Perhaps a Mitsubishi Eclipse isn't so bad after all. If Milan win the scudetto, and I repeat, "if", you can look at this Milan-Udinese match as the most important turning point of the season.
• We'll go with the Eclipse
Up until the entrance of the now immortal balon d'or candidate Maxi Lopez in the second half, everything was going astray for the rossonero outfit. A slow, lumbering midfield lacking ideas, a seemingly incoherent attack, whose lack of chemistry was alarming. And finally, the venerable coach Allegri, once again with that befuddled look on the sidelines that drives us to make these following assumptions/questions: Is he even breathing? Is he in a coma? Why hasn't he blinked in 15 minutes. Does he know the game ends in five minutes and we need a new striker on?
I joked that there was a release clause in section II of Maxi Lopez's contract which forbade him from scoring goals -- boy, was I wrong. The blonde hitman partnered with Stephan El-Plucked Eyebrows to form the most atrocious hair duet in modern football. However, the two mohawks aligned to form the unlikeliest of chemical combustions, causing a seismic wave to sweep through the Northeastern corridor of Italy -- and this pairing would have their say on both Milan goals.
Attack of the mohawks
While the win kept Milan competitive for the Scudetto, there is still a dark cloud of gloom hovering over the Milanello. Perhaps one of the most frustrating, lackadaisical displays of the year was followed by 15 minutes of brilliance in the second half. However, one must worry as the match vs. Arsenal in the Champions League will take place midweek - and our injured XI is probably better than our actual team suiting up for the match.
- For all the people who are noticing a slight drop off in Silva's form, here's the rebuttal: blame it on the midfield (remix by Jamie Foxx and guest host Emerson). Predictably so, Milan's midfield keeps getting overrun whenever we employ two elders who have quite honestly, wore out their welcome. For all the great service Ambrosini has clocked through the years, he's running on a reserve fuel tank, trying to maximize every last drop of gas left in the tank. To compete in the Champions League, you need a modern/athletic midfield. Nocerino & Boateng fit that mold to perfection. Versatile players who can do a little bit of everything, from tracking back and providing cover, to attacking the holes and scoring the odd goal. Add a little bit of creativity & flair in Boateng's already immense arsenal, and you have one of the most complete midfielders in the world.
- Fortunately, Kevin Prince Boateng will suit up vs. Arsenal, according to sources on La Gazzetta. Many people have been asking me about Milan's recent "crisis", and how to go about fixing it. Quite honestly, it wouldn't take much to put out a significantly better side that is more aesthetically pleasing to the wandering eye. All we really need is a free transfer over the summer (Montolivo) and a more offensive mindset (we're all looking at you, Mr. Allegri). Now, imagine this formation: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Silva, Mesbah, Montolivo, Nocerino, Boateng, Slapahimovic, Pato, Cassano. I've said it plenty of times, Slapahimovic plays better when he's in a slightly retracted role behind the striker. This allows him to not only unleash one of his signature belters from behind the penalty box, but it feeds his creative instinct and vision, which is incredibly underrated. His unique repertoire is better suited in this position, and he can assist teammates just as often as he scores goals.
- Am I worried about the Champions League clash against Arsenal? Absolutely, especially since Robin Van Persie is having a career year. Are we favoured? Based on current results, I'd say it's dead even. The timing couldn't be better for the London based side to face Milan: a team with an ongoing injury crisis who is forced to play former backup Catania strikers and teenagers up front. However, could this actually be a blessing in disguise? You see, Stephan El-Plucked Eyebrow & Maxi Lopez have an undying hunger, unlike Ibrahimovic and Pato. Pato, who should specialize in writing a book about the reasons not to mix work with pleasure, and Ibrahimovic, who at his age, still can't control his barbaric urge to love tap the opposing team - a move that could ultimately cost us the scudetto.
- Based on current results, Allegri should play Ibrahimovic & El Shaarawy up front. What has Robinho done to merit a spot? Just because he's older he deserves it over younger players who are contributing more to the club? Who do you think should start for Milan against Arsenal? If Mourinho was in charge, you could be sure that El Shaarawy would be starting. Then again, it's that risky roll of the dice that could turn into a move of tactical brilliance, that catches the opposing side off guard. But no, knowing our good old Allegri, he'll play the token Ibrahimovic/Robinho, slotting Emanuelson god knows where - probably in a position he's never even practiced playing before.
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