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Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 01/30/2012

Imagine this: You're a teenager from an extremely wealthy family. One day, your father calls you to his work room and unexpectedly proposes the following scenario: "Son, I've thought long and hard about this, and have come to a decision about your first car, I will either purchase you a brand new Porsche 911, or lease a used Mitsubishi Eclipse." Mouth agape and puzzled at the bizarre variety of options thrown your way, you proceed to question -- but he stops you mid sentence and utters, "That is all, no questions asked. Go back to your room."

A week later, you arrive home from school in the bus, and see a yellow Mitsubishi Eclipse parked in your driveway. That is Maxi Lopez. Maxi Lopez is a Mitsubishi Eclipse. And a Mitsubishi Eclipse looks a bit out of place parked in the driveway of a multi million dollar mansion. Sure, it might look sleek from the outside, but inside, the smell of cloth runs rampant, and one of the cupholders is broken, and certainly being parked next to a Ferrari & a Range Rover doesn't help its overall image.. And Wanda Nara.. I'm getting off track, this literally makes no sense anymore... Anyway..

Allegri saying that the January Transfer Window deserved a 10/10 after the Maxi signing is just as incredulous as the entire Tevez saga (and I do think Tevez will sign for Milan, whether it's tomorrow or during the summer). All jokes aside, the Maxi from a year ago was quality, but the fact he has recently been benched in favor of the immortal Bergessio is bewildering, if not a worrisome fact.

Moving on...

January Transfer Market Reviewed:

Buys:

Djamel Mesbah (LB, Lecce): Mesbah was a decent prospect at Lecce, and actually one of the few players who stood out to me when we played the southern Italian side. In the two games he has played so far with Milan (Coppa Italia vs. Lazio midweek, and this past weekend against Cagliari) Mesbah has shown to already be an improvement over the much maligned Antonini, and the clumsy, overrated Taiwo - who was sent packing to Queens Park Rangers. Mesbah is naturally a left footed player, and can swing them in with quality. Defensively, he hasn't shown any real lapses as of yet, and seems to have seamlessly integrated himself tactically on the left side, often times combining smoothly with the players around him. It's his position to take by the reins, as his competition includes the teams masseuse and a 36 year old.


The future left back of Milan? ©Getty

Alex Merkel (CAM, Genoa) & Rodney Strasser (CDM, Lecce): Both were former Milan players who were sent packing on loan this previous fall to Genoa & Lecce. While both are now out injured, one has to figure that Merkel is part of Allegri's plans for the future, as the youngster has shown flashes of quality at Genoa, and could eventually play that vaunted trequartista role in Milan's 4-3-1-2 formation.

Maxi Lopez (ST, Catania): A bizarre signing, but he does make sense. First off, Milan paid peanuts to acquire him. He is tall, physical, and the only true target striker we could employ to give Ibrahimovic a much needed rest. When on form, he has proved that he can be successful in the Serie A, but his latest slump at Catania is a worrying sign, as he rode the bench in favor of a below average player like Bergessio.

sulley muntari (bidone): Doesn't even deserve name capitalization. This is one of the worst loan signings that reeks of Amantino Mancini version 2.0. I love Milan, but sometimes they throw us these unexpected turd curveballs that slam us right in the face. So, what positive can come of this? He has always been the player I've mocked the most at Inter, often times drawing two yellow cards in the span of a minute. Inter fans right now are JUBILANT that they handed us their worst piece in the midfield, and we actually took him? Are you kidding me. Why? Why didn't we grab Angelo Palombo? Oh, right, because Inter snapped him up. A quality Italian midfielder who is poised on the ball and is essentially a more technical Gattuso. I'm going to throw up.

Closing Notes:

We bid farewell to Taye Taiwo, who in his short stint with Milan, proved absolutely nothing. Sure, he could probably punt Giovinco forty meters across the pitch, but he seemed slow, awkward on the ball, and completely unaware of the concept of tracking back to defend. Perhaps England is a better spot for him to lunge his thick frame around.

At -1 from Juventus, one gets the feeling that the Serie A is turning into a two horse race, especially with Napoli & Inter losing over the weekend. The following month with have a myriad of entertaining games for Milanisti: Two Coppa Italia matches versus Juventus, and of course the Champions League fixture vs. Arsenal. It'll be interesting to see how Allegri juggles the new signings in all three competitions, especially with the current injuries plaguing the club. I get the notion that the most dramatic changes will happen over the summer, as I get the sense that Pato when healthy (his new name) could be on his way out, and if Milan doesn't close for Tevez in the last moments of the January deadline, then that deal could be postponed until the summer.

Note: this article will be updated as Galliani might surprise us all.

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Comments

Posted by Filippo Balzano on 01/31/2012

I'm going to wait until Lopez gets a little playing time to make judgements. Everyone was dumping on Nocerino when we picked him up, saying he wasn't "Milan quality", and he's proven himself to be quite adept in our midfield. Maybe there's something in the Milanello water that turns wayward footballers back into form.

Posted by Noah Adem on 01/31/2012

The best thing about the Maxi Lopez deal is that its a loan. If he bombs or does average, he goes back to Sicily. If he really wants to stay, that means he has to impress, which is good for us. I dont think that Galliani will sign him outright.

We will need to give Ibra a break as we are about to hit our hardest month of games (Lazio, Napoli, Udinese, Juve x2, Arsenal, and our demon side in Palermo. Who knows, maybe Maxi can be adored by the fans if he gets a start against Juve in the Coppa Italia and bags a goal or two.

I just hope though that PSG come back with the same offer for Pato in the summer. His injuries and lack of wanting it bad enough, have made me want him out.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 01/31/2012

When i first saw Maxi Lopez bullying all our defense in Catania, I was wondering why they had this kind of striker and not us Il Grande Milan? Honestly he made a great impression as a striker who can hold it to himself a bit like Ibra in a way and for this he should be more than a decent replacement for our mercurial Swede. I believe it is a wise move as I don't see Superpippo doing it anymore and it is not because he was not fitting the new coach at Catania that suddenly he became a brocco. I am also very happy with Mesbah and the return of both Merkel and Strasser although injured. What excites me the most though is seeing little Pharaoh play, I mean who is even remembering that Pato is injured??? With all the injuries in the middle I would go for Montolivo and leave Tevez where he is, but as you say Galliani when he has something in his mind.

Posted by Putuco on 01/31/2012

Come on Matteo, to call Palombo a quality italian midfielder is to take us for fools. More or less, Muntari or him are average midfielders (at least Muntari has speed, I have to say. In the other hand, it is a bit idiotic to foul and get cards). Yes, we mocked at interisti about him, but I tell you something, when Ranieri benches somebody, just good things can happen to that player elsewhere. And let's not forget that Mourinho loves the Ghana guy, he has to have seen something good

Posted by Ryo on 01/31/2012

I heard Taiwo left becuz he cant understand Allegri's Tuscan accent, is that true? Cant Mexes or Flamini translate it to French to him? Though Mesbah is a decent replacement, long term too.

Muntari was a very good player, but also stupid. Technically gifted but intellectually handicapped. If we can nurture him, we get another gem.

Is Adiyiah still under our book? If so, there could be a future Ghana trio after our great Swede one & Dutch one.

What do you guys think on Astori performance against us? Worth a recall? I still think we should keep having a Italian CB starter once Nesta retires. And please not let that Italian be Bonera.

Posted by Elvin on 01/31/2012

As hard as it is to say, the one part of milan that is top quality is attack, and lets be honest, without the likes of robinho, ibra, pato (when healthy) el-sharaawy we wouldn't even b in CL. and instead of trying to make our midfield stronger, where we have very mediocre (except KPB, and noce) or too young for big events (strasser, merkel) we attempt to sign tevez for £25 million and then buy muntari in midfield? defence isn't that good anymore either, abate still has to grow, nest is getting old and milan, despite his solid performances so far, doesn't seem who can fill in the shoes of greatest left back ever, maldini.

Posted by Aquilani Hater on 01/31/2012

Got to look at the bright side of an otherwise dark situation. Yea, you are right....this is a completely pathetic piece of business. However, his presence along with a few of the other midfielders when healthy again, could potentially help us in not giving Aquilani the 25 necessary league matches for an obligatory purchase. Maybe Zio Fester was thinking this too.....that might be wishful thinking on our part though.

Posted by Sintechness on 01/31/2012

Holy Cow Galls with the last minute signings of Kingsley Umunegbu, Lucas Roggia, Philipp Prosienk, and intermuntari, there has to be a boateng in the pot. Lucas seems like the one. And dont forget folks we have Flamini and one eyed Gatusso back in a few. Side note Mesbah almost scored on sunday's game from outside the box, I dont recall antonini having those kind of moments. I do remember antonini falling alot and grabbing his head in pain any time theres a corner kick.

Posted by kelon on 02/01/2012

thanks again,nice article matteo,on current team mesbah looks the real deal,nice to see the future of milan back an hopefully stay.plenty of attack give them 10-10 for it but we need to see a more accomplished keeper between the sticks.with that bein said i think in the best of milans interest gettin the rid of bonera an antonini is a must swappin 1 an giving away the other is such a bad thing for astori comming in,we need reliable cover in the back an midfield ,3 great cb"s but all injury prone,cover for abate,mesbah and aqualani,boa,nocerino and by 2013 there"ll be a new milan to fear with or without carlitos t.

Posted by Aquilani Hater#2 on 02/01/2012

@Aquilani Hater

Wow!!! I thought I was the only Milan fan that hated Aquilani with a passion.... I so want Aquilani out of Milan.... Aquilani is the most overrated milan player at the moment...He seems to have more chats than tactical awareness. He can't defend to save his life... He commits Senseless fouls that luckily for milan, referees overlook. I hope that the season finishes before he makes 25 appearances... Hell...I found he already made too many appearances for Milan. Frankly, I rather we play muntari over aquilani. Urby has been growing in confidence recently.... To me he looked great in right midfield against Cagliari.

Posted by ezfulus on 02/01/2012

Haha loved the non-capitalization bit. That's what I do too when mentioning rivalling clubs & their players. About maxi (ex-barca player you know, so no caps) I think he'll do good, some players just need a fresh start to regain form. Go on beat arsenal but not Juve please!

Posted by Stephen on 02/01/2012

Funny article and a little bit true.

But i really think Milan are missing a key link, our strikers are fine , Keeping Pato for another season is a good idea. Lopez will be good backup for Ibra, no point getting tevez and have tevez, pato, binho and ibra how are they are going to be happy dont forget Cassano and inzaghi.

What we need is a true trequartista , allegri is playing that formation but we dont have the right player, binho & urby (good squad player) , Merkel isnt the right player either, We need to get 2 quality midfielders and let seedorf, gattuso and ambro retire gracefully.

Antonini was a joke at left back Mesbah has looked solid.

Posted by Carlos on 02/02/2012

Today's result against Lazio worries me because, again, we can't win games against teams in the top 3rd of the table. We are in second place just by winning to small teams. Concerning cause soon we will be playing Arsenal.

Posted by Forza-Trequarista on 02/02/2012

can somebody please explain to me what happened to us (Milan) last night? Im still in disbelief. What a ridiculous way to lose. Dominate the game for 75 minutes and then go down like that. We shot ourselves in the foot by not taking the opportunities we had. And Allegri PLEASE stop fielding 3 defensive midfielders at the same time!!

Posted by Milan 1987 on 02/02/2012

Maxi is a decent signing and I would not judge him until he actually plays,Mesbah I am happy about but I still want Didac Villa to be given a real chance.It would have been better for Milan to use a Primervera player than Muntari.The youngsters that were brought in are good but will only work out if given a chance.I am really worried about our injury CRISIS,because this is the I believe the 5th year straight that Milan have experienced this,so something must be done.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/03/2012

It is indeed worrying to loose all these games against top tier teams. However i also noticed that when we play teams that defend with 10 players i.e. Inter and Lazio and take Ibra out of the equation, we have serious problem. No matter the amount of domination we are not able to unlock tight defenses. I hope Wenger did not see the game, but anyway I don't think Arsenal would be able to defend that way as it is not in their DNA and they are quite bad at defending so it could be our chance. However we can not play that game with Van Bommel, Ambrosini, Seedorf and Gattuso (if healthy)together on the pitch. We need youth stamina and energy, so hopefully Boa, Nocerino and even Emmanuelson on the right can start with either Seedorf or Al Shaarawi as trequartista (I would rather the latter).

Posted by Matheus on 02/03/2012

when I heard about Maxi, I could only think of one weird signing: AMOROSO.

about Muntari, no comments.

Posted by jose on 02/05/2012

as a fan of AC and Inter Milan (and accordingly I have no liking for Juventus) I think the signings are decent and can provide adequate cover..

Posted by Wiscohammer on 02/05/2012

Horrible result today, with big misses by several players. On a good note Antonni wasn't absolutely horrible.

Regarding Ibra's red card, he did slap Aronica. At first look I thought he was just putting his arm around Nocerino to pull him back. Looking again he decidedly struck Aroncia.

My question is doesn't it look like Aronica was grabbing Nocerino by the throat? It won't help Ibra in what will surely be an upcoming suspension, but there should be discipline for Salvatore Aronica as well in my opinion.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/06/2012

@Wiscohammer, first Aronica elbows Noce in the face than hold him by the throat and then slaps him after he got slapped by Ibra. He should have been sent off first! The Fecking linesman saw everything but only reported what Ibra did.....which is not justifiable anyway. And I must disagree with you, Antonini is so friging poor I can't believe it. Another one who should be benched until the end of his career is Seedorf, one decent shot and loads of rubbish throughout the whole game....what was Allegri waiting for changing him with Al Sharaawi, no instead he changes him with Ambro and wait the end of the game to put Maxi in. Even with 10 man we could have beaten them if Allegri had balls half the size of mines.

Posted by Pagliuca on 02/06/2012

I agree totally agree with Milan 1963. That puta Aronica grabbed Nocerino by the throat and Ibra went to the rescue of his teamate! Aronica should be given a 3 match ban for being the aggressor period! Antonini? I prayed for him yesterday that should tell you something. As for Allegri? Right ideas wrong people--again! Napoli is a fast paced attacking/counter-attack team. Why Seedorf as Treq is just confusing? Even so, El Sha should of came in behind Ibra/Robinho to add the speed that Seedorf could not do. Or, could be weak but add Urby to be in the hole and have Seedorf play on the left while Noce is on the right. Why bring in Lopez with 5 minutes? He should of came in at the 75 or at least 80 mark. Allergi is playing way to conservative and not doing what he did last year--showing balls. Dajeee!!

Posted by Wiscohammer on 02/08/2012

Antonini still scares the hell out of me and I would rather see anyone not named Bonera back there than him. My relief was that it was Antonini's first start in years that I can remember him getting burned repeatedly and directly being responsible for giving up a goal. Granted he got a lot of support from the center backs, the one real boneheaded move I can remember is the shot from the top of the box he shanked.

I agree with both of you that Allegri needs to figure out that Ambro and Seedorf as great as they have been just don't have the legs anymore to play so many minutes. They were having trouble all day with Ibra's size, as soon as he went out, Maxi should have come in for Bino and Al Sharaawi for Seedorf.

Posted by Wiscohammer on 02/08/2012

All in all though Allegri has made the squad younger, than what we have seen in years.

Seeing Abate continuing to play well and develop. Mexes hasn't been the red card machine people worried about and seems to be pairing well with Silva, during Nesta's numerous and inevitable injuries.

Mesbah has looked good in limited apperances so far. Noce and Urby have been solid if unspectacular, Noce seems to always be in the middle of things. Prince is rounding into a star.

We need another young center back to rotate upon Nestas retirement he can't play forever. Although if there is a team to do it with it is Milan. Our eternal search for outside backs continue. although I think we might finally have competent starters. I understand that most of these guys are not super young, but compared to the players Milan has fielded in recent years they are kids.

I know we are short on mids right now, but more than a new signing I think Milan needs a trainer, that can keep the players we have healthy

Posted by Milan-supporter on 02/08/2012

OK so I have to say. After watching the Milan-Juventus Coppa Italia first leg, all I can say is Milan is just straight out F****** Sh**. Im saying this from the bottom of my Milanese heart. We are a disgrace to football. Allegri should be banned from ever coaching again, and Ambrosini's legs should be amputated for the good of the game. Seedors and Vam Bommel deserve honourable mentions for being absolute SHITE, and Bonera can just go to hell. Im ashamed to be a Milan fan at this point. Absolutely appauling performance. Literally every second ball was given straight to the opponent. F*** my life

Posted by boschi66 on 02/08/2012

but, it's a eclipse gsx with a huge twin turbo making north of 400awhp!!! isnt it?

Posted by sintechness on 02/08/2012

I don't know what annoys me more, the look Seedorf makes after he rifles a shot to the stars, like nothing happened, or the look Antonini makes when he's on the ground as the man he was marking scores a goal. Ahh its only the tim cup, but at least El Sha scored.

Posted by Wiscohammer on 02/09/2012

^^Correction, remember him "not getting burned"

Posted by Hopidz on 03/24/2012

What if Milan had played with Ronaldinho and Pato wide? Madrid's fbcaullks would probably still have gotten forward, and Pato might have exploited Marcelo and gotten behind him a few times. However, Milan's midfield three would have been absolutely unable to close down both Alonso and Ozil, leading to either Ozil getting space in the hole or Alonso commanding the game and spraying passes all over the field. Worst of all, Ronaldo would have had 1v1 all day vs Zambrotta. I don't think you can fault Allegri if his alternate formation would have likely led to catastrophe as well. Milan didn't have the free players needed to dominate possession, nor did they have the athleticism to play at Madrid's pace. Madrid had a simple out ball to a fullback, or a more ambitious pass to Ronaldo, on the assumption that he would pull some skill or pace and get past Zambrotta. No tactic could have been adopted with Milan's entire squad to remedy both of these flaws. To his credit, Mourinho's team exploited both weaknesses in Milan's setup.

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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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