So we have cleared the midsummer's point and Milan are already back in training. Please disregard this week's 12-0 win as soon as able, it is meaningless, and outside of a bit fitness this result has no bearing. Not to rain on the parade, it is always nice when the team performs, but there are some other issues at hand that I want to discuss.
With the season starting in earnest on August 28th and the fixtures coming out next Wednesday, Allegri is closing in on 30 days to prepare the team to defend the title. Last season at this time the team was in a state of turmoil and still a few weeks away from the summer signings of Zlatan and Robinho. While Milan have added numbers in defense, the midfield addition has yet to occur, and the elusive Mr. X is looking more like a phantom than a real person. The sooner midfield reinforcements are added the sooner Allegri can begin integrating them into the squad. Fester has already come out and said that Pirlo’s replacement is in the squad and it is hard to decipher what this message means, will Seedorf be given the reins? A move that could back fire if Clarence is not consistent or struggles to stay fit, I guess a bit of patience will answer that question while it appears the team gets closer to signing Montolivo who would in fact fill the LM role admirably.
The biggest issue with which I am concerned with is not so much the lack of news on a Milan front, but the lack of any real action in all Europe this silly season. The rumors, as always, have been rampant, but the actual buys have been few and far between. Teams like Chelsea and Juventus have been linked with everyone under the sun, from GRossi to Roman Lukaku, but the moves have yet to materialize. Be it the Copa America, or the European economic crisis, something is stalling many of the transfers. Maybe teams are finally starting to grow weary of the inflated player values and are waiting until the last minute to make their buys, but either way the silly season seems to be quieter than normal.
Tevez to Corinthians has fallen through, Sneijder to Man U fizzled, Aguero to Juventus was an issue of money, and what looked like a sure fire deal even Barca can’t seem to rein in Sanchez or Fabergas. Be it money, values, or need it appears a lot of teams are looking to do things with a bit more fiscal responsibility and a bit more tactical awareness. Teams don’t seem too eager to spend for the sake of spending; they appear more inclined to buy what they need. Maybe seeing the self-sabotage resulting from Man City’s foolish spending has taught teams a lesson. What good is it to overpay for a player and then be unable to sell him?
At the end of the day Milan are fortunate, the team and management has never fallen into the trap of big spending and flashy buys. Sure they have portrayed poor buys as flashy ones, a certain pair of heavy set Brazilians comes to mind, but they have always been smart with the money and that shouldn’t change anytime soon. If Ganso does come I am sure it will be a smart buy, and Montolivo at 7-8M would be a steal, and who knows maybe Asamoah does arrive!?
I want to end with one more final point. On Sunday the Copa America final will be contested by Uruguay and Paraguay, not the Argentina and Brazil teams that many people probably put money on? It is not secret my disdain for Brazil and the silence on the matter has been a bit puzzling, what do the Brazil and Argentina supporters among you believe went wrong? Was it really Brazil or Argentina’s Copa to lose, or are teams like Paraguay and Uruguay, both strong in WC10, simply better than given credit for? I have my thoughts on the matter, but I am curious to read yours.