MILAN - The Milan Youth Team are set to play Sassuolo at Agliana (Pistoia) starting at 15.00 CET, in the second round of the Viareggio Cup group stage. In Round 1, the Rossoneri drew with Japanese side Nagoya Grampus. In other Section 9 action, Nagoya will take on Stabaek from Norway. Referee Ferrari from Mestre has been appointed to officiate Milan’s game at the A. Bellucci Stadium.
Lyon’s Cissokho back in Milan sights? Italian agent seems to think so…
Clashes between AC Milan
and Napoli are often described as North against South and,
at times, David versus Goliath, but there will be extra spice in
Monday meeting’s (1945 GMT) at the San Siro with the outcome
likely to go a long way in deciding who wins this season’s
Milan’s Pirlo on Juventus transfer list…
Goal.com considers the potential downfall of Calcio in Europe this season…
Goal.com looks at the best performing players from the last 16 first leg of the Champions League…
Almost feels like yesterday that Napoli and Milan were duking it out at the top of the table for Serie A supremacy! By the way, by yesterday, I mean 1989, and seeing that I was only six, I don’t remember all the details, but it was a special season for both teams as Milan began to establish themselves as Serie A powerhouses once again and a one Diego Armando Maradona became a Saint in Napoli as he delivered a scudetto to the region of origin for this Milan fan. It was unforgettable for me because at that age I was really beginning to take an interest in Calcio and AC Milan and being that my family is from the area around Napoli it was ironic that a six year old aspiring Milan fan was being told rather frequently that I had made the wrong choice and that Napoli and Maradona were going to take over the footballing World. I got the last laugh with a few Scudetti, a few CL’s and a pretty fun blog, while my family members who chastised my choice had a nice trip to Serie B and not much else to show for it. Maybe there is some truth to the notion that Napoli sold their soul for that one title…but maybe that deal with the Devil is about to expire…
I am not going to go into a full blown preview here with lineups and tactics, I will reserve that for the weekend, but I do want to start drumming up some excitement for a match that may decide the scudetto. One versus two, a three point gap, and a momentum swing that can catapult an unlikely Napoli team to new heights or cement Milan’s spot in first place. But I do want to pose the simple question, is this Napoli run really all that unlikely?? Are we really talking about a team that is merely lucky and has no business being so close to the top or are we watching a team becoming a new contender in the Serie A? You have to believe this team is coming into its own, not just now but for a few years to come and the Milan v Napoli rivalry that cemented my Milan fandom as a child is being rekindled before my very eyes.
Ladies and gentleman let’s be clear, this Napoli team is no joke, and while detractors claim there is no depth or that they lack match winners, I bet a whole mess of Roma fans would take the Napoli way over what they have going on in the Eternal City. Starting from back to front you have veteran leadership in DeSanctis and Cannavaro, stout and strong wing play from Maggio and Dossena, and some pretty slick attacking ability with Hamsik, Lavessi, and El Matador, Edison Cavani, who already has 20 goals on the season with some in spectacular fashion and is absolutely thrashing my Serie A Live fantasy team. Add in a pretty visionary Coach in Mazzari who has evolved this 3-5-2 into a solid balanced formation and you have a formidable team with a good mix of youth and veteran leadership with a great bit of team chemistry to boot. Then throw in players that can contribute off the bench like Zuniga, Mascara, and Blasi; you can’t count out this team that can only improve if they keep the core together.
So what does that mean for AC Milan?? Well first and foremost it means that the upcoming match has greater implications than just the title. AC Milan can shatter some dreams and aspirations, and while I don’t think a loss will completely bury Napoli, it will bring them back down to Earth and reinforce who and what AC Milan are, in a year where other usual Serie A powerhouses like Juventus and Inter are struggling for consistency. It also gives Allegri and Milan the confidence that they can beat a direct rival for the title while building momentum into the upcoming trips to Torino and White Hart Lane. Think of this a swing game, the type of game that kick starts one team going up and potentially the other going down and while I have the utmost respect and admiration for Napoli and what they have done, I have no intention of being the team on the losing end of this one. If you remember it was the last Napoli match where Oddo had two spectacular assists and Milan pulled through in dramatic fashion that kick started this team’s rise the top so a win here may be the final push.
As the squad lists are sorted, and injuries reviewed I will post a proper match preview, but I felt like with a match of such epic proportions it needed a bit more. It needed the credit it deserves and while it may not get the dramatic play of a London rivalry or a big Derby, this match is special to me. Special to my history as a Calcio fan, special to your history as a Milan fan, and special to Napoli fans who know that when Diego’s life spiraled out of control it was Milan who was ready to pick up the torch and that deal with the Devil may still be in force and Milan are going to look to keep that in place on the weekend! Best of luck to all my family and friends who continue to support Napoli through thick and thin, but don’t come calling this weekend, as my Rossoneri family takes precedence!
MILAN - Talking to Milan Channel, Rossoneri goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has shared his thoughts on Monday’s game against Napoli: “It will be a good game. I think the San Siro will be sold out, there will be a huge crowd including a lot of Napoli fans. The Sky Blues are having a great season, their consistently good results are the proof of this. It won’t be easy, because there are no easy matches, but it’s a very important game, which gives us the chance to break away from one of our rivals for the title”.
Abbiati is eager to leave Napoli in the dust by beating them on Monday.
MILAN - In today’s Corriere della Sera, an interview with Adriano Galliani was published about the Milan CEO’s 25 years of service at the club. “Nothing has changed over these 25 years. Milan are still an affair of the heart for Silvio Berlusconi. Milan are Silvio Berlusconi. The standard bearers? Baresi has not been marginalised, he’s working with us. Costacurta has begun his coaching career elsewhere, while we must find an appropriate role for Paolo at all costs. In any case, the affection of president Berlusconi and me towards these three monuments is undisputed”.
After a goalless draw against Nagoya, the Milan Youth Team is set to take on Sassuolo at 15.00 CET Thursday. Coach Stroppa’s side will finish its group stage duties on Saturday with a match against Stabaek (15.00 CET) from Norway. The Section 9 standings are as follows: Sassuolo is first with 3 points, thanks a 1-0 win against Stabaek (Luppi scored the winner), Milan and Nagoya are joint second with 1 point, while the Norwegian team is fourth with 0 points.
After his team’s draw against Nagoya, Giovanni Stroppa sees the glass half full and says: “What went wrong? Only the result, because we had our chances, even if they defended well. After the break we did much better than in the first half. And it wasn’t easy to attack without getting hit on the counter-attack”.
AC Milan’s suspended midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has been advised not to travel to London for Champions League second leg with Tottenham.
MILAN - Napoli’s official website, sscnapoli.com, reports that Cristiano Lucarelli won’t travel with the team to Spain for the Sky Blues’ Europa League game against Villarreal due to muscle fatigue.
AC Milan’s suspended midfielder
Gennaro Gattuso has been advised not to travel to London for
next month’s Champions League last 16 return with Tottenham
Hotspur after headbutting Spurs assistant coach Joe Jordan.
MILAN - Tottenham, Milan’s opponents in the Champions League last sixteen, suffered a 3-1 away loss against Blackpool yesterday. Adam, Campbell and Ormerod scored for the hosts, while Tottenham had a consolation goal from Pavlyuchenko in injury time.
Milan midfielder Alexander Merkel hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll play for Germany or for Russia at international level.
MILAN - The disciplinary situation regarding Milan and Napoli are as follows heading into the two teams’ Serie A clash:Milan:Suspended: no one. One yellow card away from suspension: Bonera and PirloNapoli:Suspended: Lavezzi (2). One yellow card away from suspension: Cavani, Dossena, Maggio, Santacroce and Yebda.
Galliani hopes to win 2011 Champions League to celebrate 25 years of Berlusconi leadership…
Barcelona are after Turkish international Gokhan Gnul, but they have competition from Bayern and Milan.
Gattuso compares suspension to spending a month in prison…
MILAN - The Milan Youth Team were held to a goalless draw by Nagoya Grampus in the two teams’ group match in the Viareggio Cup. Coach Stroppa’s players did all they could to beat the Japanese youngsters in a mediocre game, but it wasn’t enough. Ghiringhelli had the best chance of the game at the end of the second half, as he was denied by the crossbar. Milan’s next game will be against Sassuolo, at the Bellucci Stadium at 15.00 CET, Thursday.
MILAN - The first half of the Milan-Nagoya Grampus game in the group stage of the Viareggio Cup finished 0-0. The Rossoneri came close to scoring in the 2nd minute, when Oduamadi, with only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to find the back of the net. On 33 minutes, Ganz missed the target, while four minutes later Oduamadi was denied by the Japanese netminder again.
In what appears to be the speed of light Elaine has edited the FIRST EVER AC MILAN OFFSIDE podcast that was recorded from an undisclosed wooden box last night deep in the woods of Connecticut. Please go easy on us as it was our first one, a little lengthy, maybe even a little scattered, but a whole lot of fun!! Now I will leave you to listen, but please comment and feedback is greatly appreciated as it will help make this podcast as exciting for you as it was for us to do. Hope you like it!
As mentioned in the podcast, we want this to be about you, so we will pick from the comments and discuss hot topics but anything you want discussed, we could even do a Q&A style session where we answer reader questions, if you want it you got it!!
Avia has already weighed in with his take on the Pato-Ramos rumor!!
Regarding your question relating to Pato of course im happy with A) His goal, B) his fortitude in light of recent criticism. A beautiful response to his critics!
But would I still want Ramos at the expense of Pato? Hmm, im sorry but for me its still an option on the table (of course in the ideal world we would have both!)
The thing is Milan have had many epic strikers over the years and my heart has grown with each wonder goal scored but then been tragically scarred by their eventual drop off in form and then departure, sigh
The 1st name that comes up is MVB, to throw superlatives at this guy would be old hat. Lets just say for many a Milanista this guys contribution & goals will never be matched and its partly down to the fact that he could literally pull a goal from nowhere. The definitive striker. Then we have the Papins, Massaros, Simones, Weahs, Shevas, Pippos each with their own characteristics. Pato, with no disrespect, is not quite at the point of carving his name into the wall of legends as things stand.
Unfortunately, the way it usually works is that the best remembered player is the one who wins big with his club regardless of the number or quality of goals, for every Cantona there is a Le Tissier!
I have heaped praise on Pato before, the kid is close to being not just an epic striker but just a few years away from being a footballing weapon imo. This kid, in theory, and I genuinely believe this, could win you a CL cup all on his own!
But the thing is, im an old Milanista and have always associated our success with what I used to refer to as the “Bank Vault Door” defence of Tassaoti, Billy, Baresi & Maldini and Pato unfortunately doesn’t have the luxury of having these guys back up his feats up front
If I have learned anything from Messrs Sacchi & Cappello its that organisation is more important than individual brilliance alone and one of the reasons im right behind Allegri is that I view him in the same mould. Its this mantra of knowing your role & being organised that I believe armed Allegri with whatever it was he needed to squeeze Dinho out and I for one thank him for it!!
Yes we all chant “Maldini” but for me our best Captain & Defender will always be Baresi, as you well know Gian my phrase is “If Maldini is the King then Baresi is the Emperor!”
But where IS the next Maldini or Baresi and why don’t I hear people screaming for him???? Well let me underpin Maldini’s thoughts. His name is Ramos! To shower Pato with praise but to simply dismiss Ramos is merely folly as your dismissing the most urgent need of this team. The kid is basically a Spanish Maldini who can be partnered with Silva or play as a RB.
These kinda defenders are far more rare than strikers and the instant Maldini referred to Ramos as being his heir apparent we shoulda signed him (but suspect we have already made a number of enquires over the years!) We already have a Pato replacement in the wings in the shape of Balotelli & Paloschi but still rolling out guys like Zambro & Oddo at the back?! Agghh!
Ramos has and always will be for me a dream signing and is still a far away possibility, if we said to Madrid give us Benz, Kaka or Higuain in exchange for our own Silva they would do it simply to have an impenetrable line at the back
The way I look at it, yes we are the top of the table currently but if you look at our stats we have scored 46 but conceded 20 in 26 games.
Let me repeat, we have conceded 20 goals in 26 games!!!!! Sorry but that stat scares me far more than Patos 10 goals
We once went a season without losing a match and went over 900 mins without even conceding one single goal
The thing is Pato may quite well bloom into one of our best, its quite possible but if we carry on on our current course without some major correction then chances are we will be still be haemorrhaging goals and unlikely to be creaming Europe until we stop conceding!
The upcoming Napoli game again has me more focused on how we stack up our defence rather than who gets a shout up front, its the first thing I check for in the pre match line up
If selling Pato means we can finally re-attach a 100 ton reinforced bank vault door to the back line then im all for it, for as much as I enjoy cheering for Patos goals I find myself slapping my forehead in anger & bewilderment as we give away stupid goal after stupid goal occurring far more often
Remember for every Parma game there is an Udinese!
Our Brazilian wonderkid could simply be in the right club at the wrong time and may eventually begin to consider offers from teams with stronger defenses than ours and if your honest would you really blame him?
MILAN - Here are the starting line-ups of the Milan-Nagoya Grampus Viareggio Cup game about to kick off:MILAN: Piscitelli, Ghiringhelli, De Vito, Albertazzi, Bertoni, Pasini, Verdi, Calvano, Ganz, Oduamadi, Sampirisi.NAGOYA GRAMPUS: Ishii, Tsuzuku, Okuyama, Kawamoto, Kashio, Havenaar, Mizuno, Kato, Sato, Adachi, Kawamura.
Giorgio Chiellini’s reading of the oath will open the 63rd Viareggio Cup, the most prestigious trophy in youth football. The young Rossoneri, coming off a convincing victory against Triestina, will kick-off their campaign in the tournament with tomorrow’s game against Nagoya Grampus from Japan. The team is set to leave for Viareggio today at 13.30 CET, after the team’s afternoon training session. The Rossoneri’s match against Nagoya, to be played at the Bresciani Satdium at 15.00 CET tomorrow, will be broadcast live by Rai Sport 1.Coach Stroppa has called up the following 24 players for the tournament:Di Fabio, Paleari, Piscitelli, De Sciglio, Albertazzi, Pasini, Ely, Sampirisi, Ghiringhelli, Desole, De Vito, Carmona, Bertoni, Fossati, Santonocito, Calvano, Hottor, Oduamadi, Ganz, Verdi, De Respinis, Mancuso, Cogliati, Palibrk.
Bronzetti has described reports regarding Kaka leaving Madrid as “paper speculation”…
MILAN - The Milan Youth Team will take on Nagoya Grampus this afternoon to get its Viareggio Cup campaign underway. Giocanni Stroppa’s players got up at 10.15 CET this morning and went through a light warm-up session before having lunch at 11.30 CET. The team will be driven to the Bresciani Stadium of Viareggio at 13.30 CET. Referee Chiffi has been appointed to officiate the game.
MILAN - Apart from the Milan-Nagoya Grampus match (Viareggio, 15.00 CET), another Section 9 game will take place today as Sassuolo take on Stabaek (Norway) at 15.00 CET on the synthetic pitch of Montemurlo (Prato).