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Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/26/2012

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the main surgeon at the MilanLab looked like an extra from Freddy Kruger and changed tendons with a rusty scalpel in a dimly lit operating room.

How can you explain the current situation at Milan without feeling some sort of betrayal from the heads up top. Is it simply a sheer coincidence, or are we witnessing one of the most infamous health botches of all time. The questions circling the mind of many people (and players) around the club is: who's responsible for the mayhem? Well, let's take a quick look at the possibilities while discounting the naive myths.

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 ©AP

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.

#ForzaMilan

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Comments

Posted by Simon on 03/26/2012

First of all, great article once again!!

Do you think that if investment in the MilanLab is needed, this could cause a cut in the transfer funds for the team this summer?

Posted by What's his name. on 03/26/2012

I would like to suggest that it is remnants from the Calciopoli. Karma can deceive many. Pity the fools. Milanisti must consider each suspect.

Milan must try their best to stage an Inter-esque 2010 anti-climatic game and step on the throttle with counterattack. There is no reason why it couldn't work. Also they should try to neutralize Xavi and Messi.

Once again, I blame negative mentality with the clubs players. Maybe Allegri did not communicate with his players effectively. Karma? Calciopoli?

Posted by Jydough on 03/26/2012

Great article as usual. First and foremost, i for one have always found the blame that the san siro pitch is the cause of the injuries very laughable and near idiotic, cos last i checked, merda use the same pitch and they haven't been decimated with injuries as we have. Secondly, i think the blame on Allegri is a bit harsh. Probably right bout Pato and Silva but Boa? I dont think so. Boa plays with so much energy, it's impossible for him not get injured. He needs to learn how conserve his strength during games.

Posted by Jydough on 03/26/2012

Personally, i think MOST of these injuries are just normal and there's nothing to it than meets the eye. Plus it doesn't mean the MilanLab's inefficient or incapable. These injuries are just an unfortunate phase which will ultimately pass. Forza Milan!

Posted by japoelflaco on 03/27/2012

Great article as always, but in response to Jydough, this injury streak has been going on since 07 from what I can remember, so I think it's more then a normal face. Second of all, why Galliani hasn't stole some docs from others clubs? You see Barca, United, Madrid they only have 5 or 6 serious injuries and relapses per season. I think Galliani will have to adress very seriously this matter in the offseason, because we can't complain this time that of Berlusconi not investing in the team. The team is worthless if it isn't healthy. I hope for a miracle against Barca. Forza Milan!!!

Posted by MilanistaRusso on 03/27/2012

It seems that MilanLab is the one to blame as this is not the first season we have been decimated by injuries. For the past 3 years, we have had half the squad out injured by February. And Allegri has only been around for 2 of those years. Pato was never injury prone before he started the specialized training to buff him up (cough MilanLab). I would absolutely love to see an injury free Milan go through an entire season. I can confidently predict the result would be at least a domestic double. A fully fit Milan can beat Barcelona on a good day.
However, with the current situation, we have practically no chance to beat the best team in the world with a backline consisting of inconsistent Antonini, a red card threat Mexes, a 36 year old Nesta, and the one who must not be named. Plus our attack(which is the best department we have) now consists of Ibra and a 19 yr old. We have no chance to win this match. Its not pessimism, its realism.

Posted by perfect on 03/27/2012

the raging attack of elves. awesome. forza

Posted by putuco on 03/27/2012

No surprise you did not waste the chance to bash Allegri. Lastly, only your sense of humour saves your articles.

As someone pointed before, these injuries came from a long time ago, not only from Allegri's era at the club. Get a reality check and be objective.

Posted by Debashis kundu on 03/27/2012

Good analysis. This time I got a picture of Milan Lab. Its pity to see so many injuries. To me, leave CL hope for this season and concentrate on Serie A. Must maintain the 4 point lead with Juve. If we can maintain it, Scudetto will be ours within 2nd week of April...Forza Milan

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/27/2012

@putuco

Thank you for the humor compliment, I try to veil some entertainment in every article.

However, my 'bashing' of Allegri is merely a reflection of the last month of the season, which has seen three separate incidents, all closely correlated... Unlike anything I have ever personally witnessed.

Also, it is fitting to note that Allegri 'bashed' himself post match in the media, admitting he risked Silva, and it backfired.

'Bashing' is an interesting word. The idea of the article was to try and dissect the last notable injuries this calendar year. Interesting how they all came about... And interesting how they're so closely related.. Allegri starting a player fresh off an injury, only for the player to reaggravate.

Oh, and Ibrahimovic shares these sentiments too. He even said them in the media.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 03/27/2012

Ciao Matteo,
Very strange and very frustrating indeed. yesterday i was looking at some statistic in an Italian website and half of the injuries were due to muscle problems which could be due to wrong preparation or Milan Lab and eventually Allegri. The other injuries seem to be due to shocks during games which sometimes cannot be prevented. Unfortunately they seem to happen to our key players and this year all of Milan players have been injured at one time except Urby Emanuelson.
It is difficult to be consistent with this kind of attrition and makes our task against Barca very hard to say the least and I am not expecting any miracle on that aspect.
Forza Milan sempre e communque.

Posted by Ziyad Alam on 03/27/2012

So how many players will milan miss against barcelona this week?

Pato, Prince & Silva?

Posted by Rakend R Jois on 03/27/2012

Nice article. About allegri taking risk with silva. Yes it was wrong. But experienced managers like Sir Alex Fergusen have done it(risked rooney n it back fired).

Posted by omar salem on 03/27/2012

First of all, great article.. But the injury problems aren't present just this season, allegri is at fault but MilanLab should be advising him on playing recently recovered players

Posted by Landon on 03/27/2012

This is only my second season as a Milan fan, are the injuries much worse this year than previous years?

Posted by John on 03/27/2012

Not really Allegri's fault though. What's he going to do rest everyone and run the risk of winning zilt just to be able to draw against Barca...? Forget it, if you got little to lose just go full out and see what you end up with. The problem with injuries either occours during training or we just have a bunch of pussies that think Ac Milan is some sort of retirement home and join to relax instead of winning big trophies.

Posted by Pagliuca on 03/27/2012

Good Article. The problem with Milanlab has been going on for the past couple of years(including Anco's latter part)but Allegri increasing the rifts of it by his decision making has been significant. Again,the Clueless One decides on the eve of UCL knockout instead of resting Thiago, he starts him? Is Yepes that bad now? Could not have Nesta came in and got match fitness for this outing? Our injuries are atrocious and I hope that a complete overhaul of Milanlab is sersiously dealt with. Back to Allegri, this season he's almost a Jackyl and Hyde in comparison to last year. His decision making has been an enigma. Barca is being played tommorrow, and I just hope we can at least have some dignity left after this series with them. It's a shame, minus the injuries(though you can't help all), less tactical blunders, and possibly a better mercato, Milan could of actually taken it's #8 UCL. However, MAYBE a "Magico Milan" might come out on Wed? Nothing costs to hope. ;)

Posted by Ryo on 03/27/2012

Hopefully if Nesta is fit then we may not miss Silva too much. I know Mexes was a red card threat in Roma, but which Roma player isn't? He haven't have one yet in a Milan shirt, has he? I was watching Kjaer play for Roma the other day and it is just like Mexes all over again. I don't think Mexes in Milan will get much red card as in his Roma days.

Any chance Zambrotta get the nod ahead of Bonera or Antonini? I would prefer him over the other two. And what about Muntari? I think Mourinho played him on LB for a while, maybe we can try this experimental back four:

Zambrotta-Nesta-Mexes-Muntari

Posted by Ryo on 03/27/2012

Hopefully if Nesta is fit then we may not miss Silva too much. I know Mexes was a red card threat in Roma, but which Roma player isn't? He haven't have one yet in a Milan shirt, has he? I was watching Kjaer play for Roma the other day and it is just like Mexes all over again. I don't think Mexes in Milan will get much red card as in his Roma days.

Any chance Zambrotta get the nod ahead of Bonera or Antonini? I would prefer him over the other two. And what about Muntari? I think Mourinho played him on LB for a while, maybe we can try this experimental back four:

Zambrotta-Nesta-Mexes-Muntari

Posted by Jevy on 03/27/2012

Nice article however I would revise the list of causes for the injuries
1. As many have pointed out MilanLab is very much at fault as the injuries have been consistent for longer than The Clueless One has been in charge + what happened with Pato was their fault
2. Allegri did handle the injury crisis bad, however he neither started it nor is the biggest reason. He only made it worse, hence his nickname
3. This is the most important IMO. Berlusconi. In fact you said it yourself, just in a different way. "Bonera might happen". Maybe, if we had enough squad depth like many other European giants do, we wont have a choice between the BEST defender in the world...and the worst one. I do not see us seriously challenging UCL until that happens.

P.S. I swear I felt my heart shrink a bit when i read "The thought of Bonera and Antonini facing Messi and co. is about as appetizing as eating a strand of Favalli's goatee." I swear id eat his goatee (with ketchup) if that didnt have to happen...

Posted by Sal on 03/27/2012

Dude Pato did great things but he has to go. If we would have gotten Tevez and shipped Pato to PSG or whatever we would be in great shape right now.

Also our defense scares me. When I see Zambrotta, Bonera, or Mesbah I cringe for most of the game (granted they have definitely played better in recent games). Abate and Antonini can either be setting up beautiful plays or whiffing on the simplest of clearances (case in point, abate missing a clearance and leaving Milito and open on contested shot).

Ehh doesn't matter after this week. Barca's going to have their way with us in the first leg and thats a wrap.

Posted by milanforever on 03/27/2012

first off.....FINALLY! that article took forever! haha. uggggggg the injuries...you know I wondered the same thing, but the milanlab is usually very very good at healing our players...I honestly think this is just a period of bad luck and players who are actually injury prone...as for Allegri...hes gotta do what hes gotta do, personally i do not like him as a coach but i feel the decision he made with boateng before the arsenal game was spot on...boateng was huge in that game and that game could have been completely different without his goal and continuous runs and passes. The silva inncident is understandable as well..nobody wants bonehead bonera to play lol why they dont get rid of him is beyond me...actually the funny thing is is that bonera played really well that game, prob the best ive ever seen him play. and pato well.....at this point all you can say is pato is pato...he is made of tissue paper..great article as usual!

Posted by Anonymous on 03/28/2012

Lets all be optimistic for tomorrows game, on paper we are counted as under dogs , but lets not forget we are MILAN, whole a europe knows wat we are made of, and seven champions league glory speaks for its self.
As a true milan fan i would like to keep my hopes alive, irrespective of who we play.
so wat if barca are favorites , we aint no push over either.
FORZA MILAN.

Posted by Anonymous on 03/28/2012

Lets not put the whole blame game on Allegri.
There is a limited availability of impactable players at san siro. Atleast the results are coming our way.
Way to go.
FORZA MILAN.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 03/29/2012

Nil nil draw against the Green little Martians with Antonini man of the match.....who would have thought that and with Seedorf playing the entire game??? Well i take it as a good and encouraging result considering that Seedorf, Robinho, Nesta and Boateng were not really match fit and we were missing Thiago, Van Bommel, Abate, Muntari(not registered) and many more. We may not go through to the next round but we managed to get a lifeline and who knows what may happen? For the return leg I would try Maxi as our Fulcrum with Ibra free to roam around. They could hurt Barca fragile defense with their size and power. But more important is next game at Catania were we cannot afford to loose points. Forza Rossoneri!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 03/29/2012

"Bonera and Antonini, will have to play the game of their lives to not get embarrassed by the raging attack of elves."

A prophecy in disguuse

Posted by Pagliuca on 03/29/2012

Well...Magico Milan kind of came out last night and nearly did the impossible? Eventhough, I critisize Allegri a lot, I do give him credit that taking on the worlds most lethal team with a depleted squad and holding them to a scoreless draw is a great feat(though Robinho with the miss--ahhh). Hopefully if some players can come back for the return leg at the Nou Camp, maybe we may pull of the upset of the year? I know the odds are not on our side but with CL and Milan you never know? Forza Milano!!!

Posted by Matheus on 03/30/2012

"The thought of Bonera and Antonini facing Messi and co. is about as appetizing as eating a strand of Favalli's goatee."

I don't know why, but I read this for the first time 5 minutes ago and I'm still laughing.

btw, brilliant stuff by Bonera and Antonini against barça.

Posted by Sintechness on 03/30/2012

Now that is something. I constantly make fun of antonini because of his love of being clumsy and falling on the pitch. But he had a steller performance. Crazy. He has found something and its been getting better every week. Maybe the new beard has a Samson effect, who knows, but when he slid on to a sure goal and cleared it...Good show, sir we in nyc salute you

Posted by Milan 1987 on 03/31/2012

Great article! The FACT remains that our once famed and revolutionary MilanLab has been a disaster for about 5 years now because Milan have been having horrible injuries every year for the past half a decade and the medics either need to be FIRED or RE-TRAINED.

Posted by kelon on 04/12/2012

nice article,i do believe alegri is savin his job an the cost of the players an i also think he"s a poor coach

Posted by Karma on 05/11/2012

Two things: First, Ibra was AWFUL. He needs to usrndntaed that if he passes the ball he will get it back. I don't recommend two tier formations, but they rely on that top tier sharing the ball, which Ibra seems allergic to. Milan just doesn't build up when he gets the ball (which is why Barca got rid of him).Second, beating Real requires someone to nullify Alonso. He guarantees an advantage on the midfield when he isn't checked. You either keep him in his side of the half or eliminate him as soon as he crosses the midline. The team sort of allows Khedira to defend for him (I'm not convinced he's quite the tackler and disruptive player that Mascherano or Silva is), and I think that is where you can exploit some advantages over Real. Barca has two central mids who require watching at all times (and a holding mid who can legitimately nullify two players at once), or Inter, forcing Alonso out of his zone. The other alternative is, in Milan's case, start Boateng and give him the task of erasing Alonso when he comes over halfway. Make Khedira the wheel around which everything turns, not Alonso.

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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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