Jul 052016

Updated July 22nd, 2016

photo © acmilan.com

photo © acmilan.com

Today Berlusconi was released from hospital and said that he has sold Milan. He has demanded that the Chinese invest €400 million over two years to bring Milan back to the top. More details and preliminary agreement signing should be next week.

According to sources, Robin Li, of search engine Baidu, the sometimes rumoured leader the Chinese group is indeed the main person behind the bid.

Galliani may leave his CEO post as soon as September but will leave as a vice president or in some sort of similar capacity, as will Barbara Berlusconi. Nicholas Gancikoff will then become Milan’s CEO. There is no clear or official indication on what will happen after this summer. Many hope to have a clearer picture next week, July 12th or 13th, when and if the preliminary is signed.

In the meanwhile Galliani is looking to make rapid recruitments and names like Marko Pjaca, Mateo Musacchio, Shkodran Mustafi are most mentioned.

Despite the new transfer budget Carlos Bacca is likely to leave as Montella is given more freedom to shape his squad.

More than two weeks have passed since the initial Berlusconi statement upon his release from hospital. The market has since been ‘blocked’ awaiting the take over. The bigger names like Baidu’s Robin Li have been replaced by lesser names like Sonny Wu and venture capitals instead of personal or corporate wealth. There is little known about how the take over will really be, there have been too many reports and contradictory statements from supposed insiders. At this point there is even a possibility of a 100% take over (instead of 70~80%) and there is an outside chance that nothing will happen. In the meanwhile the team is flying to the US for the International Champions Cup and Montella is taking with him an uncertainty as to who he will have at his disposal when the season starts the weekend of August 21st.

Lots more to follow, here and on the forum.

Jun 282016

Vincenzo Montella

The summer transfer activity and the hopefully soon to be reality sale to the Chinese group has almost overshadowed the coaching situation. Cristian Brocchi often rumoured to be the choice of Berlusconi to stay on seems to have indicated that he wants to leave and has now been replaced.

Vincenzo Montella signs for two years and it remains to be seen how much input did others, besides Galliani, had in this choice. Lots of rumours about the Chinese sale moving forward in recent days but is it advanced enough for decisions like a choosing a new coach?

It is not the first time Montella has been linked with Milan but his name disappeared from the rumour mill with names like Unai Emery and Marco Giampaolo most in the news recently. Montella comes in after a less than successful short stint at Sampdoria, his work at Fiorentina was more noteworthy however.

Jun 242016
Gianluca Lapadula scored 30 goals in 44 games for Pescara in Serie B

Gianluca Lapadula scored 30 goals in 44 games for Pescara in Serie B

Pescara forward Gianluca Lapadula has signed with Milan until 30th June 2021. The 26 year forward becomes the first summer 2016 signing after Milan beat Napoli to his signature. This summer has been one of the more uncertain ones with the supposed Chinese take over moving along at a snail’s pace and complicated with Silvio Berlusconi’s heart surgery and subsequent recovery.

If signing a now former Serie B forward is a bad sign and throws doubt into the Chinese sales saga one can not be sure. One can assume that the €13 million received to make Stephan El Shaarawy’s move to Roma permanent provided the funds for this transfer, thought to be €10 million. Milan fans are entitled to hope that any Chinese take over shows greater ambition than Lapadula but with many players, including forwards like Menez and Balotelli, almost certain to leave there are plenty of open spots on the roster.

In the meanwhile fans wait and see if the Chinese negotiations lead to anything or if Milan is to remain in Berlusconi’s hands and a relative low budget “ItalMilan” is the way forward.

May 262016

by Juan Carlos Martínez – acmilanrebuilding@gmail.com

Below is a comprehensive piece on the current state of AC Milan. Juan Carlos presents one possible (conservative) scenario on how to move forward with a new strategy that will eventually take Milan back to the top and modernize the team’s football operations. In it he sets a clear scope on how to rejuvenate and rebuild the squad and achieve a self sufficient model.

May 212016

Milan’s dreadful season came to an end last week, the lack of cohesion and passion when facing a bigger team like Roma was embarrassing. Now Milan face Juventus in a final, another poor showing will further hurt the image of the team worldwide.

Tim Cup 2016

The week leading up to the final has felt uncertain, everything from mixed signals about the sale of the team to Berlusconi’s own actions and words to Brocchi’s apparent indecision about the lineup and formation.

Milan reached this cup final without having to beat any top teams. Wins against Perugia, Crotone, Sampdoria, Carpi and Alessandria don’t represent a true test. Considering Milan’s form and if Juventus play to their standard this game is a lost cause. The only real hope is that the players show some pride and represent the Milan shirt well.

Tactically most of the talk has centered around a return to a 4-3-3 of sorts, with the returning Bonaventura playing higher with Honda and Bacca starting up the middle. The midfield may feature the Poli, Montolivo and Kucka trio. The defense still without Abate and Antonelli looks to be Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli and De Sciglio. Donnarumma should start in goal.

Juventus will be without Bonucci and Marchisio, Khedira and Neto may continue to get the start in Buffon’s place as he has throughout the cup matches this season.

A win and Thursday night Europa League matches beckon, a loss and another Europe-less season awaits … with new owners?

The match kicks off at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico at 20:45 local time. Follow the match on the forum.

May 142016

Milan Roma

The final week of another disappointing season is here and the news is once again dominated by the possible sale to the Chinese group. The Berlusconi era needs to end this summer if the team is to have any chance of becoming a force again. Berlusconi and Galliani still talk of a glorious Milan but they have surely realized that it is in the past, the same past that they are so insistent on mentioning every chance they get. Without a change in management and a new focus this team will fall even further behind than the 6th or 7th spot of this season.

That supposedly important 6th spot has been almost lost, the laboured week 37 1-0 win at Bologna might mean little not only because the final day opponent is Roma, themselves fighting for 2nd spot but also because Sassuolo perhaps deserve the 6th spot more. The Emilia-Romagna based team play Inter and get the chance to make a little bit of history of their own.

News late in the week was of many lineup changes for this game. The reasons for it are not very clear and the Coppa final is one week away so fatigue should not be a major issue. Normally reliable sources like the Gazzetta claim the defense will feature Romagnoli at left back with Mexes, Zapata and Calabria. The midfield is set to feature Locatelli, Poli and Kucka behind Honda. Bonaventura returns after injury but will remain on the bench. The changes don’t end there as Adriano and Balotelli will start with no place for Bacca. All very surprising changes for an important game versus a tough opponent.

Back in goal Abbiati announced that he has decided to leave Milan and the 38 year old might get a send off by getting a start or getting a few final minutes.

Follow the match on the forum.


May 072016

Bologna Milan

A so-called come back to tie the game 3-3 (from 1-3 down) versus the 19th placed team was hardly a cause for celebration. Brocchi may have sealed his own fate by the tie versus Frosinone. The team lacked structure and was unable to to hold shape consistently.

The week leading up to 37th game of the Serie A season was again mostly dominated by the team’s sale or lack there of. Contradictory reports had Berlusconi having doubts, preferring a Milan buyer and Fininvest accepting initial terms. The fear, once again, is that Berlusconi will hang on to the team and make some grand declaration while the team sinks further. Not forgetting the damage Galliani himself has bestowed on the team. Every additional window he is in charge postpones any possible revival or renewal. One striking example is the mooted idea of renewing Montolivo for three years, it is as if the team’s management are living in another dimension, not only ignoring form but remaining blind to the team’s shortcomings. If nothing else, fan comments on Berlusconi’s facebook page surely reach the ex-PM’s ears? Or perhaps not.

On the injury front Bonaventura is still out, Antonelli joins him on the sidelines after injuring himself late in the Frosinone game. Late in the week came news that abate has a knock and he too misses week 37. A reworked defense featuring De Sciglio, Romagnoli, Alex and Calabria will line up behind Mauri, Montolivo, Kucka and Honda. Balotelli and Bacca should start up front. The latter needs to be massive if Milan are going to get points in the last two Serie A games.

Follow the match on the forum.

May 012016

Milan Frosinone

Week 35 was one of the lowest depths Milan have fallen. The 2-1 loss at Verona was nothing short of a humiliating embarrassment. The defeat marked by poor, indifferent play to a last placed team was even more frustrating as a last second freekick gave the hosts the win. Montolivo, the last man in the freekick wall and the team captain ofcourse, made no attempt to jump to head or divert the ball away from its trajectory towards the back of the net. The goal was somewhat reminiscent of the last second Parolo goal conceded vs Parma in the 2013/14 season. But this time the main offender wasn’t Matri but the supposed team leader.

There is now a facebook page demanding Montolivo leave Milan in the summer

There is now a facebook page demanding Montolivo leave Milan in the summer

The defeat piled pressure on the new coach as well as the team and it seems that Brocchi’s fate is already sealed. However, the bigger news that has taken the spotlight away from the non-existent on pitch performance is the growing likelihood that the team will be sold to a Chinese group. Berlusconi is under enormous pressure from his company, Fininvest, to sell. A €90 million loss for the 2015 fiscal year and a hostile annual shareholders meeting may finally push Berlusconi to let go but then again he might continue gutting the team while somehow satisfying his delusional ego and while he and Galliani continue to stick to past glories.

In the meanwhile another team near or in the relegation zone awaits. Bonaventura will miss his second game in a row due to injury but Balotelli and Alex return after serving a one game suspension. Balotelli will partner Bacca up front and Honda will play in front of Mauri, Montolivo and Kucka. Abate, Romagnoli and De Sciglio will line up alongside Alex in the four man defense.

The 4-3-1-2 formation is arguably a wrong one but any tactical analysis will not answer the deeper questions. The team will continue to fail without a plan, support, leaders and heart. This season’s final three games are near meaningless without these four elements. Follow the match on the forum and keep tabs on the sale saga too.

Apr 252016

Verona Milan

Milan travel to Verona to try to do better than the teams’ first meeting, a 1 -1 tie at the San Siro in December. The week 34 0-0 tie vs Carpi was another illustration of a smaller team’s ability to close down and defend, it highlighted Milan’s lack of game changers.

Bacca was highly ineffective as a receiver of the ball and as a finisher, his substitution created controversy as he showed his unhappiness and walked off the pitch. He has since apologised and his presence, however poor it has been, is required because Balotelli is suspended after the yellow he received in the Carpi game. Luiz Adriano continues to be absent and if Brocchi wants to continue his 4-3-1-2 formation Bacca and Menez are the only available forwards.

Kucka returns to midfield but Bonaventura joins Bertolacci on the sidelines. Bonaventura injured himself in the dying minutes of the Carpi game and will miss one week, if not more. Without the two and Boateng’s poor game vs Carpi the midfield is left with little more than Montolivo, Kucka, Mauri and Honda. The latter will likely take over the attacking spot behind the forwards.

The defense needs to change too because Alex’s yellow rules him out of week 35. Mexes is set to be preferred to Zapata and start alongside Romagnoli.

The match kicks off at an unusual hour, 17:00 local time, on a Monday. Follow the match on the forum.

Apr 212016

Milan Carpi

The Brocchi era started with a 1-0 at Sampdoria, the shape of the team was different as expected and there were good moments but it was one beginning with a view of more to come. Whether that means more of the same or a sale to a Chinese group remains to be seen.

Up next to visit the San Siro are Carpi, it was the points dropped to Carpi and other relegation battling teams earlier in the season that have played a big part in Milan being sixth in April. Inter and Fiorentina ahead of Milan in the standings are not exactly on fire and with a few extra points the team would have been fighting for the 5th or even 4th spot now.

Line up news for this match include the surprise inclusion of Boateng as he is set to start and play as a trequartista behind Balotelli and Bacca. Kucka’s yellow vs Sampdoria and Bertolacci’s poor form or injury, as it is claimed, mean that Brocchi had to make changes but using Boateng in the attacking slot and pushing Bonaventura back to midfield is surprising.

The defense should remain unchanged despite continuing whispers of De Sciglio taking Antonelli’s spot. Of course Donnarumma will start in goal. Follow the match on the forum.

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