There was a time when this fixture on the Serie A calendar was as good a game as it gets. Both teams fought tooth and nail for the scudetto for many years and I still the great matchups with Zidane squaring off against Paolo and the Rossoneri’s defense, or Davids owning the center circle against the likes of Albertini and Boban. This game also brings to mind one of the greatest days in my Milan history which saw Milan triumph over Juve at Old Trafford for their sixth Champions League trophy.
The game may not be as glamorous as it once was with newly promoted Juve and depleted Milan, but the importance of the tie is just the same. Juve is in third place barely ahead of the Viola and Milan are toiling a bit further back hopelessly clawing for a spot in the Champions League. Glamour or not this game is big change for both teams to get points and achieve their season goal of a top four finish.
Believe it or not, their still one player whose heart beats a little faster with this game getting closer, and that is the living legend, Il Capitano, Paolo Maldini. This is just another small reason why this guy is so freaking special, he is almost 40 but a simple game against Juve still gets his competitive juices flowing. As long as that spirit is still there Paolo, play on.
Excited or not though Paolo will have his work cut out for him as his usual running mates are out of action. Kaladze and Nesta suspended, Oddo and Janks injured, leaving a potential back four of Cafu, Bonera, Maldini, Favalli. Just think five years ago (outside of Bonera), that back four would have been murderous and fear; now it leaves me wondering how many goals the Rossoneri will have to score to assure a victory. This backline is not terrible, but its not great, but if Bonera can repeat last week’s performance, and Maldini is Maldini, things aren’t all that bad. (wow that was optimistic).
So we have addressed the defense now lets move forward. Kaka and Pato will be in the the lineup, and I fully expect Carletto to employ the xmas tree, much akin to last weekend with Pato in place of Pippo. This is OK as Carletto will most likely play cautiously away from home. Rino has looked a bit injured as of late, and I am wondering if he never quite recovered from the quick Arsenal return all that time ago. With that being said it is best if Carletto puts the most abled body squad he has out there, and takes a good read on the fatigue of certain guys. I mentioned it last week but Ambro has poured heart and soul into every game and I am worried he can’t keep up this pace. Gourcuff should be ready for an appearance in a few different capacities on Saturday.
Regardless a win is needed and I expect to see all my offside tifosi here in full force on Saturday so we can get through this together, here is a little video, enjoy the memories
-You can shout and I know you will, but I am beginning to rethink the Sheva situation. For Sheva to come out and plead for Carletto to take him back it truly a show of shear desire for him to return to the club. I do not even know what to liken it to, this guy is pleading to come back, he wants to come back, and I think he believes a return is the only way to resurrect his career. With desire like that how can I say no to a man who is easily one of the best forward this club has ever seen. The brass is willing to keep Ronaldo on payroll who has never once shown an ounce of passion for this club, and has even stated countless times that his rehab should be done at home, and not here.
I know he left, and he did so for terrible reasons, but he has not even been given a chance in his two season at Chelsea, I can’t even say that he sucks because I haven’t seen him on the pitch in ages. As I type this I am watching a rerun of CL game against Inter, and Sheva is in all his glory, I really do miss those days. I miss knowing there was striker upfront who could score at any given moment, I miss seeing him streaking down the middle, and I miss the way he made everyone around him better. If its Dinho or Sheva, then let it be Sheva, and if getting Sheva allows the squad to get stronger in the back and through the middle then let it be Sheva. But please don’t break the bank for a guy who turned his back, make him earn any money he is going to get.
-The Dinho saga continues and I am beginning to think it is detrimental to my health. At work today I kept checking site after site because someone said a contract was close. We all know how I feel about him, and I don’t want him, even on my first day I gave him no love. I ripped into the has-been Brazilian. This team is not a Brazilian rest home!
-A one time Milan target, Amauri is in hot and heavy talks with Juve. I was never sold on Amauri but I hate that this team doesn’t even have a shot at signing some players because they don’t put their hat in the ring. I am sick of Milan’s gentlemanly approach to transfers, the transfer world is no longer about taking agents out to dinner and making sure no one’s feelings are hurt. The transfer world is cut throat dog eat dog, and only the strong survive. Milan have lost signings in the final hour on two many occasions in the past few seasons, this team is not everyone whipping boy!! Henry, Zlatan, Torres, Suazo…That list is already heavy with names, and I do not want to add more!
-On a side note congratulations to Fiorentina who moved on in the UEFA Cup today. They are the only side left in Europe from Serie A and are carrying the flag quite nicely. A good win, and a real chance at taking the next step for the young Viola squad. A few weeks ago I read something about Prandelli saying he wanted to be Fiorentina’s Alex Ferguson.
The thought of it made me smile, and if anyone has a team set up for that kind of success that its this man, but enough Viola admiration, they must lose the rest of their Serie A games if we want a chance at the 4 spot.