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AC Milan
Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 04/22/2012

The English translation of zero titoli is zero titles, the dubious distinction Milan can claim starting today. Gutted out of the Champions League by the band of magical elves, trumpeted out of the Coppa Italia by a relentless Juventus side, and falling behind in the Scudetto race for a multitude of errors, injuries, and gaffes by the venerable Allegri.

Individually however, let's give recognition to the only award that will be handed out to a rossonero this season. With 24 goals on the year, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sure to take home the Capocannoniere title. The title honors the Italian leagues top scorer, which ironically is half the amount of this years La Liga's pichichi. Well done Zlatan.

We can play the blame game all over again, or I can go on one of my infamous pessimistic tirades that have divided many throughout the past few years. This time let's take an innovative approach and mix the two together!

There have been whispers from Milan that we could see the back of Adriano Galliani this summer after a recent fall out with President Silvio Berlusconi. It is unclear to me who should be given the brunt of the blame for the way things have unfolded. Never mind the overwhelming slew of injuries, which is sure to be a factor in the way Milan has bowed out of all three trophies, but there have been many instances where team selection has played a part in the negative results.

Take today's Milan v. Bologna game for example. Every time I criticize Allegri, the pundits are quick to point out that the majority of the blame shouldn't be directed his way. However, how can you explain playing three defensive midfielders plus Seedorf at home, against Bologna. For Christ's sake, even our opposition had three attacking players in their lineup! Was it really necessary to start an out of form V.Bommel (at fault for the Bologna goal), Muntari, and Nocerino together? Even though I am not a fan of Aquilani, he would have probably been a better fit to give the slightest semblance of creativity in a midfield that was about as rugged as Zamparini's facial skin. The lack of service to the front was noticeable like it has been all season, and repeatedly we see Ibrahimovic put on his now infamous petulant scowl for the lack of quality balls shot his way.


Ibrahimovic was frustrating throughout the game ©AP

Now that the Scudetto is all but in the hands of Juventus, it's time to look on to the summer and next season. Major changes will need to be made on a variety of fronts. It is clear the team is desperately lacking pieces in two areas primarily: left back, and creativity in the midfield. I'm not so sure Fiorentina's Riccardo Montolivo (set to sign with Milan this summer) is the answer, as he has Aquilani version 2.0 written all over his gaunt cheekbones. Although more offensive than Aquilani, the Fiorentina playmaker has been plagued with injuries and was wildly inconsistent this past season while playing for the underachieving Viola side.

Left back is another area that will need to be addressed as Allegri has very confused ideas about the position. Seems that Milan are already fed up by Djamel Mesbah, and at 30 years old, Antonini won't be getting any better. Inexplicably, the few times we've seen Emanuelson line up at left back (briefly played there today against Bologna) he has had a positive impact with his naturally left footed crosses and technical ability. Still bewilders me how he cannot get the nod from the very first minute in the position he grew up playing with Ajax and the Dutch National Team.

The referees: You didn't think I could quite possibly go this long without blaming something on the referees, right? Although it's usually a last resort in the way I perceive the game, something has to finally be said because the general perception that Milan has been gifted points couldn't be further from the truth, and quite frankly, is irritating at this point. Off the top of my head, I can count roughly 7-9 points that were unfairly taken from Milan this season, and I haven't even taken into consideration the Robinho v. Catania incident, which literally just popped into my head while writing this sentence. The three most notable incidents however:

Seedorf v Fiorentina: Seedorf was about a meter onside as he banged in a goal that would have given Milan the three points in a 0-0 deadlock. However, the linesman thought differently and raised the flag, unfairly negating Milan a win.

Muntarigate: Milan were winning 1-0 by the time Sulley Muntari scored a goal that Gigi swiped out of his own goal. The strike would have put Milan up 2-0, by no means an insurmountable lead to overcome by Juventus, but I would have liked Milan's chances a lot more to gather three points instead of the measly 1 they ended up getting from the tie.

Ibrahimovic v Bologna: Ibrahimovic was clearly onside as he made a great run past the defender and proceeded to score on a lovely chip that (according to the final) would have given Milan a 2-1 lead. However, ruled offside.

I'm going to stop before I smash something.

For a more tactical look at Milan v. Bologna, please visit here.

RIP MOROSINI

Visit my site, TheMilanGuy.com, for daily rossonero updates from a panel of writers! Follow my personal account on twitter And LIKE my new facebook page!


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Comments

Posted by Stefano on 04/23/2012

Bang on. But could do with maxi starting inatead of Robinho

Posted by shevatofan on 04/23/2012

I'm not usually bitching about the refs. but this season was so fucked up.

Posted by landon on 04/23/2012

Another great article. I wish we would buy a big name this summer.

Posted by Yaw on 04/23/2012

The refs have certainly played their part in Milan not being top of the table now, but personally all blame is on Allegri. There have been countless times he has gotten the lineups wrong, not just today. The season was lost when Allegri played Silva in a meaningless game he had no business starting. Moreover, we haven't had any big win this season, all the good teams have taken points from us both home and away. It makes it harder to win the league giving points up like that. Personally he should be sacked, but then again who is available. Left back and midfiled has to be retooled this summer for sure, one can only hope the wallets will be opened (doubt it).

Posted by Zaid on 04/23/2012

Robinho and Pato must go. Robinho proving to be a waste of space and highly overpriced, while Patos constant injuries have hindered Milan as a team.

Posted by Anonymous on 04/23/2012

All good statements made here. This Milan team do deserve a bit more courtesy from the refs, but maybe it's hard to judge whether they are always correctly offside or not. Red is a color that is most eye-catching in the spectrum, and out of peripheral vision, I can see why they always raise the flag on Milan, because it's a psychological thing, there brain tricks them into thinking that they are offside simply because of the color of their kit. Red is more flashy, and it draws more attention than others.

Posted by caruzu on 04/23/2012

All very true, good article. Let's keep positive as there are still 5 games and fifteen points up for grabs. Anything can happen and the scudetto is not yet lost.

Posted by putuco on 04/23/2012

I am a huge defender of Allegri, however today's complaints by Matteo are reasonable. However, when you see Aquilani as a real POS in the pitch one wonders why Muntari or Nocerino gets the starting place instead him.

I do not agree with the Montolivo's mock in comparison with Aquilani, but I may be wrong. For me Riccardo is miles ahead technically and tactically from Aquaman. Anyway, I think he will be a good addition, specially when we will see next transfer windows just looking for fire sales.

OK, let's sack Allegri. We have 2 problems here: no real big managers available for the job and if any serious one will come, he will ask for decent reinforcements, which Milan wont be able to provide. Let's face it: probably Allegri is not Sacchi or Capello, but he is doing what he can with a pale current Milan side. Sack him would only bring an Allegri 2.0 since 1) Silvio won't pay a huge bill for a new manager wages 2) Milan won't make big and needed signings. That's what Milan's today

Posted by Ali on 04/23/2012

Great article. I do think too that we need a new midfielder and Allegri's approach in the transfer market can also be criticized. Only muscled defensive players have interested him. Montolivo isn't Milan's answer. He could be a good addition but it's by no means one that will make us dominate Europe once again.

Imagine where we would be if we got Tevez in January. Except we ended up with Muntari. Tevez, right now, is scoring and assisting for fun for Manchester City. He's like another version of Cassano just someone who also likes to score.

All in all, it hasn't soully been Allegri's fault. The players themselves have failed to perform consistently this season.

FORZA MILAN

Posted by milanforever on 04/23/2012

wow i hope galliani doesnt go! that would be quite the shock to me...I actually feel he has a better selection of players and more to do with the transfer prices than burlusconi, I could be extremely wrong though. Allegri needs to be fired now, i've had enough. The whole world except him knows what players to field and who not to field with each other. It absolutely blows my mind who he started in the mid...Especially since he has made this mistake multiple times before!!!! and he has admitted it!!! I totally agree with everything you said in this article.

Posted by j on 04/23/2012

hey matteo what would u think of selling pato to psg and tryin to bring in lukaku from chelsey who doesnt really play much but he is really good i think hed make a good young replacement at 18 or 19-i forget atm

Posted by Dapvinchi on 04/23/2012

If Berlusconi is no more interested in the Team he should sell it to his Arabic/ Russian friends.... Lol

Posted by Debashis kundu on 04/23/2012

Sell Robinho and Pato and Plz force Seedorf, Inzaghi, Ambro, Gattuso, Zambrota, Yepes, MVB for retirement. Don't bring the rejected players of top teams. Sign some world class talents. Sacking of Allegri will not be the solution..Forza Milan

Posted by ladipupo on 04/23/2012

nice write up guys allegri is using for he has and considering injuries and ref decisions against milan i think he has done considerable, scudetto or not he must be retain. with rumour of traore which i think is a decent midfielder , plus montolivo and emmanuelson to move to leftback, milan can come back strong next season. milan for life

Posted by Milan 1963 on 04/23/2012

I love this piece of writing, it comes from the heart! I just felt exactly the same yesterday watching the game. wrong midfield, wrong approach, wrong substitutions and so on.....and the refereeing was irritating,giving more tools for the anti footballing team to use against those trying to create football.....we did not need that. Where were El Shaarawy and Maxi Lopez??? We could have done with them yesterday.
Anyway it is not going to be Zero Titoli as we won the Italian supercup in Beijing against Inter remember?

Posted by richardS on 04/23/2012

To Milan 1963,
Shhh, galliani might hear you. He doesn't need more excuses. Other than that, I agree with mateo. I think the CL exit, brought an end to milans' scudetto challenge. It seems, people, especially Ibra, lost motivation. Getting tired of refereeing and alegris' mistakes.

Posted by Sintechness on 04/23/2012

Ye of little faith... You guys sure do throw in the towel early. Milan has 5 games to play, a total of 15 pts pending. Juventus has 0 losses but they have 14 draw's. Juventus has at least one loss coming in the cards for them and who knows how many more draws. Don't count out the Diavoli yet...

Posted by pikachucards on 04/23/2012

I don't think there is any need to blow up the squad. Sure, we can improve, but with the sheer quantity of injuries we have had, it would be hard to expect us to win the Scudetto against a resurgent Juventus side.

If anything, we should put a wrecking ball to Milan Lab and get some new training staff...

Posted by Milanoo on 04/23/2012

Nice atricle but I think Milan should spend their money wisely. Even the people in footballing businees know that Milan has no more than 20 million dollar spending money. Screw Montilivo send back mesbah sell robinho and/or Pato and Caasano and get players that can make a differenc e not on the pitch but also on the scoreboard Sack Alleegri and get someone like Rafa Benietez who can make differences in the sqaud and i hope milan can win the champions leugue next year FORZA

Posted by Ralib Guemiri on 04/24/2012

Matteo, u re dead on once again vs Bologna, why Seedorf & out of form van bomell? Astonishes me, as soon as the changes are made, 20 min too late once more, the team creates more chances,

Am so furious that we actually GAVE this year's valuable scudetto to juve ? Frustrating, Conte was right, only Milan will lose the scudetto, he said that back when we had a 4pts lead

Posted by DBurgos on 04/24/2012

How annoying is to watch Serie A this last few matchdays. All of the teams that will be playing Champions League or Europa League next season are playing lousy football. Milan, a lot like last year, are playing nothing but average in the last games.

Posted by DBurgos on 04/24/2012

They should never let Nesta go. He can play for another 3 years, but not every 3 days, just once a week. Van Bommel, Seedorf and Zambrotta should depart. Flamini should leave, he is never fit. I would not mind seeing Robinho and Pato sold.

Posted by Sarah on 04/24/2012

Berlusconi is the only one to blame. Ever since 2008 the team needed a lot of enforcements. Example A, the never-ending problem of the left-back. Changes in the squad should've been done gradually not suddenly.. all at once. He can bring all the coaches he want, but they will not win any trophies with the names at his disposal.

On the other hand, Allegri has done more than anyone can expect and ask for. Give him a descent mercato, then judge if he's worthy or not of coaching Milan.

Posted by punditguy on 04/24/2012

Well Matteo.....Juve is well on there way to winning Serie A so i concede defeat in our endless battle of Allegri. The last 3games i conceded defeat!

Their are now news circulating that Capello may make a return at the helm. Im sure you will very please with this. I definitely will be to.

Blame games huh....well....All 3 are to blame. Maybe not Galliani as much but Burlusconi and Allegri have the lions share. Unfortunately Mr Burlusconi this is the new era where $ is god and you need to splash the cash to get more cash and gold.

Im tired of saying this and tired of waiting for the turning point. But for how long have us Milan fans been saying this may actually be a wake up call! We won Serie A last season and we filled our dreams with fantasy players arriving. But the typical mentality of Burlusconi "Oh well we won Serie A last season with this squad so their is no need to make major changes" And this is the same trend of thinking that has been kept for the last 5years and.........

Posted by punditguy on 04/24/2012

.....brought us 1 Serie A title and nothing else worth mentioning! Im tired of the fantasy games and all the broken dreams. Im at a point i just dont care anymore. I didnt even look at the Bologna game because i simply didnt care! It doesnt matter if we lose SerieA this season or next...as long Burlusconi is still BLIND and DELUSIONAL and keeps thinking we have a SerieA and CL winning team from 10 years ago no major changes will be made!

I know he has brought back this club from the dead but he may very well be the death of this team as well. Football and its economics have changed over the past 10 years. Its time we step up to the plate or we will always be playing 2nd fiddle to every1 else. And even worst....we will forever be kept in Never Land.....

Posted by milanforever on 04/25/2012

@punditguy
In which regard do you mean stepping up to the plate? I hope its not the price thing because actually, the one thing that he has done extremely well is buying quality players at a very low price...however, the attitude that needs to change, and burlusconi has admitted this, is that he cannot simply buy players that he likes and admires... ronaldinho comes to mind and yes he was a flop along with many others, he needs to buy players that have quality, but actually fit the mold and scheme of the team. A lot of the players on the team do not fit in with allegri tactics or what milan is about for that matter...now some of this is allegris fault but at the same time he doesn't have the players he wants or needs....but at the same time, he needs to make a big boy coach decision and say oh hey my tactics aren't working for my team maybe i should change them...

Posted by kelon on 04/26/2012

great article matteo,
NOW....ALEGRI MUST GO FIRSTLY

Posted by Pagliuca on 04/27/2012

@Milanforever,

Agreed. Galliani has made some great deals considering that he's worked with nearly a non-existant transfer budget, and partly expenses being more than revenue. However, he really needs to or maybe he has in the past told Silvio, hey we can't do these "band-aids"players or buy these old glory stars that once were great. We need to get quality players that will fit our mold and eventually be beat world beaters when developed. How many good players were passed up for under 10million because Silvio didn't open or authorize the sale? Also Allegri likes those workhorse common players and the ones that can make the difference he may ignore. So yes, partly all share the blame.

Posted by Pars on 04/28/2012

Absolutely brilliant! The same old, same old. As Conte puts it "it's becoming boring". How can you always criticize the coach, and yet offer no alternative!?! If you want to analyze his tactics, then fair...but to constantly blame him for everything is preposterous! The same is true for any coach (and they all do make mistakes - Guardiola royally messed up with his tactics/lack of Plan B, but you can't simply blame the coach.

How is it that you find it so easy to point the finger at Allegri (admittedly, in this article you were generous enough to include Galliani too), but you always come short of offering a solution? Again, I'll be the first to say Allegri has definitely messed up more than one occasion this season, but that's "critically/impartially analyzing tactics/man management skills etc").

At least Milanoo (one of your followers) suggests we should bring in Rafa. I don't think he's even been following football, though! Of all the people, Rafa! Might as well call up Ranieri!

Posted by Greg on 04/29/2012

How could Vila be a Spanish U 21 player and he is not good in enough to play for Milan ahead of Antonini? Urby can play lb for Holland but not Milan? Allegri has imagination and he does not have a plan b,he also has puzzling team selections,too many labourers; Nocerino,Ambro,MVB,Rhino,Muntari,Rhino but no artists, players who can split defenses. We need to retool our midfield with young skillful players like Merkel,Ganso. Why we would sell academy products like Astori and Aubumeyang and end up with Maxi and Zambro still playing Robinho must be sold or become a squad player he is not good enough to start for a top European team. He must be the worst player ever to skipper Brazil!Pato will no longer reach his peak with us so sell him to the highest bidder and we need to retool with a 20 goal scorer to compliment Ibra Juve will only get stronger and if they beat us to the title then it will be difficult to overtake them in the next few years Please Clarence retire to Brazil it is time!

Posted by Milan 1963 on 04/30/2012

@ Pars,
yeah but what use is it to give an alternative, it's not like Berlusca is reading the blog and is going to listen to us or Allegri for that matter;-) He is simply not good enough and his tactics and choice of players proves it again.
Yesterday's line up against Siena was simply unreal, i thought he did it just to get fired at the end of the season. He started the game with probably the heaviest "Scarponi" (marching boots) he could field. A part from Cassano there was no finesse, no fantasy....just hard workers, bricks builders and Ibra.
Nocerino showed that he will be 100 times better than Gattuso in that kind of role, not only for the great goal, but for his humility, lack of hysterical antics and not prone to get sent off every game. I agree with Greg, what happened to Vila, Merkel and El Sharaawy why not taking out Ibra when he was walking on the pitch visibly tired????? However it is good to see Cassano back better as he ever was.
End or ranting....forza Milan

Posted by D on 04/30/2012

Hate seeing Juve potentially grabbing another title ... and what's this BS about them thinking they'll add a 3rd star. Ugh.

Whispers of selling Prince? What's that all about.

Montolivo = Aqui 2.0

If we're talking transfers already then my largest vote this offseason goes to Ogbonna. Those that have been following this blog for a while know I'm a big fan of starting with the D. CB is a need. Yes we have one of the best in Silva but the position is a need.
Alternatives would be Hummels or Subotic (but I don't think Dortmund will part with either).
Would bring Astori back at the minimum (but not convinced he's the answer).

While LB has been a need for a few years now I'd go midfield next, and no Montolivo is not the answer. I know '63 would like to see Eriksen and I agree that would be a good move. Would love to see Honda (or better yet Kagawa) but don't think the Milan brass will pull either of those triggers ...

Posted by D on 04/30/2012

... anyone see Belhanda (Montpellier) play? Could be interesting.

If in fact Pato is sold ... gotta bring Super Mario back to the peninsula.

Posted by punditguy on 04/30/2012

I just read MILANOO comments...can some one help me out here. Did that guy sad bring some like Rafa Benitez who can make a difference??? Did he really suggested that or am i still drunk from 2 days ago???

If thats what he said, then.........muaahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahah. :|.

And he also said sell Cassano....umm....i would like to say i respect your opinions but after suggesting we bring Benitez i have no respect for your opinions at all. Getting rid of Cassano is just wrong. You might as well suggest we get rid of Ibra and T.Silva as well. You seriously must be an Inter Milan fan. :s

Really happy to see Cassano back! Such a quality player! His injury was so unfortunate, lord knows how comfortable of a lead we would of have had, had he been healthy! FORZA CASSANO! FORZA MILAN!

Posted by Milan 1963 on 05/01/2012

Hi Punditguy,

i understand your frustration but you seem to be a bit harsh on the club and on Milanoo LOL.

Actually Benitez did a miraculous come back against us in 2005 remember, in my opinion even though he had the football Gods on his side that year he still managed to win a CL with a very average team. As a tactician he is quite sound, maybe not the best man manager though.
let's not forget also that he took over Mourinho at Inter with a team that won the treble and that was still hangover after the celebrations. He did not get the players he requested and had to work with those tired and unmotivated legs (Moratti and Branca big mistake) a bit like Ancelotti after winning CL in 2007.

Anyway he may not be the solution but he is not as bad as we think.

However i agree with you we should definitely keep Cassano.

Cheers bro and continue to support your favorite colors no matter what.

Posted by punditguy on 05/01/2012

@ Milan 1963. Thanks my fellow rossoneri brother. Maybe i was a bit harsh with Milano... :s. But no...Rafa Benitez is NOT a good coach. Their was a point in time he had a team of Gerrard, Torres, Alonso, Carrigher, Reesa and Dirk Kuyt and couldnt even win 1 league title! Thats poor! He won CL because he had great players.

Rikaard may be a good option. Even take a chance with Van Basten but HELL NO to Rafa. I'd rather see Rafael Nadal as the coach than Benitez! LOL!

Posted by Sal on 05/02/2012

Ay Matteo,

For some reason no ones talking about your article so I will lol..

I agree with you about everything you said but I have to say all the issues with the players and performances stems from Allegri. Whether its starting all the wrong players or being 2-1 down and waiting until the 89th minute to make all his subs (exaggerating a bit... a very little bit). He isn't the worst manager but I think he may be the dumbest strategically.

Also I think we need to take into account all of the chances robinho has wasted this year. I love the when he plays because he is always moving.. like a good gattuso if you will (forza calabria). BUT he fell off this season and I think Milan are justified to get rid of him. What do you think?

Good article.

RIP Morosini

Posted by Milan Fan on 05/04/2012

Milan should give their old player a alot of time to play and younger players should be bought joking mann you guys are such idiots since all youthink about is players. i still support milan even though ronaldinho kaka guys are gone on holidays hahahahahahh come one gallaini spend some money on new guys take jean papis cisse for an example k

Posted by Sal on 05/08/2012

Please translate Milan Fan's post... being that we are "such idiots"

Posted by Shiv on 05/10/2012

MA SE ABBIAMO DOMINATO!!!!FACEVAMO AZIONI KE LEONARDO PER CAPIRLE HA DOVUTO KIAMARE IL CEPU PER RIPETIZIONI IN GEOMETRIA!!!siete a -8 quindi shhh!!!!!sembravate il pichizzettone!!!nn l'avete ankora kapito ke per l'inter i bei tempi so finiti??I MIRAKOLI NON DURANO IN ETERNO!!!!!!FICCATEVELO IN TESTA!!DOVRESTE ESSERE ABITUATI A PERDERE LA STORIA PARLA!! E POI RIKORDA KE LA CHAMPIONS L'AVETE VINTA UN GOL NEGATO AL BARCA E UN RIGORE SU MESSI EVIDENTE ALL'ANDATA!!!SIETE DEI POVERACCI

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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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