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Maldini Monday

He is my Hero, my Idol, and a Legend...but this time I can't help but feel he has gone a bit too far.

Valerio Pennicino

Not the usual Maldini Monday fare but if you haven't read the interview that has taken Milanista by storm this weekend, I suggest you do. Best to read the Italian version here, but the best translation so far is here. I have no intention of summarizing it or finding "hidden" meaning, I simply want to give my take on what turned out to be a rather controversial interview. While I don't fully agree or disagree with Paolo Maldini, I do want to share on the matter.

I fully agree with his statements regarding Berlusconi, and while I contend we have the best in the business in Fester. Berlusconi's penchant for letting emotion run his business is a big problem for me. His lusting after Ronaldinho and Ronaldo set us back two seasons easy. His unwillingness to pull the trigger on Pato to keep his daughter happy, and his ego-maniacal way of shipping off players when they get bigger than him (see: Sheva and Kaka) could be a reason for his lack of compassion for the living Legend Paolo Maldini. For me, Silvio is the root of evil, but also the man who got us to where we are today, so how you do you tell him to buzz off!? It's a tough spot, and Paolo had no issue making that clear.

As for Paolo's extreme words about the management's lack of plan or Milan no longer being magical, that is where my hero and I simply disagree. How can anyone, even Maldini, make such a bold faced statement. Check that, anyone can make a statement like that, but more importantly what could possible satisfy that comment. Does Maldini, or the doomsday fans that troll this blog, want a written doctrine or recipe posted on the front door of Milanello telling the World what Milan's plan is to become a World Power again? Has Real Madrid done that lately? Has ManCity shared their recipe on how to spend piles upon piles of money and not make it out of the CL group stages? Should Milan announce 60 days before the transfer window who they intend to target so that other teams can inflate the values!? This is simple laughable and I can't understand what the result of such a statement would be.

If anything Milan has far more of a plan today than they did when Paolo was still roaming the defense. Reduce wages, get younger, limit Senator Contracts to one year and x dollars, and make the team self sustainable. This is a revelation for any Milan fan from a Club who did business on emotion and players who got the Owner's motor running! Sure we don't have a plan regarding is this team going to go forward as a defensive powerhouse or attacking monster, or what sort of players we intend to buy, but I am OK with that. You can't determin playing style without players and you can't announced who you plan to buy without harming your market position. So for all those looking for a "plan," look harder, you may already have it in front of you. You may not like it, but It's a start.

I need to comment on this statement:

“last year Allegri needed someone who had the personality to talk with the major players – with Ibra,Boateng and others in an authoritative way. And he thought that I, with my past experience could do it.

Allegri called me when i was on vacation in the states and told me ‘Paolo, how do I know if I have done something wrong tactically or in the management of the locker room’. He needed me to manage the group for him. We met, we spoke on the phone and I warned him that this could be a problem for him.

Allegri told me he had spoken with the club and everything was ok. Soon after he SMS’d me to tell me that he would call in a few days. It was October 2011, I have not heard from him since then. I have never tried to reach him either. “

In this same interview Paolo comments on what Sacchi did, he came in, had a vision and made this team HIS OWN. Why shouldn't Allegri be allowed to do the same? History is a beautiful thing, but you don't live by it, you learn from it. Allegri wanted to move this team forward, something that many fans have been pining for since 2007, then when it happens they complain about it!? Classic. Paolo is out of line here, phones work two ways and while he admits to that error, it is Allegri who needs support to see his plan to fruition and while he isn't get it in the form of players he could get it from people like Paolo. Both Rino and Nesta have come out and made their view clear, and current players have come out in support as well. I simply hope this statement helps clear the air a bit for both of them. Otherwise, let Max do his thing, many already had him canned by XMAS, where are those tossers now to say they were wrong? Nowhere...

Lastly, I took this statement this to heart on a few levels...

What do you feel towards Milan today ?

“Sometimes I reflect on the past. We were aware of our role. The players,the managers,the executives, Everyone undertook their responsibilities without interference. There was so much valuable knowledge on the subject of football that Only a fool wouldn’t learn anything. “

So the feeling is of disappointment ?

“I would say the taste is bitter and not just for me. It’s bitter because everything that was created together has now disappeared. Many of my former team-mates feel the same way. “

This sort of hurt my feelings as a fan as long as I have been. It appears Paolo forgets where Milan was before he started, there were few legends. The eighties was a dark decade, and while I too often reflect on the past, I see the value on what is to come in the future. The game is changing, all aspects in fact, and while there is value and knowledge to be tapped in the past their is something to look forward to in the future. Paolo's children will be part of the future, he admits that, so why make it so bleak. It's exciting, we are witnessing the rebirth and rebuild of our AC Milan be it in three years or in five years, success is not a given. For all his talk in this interview his lack of patience pains me. Milan were truly grand from 89-94, best Club in History, after that they won only two titles and two CL's in fourteen years...he was part of that team, the leader, the Captain...

We do agree on plenty though from the interview...

“Comparisons will always be there but they never do any good to emerging players. He (DeSciglio) is a straightforward player who does everything well. Playing in a derby is not easy and i was impressed by the simplicity of his playing style. I think he is a balanced guy which is important when you play for Milan because you will feel too much pressure if you are not balanced. Another talented fullback is Santon and I think that playing abroad will make him better. ”

“I said a year ago that Pato can become one of the top three in the world. Today I suspend that judgment.”

“Milan’s record of 56 games unbeaten is now worth a lot more because it came during the times of the so-called “Sette Sorelle (seven sisters)”. Parma had won the UEFA Cup, Lazio the Cup Winners’ Cup and Italian Clubs dominated all over Europe. Nowadays, Juve wins hands down in the league and are the only Italian club that can do something in the Champions League.”

Easy on DeSciglio, Santon is the real deal, Pato still sucks, and Juve can eat it!

Hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year this evening, looking forward to the new year.