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Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/16/2012

Sometimes you take a step back and wonder why you've wasted so many countless hours. Countless time engaged in incessant arguing, fighting, nagging, bragging, and shouting all in the honor of the team you've chosen to align yourself with from an early age.. However, you don't really mean anything to the squad itself. You're merely one of the numbers, feeding the millionaire players/owners simply by purchasing one piece of memorabilia. You wonder why something taking place (in some cases) on the other side of the world, could have such a profound effect on your well being.

You ponder why you'd skip school, or call in sick to work, to watch a game that in the end, is nothing more than a pixelated image on a screen, or often time an atrocious stream with a foreign language as commentary. Most of you have never been to the San Siro, or even Milan - but yet you bleed the colors of a team you've (mostly) never even seen in real life. Then it hits you. All these minutes spent following them, all the money spent supporting them - it all pays dividends on days like this. Days when a collective sports orgasm is reached. A simple pass or shot on goal gives you a burst of pure euphoria that really, is unmatched by any other event (except perhaps on a night out trying new substances with Moris Carrozzieri and Mark Iuliano). Now it all makes sense. Why we spend countless hours discussing, probing, arguing. Now, we feel a sense of sheer jubilance unlike anything else. What else could possibly make you jump out of your seat so violently as if Poseidon struck you in the heart with an electrical trident? No other feeling compares to this, except seeing Luca Antonini being subbed off.

I raced to a friends house to catch the match. Ran kilometers like Usain Bolt (actually, imagine Usain Bolt running.. now image the exact opposite of that) to make sure I'd arrive in time to catch that corny song where the players are lined up and are all looking at the stands thinking, "Okay, let me look as serious and cool as I can right now." I arrived just in time to see the camera panning on Luca Antonini and his beard. Wait a second - No, this can't be right. Mesbah was supposed to be the starter! Then I saw Phillippe Mexes right alongside him, NO - impossible! But the Gazzetta said Nesta would start alongside Silva. What in God's green earth is going on here? How could these bastards deceive me like this!

Mexes is a strange breed of centerback, one that takes too many untimely risks, sometimes producing spectacular challenges that stop the striker dead in his wake, and other times makes him look just as foolish as his neck tattoo's. Surely, Robin Van Persie would twist and turn his way to success, slithering around the Frenchman with ease. And Antonini. Don't get me started on him and his beard.

And boy, was I wrong. Today, Mexes partnered with Silva to form an incredibly compact duo. The Frenchman himself was calm, composed, made a few integral challenges and clearances, and even showed his passing range with a great lob which covered the distance of the field in the last minute to find a streaking Alexandre Berlusconi - who looked uncomfortable on the ball as he just returned from a sexual injury.

Notes:

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be compared to the Lebron James of football. He might have won eight consecutive domestic titles, but seems to have a dark cloud hanging over him in Europe. Recently, it seems that the team that sells him, goes on to win the Champions League the year after, as it happened to Inter and Barcelona respectively. The Swede has probably heard all of the criticisms about his no-shows in the Champions League. Some of this criticism is unfair, however, and you could see all of his rage and emotion spilling out after his penalty kick conversion in the second half. I have never seen Ibrahimovic run so hard or chase down midfielders so fervently. Why can't Zlatan replicate this performance every match? Why does he so often times seem lethargic, when in the end he IS capable of moments like this. Do we not pay him enough money?


Two of the goalscorers ©AP

- Robinho's brace was the silver lining of the match. After a year of disappointment and embarrassing blooper reel misses, the Brazilian samba dancer had quite possibly the finest outing of his club career. A perfectly placed header from a rocket cross, and an exquisite finish into the bottom corner from right outside the penalty area. For all the times I've criticized the much maligned Robinho, he showed vs. Arsenal the type of technique (that we all know) he is capable of displaying. Once again, Milan gambled with these former sulkers, capable of brilliance & failure. There will be days like this, just like there will be days of head smashing disappointment.

- This match was not only a turning point in a dramatically brilliant week for Milan, which started with an improbable 2-1 comeback over Serie A contenders Udinese, but also a signal to all of Europe that the rossoneri are capable of magic on their best days. Now, this 4-0 romp says slightly more about the atrocious display of Arsenal than the brilliance of Milan. The London side was diabolical on defense, and left me shaking my head as players with much experience seemed to be jogging around the pitch. Biggest example, Sagna inexplicably easing off of Ibrahimovic as he streaked down the wing and played a perfect cross to Robinho which resulted in the second goal.

- What else can we say about Kevin Prince Boateng? In the biggest moments, he shines brighter than the sun, and evokes his finest individual displays. That beautiful backheel and blast vs. Barcelona could not possibly be outdone, could it? How about yesterday's absolutely clinical no look volley into the top corner, which would have decapitated Szczczcfrjferjkgsny's head had it made any contact. I dare say, but the Prince is truly becoming one of the finest midfielders in the world. Not many that I know could score such marvelous goals, while aiding in other facets of the game so effectively. Bravo.

- For a split second, I thought the game was being played on a grass patch which had just been bombarded by asteroids. I wouldn't have flinched if a Groundhog decided to stick his head out of a hole near the goalposts covered by Szczczfejnw. In other news, Jamie Foxx has decided to do a new remix of 'Blame it on the Alcohol', but this time starring Arsene Wenger. The title: 'Blame it on the pitch.' For 90 minutes, I kept hearing the British commentators making excuses about the state of the field, which I agree, resembled something more along the lines of a slob of grass you'd see right off the interstate. However, both teams had to play on this worn out field, which had been hammered by the recent blizzards that crippled the entire country. Not even a Cessna would have dared land on that field, as it probably would've catapulted after hitting a crater around the sidelines and slammed itself into the Curva Sud and that atrocious Berlusconi 'si tromba' the Queen poster. (By the way, absolutely shameful display. I won't even translate it. Ironically, the people who designed that trash unknowingly we're mocking their owner & President.)

- With Milan all but secured into the next round of the Champions League, it will be interesting to see how this victory carries on into the future. A much needed morale booster after all this talk of crisis (by me especially). But what I've learned to do is not act so spontaneously, and realize that we employ some of the world's greatest at their respective positions. And Ibrahimovic, it was about time you had such a marvelous display in Europe..

On to the next one.

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Comments

Posted by Landon on 02/16/2012

Great article, my favorite so far!!!
If we could go to the Emirates and get an early goal, that would surely seal the tie. It would be awesome if we draw St. Petersburg or Lyon. I would hate to draw Barça or RM, but if Milan play like they did yesterday I believe they can beat anyone.

Posted by Ryo on 02/16/2012

When Robinho actually scores, life is much easier. Just look back at the season and wonder where will we be if Robinho actually scored those sitters instead. Probably a few more points ahead of Juve.

I believe Ibra's display was due to his suspension. He is fresh with much needed rest, and fired up at the same time. MVB is commanding in the midfield too, once he get the rest, also from suspension. So hopefully when Seedorf come back from injury he have some fresh legs and we get to see some more Seedorfinho instead of Slowdorf.

Think we can get away in the 2nd leg if we play this?

---------Amelia---------
Abate-Mexes-Silva-Mesbah
---------Flamini--------
Ambrosini--------Muntari
--------Aquliani--------
------SES----Pato-------

Not sure if Merkel or Strasser will be available in two week time, if so, no Ambrosini.

Posted by Edo on 02/16/2012

Man your article always makes me laugh ... you're a very good columnist!!! why do you have to quit later this month????

Posted by Shubham Trivedi on 02/16/2012

If some thing can come to be more joyous for a Red/Black than yeserday's game, then this is it. Incredible article.

Posted by Matt on 02/16/2012

Those British commentators on FSC were driving me nuts

the whole game was about how poor the pitch was...

i said a few minutes in..."will they still blame the pitch if we beat them 4 or 5-0?"

seems kinda silly to blame the pitch after that big of a beatdown

Posted by Landon on 02/16/2012

@Ryo
Ambrosini is suspended for the 2nd leg.

Posted by BJ on 02/16/2012

Ryo, Ambro is suspended for the 2nd leg, but I see your point. What a match yesterday!! I forgot how good Boateng is and how much the squad missed him during these past few matches. When Milan play like that they can beat anyone in the world, including RM and Barca. FORZA MILAN!!

Posted by Beth on 02/16/2012

Wonderful article, Matt. Nice to see some of that old, world-weary jadedness wash away. See? The beautiful game redeems. And none of us, even with all our sports savvy can anticipate the moments of grace. Taste the joy and remember: life (soccer) has the power to transform!

Posted by Michael on 02/16/2012

Great article as always - but my god Antonini was bad. He really looked like a liability on defense and offense. His shot was horrible and his defensive stance scares me when he tries to stop someone on the edge of the 18. It is even more evident by how great Abate is on the other side of the pitch. We really need to put Mesbah in at the very least and hope for someone to fill that role permanently in the future. However, Ibra played the way he should all the time - he is a beast when he decides he wants to be.

Posted by Nick on 02/16/2012

Awesome article! Reading the first couple of paragraphs gave me goosebumps. I live in the States but was fortunate enough to see the Rossoneri beat Palermo 3-0 at the San Siro in October and it was the greatest experience of my life. Your description is spot on, I often wonder if all of the frustration and countless hours wasted on Sunday mornings and Tues/Wed afternoons is worth it, but games like yesterday's and the one I was at in Milan make me remember just how much I love AC Milan and that even though they cause a lot of headaches, at the end of the day I bleed red and black and will root for them no matter what. Cheers for a great win, let's just hope this form continues.

Solo con Milan
Sempre per Milan

Posted by Desmond on 02/16/2012

Forz Milan!

Posted by Moxex Nigeria on 02/16/2012

Great article. Muntari is not in the CL squad

Posted by O90cm on 02/16/2012

As an Arsenal fan, I wasn't expecting much from this game, a draw at best, but I never thought it'd be this bad.

Arsenal have lost their attacking intent this season which is a shame because it could have been a much better game.

Credit to Milan who capitalized with some brilliant plays and goals, don't expect it to be this easy in the next round though.

Posted by JC on 02/17/2012

The atrocious banner, as you define it, while gross was also pretty hilarious. That's just my opinion, of course. And do you really think that Ac Milan fans don't mock Berlusconi for his "habits"? Really?? Mate, you are waaaaay wrong on that. We always laugh at him, believe me :)

Greetings from Milan

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/17/2012

@JC

I'll admit. I laughed when I saw it. And trust me I know exactly what Milanisti think of Berlusconi's sexual habits - it's perhaps his greatest shortcoming. Then again I think the spirit of the banner was actually to embrace Berlusconi's sexual escapades, even though it didn't come off that way. And it was an incredibly harsh time for Silvio in Italy, going through all of those charges of him seeing underage women.

I would guarantee you anything he was absolutely LIVID to see that in the stands. However, I think he smirked at first glance as well.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/17/2012

Matteo you outdone yourself on this one, the comments are hilarious. What is this story of you quitting later this month?
Anyway you are spot on, these are the moments you are raving for and when you feel proud to be a true Milanista. This game brought me back to the late 80's when Arrigo Sacchi took our team to heights I could never imagine, when we beat Real Madrid 5 nil in semi final and then Steaua 4 nil in final....gooze bumps, deep emotions, pride what else can I add?
We may be mocking our President, we may hate him as a statesman but we would never want to change him with someone else, after all we owe him the last 25 years of triumphs.

Posted by Khoo Kyaw San on 02/17/2012

Any Champions league clubs at this level can easily defeat Arsenal of this season. It is not that they are too strong. It is just that Arsenal is too weak, having sold the best players it had, Nasri and Fabregas etc.
AC can be a surprise this season. But it makes me wonder if they are good enough to beat clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.
The three are the favorites for Champions League Trophy this season, I personally think.

Posted by Ralib Guemiri on 02/17/2012

Matteo, great article, nothing to add, would've wanted to see fellow Algerian Mesbah on the pitch but Antonini managed to do well despite a couple of mishaps and missed opportunities...Forza Milan !

Posted by Landon on 02/17/2012

My XI: vs Cesena
Bench: Emanuelson, Mexes, Amelia, Robinho, Seedorf, Ambrosini, Inzaghi, Muntari, and Bonera. I think we should leave Pato out of the squad.
---------Abbiati-------
Abate-Nesta--Silva-Mesbah
-------Van Bommel------
-Nocerino----Aquilani----
---------Boa-----------
El Shaarawy-------------
-------Maxi Lopez------
This seem to be Allegri's pecking order for the two striker spots.
Ibrahimovic
Cassano(Injured)
Pato
Robinho
El Shaarawy
Maxi Lopez
Inzaghi
I hope to never see Flamini in a Milan shirt again.

Posted by Debashis kundu on 02/17/2012

Dear Matteo,
Most touching words you have ever written,'Most of you have never been to the San Siro, or even Milan - but yet you bleed the colors of a team you've (mostly) never even seen in real life.' I am an Indian. I never saw any of the member of Milan team physically. Just see the wallpapers of them and worship Maldini, Baresi, Pirlo, Kaka. My greatest dream is to watch Milan from stands of San Siro...I was very upset until day before yesterday with the predictions of the match..3-1 in favor of Arsenal; you did 1-1 and I did not watch the match. Next morning I wake up 6.30 and log on to internet and I could not believe my eyes. I screamed(probably that I will not do if I get a PhD offer from US or European Universities). Then I came to lab and shouted 'Yes I am a Milan Guy'...postponed the whole day work just to read the reports of the match and watch highlights. No matter what will be the result at the end of the season but this memory will be in my heart......forever Milan.

Posted by Wiscohammer on 02/17/2012

I for one would like to see Mexes stay and continue to partner with Silva. At this point I think Nesta should be the third back to rotate in when one of the aforementioned need a day off. As great as he has been, he just can't stay healthy anymore as a regular starter. I would rather have him available when needed then constantly making visits to the trainers.

I also feel like Mexes has shove quite a bit of improvement the last month. I don't know if something happened over the winter break, or if it is just getting more game time in with Silva. The last several games his passing and distribution looked much better. He played a ball to Bino in the Juve match (I think it was Juve) up over the top, much like the ball he played to Pato.

He still lunges to much and his positioning is questionable at times, but on the ball there have been great strides.

I just hope that Allgeri noticed that the goals and chances started pouring in after Seedorf went off.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/17/2012

First off thank you to everyone who has been responding and adding quality feedback on a regular basis. Anyway, I was unsure whether or not I could continue this position after this season ends as my future lies in limbo. I could move to Singapore, where I'd basically be forced to quit because of odd hours and I simply wouldn't be able to watch half the games - so I'd leave this position to someone who'd be able to post much more frequently

However, it is not a certainty yet. I've been doing this for nearly three years now and it is very gratifying. I am definitely looking for new opportunities as well. My main job has nothing to do with journalism but I'd like to use this experience to become a columnist for more than just Milan. We'll see what the future brings.

Forza Milan.

Posted by YeL on 02/17/2012

Hi Matteo,

Just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your blog and hope moving to Singapore won't force you to stop.

I'm Singaporean and we've been fortunate to be able to watch Serie A and Champ League football on cable (albeit on 2 different cable providers but you can do what most of us do anyway which is to get both! Haha)

Granted the latest game here is usually 3.40 am on a Monday morning but what I usually do is record it or sleep much earlier to wake up, watch the game, nap a bit and get to get ready for work.

So yeah, even if you're moving. It won't be that hard :)

Posted by D on 02/17/2012

Brother you know '63 and I are both in Asia and that doesn't stop us! Shoot, I'm on a train in Tokyo at this very moment.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/17/2012

Well if you come to Singapore it does not mean that you have to quit as they are showing most of the games live which means around 10 pm for the afternoon games and yes 3am for the anticipo or posticipo, but you are young and can do with less sleep right ;-) off course CL games are in the middle of the night but they show them again the day after or you can choose to record and watch it again when you have more time.....Anyway if you come here let me know, you have my email address. cheers.

Posted by Beth on 02/17/2012

Matt, I am a newcomer to your blog in the past month, but I really feel fortunate to have stumbled into your little corner of the sports/soccer Internet. I sincerely hope you stay with this gig, as I don't see anything else out there like it. My son is a journalism major at Ithaca college (and a soccer player) and would give his right foot to have your job! But whatever you do, keep on writing. You have a gift - the way you see the sport with humor and humanity. All the best. And keep us posted!

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/17/2012

Well then, didn't take much to convince me!

@Beth

Thank you, much appreciated

@Milan 1963/D

I will definitely be e-mailing if I do end up in that corner of the globe, as I've never been to Asia before.

Posted by Julie on 02/17/2012

I can relate to this article as being a fan from Barbados and always being asked why do you support A.C Milan. I left work early (4pm- late lunch) the
game started here at 345pm, missed the 1st goal, but
was I glad I took that late lunch! I could not stop smiling all night!

Posted by Landon on 02/17/2012

Matteo, I would hate to not have anything interesting to read about Milan. I would get sick of the EPLnet articles on espn. If you go to Singapore please don't stop writing. Even if your articles are infrequent.

Posted by rajiv on 02/17/2012

matteo, you made me feel real proud today by emitting words that make non italians part of the ball game..in your own words..'Most of you have never been to the San Siro, or even Milan - but yet you bleed the colors of a team you've (mostly) never even seen in real life.'I have called in sick always when milans schedule conflicted with my work schedule,I never ever have missed millans game, and the champions league, are u kidding me, i will let go of my days pay but never a milan game...
Always a pleasure reading your blog, oh and btw you know where Fiji is? that's where i hail from, a die hard milanista in Fiji....FORZA MILAN.

Posted by Cayman-Milan on 02/18/2012

Matteo- Your most brilliant post to date! I am a lifelong Milanista, hailing from the tiny Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. Having held a silly childhood dream in the 80's of one day playing for Milan, to receiving my first Milan scarf from an Italian schoolmate in the 90's, to timing my university schedule in the early 2000's to not interfere with Champions League- I have lived every one of your words you mentioned and no, I have never seen the San Siro or a single Milan player in real life. Never have I been so thankful to have a stomach virus which allowed me to experience football bliss for 90 mins on Wednesday!

Your blog touched a special place in all of us as worldwide Milan fans- all colors, nationalities, and languages. There is no club like Milan. It is in fact not a club but the very essence of football itself.

Matteo thank you for being our trequartista linking us worldwide fans together!

FORZA MILAN!

Posted by milanforever on 02/18/2012

I have been to milan and I have seen ac play so i definitely know the feeling. Mexes played awesome. binho actually finished goals...although i have to say he was a bit fortunate with the second one...actually i have to say that milan really didnt play that impressive, but whatever im happy they beat arsenal. It was actually a blessing in disguise when oldorf came off with an injury...we do NOT play well when we have more than one old person playing in the midfield...van homo, one eyed gattuso, ambroski, and olddorf. only one can play at a time as demonstrated against arsenal. there was a ton of movement from themanulson and quite frankly his off the ball movement was superb . Thats how the mid should be for the rest of the season...sub on the old guys later in the match so then their stamina and speed will fair better against the other teams players...FORZA MILAN

Posted by milanforever on 02/18/2012

oh and dont you dare quit your blog!!

Posted by Milan 1987 on 02/18/2012

BRILLIANT article Matteo!I flipped when I saw Antonnini&Robinho instead of Mesbah&El Shaarawy,but it worked out in the end.I have been a huge critic of Allegri but I give him props for this Milan performance.BOETANG is the key with his ENERGY!

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/18/2012

The level of diversity here is amazing. One person from Fiji, another from the Cayman Islands.. Africa, Singapore.. Europe.. N.America, S.America. The four corners of the globe are represented on this forum. Truly incredible and always great to hear opinions from fans worldwide.

The reason I wrote those opening two paragraphs was simple: I knew it would resonate with 99% of the people who visit this page. I doubt an Italian Milanista from Milano would ever come to this page - there are thousands of Italian websites he'd go to, before a British based Soccernet site in English!

Posted by ayein on 02/19/2012

hello Matteo,
again a very good and insightful post.. totally agree with u.. thank u for your work.. I truly understand what u wrote in the first 2 paragraphs.. I am fortunate enough to have been in San Siro last year and it was really an amazing experience.. being from Malaysia, it was always a dream to go there and finally I got the chance..

anyway back to the CL game, what can I say, u've summed it up perfectly.. but we should not get carried away.. I still remember the heartbreak and disbelief of that Deportivo game.. But I'm quite confident we'll get through this time.. lets hope we don't concede an early goal and score one of our own..

and lastly please continue your post.. even if u are in Singapore.. it would not be the same with a different writer.. well hope u will enjoy the early morning matches as I have..
FORZA MILAN!!!

Posted by Suraj Gopinath on 02/19/2012

BOY!! what a brilliant article!! The part about antonini is so true...that guy is surely a liability...hope allegri will bring mesbah!!I hope bprince gets back in time against Juve coz we will definatly need him!

Posted by An anonymous Inter Milan fan on 02/20/2012

Matteo: The Curva Sud isn't as lively as the Curva Nord, you know it. Let me give you AC Milan fans words of advice: if any of you guys can, try reading the Inter Milan blog, here on Soccernet. No bragging, BUT, our blog is pretty awesome.

Posted by JHustle on 02/20/2012

Matteo: I've been reading your blogs for a few years now and always look forward to them and enjoy them greatly. The biggest reason being that you are a die-hard Milan FAN and not just some journalist who can't give an honest opinion because they have to be unbiased about whatever they are covering. Not only are you a fan but you actually know what you are talking about. If i hear a rumor about our great boys, i'll only take it seriously if you mention it since you seem to only write about rumors with actual substance to them. Im from NJ in the states so not many ppl understand my love for soccer, especially European soccer, so reading your blogs gives me a chance to connect with a real Milanista. Lets me know im not alone when i wanna bash my head against a wall because Robinho can't knock one in from 5 yards out in front of an empty net. So if you do decide to move on, good luck with everything but i do hope you keep the blog going. FORZA MILAN!!

Posted by Rajiv on 02/22/2012

wow this article was perfect and exactly how I (and probably many others) feel. Hope to see Milan someday soon (esp KPB)!!!

Posted by Roy on 02/22/2012

Abbiati
Abate Thiago Mexes Mesbah

(muntari) Montolivo (Flamini)
Nocerino(Emmanuelson)Aquilani
(Pato) Boa (cassano)
Ibra Robinho

Plus, anotnini, amelia, flamini, seedorf, ambro, gattuso, maxi lopez, merkel, strasser, yepes, bonera,Zambrotta,Van bommel

I added motolivo cose its sure he is coming,Its going to be the best midfield in Europe no doubt

Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/23/2012

@Roy,
Strong squad indeed but what is important is too look at who will leave the team comes June. For me we should keep Nesta in defence but look for a young centerhalf to be aggregated to the team (Astori or Ogbonna would be great) bring back Didac Vila and get rid of Yepes, Bonera, Zambro and Antonini.In the middle I would thank Ambro, Gattuso, Seedorf and Van Bommel for good services but it is time for them to go. I would keep Flamini and go full speed for Eriksen from Ajax. Finally upfront I believe it is also time for Superpippo to bid farewell and keep everybody else and start including some young promising from the primavera.

Posted by Wiscohammer on 02/23/2012

Seeing MVB talk of RVP come to Milan worries me some. If he comes in we have to sell one or two other attacking players, or find a different formation.

I like the way the team has gelled and grown in their take on the 4-3-3. Ibra, Maxi, Bino, and Pato can only really play the top two spots. SES and Cassano have more flexibility, and who knows maybe Cassano will be gone with his heart problems fitness never was his forte.

Prince is brilliant in that center role, but it is really the only place he fits, please don't say he can play the wing.

What Milan need are people to play the wide positions. Abate has been great, Noce and Urby have been surprises but are not elite. Maybe they can grow more I don't know.

The team is built on strength up the middle and it has worked well. Sell Pato bring in RVP a defensive mid, and a left back.

Posted by Ryo on 02/23/2012

Do we need Eriksen or Montolivo though? Surely Boateng and Nocerino is going to hold 2 starting berth. Leaving Seedorf's CM and MVB's DM up for grab, assuming they are retiring or leaving. We already have Emanuelson, Merkel, Muntari, Aquilani for CM, Strasser and Flamini for DM, not even counting Ambrosini and Gattuso. If we do get Montolivo or Eriksen it means either Merkel goes out on loan again or he plays reserve team football.

I think we should instead spend big for a top DM, let Flamini go and use Strasser as 2nd choice DM. Let Aquilani, Emanuelson, Merkel and Muntari fight for that last CM spot.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 02/24/2012

@Ryo,
Fair enough comment but let's analyse the positions. Trequartista we have Boateng with the alternative of Urby. DM/CM we have Flamini, Van Bommel, Ambro, Strasser and Merkel. Left mid Noce, Muntari, Emanuelson and Seedorf. Right mid Aquilani and Gattuso.
Eriksen would come as trequartista and imo a good alternative for BOA. Montolivo would come in the center where most probably MVB and Ambro will leave. These players are quite flexible so they can exchange roles, but let's not forget the problems we had with injuries these past seasons and the importance of having a deep and fit bench especially in the middle. off course if we can get someone like Schweinsteiger instead of Monto and Eriksen I would take him straight away. Upfront I believe we have one of the strongest group of players in the world so I would not change it or spend on it. Forza Milan beat Juve tomorrow!!!

Posted by Milanesta Per Sempre on 02/25/2012

I like both teams, but I think Sue is correct, Juve might win this one, remember without Calciopoli they are the best in Lega...

Posted by Ryo on 02/25/2012

I do not quite agree with your list.
The AM position currently held by Boateng can also be played by Cassano other than Emanuelson. The two CM position is no doubt going to be Nocerino + whoever replaces Seedorf. Be that Emanuelson, Aquilani, Merkel, Muntari. I know Ambrosini and Gattuso often play as CM-R, but it all begins because Pirlo was our DM. If we are playing a true DM, like MVB, than putting another defensive CM in is overkill. I don't think Allegri is going to turn back to using a deep lying playmaker, so I do not think Ambrosini & Gattuso will be used beside Nocerino, not for starting XI.

Say if we get Eriksen, he is going to cost a fortune, somewhere close to 20M. Do we need a 20M sub for Boateng? Montolivo, if he does come in for free, it is good business, but he is going to kill off Merkel's chances. Schweini is wishful thinking, even if he does eventually leave Bayern, it won't be before he is past his prime, kinda like Raul, Albertini, etc.

Posted by Ryo on 02/25/2012

Of course it is not bad to reinforce, but I think our DM position is more of a concern since after MVB we only have Flamini & Strasser. I'm not convinced with Flamini if we are going against Barca, Madrid, Bayern, etc. Strasser even though promising, is too young to shoulder this normally. UNLESS Strasser turns out to be another Nocerino, we really need a world class DM.

Maybe Emanuelson, Aquilani, Muntari could all turns out not good enough to hold down that other CM spot, but I think we need to give them a chance, especially Emanuelson and Merkel, they can still improve. If that fails, then go into the market. This summer is too early for a new CM. Give them a chance.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/27/2012

@ Ryo,
Yes mate agree with you, but my guess is that Montolivo will take that center slot left by Van Bommel. He may not be a proper DM but looking at how we play, basically all our midfielders except Aquilani are solid defensively, even if they have the propensity to go forward. I would love to get a world class DM/DM but don't really see who he could be, do you have someone in mind? What i like about Eriksen is that he is very young and has already experience in the CL so this is a bonus and I am not sure he would cost so much, rather below 15 mil.
After the Juve game I am starting to be more and more convinced on Pato leaving in June as he seems to be an extranged body in that squad. Hopefully we can still get some big bucks for him.

Posted by Jeki on 03/24/2012

yeah dinho has to play. berlusconi has abaicslly built the team around him and made him the star attraction at san siro. the only way he loses his spot is if he suffers a massive loss of form and based on what we saw during the lecce game he appears headed in the other direction. i mean he was even tracking back and defending late into the game. i think, at least initially milan will continue to play 4-3-3 with robinho as a super sub, but the 4-2-1-3 set up you suggested would be beautiful to watch.

Posted by kelon on 04/12/2012

great article matteo,love it about antonini,he is truly crap

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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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