GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - JULY 24: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke talks to Urby Emanuelson of Milan after the friendly match between Schalke 04 and AC Milan at Veltins-Arena on July 24, 2012 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images,)
Another Wednesday and another round up of news for the week...
On Sunday following Milan's loss in the Trofeo TIM a few fans were ready to abandon ship, well if we are going to take such extreme measures in a loss we may as well be just as extreme in a win. We beat Schalke!!! We beat Schalke!!! Start putting our name on Old Big Ears, we beat Schalke!! I know this is a massive feat because first and foremost they have Klaas Jan Traffic Cone and second they were in the CL last season and they third in Defenselessliga, I mean Bundesliga. As you can see my sarcasm barely shines through my elation for this splendid victory.
Max has stated that Milan is working towards a new philosophyfollowing the sale of Zlatan. What that is has yet to be defined, but I am confident that someone like Max can come up with something both efficient and effective without the star power that the current climate has left us with. He worked wonders at Cagliari deploying an average team in a narrow midfield, strong at the back, and dynamic up top to be much better than expected. I expect the same sort of reference free and efficient Milan. Will we play "Barca-ball" probably not, but I could care less. We can and will play results and that is all that matters.
Last week I added the former Milan man to my wish list of three must buy players. I can't stress enough how important it is for team's to steady the back line in times of change to assure the team has a chance to win. Speaking of philosophy, mine is simple, keep the opponent at zero. Hopefully Allegri has the same thought, but we won't do that without reinforcing the back and Astori is step one for present and future.
If Astori doesn't pan out this move is crucial. While I couldn't argue with three young strong CB's, two is a must and the former French U21 International is a great start. More importantly it is comments like this one that give him an A-Plus in my book:
“There are offers you cannot say no to.”
So while everyone is running away from the "New Milan" some still see the value of coming, Acerbi being one of them and now Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa can be added to the list. SIGN HIM UP.
Speaking of running away, I want to hit out the fans who asked for a refund on their season tickets. This is simply shameful and they can be added to the list of non value added Ultras. To ask for a refund shows a fan's true colors, you love the Club not for the players or the prestige, you love the Club for the colors and what they mean to you. These fan's don't deserve the right to buy season tickets let alone get a refund. They spend a lot of time asking management to get their priorities in order, but they should ask the same of themselves.
Word is Uncle Fester had dinner with Ricky's brother for a possible return to Milan. You know how I feel about rumors, and this one is no different. Until he is holding up a Milan jersey on the Club website I won't put to much stock in it. Some comments are asking me to rate the move, frankly I have always respected Kaka but was right at the front line to Champion his sale as he was in decline. However, with everyone asking for a "proven goal-scorer" (oddly enough the same people asking are the ones who rate Pato, curious!?) who am I to judge a low cost/low risk move before it even happens. If I had to make the choice, I say no, but if he can come in and bring some leadership and help Pato out the door and El Sharaawy develop I could get on board. My final caution though is that like getting back together with an ex girlfriend, it's never quite as good, and never really works out.
The friendlies have started to show us a bit of Milan's youth sector and while many are admittedly not yet ready for the big time, it is nice to see progress. Two who I think can be deployed from day one of the season are De Sciglio and Cristante. We know what De Scigilio can do and if he can start to learn and form into the LB role Milan will have the fullbacks they truly deserve, but his progression must continue. The other is sort of a diamond in the rough and upon watching him play you can understand the choice to let Merkel move to Genoa and how he can fit in nicely in the Allegri midfield roles. Two to keep an eye on for sure.