Monday August 27 2012
Milan’s false start

It may be a long and hard season for Milan after Serie A opened with a shock defeat for the Diavolo. Giancarlo Rinaldi wraps up the Week 1 action.

There is a horrible moment between the sickening crunch of reversing your car into another vehicle and getting out to survey the damage. You hope, despite all the evidence, that perhaps things will not turn out as badly as you thought. But for Milan fans, on early indications anyway, the fears that this season may be a write-off appear well justified.

The misery among Rossoneri followers recently has been as smothering as the thickest Lombardy fog. The big name departures and cut-price arrivals have produced a pessimism far deeper than they ever thought Silvio Berlusconi’s pockets might be. After years of watching Oscar-winning performances, they are facing up to some pretty grim reality TV.

Prior to the first round of Serie A matches there was at least the hope that their low-cost line-up might not be as disappointing as they imagined. Perhaps, if they could combine perfectly as a team, they might deliver a League challenge worthy of the club’s famous colours. Defeat by Sampdoria at San Siro saw that dream deflate more quickly than a bunch of balloons at a dart-throwers convention.

The players and Coach looked tetchy and Adriano Galliani appeared about as comfortable as a man trying to sit still on a bed of thistles. Max Allegri, understandably, preached against panic and promised his revamped squad would come on leaps and bounds in the weeks to come. He did, however, drop a heavy hint that the last few days of the transfer market might be vital to their prospects of achieving anything this year.

The trouble is that it will be hard to produce any quick fix to what has appeared to be a pretty ad hoc approach to acquisitions. There are gaps throughout the squad which it will be almost impossible to plug adequately in the space of less than a week. In truth, the radical belt-tightening at the club makes it seem unlikely any huge investment will be made to address the situation.

It is foolish, of course, to judge everything on one game. Milan had the odd splash of misfortune in their opening match and might yet click into the kind of form that can revive their fortunes. The first signs, however, are that this season will be no bunga-bunga party for the boys in red-and-black.

Their feelings will only have been made worse by the result of the reigning champions. Despite all the clamour surrounding their Coach, Juve seemed to indicate that they would not let it affect them by sweeping Parma aside. There are greater tests to come, of course, but the Bianconeri will have been delighted with how their new acquisitions seemed to slot perfectly into a winning machine.

It got no better for Milanisti looking for a crumb of comfort from their city cousins. Inter, who have quietly gone about some nice Calciomercato business, had little problem getting past newly promoted Pescara. That Antonio Cassano played a key part in one of the goals of their 3-0 victory will only have added to the melancholy air at Milanello. The boy from Bari, however, was beaming from ear to ear in post match interviews. He did not look like he was missing his old colleagues too much.

The other greatly anticipated encounter in Serie A was the return of Zdenek Zeman at Roma after 13 years away. The Stadio Olimpico was packed for the occasion but visitors Catania did their best to spoil the party. In the end, the match lived up to all the hype – and stereotypes – you would expect of one of the Czech Coach’s sides.

Having gone behind to an offside goal, the Giallorossi produced a rousing second half performance to send their supporters home just about happy. It took a Pablo Daniel Osvaldo overhead volley to drag them back into the match. It brought back memories of a similar outstanding strike from last season against Lecce which was ruled out for offside.

There was still time for Roma to slip behind again and then produce an amazing finale thanks to youngster Nicolas Lopez. His cool chip over the last defender and thumping finish showed plenty of promise and delivered a precious point. There was still time for the home side to try to throw it away as the visitors hit the crossbar. Nobody, surely, could have left the ground feeling they had been cheated out of their ticket price for the match.

The tactician himself, however, was unimpressed. In his own laconic style he told reporters that he was disappointed that everything he had tried to instil in his side pre-season had, by and large, failed to materialise on the pitch. Nonetheless, it underlined that, for neutrals at least, Roma will be a team not to be missed this season.

Above all, it was a pleasure to get back to playing football rather than all the scandal, doom and gloom and conspiracy theories of the summer. There was enough evidence to suggest that the fight for the Scudetto could still be a lively one, some beautiful goals were scored and a few new faces impressed. If the rest of the campaign continues like this it could definitely be a pleasing season – although Milan fans might find that hard to believe right now.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
good to see milan wining but the andriano galliani policy is no longer working we milan ans need change in the board espicially galliani who we belive is getting shy from his pocket and that is some we see in the future
on the 2nd September, 2012 at 8:49am
Its hard to stay positive, but all is not black. Clearly we have to lower our expectations and see this season as one with lower ambitions, in order to rebuild afterwards. Its only football, after all, and Milan will be back in the top of europe within a few years. But this season ill be happy if we get third spot, anything above that would be miraculous.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 10:34am

The dont watch them this year, but real fans stick to their team no matter what. Period.
on the 29th August, 2012 at 1:52pm
Our central defenders this year are Bonera, Mexes and Yepes. Is this a joke ??? Why not start with youngster Acerbi then ? Than at least we can say we're building a squad, now we just have old players at the back who were never good enough for Milan.
on the 29th August, 2012 at 8:22am
Oh! Milan! The birth pangs of a formidable team should not be this painful! Turn this around fast, lads.
on the 29th August, 2012 at 7:49am
I am not going to watch them this year I feel cheated as a Milan fan
on the 28th August, 2012 at 6:14pm
De Scigllio was the best along with Monto. He is Milan's future along with Bate!!!
on the 28th August, 2012 at 7:11am
It takes time to build chemistry, we have good players!! Winning titles maybe out of the question but a champions league position fir next season will be the best aim unless we make a few better changes in Jan transfer market.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 5:41am
It's still early days for Milan, I believe we need a couple more players for this team to achieve something this season we lost so many players they just need time to find their form and hopefully we'll get back to winning ways
on the 28th August, 2012 at 5:18am
It is beyond logic what is occurring at Milan. Galliani has been constantly bemoaning the problems with the Italian economy but rather than react to it positively we simply seek stop-gap solutions. If they were serious they would attempt to build our own stadium in the mould of Juve and Arsenal before us. Then we could profit like a normal organisation. The sales of Thiago and Zlatan will also drastically cut back on shirt sales, a key part of a football clubs revenue. No logic, no heart, tragic
on the 27th August, 2012 at 6:34pm
I'm a disgusted milan fan. I hope the lose every game! How can you sell ibra silva and cassano and bring in..... Pazzini! Please. After 'business' like that I hope the continue to lose until belusconi wakes up and realises he's a greedy twat!
on the 27th August, 2012 at 5:05pm
Feel bad for Allegri - Galliani has continously tinkered with the guys squad, and it seems he has zero input to transfer. Galliani makes a mess, Allegri has to clean it up. Somehow.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:12pm
Milan really needs strengthening in all three areas. Neither defence nor midfield nor attack seemed to be working. In attack they needed another striker, in midfield there was no one skilled on the right, and in defense they were too old.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 3:51pm

Yes, that's exactly whats going to happend not a single win in 2012-2013. NOT
on the 27th August, 2012 at 3:26pm
all this about selling silva and zlatan for budget reasons is beyond me.was it not enough as the big salaries of nesta,zambrotta,gattuso,van bommel and seedorf was wiped out.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 3:20pm
Teams without philosophy, teams who sign with no real concept of building a winning dynasty, teams without a win in 2012-2013.......MILAN AND PSG!!!!!!
on the 27th August, 2012 at 2:48pm
Game 1 out of many. Milan hit the woodwork twice hada couple of rockets that Sergio Romero saved. Yes, the 11 startes wasn't close to Milan normal material but rebuilding takes time. However, if it wasn't for Sergio Romero Milan should have won. I'm not as worried as Media like to blow it up as.. It's still ACM were talking about.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 2:47pm
This is about the time where Milan will get nervous and sign Romario, Eric Cantona and Lev Yashin for a combined 100m. This is what happens when you have idiots running your club. Allegri is no master tactician either. He got all hyped on himself when Milan was packed with stars. Stars which he clearly couldn't properly manage, hence the mass exodus of anyone who had any talent at Milan.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 2:46pm
on the 27th August, 2012 at 1:55pm
For Sampdoria, it's the ideal start after such a poor ending to their last Serie A campaign. Hopefully Ferrara can use this win as a stepping stone for better things this season.

on the 27th August, 2012 at 1:37pm
Can't understand if Berlusconi needs money, why he sold the best players and not the club? Its so easy.. if u cant afford the club like Milan, sell it, and do whatever you want with the money.. But let the club still be one of the best in the world.. and it seems the economic problems only at Milan.. as Inter, Juve and all clubs in Europe still manage to spend money..
So pity, as a Milan fun its hard to watch this squad..however, yesterday they played better then I expected..lets say not too bad
on the 27th August, 2012 at 1:05pm
The result is that the high value sales which Milan did make (Thiago Silva) were make out of desperation to balance the books as opposed to a planned transfer policy. This really is the end of the Galliani/Berlusconi era. Milan going around Europe trying to do deals with former players who are past it is embarrassing. If they touch Allegri they should both go.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 12:29pm
Milan Fan the reason why our finances are in a mess is because of Galliani. Apart from on very rare occasions (Shevchenko, Kaka, Thiago Silva) Milan have purchased players who were past their best and overpriced (Ronladinho, Ronaldo) or have made pointless signings (we could've played Thiago Silva sooner but we signed 2 Uruguayan players who played 1 game between them). So many wasted signings (Vogel, Dhoraso, re-signing Ba,Yepes) who got in the way of young players (Astori, Matri).
on the 27th August, 2012 at 12:27pm
It was obvious once Milan turned down the chance to sell Pato that all hell would break loose.
I don't understand why so many people are still defending him, ok, he might be good but he's not that good, selling him to PSG would've been better than sacrificing Thiago Silva, but because of Barbara, Silvio decided to keep him.
Afterwards, they made up the story about Barbara's 25 paper report demonstrating Silva's value to the club so that she could gain fan support.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 12:09pm
Don't think blaming the coach will work this time around, Leonardo had a good squad, Allegri doesn't, midfield is were milan are strongest and that's not due to any arrivals it's just the decay of defense and attack has been so severe, and milan have left it too to get any quality players in, former players whose careers have stagnated ain't gonna solve the problems, maybe a season where milan will be lucky if they get a europa league spot is needed, for the higher ups to open their eye's/wallet
on the 27th August, 2012 at 11:54am
Probably the worst starting eleven for milan in over 30 years
on the 27th August, 2012 at 11:28am
Did anyone see Galliani in the stands? It was funeral mood on his face and on the faces of all who were around him. We cannot be serious to think this team is going to produce anything this season. Bonera has no place in the team. Yepes is too sporadic to be relied on. Time to get Kaka to gel team together and then bring Paolo Maldini as defense coach. Galliani has too see sense, Milan his bigger than him and he is becoming too much. If he is tired let him go rest.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 11:27am
Also, I wish I could be optimistic and believe that this is surely just a new beginning for the club and that things will get better now that the finances are much improved from the sale of Thiago and Ibra. But I can't help wondering: why were the finances so bad in the first place? How do we know the account books aren't going to be in the red again a couple of years from now? This is something I don't understand, and I'm not yet convinced this 'investment' will go towards helping Milan.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 11:20am
My biggest worry about the approaching disaster (and I don't doubt this season will be an exercise in humiliation for Milan) is that Galliani and Berlusconi are going to blame it all on the Coach and sack Allegri. Nothing would be more unjustified. I'd really love to see Milan fans in the stadium raising banners saying that Galliani should get lost – just to show him who *they* think is to blame for any failures this season.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 11:16am
I do not blame Allegri and it is all down to Galliani's failed transfer policies, however, with Milan there always seems to be inconsistancies with players. I do not understand how Flamini was not good enough last season and now is or how Allegri had decided to play a defensive midfielder at the expense of Pirlo and now is playing Montilivio in that position. I do think Allegri was partly to blame for Pirlo's exit so why we are now playing Montilivio in that position is beyond me.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 11:04am

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