Thursday, July 24 th, 2014
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No leadership, no money anymore: Milan is like a small boat in a storm
Rossoneri are experiencing one of the most ruinous seasons in a decade. What's happening to Silvio Berlusconi's glorious club?
by Sebastiano Sali
AC Milan latest Serie A match against Lazio on wednesday this week and the following comments on it are the perfect representation of the never ending crisis which is affecting the team and the club from the beginning of the season. The owner of the club, the worldly renowned tycoon, several times prime minister and incurable womaniser - mister Silvio Berlusconi - has completely diverted his attention from the club since several months now, officially leaving his heritage to her youngest daughter and formerly partner of formerly Milan champion (do you still remember the phenomenally fragile Alexandre Pato?) Barbara Berlusconi.

Currently the club is without a strong leadership, disoriented, without a long term perspective and without a vision. The CEO Adriano Galliani and the young Barbara are facing financial constraints: Berlusconi is spending all his money for paying his divorce from Veronica Lario and to pay back the Italian tycoon Mr. De Benedetti as ruled by an Italian court (494€ M) and clearly they are not creative enough to find original remedies in front of the impossibility of having millions for signing great players. 

 

Since last years the policy seemed to be the so called Green Line: not a passion for gardening, but rather for raising AC Milan’s own youngsters. Stephan El Sharaawy, M'Baye Niang and Mattia De Sciglio on top of everyone else, followed by the young Riccardo Saponara, the Colombian Vergara and the Brazilian goalkeeper Gabriel. The new policy was swallowed by the supporters as a bitter yet necessary pill. But then the inexplicable signing of Kakà - 31 years old with several physical issues - who will contend El Sharaaway’s spot in the first 11, of Valter Birsa - 27 years old basically unknown to the masses of football lovers - who voided Niang’s chance to play, left all the supporters and most likely the players as well puzzled and mislead.

The coach Massimiliano Allegri seems inappropriate. The team’s results are miserable: 11 points in 10 matches, 11th position in the table, 2 draws (Barcelona and Ajax) and 1 win (Celtic) in the Champions League thus far, are the despicable figures of the season. But most of all, the most embarrassing element is the complete lack of play, of ideas, of consistency and ultimately of quality that the team shows almost every matches.

Clearly overpowered in quality and team organisation by Juventus and Napoli, Milan shockingly lost against Hellas Verona in the first match but even more shockingly against Parma on Sunday: a free kick, 40 meters away from the goal line, irregularly pushed forward of 8 meters by Parma’s midfielder Marco Parolo, incredibly enough with nobody on Milan's side to contest it to the referee, which went trough a wall that split opened putting Gabriel in no position to save it. Minute 94, Parma 3-AC Milan 2. 

Lack of quality indeed, but also lack of attention, of aggressiveness, of leadership. All this was reinforced three days later when, on the friendly pitch of Giuseppe Meazza in Milan,  rossoneri faced Lazio, a team in no much better condition. AC Milan, despite a not brilliant match, takes the lead and tries to control the match. Yet again, lack of quality, lack of leadership and probably lack of will, gave Lazio a rather occasional equaliser that AC was not able to overturn. 1-1.

And today Giuseppe Rossi’s terrible Fiorentina lands in San Siro: not exactly the right medicine for a moribund patient. What will the manager Allegri invent to finally bring 3 points home? Oh well, is not given to know as he seems very busy to argue with former AC Milan’s players as to why he is the one managing AC Milan and not them (aka, four time Champions League winner Clarence Seedorf and two Champions League and World Cup winner Filippo Inzaghi).

Should the club intervene to bring the focus back on results? Galliani and Ms Barbara seem having nothing to say on the subject matter... On a last note. Someone has asked me about Mario Balotelli. Yes, indeed: once returning from a three week suspension, I have been told he has been sighted by careful observers on the pitch with the jersey number 45. But if you read on newspapers match commentary you find his name only in the squad line-up. Lost his whereabouts? Not his fault really, AC Milan overall seems like a small boat in the middle of a big storm. With no blue sky in sight.

Saturday, November 2 nd, 2013
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