Myth #1: The San Siro is at fault for the injuries
- Yes, although the San Siro pitch is often comparable to a slum of grass you'd see off the interstate, it is foolish to think this is the primary reason for the plethora of injuries. If anything, it has been proven that artificial fields such as the one in Novara are much more likely to cause distortion (hence the FIGC investigation last season). Here's why I shrug off this argument almost immediately: a number of the injuries happen in practice, on the lush lawns of Milanello, and during away games. Pato was even rumored to have gotten injured while tanning, and Boateng's apparent muscle problems stem from too much fornication. Enough about the San Siro.
Myth #2: Pato is the only injury prone player
- Kevin Prince Boateng has regularly been in and out of the lineup with minor ailments. A slew of other players have gone down for nearly the entire year or a few months. Simply put, Pato's problems just echo a larger voice in the grand scheme of things - something at MilanLab, or training, is being done recklessly. Another note on Pato: earlier in the week reports indicate the young Brazilian would be traveling to America to seek an alternative form of treatment with one of the most recognizable healthcare practitioners. Has he even given up on the treatments, or lack thereof, of the MilanLab? A center that prides itself on being Milan's 'secret weapon' actually seems more like their worst nightmare.
Potential Cause #1: Massimiliano Allegri
- Count Allegri has been so reckless in his handling of injured players that even he admitted it was his own fault for Thiago Silva's ailments during the Roma match. Silva aggravated a problem he endured in practice earlier in the week, and a shrewd, cautionary coach would've been wise enough to keep the best central defender in the world rested and ready for the most important match of the season versus Barcelona on Wednesday. Things got so bad post Roma match that even Zlatan Ibrahimovic came out in the media and said that, "something is being done wrong. These injuries are ridiculous." Yes Zlatan, astute observation - our injury situation is so laughable that the list of players AVAILABLE for the Champions League fixture is actually a much shorter one than the treatment table XI.
Let's take a step back and look at Allegri's most infamous mishaps of the past few months.
Mishap #1: Starting Pato against Inter after a month long lay off from injury
Reasoning: "Pato, this is your moment to finally break through!"
Result: Pato re-aggravates an old injury and has one of his worst games in a Milan kit.
Mishap #2: Starting Boateng first leg against Arsenal after being out with injury for weeks.
Reasoning: "This game is too important to not play Kevin, who cares about the fact he doesn't have 90 minutes in his leg."
Result: Boateng scores a wondergoal to break the deadlock, but aggravates the injury as his body wasn't ready for the frenetic pace of a Champions League fixture, and as a result, misses the next few weeks with injury.
Mishap #3: Starting Thiago Silva against Roma this weekend after Silva was complaining of an ailment picked up during the week.
Reasoning: Bonera might happen.
Result: Silva limps off the field with a muscular problem and is expected to miss the next month of action, including the Barcelona fixtures.
No Allegri, thumbs down for your lack of prudence and jugdment
Who is at fault? Shouldn't the MilanLab doctors brief Allegri before the match about risks in playing certain players? Does he know the precautions, or is he simply ignoring them for his own job security? In the end, this risky behavior is turning into Milan's ultimate demise.
And if you think I'm being too harsh on Allegri, even HE admitted it was his fault for what happened to Silva - which will undoubtedly hamper our chances against Barcelona. We already had an uphill climb against the best team in the world, now it'll be a near vertical slope. The thought of Bonera and Antonini facing Messi and co. is about as appetizing as eating a strand of Favalli's goatee.
Something drastic must change. Nearly all of our weapons have been decimated by injury lately and aren't at 100%. Versus Barcelona, a gimpy Boateng will try to rekindle the magic he has so often had versus the giants of Europe. Nesta, also coming off an injury, will valiantly try to frustrate Messi like he did in the Camp Nou late last year. Bonera and Antonini, will have to play the game of their lives to not get embarrassed by the raging attack of elves.
It is unfortunate, because I would've loved to see Milan with all their guns equipped for Wednesday's match, but they'll only be a withered shadow of themselves. It's up to the champions to finally rise. Ibrahimovic must have the same effect for us that Messi has for Barcelona. If Zlatan wants to remove the cloud of doubt surrounding his often sporadic Champions League performances, he'll need to be the difference maker in the most important match of the season.
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