There was a time when a more successful Milan team comfortably in the top two or three of Serie A would roll over for a relegation zone team like Reggina. The problem is that this Milan is not comfortably atop the table, in fact they are not comfortably anywhere, and need the points as much as Reggina do. There are only three teams I would hate to face in any league, and those are the bottom three within striking distance of staving off relegation. Milan has a good past record against Reggina, and thanks to a Gila goal earlier in the season Milan have not lost to Reggina in two years.
But as we all know this season is completely different, and absolutely nothing has gone as planned. It doesn’t matter what choices Carletto makes, or who he puts on the pitch the only thing that matters know is the end result, and that end result is three points for the Rossoneri. With that out of the way I am not going to sit here and say the squad is in tip top shape. Players are tired and lingering injuries are making this much more difficult than they need to be. So if Carletto goes with Cafu, Simic, or even Digao the chosen eleven will have to put every foot right to get a win, plain and simple.
As it stands now with the Bonera injury it looks like the defense will feature Cafu, Nesta, Kaladze, and Maldini. If Maldini can’t go it will be up to Simic to step in. The reason for Maldini’s potential inability is a supposed injury that he suffered today in practice. The official Milan website listed the injury as a lesion on his hip, which could be a cut of gash, and does not mention any muscular injuries. It is hard to tell without any more information so instead of speculating it is best to wait for the results from the tests.
On a side note, the past two seasons have seen the Milan squad suffer from countless muscle injuries and knee problems. A few years back the New York Yankees suffered from a rash of hamstring/quad injuries at the start of the season and the Yankees were quick to fire the physio staff for a new group of trainers. Is it time for Milan to do the same thing. As we all know training, stretching, and strengthening are important in our day to day lives and we are not athletes, we may try to be, but we are not. So imagine how important it is to a guy like Il Capitano to be extremely well taken care, this is my team and I only want the best of the best for them, why doesn’t Silvio?
Carletto is fortunate to have Pippo in his goal poaching form, but as we saw last week Pippo is still not fir for a full ninety so depending on the formation Carletto will need Pato, Paloschi, and even Gila at his disposal. It may even be smart to employ two strikers from the get go in and effort to dictate the game and put some goals on the board early and often. With Ambro out this could be a great game for Gourcuff to play a full ninety and be surrounded by talent, even if it is just a showcase for his transfer.
I don’t have much today in terms of musings and I am a bit tired of transfer talk so I will give us all a break on that for a few days, and let you take the lead on those discussions, but I do want to talk about Rino.
If Rino is transferred it will go down as the single dumbest move in Milan’s history and will require me to make a serious consideration in terms of this team’s direction and goals. We all know that Maldini is truly a once in a lifetime player and his desire to stay Rossoneri his whole career is awesome. Rino and to a lesser extent some other players on the squad have stated that this is where they belong and where they want to stay. I believe that if a player is fundamental to the make of the team and is still producing at a reasonably high level they should remain at the squad even if it means a lesser role ala Pippo. With this thought in mind, we look at Rino, who is more than a role player, and is in fact an engine and power source in big important games.
Another reason why Rino is so valuable is that despite his form, his passion allows for him to play at a higher level when maybe his body can not. I also believe him when he says that when he can no longer perform he will leave the game on his terms, and that is so respectable especially when some players play beyond their skill level. If Rino wants to leave that is his decision, but by no means should the man who reminds us of the Diavolo himself should be shopped or contemplated sold. I would love Milan nonetheless, but the resentment I would carry if Rino was sold in favor of a Brazilian or other foreigner would be an unforgivable offense. The day will come where he will lose his place, all good players do, but until that day the spot is his, and so should the armband when Paolo finally decides to give it up.