felt that he had a better shot at the Champions League playing for the Catalan side - and we all know how that turned out.

Barcelona holds a prejudice towards any striker hovering above 170cm, so naturally Ibra wasn't the missing piece to the metaphorical puzzle of Barca's Champions League trophy aspirations. Now, Milan have acquired him for one third the price, and he has been performing better than any other pure striker in the world.

Milan are now +4 over CavaNapoli. I say that because it's hard to find a team more dependent on one player than Napoli is with Cavani. If the Uruguayan goes down, who will play striker? Lucarelli? What a significant drop off. Also, is Milan really that Ibradependent? You're telling me an attack with Cassano, Robinho, and Pato wouldn't scare the living daylights out of opposing defenses?

Random Notes:

- Against Lecce, Ibra scored a goal that is without a doubt candidate for goal of the year. A lethal 30 yard left footed volley that would make Marco Van Basten orgasm in delight. Truly a blessing for Milanista's to see his creative genius on display.

- Last game versus Cesena, Pato was once again relegated to the bench. In his place, the attacking trio of Ibra, Fatantonio, and Robinho. This could be viewed as Berlusconi subtly hinting a message to Pato. But let's analyze what this message might be. The Brazilian duck has an excellent scoring rate in the Serie A. He has netted a brace on three separate occasions this year, despite being injured 99% of the time. (Theory discussed extensively in last column with the introduction of my Pato Corollary, not to be confused with the Shevchenko Corollary, which stated that Andriy had his top secret identical twin brother Sergei shipped back to AC Milan from Chelsea. I'm telling you this theory has a foundation beneath it.) Pato hasn't been able to form a decent chemistry with Ibra, while Robinho & the newly acquired Cassano have been able to conjure up some slick attacking play together, linking up well with Ibrahimovic.

- Milan has recently completed the signing of Ajax/Netherlands left back Urby Emanuelson. From what I've seen, he is more adept at playing as a winger, where he can utilize his dribbling and cannon shot more effectively. Unfortunately, Milan have no place for wingers in their newly adapted 4-3-1-2 formation, meaning Urby will need to find a niche playing as a left back. Fortunately for him, Milan requires all of their full backs to be atrocious defenders, so he fits the bill. The mistake prone Antonini currently occupies the position. He has carved out a habit of committing at least one irrevocable defensive gaffe per game. His positioning on the defensive end borders pathetic, and Luca doesn't even push forward as much as he did when Ronaldinho was prancing around the left wing infront of him. Another note worth mentioning is Milan only paid around €1.7 million for the 24 year old Emanuelson.

Urby Emanuelson, Milan's new acquisition ©AP

- Always nice to see Alex Merkel getting a full 90 minutes in the Serie A. Still a teenager, the young German filled in Seedorf's role wonderfully against Cesena. In the Coppa Italia game against Bari he scored and assisted a goal. Against Cesena, Merkel showed great pace, vision, and confidence considering his lack of experience at the top level. Definitely one for the future. The question now is, should he win Slowdorf's role in the Milan lineup? I still believe Boateng is best fit for the job once he fully recovers from his injury.

- Update: Milan have signed criminal/footballer Mark van Bommel for 5 months. View his signing as more of a quick fix for all the injuries in the midfield.

- Milan fans across the globe were subject to heart failure and/or high blood pressure upon seeing our classy Alessandro Nesta carted off the field with a shoulder injury (expected to miss three weeks of action). The most horrific sight ensued - seeing Sokratis Papastabgerugireug warming up on the sidelines. Allegri was tired of watching the horror film titled Bonera helping the other team so he decided to go with the immortal central defensive pair of Sokratis and Apocalypto Yepes. To my surprise, Yepes was immense. Brute force, menacing tackles, and even an occasion on goal led to my epiphany: has Yepes played bad this season at all, ever?? Every time he has played the old wily Colombian has registered solid performances. I'm wondering why Boneheadera got the nod infront of him so many times.

- Concluding this article, I pose the following questions: Should Pato be a starter, and for whom? I guess having too many quality players is a great problem to have, but then it's expected that Cassano will constantly improve as he sheds the extra weight he put on from three months of eating twinkies. Robinho on the other hand, needs to stop squandering so many opportunities. He could have scored a hattrick against Cesena had his finishing been half decent.

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Posted by Curtis Zuend on 01/25/2011

Its always so entertaining reading your articles. You've got such a great way of talking about Milan!

Why not just start Pato as a CB? Yepes was almost scoring goals and Thiago Silva was a DM!

Posted by annalisa d on 01/25/2011

"A lethal 30 yard left footed volley that would make Marco Van Basten orgasm in delight."

Hahahah! Brilliant article...

As for Slowdorf, I believe that even my grandmother could win his spot in the line-up..

Posted by Olajide on 01/25/2011

A lethal 30 yard left footed volley that would make Marco Van Basten orgasm in delight... Lmao

Posted by Milan 1963 on 01/25/2011

Great article Matteo, I agree with all your comments on Ibra and he is a gift from God for us this season. Hopefuly he stays healthy for long. Let's not forget about Binho and Fantantonio who are showing great "intesa" among themselves and even though Binho is missing goals, he is really playing is heart out and doing amazing things. At this stage Pato should be the alternative to Ibra as he could be a good prima punta rather than a seconda punta.
It is good to see the progresses of Merkel and Strasser, and the new signing Samuelson will be good for bringing more energy in the middle of the park. There are insisting talks about Van Bommel coming which would add more steel in the middle. Talking about steel, Yepes seems to be what Nesta is not...solid, unfortunately our prince of the defense seems to be made of silk and I am really worried about his future in the team. Papaboy is showing that he is not that bad and should be given more playing time maybe as a fullback. continue

Posted by RobStyles on 01/25/2011

Ibra has been sick! There is no other way to describe his performance this season. His 2nd goal against Cesena was beautiful. The dude has truly rediscovered his game and is lethal from all over the attacking 3rd. Merkel has been very refreshing. I love his touch, solid vision for a teenager. However I too believe that Boateng should start there when healthy. As you mentioned, we have a "good" problem with our plethora of strikers but I think we have an even larger "good" problem with the wealth of midfielders when healthy. Pirlo, Ambro, Rino, Flamimi, KPB, Merkel, Strasser and Slowdorf (although I think that it is very unlikely that we see him take the field again in a Milan shirt).

On the Pato topic, I think bringing him on as a sub will help to keep him healthy. For now I he would best be suited to relieve Cassano and Binho each match and occasionally Ibra.

I don't think Emanuelson is the answer at LB but I will be happy with a 5% upgrade over Ants.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 01/25/2011

Pato is a great talent but needs to put his head back to work and maybe for him to see the bench is a good thing to show him that he needs to wake up. We still have plenty of games and we will need everybody to be at their best and at their angriest and hungriest. Hopefuly we will get back the likes of Boa,Flamini and Pirlo soon.
Forza Grande Milan!!!

Posted by Julian on 01/25/2011

Couple notes...

1. Ibra, fantastic, 100% agree
2. Emanuelson, definitely and improvement although I don't believe Left back is his best position from what I've read. So long as he can track back he'll be a great 1.7 m investment.
3. Merkel, definitely want to see more however before he takes Seedorf's spot over Prince.
4. Robihno, 100% agree again, everyone keeps giving him such high reviews because they see him running around with the ball all the time but he never seems to do anything effective with it
5. Pato is a tricky situation, obviously I love the kid and Idk if his injury prone-ness will last forever... and at the same time you can't keep him on the bench a. get rid of robihno and buy a defender with the $$ and hope Pato can develop chemistry with IBRA and stay healthy (two huge ifs) b. sell Pato to real madrid for Half of Spain's GDP or Chelsea (so long as ancelotti is still there)
6. As for Yepes, I wonder if the 34 year old can actually consistently put in decent perfo

Posted by @jydough on 01/25/2011

A lethal 30 yard left footed volley that would make Marco Van Basten orgasm in delight... I laughed hard to this! So starting from antonini, its a lil sad to see him playin the way he is now cos i thought he would improve on his perfomance last season. Urby should be deployed to the LB position immediately even though that isn't his primary role but i still think Criscito will be the best person to fill that void. I'm very impressed wiv merkel's performances as he seems to get better wiv er' game but he's still a youngster n i agree wiv u on Boateng cementing slowdorf's position. Its very clear that Yepes deserves to have a startin berth b4 boneheadera as his few performances have been impressive! I still think Pato should start b4 Robinho cos Pato is a better finisher n is quicker than his brazillian counterpart... Maybe all he needs is a lil more time wiv Ibracadabra up front (let's not 4get he scored 2goals against Udinese wiv Ibra as his strike partner).

Posted by Da Rizzla on 01/25/2011

Julian S... are you serious? Robinho does nothing effective with the ball? Aside from some obvious poor finishing, the guy is dancing around the field making people drop their pants and laying out some BEAUTIFUL passing..

I would hardly call the guy who has been the man of the match the last 2 games INEFFECTIVE.

once his finishing improves he will be one of the worlds best

Posted by beritaacmilan on 01/25/2011

hahah...i must admit that i love your article, but i must say, i have interesting thought to your article or your twit..

everytime you underestimated a player, don't know why, i realize that player is always like have a powerup to their play..

1st is when you underestimated Oddo on Napoli match, he replaced Antonini, and as we know he did 2 brilliant assist for Robinho that time

and 2nd with Papas (yeah Sokratis,you call him with papas-randomtyping) which is on last match,he showed us that he deserves more to replace horror movie titled Bonera LMAO.. :))

Posted by miyaru on 01/25/2011

the last game saw cassano sneak in some slick passes to ibra. it would be brilliant if this partnership develops into something akin to the one he had with pazzini, or better. pity about samp though whose cassano shaped void has become quite apparent.

Posted by Roy on 01/25/2011

I don't know why it is such a surprise to everyone that yepes can play, don't you remember him at Chievo he was a monster in every match. There other players on the field not just messi ronaldo and rooney......... Pato will find his form soon, all he needs is a good game then the next article you'll be writing will be saying that he is the answer to every question on earth its always the same....... a player is a villain one week a hero the next......Sokratis is only 22 good player for the future.

Posted by andrew on 01/25/2011

Pato needs to play before he demands an exit.
Robinho on bench he's wasting too many chances, he or maybe Cassano until he's back to full fitness.

Posted by kelon on 01/25/2011

nice art..
ibra,fantantonio,rob-miss-ho,,srry binho play sexy an i like that but on sayin this ive seen all three on one on one chances an they dont have that killer instint like pato,ibra for one even said that,i would drop robho an start pato with cassano supplyin the plays im certain given time pato will correspond with everything

Posted by D on 01/25/2011

While everyone else was enjoying the van Basten bit, the one that got a chuckle out of me was "Milan requires all of their full backs to be atrocious defenders".
Ibra - fabulous. Love the work ethic just as much (if not more so) than the goals. Agree Lecce goal was unreal.

@Julian: Robinho - how can anyone knock the guy? If people didn't notice him back at the defensive corner flag helping win the ball back and then sprinting all the way down field to contribute to the attack they're not payin attention. Agree with Da Riz he was man of the match. Dude was all over the place - in a productive way (not Ambrosini-esq).

@MB: You know from my comment on the last post I agree with you on Urby at LB - he's better on the wing. I also agree there realy isn't a better option on the roster at the moment. Like jy I'm still hoping for Criscito. Saw something today I didn't realize before ... there's no other left footer on the roster? For that alone Urby is a good add.

Posted by D on 01/25/2011

continued ...

Yepes: Great performance. Solid. Wondering how he'll hold up against forwards with pace - something neither Budan or Bogdani are known for (I think Seedorf would give them a run).

Agree with '63 that Sokratis should be given a turn at FB. He's marauding runs from the center of defense would be better suited coming from the outside.

Also agree with '63 about sitting Pato right now. His head doesn't seem to be in it at the moment. Robinho has been more the complete player and I wouldn't start Pato over him. Time to sell? Not sure (I've proposed it in the past). The only reason I'd sell Pato at the moment was if Balotelli was coming the other way. Actually amend that, I'd take Ranocchia and a barrel of cash (or possibly Ranocchia & Santon - and a bucket of cash) - could probably convince Leo to trade the italian(s) for the brazilian.

van Bommel? Another dutchman? We're turning into Inter!

Posted by Sam on 01/25/2011

Despite the Pato, Cassano, Robinho trio scaring the opposition defenders, Milan are clearly a one man band as much as Napoli are a one man Cavani show. Ibra carries this Milan on his shoulders just as he did with Inter and Juventus before that. Having big names playing alongside him does not mean he is not doing everything himself.
He has basically put Milan in the position they are in and I think it would be fair to say that without the big fella Milan would be struggling to keep up with the pack, let alone leading it.
Will be interesting to see what happens when he gets injured because although he carries teams when he plays, when he is injured those around him tend to be able to express themselves more.

Posted by jack talkn smack on 01/25/2011

wow ibra can only do good in a league like in italy..... because he is big and everyone else suck

Posted by silo on 01/25/2011

that was a really funny article!

totally agree that robin ho(od) needs to be as acurate as an archer..pato has a knack of scoring in some big games, while zlatman is incredible and cassano's assists are insane..

i hate van bommel though, but hoping he will take on gareth bale in the coming month.

Posted by Ben Davidson on 01/25/2011

I think what Pato needs here is a test, be it from Burlusconi, as you alluded to, Allegri, whomever. Start him for 5, 6, 7 straight games, maybe sitting a half or 30 min in one of those games. See if he can truly be one of the world's elite strikers. If he goes down with another injury in his second or third game, like we're so accustomed to seeing, we know where his future is. If he makes it, rest and repeat.

As opposed to the very beginning of the season, Robinho has been hitting home a FEW of his opportunities but if his finishing was kin to his dribbling skills, especially against Cesena, he might be at the top of Milan's score sheet instead of Ibra.

Other thoughts:
- Don't know anything about Emanuelson, hope he works out
- Cassano has impressed far. Let's see if he can bring proper form into ucl
- I'm not sold on Merkel yet but I'm definitely looking to buy; I think a few more solid outings will do him well
- Interesting to see Silva in mid - he's actually got a cannon

Posted by Izzy on 01/25/2011


Posted by punditguy on 01/25/2011

I think the problem with Pato at this moment is FEAR. Even tho he scored 2goal against Udinese, he looked very timid. Usually he would take on any defender or any amount of defenders but since he came back he looked as tho he is holding back. But a healthy and confident Pato is better than ANY Milan forwards at their best! PURE CLASS! I think Gattuso should be given a new role as a motivator, some one to hype him up....certainly would be great at that rather than on the field!

MvB for 5mths and considering the price we got him at is certainly not a bad idea. Allegri and the Executives looks as tho they arent focusing on CL and more on the league this year and i 100% support that idea! Why try to compete in everything and win nothing rather than focus on one competition and win something. With that money earned, then invest it in better players for the next season.

I would like to see Milan sign 1more player. Theirs still a lot of talk floating around and i hope they do sign Criscito!

Posted by punditguy on 01/25/2011

@ D8....."van Bommel? Another dutchman? We're turning into Inter!" Dude...have you not forgotten it was Milan who had the three flying dutchmen of Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rikaard?!?!? If anything....Inter have become what we were and we have become what they were!

If we were to sell Pato i hope its a good figure. Somewhere around 35-40Mil. Bring Balotelli and a CB and still have cash to spare. De Silvestre is not a bad idea. I like him a lot!

Posted by Mark on 01/25/2011

You can't leave Pato on the bench as he needs time to adapt to the flow of the game. Vs Cesena he played less then 10 minutes and did nothing, I don't think he touched the ball once. I think Robinho is a better fit for the bench so long as he doesn't end up like Ronny (he must play every so often so he doesn't lose his motivation as all Brazilians do)

Posted by Nashrull on 01/25/2011

Actually nice...
The word make make me peal of stomach ace.i can't stop laughing...
But,the most important it explain milanisti's heartword...excellent

Posted by Milanista1899 on 01/25/2011

So....100% agree wit u on ibra goal....
I must say dat i,in all ramifications disagree wit u on d sale of Pato....He just returned frm injury &needs his confidence back now dat all seem 2 b rootin 4 d trio of Ibra,Cass &Binho...HE'S 21 4 gudness sakes wit a scoring record his peers wit die for....Even if it is proven dat he is injury-prone,he shud stay.On a gud day,not even Ibra can wat he does.....
Urby not d solution...dude's a winger...I think a little pace wud do our midfield a lot of gud....I can't blieve 3yrs after Maldini we r still searchin 4 a LB...
Are we really dat poor???????

Posted by Elvin on 01/25/2011

Although this might only be my opinion only I don't think we have shown much as a team this season. Yes, we're first, but I think that should be attributed more towards individual players who take the game upon themselves rather than team in total. We played amazing against Cesena, but let's not forget they're currently 18th. In fact, I think the game with Lecce proves my point where the only reason why we managed to a get a point against a team on the 17th place was Ibra's amazing goal, otherwise we produced nothing in that game.
Of course we need to improve defense, but I think what should also be dealt with is the chemistry between the players and I don't think Allegri is doing much for that. Many players are new, and so is the coach so maybe they're not accustomed to each other but I don't think we would have done any worse with any other coach (Leaonardo for instance).
Except for Inter (with Rafa) we HAVEN'T WON and single big game (Roma, Juve, Real and even Ajax)

Posted by Jerrod on 01/26/2011

I def think Pato should start over Robinho. Once healthy, he is quicker, and a ton better of a finisher. bottom line. I choose Pato over Robinho any day

Posted by D on 01/26/2011

You can't seriously be comparing Seedorf, Urby, and van Bommel to Van Basten, Gullit, and Rijkard.
My comment was geared towards a dwindling # of italians in the lineup as opposed to an increasing # of those haling from Holland.

With their current form there's no way Pato should start over Robinho.

Posted by ACMFTW on 01/26/2011

First of, Great article Mat I just loved the puns =D

Right now i'm only worried bout Pato, I mean the kid in terms of skill, pace & finishing is Classic but i have no idea what got over him, he's not even puttin an effort like before and loses the ball much up front.

And yeh Milan definetely needs to get its chemistry up specially deffensive line which in the past two games showed they can do it without conceding goals. Front lines are getting well together Cassano adapted really quickly and robi and Ibra are a great match.

Merkel !!
didn't have enough confidence on him, but now i can actually bet on the boy, really young but is the future of Milan's Mid line.

I just hope that Emanuelson & Van Bommel will do great along each other in todays game.

To sum up, I think Pato should start over Cassy since he & Robi are both brazilians so it will be better to tag em along. Cassano can do alot in so little time so playing him second half wont hurt.

Forza Milan !!

Posted by phil f. on 01/26/2011

another fantastic article, thank you Mr.Bonetti, especially with the transfer sum of emanuelson, i have been looking for a week to see how much they spent. on another note, milan should perhaps fet another play maker to assist pato. and interchange the lineups, such as now with cassano behind ibra-robinho and and either cassano behind or next to pato, so they could either persuade borriello to return or use boatang/merkel/another playmaker in that slot.

Posted by Jose on 01/26/2011

Did Barcelona offer Milan an option to buy Ibra at the end of the loan deal or does he have to return to Spain? I think as long as Guardiola is boss, there is no way Ibra can go back, especially after all that trash he said about the Catalan.

Posted by richard on 01/27/2011

Jose, Milan has to buy Ibra at the end of the season. It's the way they structured the deal.

Posted by D on 01/27/2011

So much for Pato not being in form ... lol Good job by the young brazilian!
Robinho looked to have good chemistry with the Duck.
Interesting to see the two new signings play. Glad to see Urby playing further up.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 01/27/2011

A lot of quality input as always from you guys. I read each and every comment and thoroughly enjoy a good debate on here. What was everyone's first impression on our two new Dutch acquisitions today against Sampdoria? I'd have to say Emanuelson was a perfect fit as a wide midfielder in the 4-4-2. Abate is also perfect to fill the other slot on the right hand side. As much as I loathed Van Bommel in the past, I have to get over my bias. He'll be a serviceable force in the midfield.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 01/27/2011


You're right about Papasta being better as a fullback. He seems to be semi-competent when making the occasional forward run.


The fear Pato has I think is simply one of re-injuring himself so he might shy out of contact. In the end can you really blame him? However, he looked fantastic today.

Posted by D on 01/27/2011

Just came across something that reminded me about a great target for the LB spot ... in fact surprised I forgot about him (probably because he wasn't in the lineup against us last weekend as he's in the Asian Cup right now).
Nagatomo! Sign the man up tomorrow - we won't be dissapointed.

Posted by Anonymous on 01/27/2011

Milan's attack is solid but we do desperately need defenders.I dont understand why allegri keeps buying strikers and attacking midfielders.Urby again is hardly a defender - he's a goal scoring winger.

We need defenders and we need them badly.

Posted by travis christian on 01/27/2011

Great comments once again Matteo. O.K. Ibra hasn't won my heart as yet, he has done all this at Inter in the league already. When he actually helps Milan to Champions League semi-final and beyond, then he would be warmly welcomed. The supporting cast is some concern. Pato, i feel should always start, but Ibra is stealing the spotlight for now, but once Pato keeps scoring when he gets his chances, he will be a super sub (sad to say). Cassano has brought a spark, Robinho is like a kid again. I strongly believe Robinho is the key to our future successes. He has the ability to roam and slice defenses at times. I wish we could get back a KAKA type player, one who casually strides down the middle, leaving defenders wondering if he'll pass left, right or just go straight through. Merkel, Strasser,Emanuelson, Boateng, Abate, Papa, it's great to see young faces around making their contributions, albiet not all good. I only hope higher heads have patiance with them as we're in a rebuilding phase

Posted by justin on 01/27/2011

In the last two games i watched, iv seen a two defenders play middfield. for us to hav no midfielders and keep winning is very impressive. i hope v bommel can just stay alive untill KPB Flamini and even thou he dnt fit in Allegris plans i still love pirlo hes been an icon of mine 4 a long time n i hate to see him leave but he has had an extrondonary time for both milan n italia. forza milan

Posted by Anonymous on 01/27/2011

One forgets Berbatov? Or perhaps Villa? Certainly, they would be considered out and out strikers? If so, it would be impossible to argue that they are not performing on par with Zlatan, if they are not altogether superior. Statistically, each has scored a comparable number of goals. Villa might be discounted because Spain does not represent total parity in football. But surely Berbatov, in the EPL no less, has to be consider in your argument. I would even look at players like Ferando Llorente and Andy Carrol and say that, based on the lack of comparable talent around them, they are in fact playing beyond Zlatan and his superstar teammates. Your argument seems weak to me, and hugely biased.

Posted by Face on 01/27/2011

We're ok and have improved a lot from last year but we are not there yet. There's absolutely little chemistry in our play..though it has improved btw Ibra-Rob-Cass but not as much in other qtrs. I think Pato should start ahead of Rob. Then Van Bommel will help bring more fluid passing and retain possession in the midfield especially when Pirlo comes back to action. We need to get back to our 2003-2007 era when we dominated games, passed the ball more accurately (from back to front), finished more accurately irrespective of whom we're playing against. We only seem to win the 50-50s tackles for now but not able to make opponents chase us...when the ball come from the back there's always a chance we'll lose it early then win it back with the 50-50s etc.. our players need to be more relaxed on the ball like those days and less in a hurry to release the ball. I like the patient but purposeful build up we had. We're still rebuilding..Milan is a gift to the world from Italian football

Posted by whatdoyouknow? on 01/27/2011

Anonymous (about strikers), this is a Milan Blog. Matteo is supposed to be biased. Good job Matteo, keep up the great work.

Posted by Toni on 01/27/2011

Up with the pato discussion... Selling him now wud not be a good idea.. Hes a guy with great potential.. Can improve hell lot more... Milan cud make him bettr and sell him later for huge cash!!
And the midfielders... SELL SLOWDORF!!!
@-Mr. Clarence Seedof: You'v done a grt job at MILAN d past years.. Time 2 save yor left over Sinking Prestige and retire before mor embaressmnt!!
@- Mr. Pippo" Same goes for you.. We need a better number 9!!
And yeah guys... Wadsup with such weird numbers.. Where r the decent footballing numbers..
Wich team do u evn c showin no's like 52, 77, 76, 70!!

Posted by Dan on 01/27/2011

Great blog, first time I've come across it. Good commentary.

I'm not necessarily a Milan fan, though I do love the squad they've assembled. I watched the game vs. Cesena and took some time to watch Merkel. Now, this is not a knock against him because he's a kid and needs to learn, but it was interesting to watch the team shift around on defense to cover for him a few was all done very smoothly and instinctively. I was impressed with the coordination, especially considering the fact that Milan's defenders probably don't often have to worry about their midfielders' positioning on D.

Posted by Dan on 01/27/2011

And one other thing, what happened to Hamsik? Has h declined this year or is he just being overshadowed by Cavani? Watched a few of their matches this year and he seems relatively invisible out on the wing. Last year it seemed he was becoming a dominant presence.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 01/27/2011


I'd say you hit the nail on the head. Yepes surely does seem to have that tough steel and grit that might be missing from some of our other players.


I've seen plenty of Napoli games. Hamsik has just taken a backseat in the scoring department but has provided plenty of dangerous balls for Cavani. Haven't seen any significant dropoff.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 01/27/2011

Also seems like Milan are close to signing 22 year old Espanyol defender Didac Vila. I have not seen him play so if anyone has, your input is greatly appreciated.

Posted by isaac ayala on 01/28/2011

pato shood always definently be a milan starter and milan FOR SURE need a new keeper

Posted by diego on 01/28/2011

i've seen him play and he sucks. galliani is stupid if he signs him. matteo i thought you knew about football but i was wrong you dont know anything.

Posted by Andrew on 01/28/2011

Ok,I too agree that Seedorf is well past his prime and probabaly should only grace the field as a substitute but I think he deserves a little more respect than what he is afforded by some here. Please remeber that he has been a wonderful servant of the club. Cheers and keep up the good work Matteo!.

Posted by jake on 01/28/2011

very good article, but all things considered milan have really turned things around in a small time frame. i think seedorf and gattuso only get playing time out of respect for what they've done not what they can do. milan did bring a lot of good young players in though, and the right amount of experience, so i think they can run the serie a for 2 or 3 years easily. inter could challenge them but they are getting quite old. so really, good job to milan for finally phasing out some of the oldies and bringing in some fresh faces

Posted by Milan 1987 on 01/28/2011

Anybody who says we should sell Pato is NOT a real Milan fan. For crying out loud,he is the YOUNGEST of the 4 attackers we have at ONLY 21 and you guys want to sell him.Pato has been injured so obviously he is not going to just be on form right away but he scored 2 BEAUTIFUL goals versus Samp on Wednesday.Some Milan fans on here are not being appreciative of what we have in the form of Pato and that is VERY sad.

Posted by christian on 01/28/2011

i hate milan. inter is the best team in italy, the scudeto belongs to inter. forza inter!

Posted by mark on 01/29/2011

AC Milan have agreed the signing of Espanyol defender Didac Vila on a four-and-a-half-year contract, subject to a medical.
"He will be available for coach Massimiliano Allegri for the game with Lazio (on 1st February)."
The 21-year-old left-back had not featured in the Spanish club's first team this season, but he is viewed as a potential star of the future.

Posted by Edinam on 01/29/2011

Forza Milan!

Posted by Aafrican on 01/29/2011

I think pato is a unique player. You never know what
He's going to do. I don't think anyone can replace him.
He's the best at his best. And ibra is from another planet!
And papa is solid defender! Don't forget his job in the world cup was to defend messi. And he did hell of a good job. Didnt let messi move. So papa is a better choice. Fora Milan

Posted by Noel on 01/31/2011

Meant to say this before the season started, Bonera,Seedorf,Gattuso,Oddo,Zambrotta,Ambrosini,Pirlo(?) Thank you so much for all u have done for Milan. Matteo, goodstuff !!!

Posted by Pr4t4f3st on 01/31/2011

AC Milan has been more consistent this season more than anything of the past two to three years. Yet more than somewhat, I do feel that the team is pushing to buy quantity rather than quality, with the few exceptions like our prolific forward(s) perhaps.

To be more specific I do feel purchasing Emanuelson and Didac Vila seems to be out of desperation to fill in our left flank, well not that I've watch either played a few games yet. It's just that I'm a little irritated that Galliani can't just wait for Criscito in the summer.

And cmon, Leggrotaglie? Yepes was a fortunate bargain for me, but seriously, how many "experienced/expired" defenders do you need in a team?

Forza Milan (Inter is just slighlty too far-fetched to win scudetto, please) and Matteo is doing a great job in this blog, so anyone who feels otherwise should be a little mindful of their own entitled opinions.

Posted by punditguy on 01/31/2011

@Milan 1987...Let me shed some light for you....

Everyone of us Milan fans here LOVE Pato. No doubt about that. We probably have the future worlds best in the making and it will be catastrophic if we it? Think about this...Every single season Pato has always been at least 2 months out with injury, some seasons even more! He has yet to play a complete season.

So, would you prefer to have a player who can injure himself at the most critical of times in the season on your team or have a player who is a bit more consistent and just as skillful and also a future champion? i.e. Balotelli.

Even tho he is not native Italian but he does play for the NT team.

But despite what i just said i would love to see Balotelli and Pato team up...we'll have a MONSTER forward line!

But if Milan have to choose....for the GOOD of the team...I'd sacrifice my obsession for Pato and choose Balotelli. And you can ask Matteo...i am a HUGE fan of Pato.

Posted by kedahmilan on 01/31/2011

its nice to see milan racking up fringe/out of favour players and combine them with our old warriors, especially cassano, given the talent he had with roma and samp!(real madrid was different, he was not given chance to shine) robinho as i can remember is not a prolific scorer, more as a forward since his days at real madrid, but its fine as long as he can support the attach team. i am more curious on how milan harvest on youngsters, like currently with merkel and strasser given more chances. i would love to see a milan, like the old days, supplies the worlds' strongest centre halves in maldini and nesta in their prime days, not to forget king baresi! i still remember one of those days some media did asked maldini,"who's your favorite talent to replace u at milan/italy?" guess whats his answer? "Criscito of Genoa". lets give youngsters chances, they'll do fine and i am still with most of us, give pato more chances!

Posted by jrmndafoe on 01/31/2011

Inter got Nagatomo on loan and we got 34 yrs tiredLegs. Don't have to break the bank like Chelsea with Torres and possibly Luiz, but c'mon, buy some quality defenders (cb/lb/rb).
Note to Berlusconi: you're an old dude, for the sake of your legacy, invest more in your football instead of having sex with minors

Posted by D on 02/01/2011

pundit put it best to '87. Any time you see me talking about selling Pato isn't because I think he's not talented. Kid is great and only should get better. To say we're not REAL Milan fans? Anyway.

I'd sell Pato for Balotelli for exactly why pundit mentioned ... it's better for the team. Even if Balotelli wasn't part of what was bought with Pato's money, does anyone remember when a certain other Serie A side sold who was considered at the time the best player in the world? Give up? How about Juve cashing in on Zidane. What'd they do with the cash? How about Buffon, Nedved, and Thurman. Who wouldn't do that again in a heartbeat.

Laughing because not a few days after posting we should go after Nagatomo Inter signs him. Haven't seen Vila but I have seen Nagatomo (from his FC Tokyo, world cup, and Cessena days). We missed out. Maybe Antonini going the other way wasn't as inticing to Cessena as Santon was.

Like what I've seen from Urby at LM so far.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/01/2011

Legrottaglie has never been my favorite player and he is not young anymore, so why???? Let's think a bit of what Milan needs right now. Do we need to throw a young gun and experiment while Nesta Zambrotta are out adn risk to loose points? Do we trust Boneheadera and Papastafresca to do the job? Where there any better options for a world class center back at a reasonable price? Actually what Allegri needed was an experienced player who can step in and do the job with Yepes while Silva will continue to play centermid. Even though Legro is not a world class player, he is decent and will probably help the cause until Nesta is back. He did not cost much either. Criscito will hopefully come in June when a few of the old guard will be unloaded.
Regarding sell or not to sell? He is definitely talented and could be one day the best player in the planet, some said rightly will he last a season or more than 3 games?

Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/01/2011

If we sell him, I don't think Galliani would do the same mistakes he did after selling Sheva and Kaka i.e. buying rotten fish. And the way he is going full steam in the transfer market, I trust he will bring some great players that could complete beautifuly the roster. Anyway looking at what we got since the begining of the season is amazing, Ibra, Binho, Boateng, Cassano are class and if you add guys like Yepes and Van Bommel with great experience and then players with prospect like Urby, Vila, Papastasciutta, Strasser, Merkel it looks rather bright and let's not forget in June we will probably see the likes of Criscito and O Ganso wearing the mythical red and black stripes...The Great Milan is back.

Posted by j on 02/02/2011

it would be cool to sell pato and go try to get kaka back, but if that didnt work-which it probably wouldnt-we should look into getting a great defender-and not anymore dirty players like van bommel-and we need another goal keeper, we should sell amelia and get one who wont sabotage us. id love to see a goalie like tim howard, or someone of his quality come in. i like how merkel is doing and yepes was a pleasant surprise.

Posted by D on 02/02/2011

@'63: "Papastafresca" & "Papastasciutta" lmao

Continue to like what I see from Urby. While it's becoming obvious he's not a shooter, his movement looks good, and his vision/passes have been very good considering he just joined up with the squad.

Good to see the team come over and stand up for him after the ball was kicked at him while he was on the ground.

It was painfully obvious how much the lack of quality crosses from the FBs hurt in the Lazio game. If teams are going to compact down into the middle we'll really someone that can deliver the ball in from the flanks (anyone see Nani's cross this afternoon?)

Another uninspiring performance from Pato. Hopefully he gets his head straights and puts in the performances we all know he's capable of.

Legro actually looked decent today. Until he headbutted Kozak's knee.

P-fresca! lol

Posted by ACMFTW on 02/02/2011

ACM vs Laz, was so mad after the match....

You see, i still dont get how Bonera was a starter, then again he actually had his bone-of-a-head together...then he fell down and amazingly got substituted by Legro ???

WTH ! c'mon you dont involve new (old) signups to such an important match not even as a sub, if Sokratis (who isn't that bad he actually saved us in Sampdoria's game) have been subbed instead of Legroll we wouldn't have to take out Pato, Allegri....never seizes to amaze me

Oddo, can't wait till Abate (Aka.Cristiano Killer) comes back. Antonini wasn't bad but isnt of a certain standard that other fullbacks got and i doubt Didac Vila is any better.

But the only things that gets me going every mornin is the bright future some of our youth have such as Strasser and specially Merkel the little Schwensteiger.

I cant wait till we start with such a Line Up

Keeper : N/A LOL !!
Def:Abate Yepes Nesta LB
Mid: Merkel Silva Boa
Att:Robin Ibra Pato

Fill in the Blanks

Posted by iwc24 on 02/04/2011

Hey matteo,
a couple of questions/comments for ya.
Why is allegri playing silva in mid as opposed to def. Wouldnt it be better to include him in def even with all the injuries?
Just saw the champions league squad for the second round and i did not see didac (the new LB) in there. whats the point of signing him if we're not gonna use him? Esp with emmanuel cuptied and zambrotta injured. I dont think he's cuptied since espanyol didnt play in europe this season.
Last of all, the uefa rules make no sense at all. First serie a gets cheated out of a cl spot because the german teams take the UEFA CUP more seriously than italian teams even though the italian teams have performed wayyy better in the cl for most of the past decade. But now both inter and milan cant register new players because they played in the QUALIFYING ROUNDS???. shm... I know that the bundesliga is good league but c'mon! would you prefer to see inter, milan, juve(old version) and roma or bayern, dortmunt, bayer n mainz

Posted by Carlos on 02/05/2011

I would hate pato leave ac Milan. To me he is the future of the team. I would love to see casino-Ibrahim-pato upfront for Milan. Just give it a try Allegri! You will see this will become the best attack in the world

Posted by diego on 02/05/2011

you take to long to write diferent articles. You wrote this last one almost 2 weeks ago, hurry up

Posted by J WOOD on 02/06/2011

Ibra is good and all but he is to casual with his passes and blames every team mate for his mistakes so i believe they should try out pato robinho and cassano in the holding role behind the forwards i know not a very popular opinion but it makes sense. Alegri is putting to much faith in big headed ibra and he needs to show him that he is the boss and ibra isnt

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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:, and follow him on twitter: @TheMilanGuy

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