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Silly Season Recap

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I am still in disbelief that this transfer window has brought us five new players, all of which were needed both in terms of depth and contribution to make winning a Scudetto and maybe even a Coppa Italia a reality. Have I cooled on my treble talk? Yes, in fact I have, every new signing save Vila, is ineligible for the CL and while I think our team is taking a nice shape, it is a tall order to compete on all three fronts, but here's to hoping right?! Now a little look at the new players:

Antonio Cassano: We have talked extensively about the Cassano move, so feel free to look back at this tactics pieces and original discussions. What I want to say now is simply that there is no player in Italy as capable of operating in small tight spaces with such precision as Antonio Cassano. This will prove to be an asset as teams continue to present numbers in defense and Milan will need the patience and vision to break down such a defensive stance. He will get fit sooner rather than later, and will most likely become a fixture in Serie A matches as long as Milan remain competitive in the CL, but let’s beat Totts first before we worry about that.

Mark Van Bommel: Often times called the Dutch version of Rino Gattuso, he will smile and shake your hand, and de-cleat you as soon as you turn back. The quintessential midfield hard-man who everyone loves to hate, unless of course he is wearing your colors, so welcome to AC Milan. Not the best move Milan has ever orchestrated, he is old, lost a step, and will probably serve a few suspensions before the season is over, but considering Milan tried this move with Emerson a few years back, Van Bommel is exponentially better. As if this is not enough, he is basically a free rental (wages only) until the end of the season to get us over a rough injury crisis, smart move? Borderline genius move!

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Emanuelson: A left-footed wing type player, think poor man’s Bastos. He can play every spot on the left-flank, but none of them all that well, but at 23 who cares! He will learn and grow into his role, whatever it may be. Based on his first match it appears he will play in the LM role and operate akin to Pirlo in that role providing some passing depth and vision from an off center role. His confidence on the ball was very nice and his passing was good enough to create scoring chances with zero training sessions under his belt. Simply can’t complain after a move like this one, cheap, young, and ready to step in.

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Didac Vila: From a player talent perspective this move is the most puzzling; now consider the relative low cost and low risk from a Milan perspective and you have to figure this will benefit both parties in the end. If the kid is a success 3M makes him a permanent resident, if he fails he goes back to Espanyol and no hard feeling from anyone. The young Spaniard is a Riaola man like Zlatan and Van Bommel, and being stuck in Spain were the likes of Ramos and Capdevilla are hogging first team action it is tough to tell exactly if the kid is up to snuff. This move frustrates me a bit because Mimo could have come through big time and got us Maxwell on loan, or Milan could have made the push for Criscito which leads me to another point…

Nicola Legrottaglie: This move occurred on deadline day and is comparable in shrew intelligence to the move for Van Bommel. Yes he is 34, but talk to any Juventus fan and he never disappoints when he is on the pitch. It also doesn't help that he is playing behind the most likely CB partnership for the future of the National team, so his playing time has been limited this season. He steps in as a backup who can play in Nesta's absence (which with this signing leads me to believe it is longer than anticipated) and also provide cover for Silva and Yepes, while limiting the use of Sokratis and Bonera in the CB positions. He also won't complain, and his veteran leadership and respect of many around the league will only continue to strengthen what Milan has built in terms of core and chemistry.

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Funny thing, I have to believe our best Silly Season move was not a purchase at all...I will let the video speak for itself...

Inter fans are slumming around and poking fun saying Milan are just as bad as they are with a new influx of non-Italians (3 of the 5). Part of me agrees, but if you look at the hard ball that teams like Cagliari and Genoa are playing with Milan and the general poor state of the National team, it is foolish to think that these players are basically being held captive by their Clubs. Now I can see a player like Lazzari who will make the push to help Cagliari stay mid-table, and probably come in the summer, and the same can be said for Criscito, but at some point these small Clubs need to be realistic about player values, not every team is going to inflate false values like Man City! So yes, I am a little bitter that only 1 out of 4 of these signings is Italian, but that’s my opinion, I am Italian so I want my team to support my Country, but Van Bommel and Vila are simply short term players so I am not going to lose my lunch quite yet, and look at the bright side, four signings and no new Brazilians! At least those blinders have fallen off...