A.C. Milan fans.
YOU DARE MOCK THE INFALLIBLE ZLATAN!!!?!?!
AC Milan’s fans for Antonio Cassano during Champions League Match against Bate Borisov
Glad to know that I’m not the only one who has been thinking these things about the lack of National Squad recognition for the current in-form Italian right back.
Ignazio Abate gears up for practice with the Italian National Squad. About bloody time the lightning fast right back got his first cap.
Just thinking about Calciopoli gets my blood boiling sometimes. My impression of the whole saga is that Inter Milan had gotten sick of not winning so used their political strength to smear and over-penalise their main competitors (sending Italy’s historically finest team into Serie B nonetheless, crippling them financially) and established themselves at the top of the 1-team league for half a decade. If I ever needed more of a reason to harbour my disdain towards Inter, this was it.
Thank god, though, that last year went pair shaped for them as AC Milan capitalised with two superb signings to create the most potent attack force in Serie A. The betrayal of Leonardo turned to a success since despite the astonishing turn around Inter managed, they still fell short for their sixth straight scudetto.
What caught my eye, though, was the rise of Udinese. Although Sanchez has gone, di Natale still remains an extremely potent attacker and appears more effective than the high profile strikers that Milan pay out their nose for. Talking of high profile strikers, Inter has none. In fact, sans some very effective players on defence and Dutch superstar Sniejder, Inter are lacking the star power that made them such a formidable force for so many years.
The tides are turning, and there is new money being found at AS Roma, Napoli piecing together another formidable side after securing their first Champions League birth since Maradona last year, the aforementioned Udinese whose potent attack against Arsenal has me convinced they will find some serious success in the Europa League, and there is the rebirth of Juventus.
During the off season, reading the laundry list of old-hands and journeyman that Juventus were assembling, I was sure they would be dropping further, but names such as former Milan stalwart Pirlo and former Udinese players Pepe and Motta amongst a plethora of others, Antonio Conte has assembled a squad of sizeable talent and respectable depth. They haven’t lost a game so far this season and although I highly doubt they will remain winless, a key 2-0 win against Milan in their brand new stadium (which I think looks superb and is possibly the best stadium in Italy at the moment) puts them in prime position to return to the top of Italian football.
For me, another surprise performer is Catania. Currently sitting 6th with only 1 loss, if they keep this sort of quality up they may be able to push for a Europa League spot. However, a big test is ahead of them next week against reigning champs Milan.
As for the Neroazzurri, there remains only questions that can’t seem to be answered. Picking up Diego Forlan was a superb capture, but letting go of Samuel Eto’o was emphatically moronic. César, Zanetti and Lúcio are all ageing, with the Argentine having just turned 38. The midfield is their strength, with Motta and Sneijder, but a revolving door of coaches and managers will just make this squad into a collection of quality players without any connection.
Of course, it is still relatively early in the season. Inter’s age (read: experience) may turn out to be an advantage in the end and help propel them into a respectable position by season’s end, and Juventus’ squad may not be ready to work as a team fully and win on their first season together. Milan should remain favourites, but this season will be far from simple.