Jul 032015

Sinisa Mihajlovic was officially presented as coach. The press conference, available below in English, started by Silvio Berlusconi being optimistic about the future with the new Asian investment. He thanked the eight players that have left the team, so far. Bonera, Bocchetti, Rami, Muntari, Essien, van Ginkel, Destro and Pazzini make way for a new era that starts this summer and more departures will come sooner or later. There was also talk of the stadium which Berlusconi said is moving forward emphasising a team like Milan needs its own modern one.

Sinisa Mihajlovic talked about trying to win every game and making opponents fear Milan. He mentioned Stephan El Shaarawy as a possibility behind the forwards in an attacking midfield role. The same also for Menez, Bonaventura and Cerci, all of whom can play different roles in his opinion.

The 2015-2016 Milan squad as it stands has been posted on the official site as has been the coaching staff, confirming the end of Mauro Tassotti’s 14 year role as assistant coach.

Jul 022015
The 28 year old Colombian will arrive soon for a  Milan medical.

The 28 year old Colombian will arrive soon for a Milan medical.

Official confirmation that Colombian Carlos Bacca has signed for Milan arrived via the official site. It is subject to a medical. Reports say he has signed for four years and Milan paid his €30 million release clause to Sevilla to get the forward. Bacca arrives from scoring two goals in the Europa Cup final won by Sevilla in May. He had an almost 1 goal every 2 games ratio while at Sevilla.
In other news Brazilian Luiz Adriano could be close to joining from Shakhtar Donetsk and until recently Parma player Jose Mauri is almost a Milan player as well.
As always arrivals, departures and much more talk on the forum.

Jun 292015

Andrea Bertolacci at Casa Milan
After several hiccups and almost arrivals – Jackson Martinez and Geoffrey Kondogbia just to name two – Milan have officially made a signing.
Andrea Bertolacci, until recently half owned by Roma and Genoa, arrives for €20 million. Roma bought out Genoa’s half for €8 million earlier this month and have now sold the 24 year old central midfielder to Milan. He had spent the last three seasons at Genoa scoring 12 goals. He has signed on until June 30 2019.

Jun 162015

Sinisa Mihajlovic
After days of being Milan coach unofficially Sinisa Mihajlovic has signed a two year contract until June 30 2017. The stumbling block to make it official had been because Pippo Inzaghi remained under contract and team management wanted to make him resign without paying him. Now an agreement has been found that almost certainly cuts off another former legend from the team for good.

But something had to be done. Inzaghi didn’t show much adaptability in managing a poor team and struggled to lift the players he had.

While his coaching experience may be mixed Sinisa Mihajlovic hasn’t had the greatest history on a personal level. As a player he was involved in incidents like one where Patrick Vieira accused him of racism back in his playing days. There was also a spitting incident involving Chelsea’s Adrian Mutu in 2003 and allegedly another involving Jens Jeremies. Claims that he counted fellow Serbian and indicted war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic as a friend have only served to make his reputation poorer. Having played for Inter for one season he is also famously quoted as saying he would never coach Milan.

He is at Milan now, however. As befitting his persona he comes with a reputation of being a no nonsense coach that has even publicly confronted his own players. He has accumulated seven years of head coaching experience, one at the helm of his national team and none more than two years at any of Bologna, Catania, Sampdoria or Fiorentina.

Jun 052015

Bee Taechaubol Milan
The group lead by the Thai businessman is going to buy 48% of Milan for around €480 million. The next eight weeks will be spent finalizing the agreement. Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to keep the majority share forever. Bee Taechaubol and various backers, the most public of which is Doyen sport investment group claim to want to promote the Milan brand and return the team to the top.
Many details such as the source of the €480 million and what will happen on the sporting front remain unknown. For now it seems very likely that the planned appointment of ex-Sampdoria coach and once Inter player Sinisa Mihajlovic will go ahead and Pippo Inzaghi will be officially released next week.

After months of almost done deals, back peddling and denials Fininvest and Berlusconi have agreed to sell 48% of Milan to a group led by Bee Taechaubol. Watch this space for more and follow along on the forum.

Jun 032015

The 2014-15 season had few or no positives, a look at the final Serie A standings should be sufficient look for a club as big as Milan to confirm it. For it to be a repeat, a regression in fact, of the 2013-14 season makes it even less acceptable.

In the aftermath of Clarence Seedorf’s dismissal after a good if not great half season in charge fans were entitled to hope for something better. Pippo Inzaghi’s appointment was a low cost option, he arrived straight from leading the youth/primavera team. The 2014 summer transfer window was another mini-revolution but with little substance. Departures were mainly loans or of the cutting losses variety with the likes of Mario Balotelli and Kevin Constant sold or discarded. A few young players were disposed of too, names like Bryan Cristante and even others like Simone Ganz and Kingsley Boateng were expected to be in the team’s plans but went away. Arrivals were not inspiring and loans like Fernando Torres were high risk and high cost. However in true Adriano Galliani fashion a gem or two made it to Milan (Hint: First name Diego).

The season itself started interestingly enough with a win over Lazio and another goal fest against Parma. Menez racked up goals but soon the season started coming off the rails. Inzaghi’s nominal 4-3-3 was something of an anti-pressing tactic and was often a guarantee of non cohesion between a poor midfield and otherwise often unsuited or non-functioning front three. The defense led by card and error prone Mexes made sure the thankfully superb Lopez was needed often. Later a home loss to Palermo, a forgettable derby, various injuries and Inzaghi’s continued poor selections, (non)tactics and substitutions all but signalled another poor season and increased questions for all involved. A disastrous January arrived and a few window arrivals added little or were not used often even if they potentially could contribute (Suso from Liverpool). The team also set high marks for red cards with 13, further damaging the team’s traditions.

Serie A 2014 2015

Milan finish the season in 10th place

At around the same time the business side of Milan started getting more attention. Aided mainly by Barbara Berlusconi’s hard work progress was made on the stadium front – possibly a 48,000 capacity stadium near the new Casa Milan. Strangely noises about a possible team sale started growing too. Berlusconi had always insisted that he would hold on to Milan until the end. However by early Spring it looked like that he may let go as soon as the upcoming summer. While the team kept falling in the standings meetings and bids by Thai and Chinese interests seemed to be arriving.  Thai businessman with little known personal wealth Bee Taechaubol seemed at the forefront of the most serious bid. But just as voices grew and a supposed April 30th deal deadline arrived Berlusconi’s interest seemed to wane. Whether it be for his Italian constituents or more genuine reasons Berlusconi started talking of finding a partner for Milan (and himself) and offered a minority share instead. Pushing to move forward and bringing back glory via a minority shareholder is likely a pipe dream however.

The team includes several expiring contracts or those who should be offloaded. The expiring list includes Abate, Essien, Bonera, Mexes, Pazzini, de Jong and Abbiati. One or two are perhaps worth a new contract. Muntari was supposed to be another in the expiring list but was given an extension last summer. The Ghanaian has one year left but is almost a goner having asked to not be considered in early Spring. Others like Bocchetti and Destro both on loan are not really worth keeping. Zapata and Rami both having recently criticized Pippo Inzaghi are also candidates for departures in the big overhaul that needs to come. The coach himself keeps insisting he can and wants to stay, all in the middle of Galliani’s open pursuit of a successor. The team CEO, whose own job may have been in jeopardy following the expected team sale has become obsessed with the idea of bringing back Carlo Ancelotti. In the end Ancelotti has refused the job and the search shifts elsewhere – watch this space.

So another revolution beckons. The youth were given miniscule minutes in May and offered a very small glimmer of hope. Hachim Mastour, the most highly hyped young player was either injured or sat on the first team bench and his future is not as clear as it needs to be. A new management needs to build and nurture, none of the current people in charge know how. The team must be sold, anything less will be asking for empty promises and at best short term (empty) vows.

Player of the season: Diego Lopez
Worst player of the season: Philippe Mexes


May 302015

Atalanta Milan
The starting line up was changed once again due to injuries. The game’s start was somewhat promising with good work and action down the left with El Shaarawy and Bonaventura. This was however confined mostly to the left without the threatening the Atalanta goal. The hosts had the better of the ball around and inside Milan’s box aided in part by lacklustre defensive. After a German Denis header had come off the cross bar, Daniele Baselli (oft linked to Milan) headed in from a Maxi Moralez cross to give Atalanta the lead. Milan slowly got more of the ball nearer Atalanta’s goal and on one occasion with Pazzini almost through he was brought down by Andrea Masiello. The forward converted the penalty himself. With The hosts scrambling a second Milan goal soon followed. A nice El Shaarawy pass found its way to Honda, Pazzini collected and his shot was partially blocked and rebounded off the post to Bonaventura. The ex-Atalanta man shot in easily.
In the second the game was more scrappy and of the few notable actions Atalanta came close in the 66th minute but Abbiati did well to intercept a dangerous cross. A cautious substitution followed as Poli came on for El Shaarawy. Bonaventura added his second and Milan’s third after a cross and scramble again had the ball at his feet. Atalanta players were unhappy with the contact made with their goalie Marco Sportiello. Eighteen year olds Davide Calabria and Davide Di Molfetta replaced De Sciglio and Bonaventura respectively late in the game.
Another important summer can now officially begin. Forza Milan.
The match as it happened.

May 242015

Milan Torino

Abbiati, Zaccardo and Pazzini all got somewhat surprising starts, perhaps two were playing their last home games in a Milan shirt. Whatever the true reason seeing Pazzini in a captain’s role and again little sign of youth players – except on the bench – was frustrating to some fans. The visitors had the early edge in play but Milan opened the score. Zaccardo’s accurate cross found El Shaarawy in the top of box, the latter took the ball well, turned and beat Daniele Padelli in Torino’s goal. The half prodded along with little danger, El Shaarawy shot a half chance wide and Torino ran and threatened a few times. There was to be more drama however, not long before the half Zaccardo was sent off for putting a foot in on the edge of the box and bringing down the on rushing Cristian Molinaro. Whether or not that red was merited was debatable but just moments before it in the same sequence of play Amauri was offside.

Torino players Offside In the Leadup to Zaccardo's Red

Torino players Offside In the Leadup to Zaccardo’s Red

Pippo Inzaghi was expelled and banished to the stands and Mexes came on for Alex to start the second. An early free kick wasn’t far from producing a second but it was diverted out for a corner. An improved start to the second paid dividends, Pazzini and van Ginkel were involved in a nice one two and the Dutch was brought down clumsily. The aforementioned was Molinaro was red carded and Pazzini converted the penalty. Honda seemed more comfortable in a more central attacking role. Another nice one two this time between van Ginkel and El Shaarawy lead to Milan’s third. The ball was moving better than any time in recent games. Zapata replaced El Shaarawy soon after. A beaming Alessandro Mastalli – 19 year old primavera player – replaced Poli a few minutes later. Abbiati’s stretched leg denied Omar El Kaddouri a goal. The game finished with a welcome clean sheet.

More on the game as it happened.

May 172015

Sassuolo Milan

Stephan El Shaarawy made a return to the bench. Bonera started in place of Antonelli. The game proved entertaining if not a happy one for Milan. Juventus owned Domenico Berardi followed up his 4 goal performance against Milan last season by scoring a hattrick in this game. Berardi’s first was a speculative dropping shot which was uncharacteristically dropped by Lopez, the goal was given although it seemed that the ball did not fully cross the line. The goal line referee may have wrong in this case. For the second Berardi may have been just offside when he took on the ball near the half way line and finished a solo effort. The young Italian’s third however was the end result of good passing and movement. Milan’s first was scored after good individual work by Bonaventura who then finished into the far corner. Alex headed in Milan’s second after a corner and cross. The Sassuolo players were unhappy and claimed that the Brazilian had bumped into Andrea Consigli in the Sassuolo goal. Milan finished the game with 9 men after Bonaventura received two yellows and Suso – on for Abate at half time – a red late. Pippo Inzaghi will have selection problems for the game vs Torino on the 37th matchday.
For more about the game as it happened click here.

May 092015

Milan Roma

Antonelli made a welcome return to the starting lineup, otherwise the line up was predictable with Menez still serving his suspension. Suso made it to the bench with a trio of primavera players – Mastalli (36), Felicioli (37), Modic (42) – available as well. Honda seemed an improved player in the first half, his run down the right provided the assist for van Ginkel’s goal from close range. Roma continued to be a different, much poorer version of their first half of the season.
The second half’s start was mostly uneventful and slow. But it was Milan who doubled their lead with another Honda cross this time finding Destro. The Roma loanee jumped and leaned on the defender to head the ball in. Roma’s defence wasn’t distinguishing itself. Moments later a cross was a bit too far for a stretched Poli, it fell to Bonavetura’s feet, he somehow too easily beat the Roma defender but shot wide. Poli was screaming to have the ball back but Bonaventura didn’t see or use him. Later a Seydou Doumbia shot injured Antonelli and he was replaced by Bocchetti. Francesco Totti replaced Miralem Pjanic for Roma’s final sub – after earlier subs of Juan Manuel Iturbe for Victor Ibarbo and Adem Ljajic for Gervinho in the first half. The controversial moment of the match arrived in the 72nd minute when Iturbe was seemingly brought down in the box. Replays showed minimum contact with Alex and the referee himself took his time to point to the spot. Totti barely beat Lopez to get his team on the scoresheet and Alex was given a yellow and would miss the week 36 Sassuolo game. Pazzini replaced Destro and had a half chance soon after. Roma seemed to be getting into the match, testing the Milan defense deep for some nervy occasions. Mexes replaced the apparently injured Alex for the third and final sub. Just before the end Pippo was ejected from the sideline and Milan had done enough to overcome the Roma team in the midst of an extended collapse.
The match as it happened.

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