It really is a strange weekend all over Europe. Roma fans will be rooting for Lazio and United fans for the dreaded Scousers, and merely a day ago it appears that Inter and Jose Mourinho have won the heart of Italy! Say what you want about Inter the Club, but even as a Milan fan, I can’t help but applaud Jose Mourinho who have I respected since his days at Porto for his no nonsense result orientated tactics, but more importantly this uncanny ability to destruct and destroy what so many view as "beautiful football." While I have nothing against this pursuit of Joga Bonito, being a pragmatic Coach myself, I have a soft spot for the application of "tactics" and winning the result. I also have to applaud and show my respect for some of the Inter players, watching Eto drop into the LM role following the red card and defending like an animal, puts shame to the fans who may believe that certain players, "do not have to get dirty," and in the end it is all hands deck to be successful, and no individual is better than the team or result! I also have to say that Sneijder should in fact be World Player of the Year, his play speaks for itself, and he may be the piece of the puzzle that gives Inter the one thing they have wanted for almost 40 years, and that Milan has won a few times since! Just imagine if we bought the right Dutchmen from Real Madrid!?!?
Ok enough about Inter, and onto the business at hand. The Viola make the trip to the San Siro on the weekend for three games that put quite simply are the difference between Milan qualifying for the CL directly, having to play in, or joining the Europa League for the second time in three years. Three games ago Dinho said the next six games are all finals and since then Milan has not gotten a win, and the performances have been borderline awful. The injuries and personnel problems are no secret, but the cynic in me says that if Leo wants to play old dogs like Oddo out of position, then he gets what he deserves right?
Speaking of Leo, it is looking like the last three matches will in fact be his last stand. How he approaches those games is really up to him, and will make a big difference in his miniscule Milan legacy. You can’t take away his unbeaten run leading up to 2010, or his tactical masterstroke of the 4-3-3, but in a league where adapting and evolving week in and week out for every match, his inability to do so has to be his biggest failure. So now as the Viola come to town with a marauding winger like Vargas, will Leo try to stuff him up, or keep the status quo and watch Vargas have his fill on the wing with no one there to stop him?
Fiorentina has had a bit of a poor season in respect to their newly high standards of the past few years, and to think that save a questionable goal Fiorentina could have made a run at the CL final, you can see where the morale may have been deflated. But that is not Milan’s problem, there are plenty of problems that we have to worry about and deciding if 3rd, 4th, or 5th place is where the season ends is the bottom line. Again the cynic in me, in a very cynical mood of late, almost hopes for a catastrophic failure for the sole reason that it will finally show the Brass that this team has massive issues. But the optimist wonders why can’t we challenge for the CL next year with a possibly new look younger team!? No reason why this team of old fogies has to ruin it for the guys next year as well! Oh, wait it may be too late…as they are finding a way to ruin the present and future in one failed swoop..
So this is where I usually propose a lineup but after last week, I am better off drawing names out of a hat. What I do want to see is a 4-3-1-2, with Seedorf in the hole behind Borriello and Dinho, but at this point any lineup without KJH or Oddo is a small victory already. See you all Saturday!