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Sunday March 16 2014
It wasn't me!

Football is no longer the main sport at Milan, as Susy Campanale notes it is now Passing the Buck.

I blame President Silvio Berlusconi. He blames Massimiliano Allegri. The fans blame Adriano Galliani and Mario Balotelli. They blame injuries, for which the media blame Milan Lab. Clarence Seedorf, naturally, agrees with his President in all matters, so we’re back to Allegri again.

It’s not remotely surprising that the Seedorf bubble burst so quickly, as bringing in a Coach with no management experience midway through a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League campaign was never really going to end well. However, the way he has handled the downward trajectory is utterly disconcerting. Like the master of this mind trick Berlusconi, Seedorf has embraced every opportunity to take the credit and passed the buck of blame over to Allegri when things went sour.

“The team struggled psychologically to react, as they often do. This moment of difficulty lasted so long that it affected the team. They can react once, but after a second blow they can’t get back on their feet,” said Seedorf after the 4-1 Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid. “I am not responsible for the situation that was created. I am here to improve the situation,” added the Coach ahead of a very difficult game with sixth-placed Parma. In just over a month the Dutchman has gone from self-proclaimed ‘anti-virus’ to cup of hot tea with lemon.

Now the Curva Sud will hold a protest with banners demanding the heads of Galliani and Balotelli. Perhaps they were inspired by the Lazio ultras and their ability to make a bad situation much worse. They complain that Balotelli doesn’t give 100 per cent, that he is petulant, lazy and obsessed with off the field antics. It’s not as if any of this was news when Milan signed him. As for those still insisting he is young and needs to grow up, let’s not forget Antonio Cassano is still pulling these stunts and he’s over 30.

Milan have fundamental problems and they are not going to be fixed by changing the Coach or a couple of players. They need to plan out an actual team and not just a collection of ageing figures they managed to get cheap who then have to be shoved into a starting XI with no logical form. The club has to revamp its medical staff and fitness trainers, because it has been too many years now with endless injuries that defy explanation.

Above all, everyone must step up and take on their fair share of the responsibility rather than following Berlusconi’s lead by taking the credit when things go right and passing the buck when it turns bad. Balotelli isn’t the only one who needs to grow up.

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Have your say...
FT reported the revenue Milan made from transfers but we shouldn't lose sight of the money that went out the other end. Galliani did make money on transfers but he blew it on a ridiculously unnecessary large squad and the wrong players. It's nothing to give him credit for. He's wrecked the side and must go
on the 26th March, 2014 at 8:47pm
@ all you and mm have been doing is repeating what the media says about Balo rather than the reality. mm went off and found he takes lots of shots (well done there). If he was so poor in the Euros why did he make the team of tournament?It's great the way you're so willing to give other players the benefit of the doubt but not Balo.Destro's only scored 9 goals this season but he definitely should be picked ahead of Balo?Really?Stop for a minute, put the hype aside and think if that's a good idea
on the 26th March, 2014 at 10:43am
@ Baggiot class balotelli not! That's my whole point. We shouldn't even be talking about Balo. I've decided to fight his corner because I'm sick of the character assassinations and made up stories in the media and I'm sick of the pressure being put on him when he should just be left alone to do his job. I have never seen a player whose media image is so different from the reality. When he's visible angry at himself and showing determination to win he's described as petulant and disinterested.
on the 26th March, 2014 at 10:38am
Sorry maldinis heir

I totally agree with mm here totally.

We have excellent strikers,,,balo is keeping them out because of what he can do...not what he does.
Also he had one good game in euros...one, he was missing against Spain, couldn't score against an average England team, I remain to be convinced, he does nothing that his constant coverage warrants.
Look at the bigger picture mm. We all want him to be world class,,,but he simply is not. Pick other strikers. Destro I is fab.
on the 24th March, 2014 at 11:17pm
The point of this article and the point I've been making is that this is not all about Balo and if anything he's less responsible than his team mates. He's done his job this season. Has Monty? Has our defence? Has Galliani? Did Allegri? Is Seedorf? There's so much to talk about other than Balo but yet FT lead with the headline that he was dropped. Dropped or rested? Probably the latter but it's so easy to make up stories about him. I have to question the media obsession with made up Balo stories
on the 24th March, 2014 at 3:06pm
@ mm he hit the post with a fantastic shot? And Milan had an attack when he come on (he shouldn't of come on when he did for Honda and arguably would've been better off rested). I just want him to continue with what he's done since he arrived at Milan. He's on course to score somewhere near 20 goals which isn't bad for what's been a bad season for the team. He also remains Italy's best available centre forward. He's more experience than Immobile and different to Rossi and Cassano.
on the 24th March, 2014 at 3:02pm
Did he score?
Bottom line you cant rely on him- he is not in form so explain to me why he should be automatically picked for any team. Id love to see a dramatic turn of events and balo steps up for the remainder of this season and score goals and help us out of this mess and help italy to wc glory. But for the first time in long time italy have pretty good strikers but none have been given the opportunity to really shine coz we are waiting for balo to live up to hype.
on the 24th March, 2014 at 11:05am
@ mm I really hope you're eating words in a few months because if you aren't italy will be gone by the quarter finals. Enjoy. He should've done better tonight rather than hitting the post don't you think?
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 10:59pm
you are joke! 43 shots and 11 goals.. 115 shots in less games with 8 open game goals and thats similar?? The only thing balo beats cassano at is yellow and red cards- which is even more funny coz cassano was kept out of azzurri for his apparent attitude which he has clearly sorted out!
Jokes n stupidness aside! I think if balo was to be left out of the wc squad it would be better for us and him in the long run- he needs to see that he doesnt have a secure place, mayb thn hel live up to the hype
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 10:40pm
@ mm wow that's a lot of effort you went to there. Balo seems to have a lot of shots! Good on him. Only 4 pens. I thought that was the only way he scored? Interesting you have no issue with cassano he seems to have a lot of the same characteristics and he's 8 years older. Horses for courses I guess.
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 8:57pm
Very sensitive- bored of hearing racism!
Immobile- 16goals/2assits/71shots/26games/1pen which he missed!
Cassano- 11goals/5ass/43shots/27games/1pen!
Rossi- 14goals/3ass/60shots/18games/4pens!
Balo- 11goal/3ass/115shots/20games/4pens 1 misses!
You told me balo doesnt waste chances! Cassano n imob combined shot less n score more!
Wow your rite internet is great, look what else I found- balo 8 yellow 1 red!! Super, he is on track to finish with as many cards as goals, just what italy need in WC
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 4:28pm
@ mm are you suggesting the milan are getting more pens now than ever before? We can discount the penalties which balo scored because they don't count. Ibra never scored penalties. It's hard to work out what percentage of either players' goals were pens but if there's been a dramatic rise in the number of pens for milan since balo's arrival he must be doing something right. I don't think balo's at the same level as Ibra, Ronaldo or messi. I'm just happy with his contribution
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 1:08pm
@ mm he's got 38 career assists. The internets wonderful for finding information you should try looking up actual facts rather than going with your gut feeling. The amusing thing is I never accused you of racism. I was responding to another comment and said there may be an element of racism in the criticism and focus constantly being on one of Italy's most prominent black players. It sure seemed to hit a sensitive spot with you!
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 11:46am
And I maintain your an idiot and have no idea what your on about.
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 9:59am
Ibra also created goals, and scored goals in open play. I also didnt hear of ibra letting off fireworks indoors! Stop comparing him to players that have been successful. When a player believes they are bigger than club and country they should be put back into place quickly. Unfortunately we have allowed him to get worse and worse-yet he backs it with... nothing, he isnt a ronaldo a messi a baggio or a maradonna- he creates nothing but trouble and unrest and vanishes from most games! Your deluded
on the 23rd March, 2014 at 9:58am
PS Ibra scored 14 goals in his first whole season at Milan. Balo scored 12 between arriving in January and the end of the season. Their strike rates were the same. They scored 2 in every 3. And Ibra scored lots of penalties. Ibra also struggled at Juve scoring 7 and 16 in the 2 seasons there and didn't really hit the hights until he went to Inter. He didn't hit 25 goals until the 08/09 season. I guess there no stories about him paying for everyone's petrol or dressing up as Santa.
on the 21st March, 2014 at 6:54pm
@ mm excuse me Milan stopped winning when Balo arrived? Wasn't that when they started climbing up the table and finished in the CL spot picking up more points than Juve? Again the difference between facts and prejudice. I maintain there's race element here. I don't care if other less high profile players don't get this level of stick the one black player with the highest profile does. Have you ever seen so many made up stories about one player? Ibra scored lots of pens for Milan.Any issues there
on the 21st March, 2014 at 6:49pm
Does ogbonna get abuse?? Okaka?? Liverani??? No. Coz single minded idiots (like yourself clearly) see booing a player that is crap as racism! He went to meet the ultras, so he should, along with the rest of the half wits, tickets for san siro are expensive so when you pay to see your team and they play with the lack of pride that most of them do they need to explain themselves.. seedorf black ooo no lets not say hes a crap manager coz maldini heir will come on here and and call you racist!!!
on the 21st March, 2014 at 4:40pm
Occasionally missing chances would imply that balo and pazzini actually score... and by score I mean not only penalties. Coz in my opinon 24mil for a player who only scores penalties is alittle steep. Esp when monto can take em and he was free! Id also care to point out that before the grand balo arrival ses was scoring for fun, once he arrived and unbalanced the team suddenly we dont score, win or do very much!
on the 21st March, 2014 at 4:32pm
@ mm Bad role model? That's all you've got? Well I'm sure he's a good role model to lots of young immigrants in Italy and throughout the world. Bad sportsmanship? Since when does Italian football care about sportsmanship? Everyone else is allowed dive except Balo? Selfish? I hope so he's a striker? Never takes responsibility? Who went to meet the Ultras last week? Racism exists in the gap between reality and prejudice.
on the 21st March, 2014 at 3:25pm
... also stop banging on about euros, balo played well in 1 game! In the groups he was crap, against england- crap, didnt even know he was on the pitch in the final and after we lost he ran off sulking- thats why hes no national hero! Baggio, schillaci and all the other national heros are role models on and off the pitch- turned up for every game, didnt matter if they were playing against san marino or germany always9 100%! Now take ur stupid racism comments sumwhere else and learn about footbal
on the 21st March, 2014 at 1:44pm
@maldini heir
Firstly de rossi seems to be the only player that geta red card in domestic football and geta banned from national squad, de rossi works his nuts, 100% week in and out!
Balo a national hero! Thank god hes not! What a great role model, bad sports manship, angry school kid, selfish, never takes responsibility for his actions, temper issues, work ethic is horrendous, lazy, thinks the world and italy owe him something, yes maldini heir a super hero of italy is what he should be....
on the 21st March, 2014 at 1:34pm
PPS If Balo's always blaming other people why does he get so angry with himself when he misses chances? If anything he should probably put less pressure on himself.
on the 21st March, 2014 at 10:37am
PS You do realise that strikers occasionally miss chances? That's why games don't end 10 all. Balo's strike rate of 2/3 is as good as any other striker in Europe except Messi and Ronaldo. I don't even think Balo is world class yet. I just think he's doing a decent job. I was against his signing initially but his strike rate for Milan has been excellent and I hope he keeps it up. The same goes for Pazzo. 1/2 is quite good at this level. What's not good is conceding 42 goals in 28 matches.
on the 21st March, 2014 at 10:36am
@ mm Why was Balo not held up as a national hero after Euro 2012? Schillaci was after 1990? Why does the media feel its ok just to make stuff up about Balo? Apparently he was dropped from the squad last week. It was a lie. Why does Ancelotti single out De Rossi as someone who Italy can rely on and not Balo when De Rossi has a worse disciplinary record? Why is it ok for Cassano to be lazy and not Balo (he's not by the way)? Why is the media perception so different to real life?
on the 21st March, 2014 at 10:31am
@maldini heir Dont come on here and start a racism debate! That rite there is balotelli' exact problem, so all the italian football pundits on domenico sportivo are racist too? Sick of the racism card every single time aneone says something against balo some twit comes on here and screams racism. Its boring! The bottom line is balo is lazy, I walks around blaming players when he misses clear cut chances. Ancelotti racist to, he said balo isnt as good as he thinks he is and unreliable??
on the 20th March, 2014 at 11:56pm
Clearly protesting is not enough. As the speculation about de sciglio to madrid is picking up! Its great, the policy we seem to have picked up is sell the italians bring in more foreigners. The only promising player we have is de sciglio! Berlusconi/galliani/seedorf are killing milan. Any normal manager would speak out, seedorf is weak, or more to the point stupid! He looks as tho he would play a goalie and 10 strikers! What a disgraceful end.
on the 20th March, 2014 at 5:00pm
@zoli
I see exactly where your coming from. But my argument is, that if we are going to change everything do it all and build from there. Look back at all the games, yes we are horrendous at the back, but look how many chances we miss thanks to pazzini and balo... its actually astonishing, I hate the direction italian football has gone, the mentality of "you score 3 wel score 4" is shocking, but apparently thats modern football, seedorf seems to follow that philosophy, u fortunatly balo doesnt!
on the 20th March, 2014 at 4:51pm
His only indiscipline came as a direct result of his will to win for Milan. His reaction at Napoli was not petulance. It was sheer frustration at losing. For me in the vast majority of games he's played for Milan he's been one of the few players on the pitch who've shown that. Balo wants to win. That's all there's too it. I have no problem with that.
on the 20th March, 2014 at 2:08pm
But the fact remains that if any other Italian player in history had at the age of 21 scored 4 goals to help Italy to a final of a major tournament including 2 goals in the semis against Germany they'd be hailed as a hero. Not Balo. People prefer to count penalties and pick apart stats then to give him credit. I'll say it now. He's actually surpassed my expectations from when we signed him. I'm happy with his goal rate and I'm happy with his attitude and especially the passion he's shown.
on the 20th March, 2014 at 2:04pm

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