Tag Archives: AC Milan

A crazy start to a new season

By Ryan Fleming

If you placed bets this weekend, hopefully you didn’t slide a bookie cash on Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, AC Milan or even Arsenal. Though, if you’re putting money on the woeful Gunners, no disrespect, but you deserve a slap in the face. I don’t care if they are playing Hereford United in England’s League Two. What does all this obviously mean? It was a weekend of upsets.

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Poor showing in Madrid leaves Champions League strategy in shambles for Spurs

By Michael King

Effectively, Tottenham’s Champions League hopes have ended; for both this year and next. The Spurs gambled on making a deep run in the competition would out-weigh failure to qualify for next year’s tournament via a Top 4 English Premier League finish.

And now they have little to show for it.

It’s perhaps unfair to argue this position with the ability of hindsight in light of Tuesday’s dreadful performance against Real Madrid. The 4-0 loss in Spain during the first quarterfinal leg puts the London team in an insurmountable hole. Overcoming a four-goal deficit on aggregate is beyond the capability of this team, especially given its most recent performances.

This was not the same Tottenham team that twice appeared the better side against Inter Milan in the CL group stages and defeated AC Milan last month in Italy.

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Champions League succes take center stage for Tottenham

Harry Redknapp has Tottenham challenging for its first European Cup since the Spur's won the 1984 UEFA Cup. Tottenham advanced in the Champions League after beating Serie A side AC Milan. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

By Ryan Fleming

If you’re an Arsenal fan you have to grimace, knowing all in well that the team you utterly despise more than all, Tottenham, has advanced farther than you in the Champions League. Not only do you have to be sadden, even frustrated, you have to be utterly embarrassed.

It might be a strong word to use, but for a team that wasn’t supposed to advance past the qualifying stages in the first place, to move to the next round while you sit at home has to be rather, well, embarrassing. Sure, you can point to the absolute fact that you had to face a harder opponent and one that is up for the “World’s Best Club Team Ever” award. But in Spurs’ perspective, you didn’t and they did.

Much of the plaudits have to be toward Peter Crouch (despite his silly play that certainly cost Spurs a goal on Wednesday). Crouch, like every team knows, when on the field is the focus of attention, yes, even more so than the spiky-haired Gareth Bale. The lanky, often seemingly unathetlic-looking forward, scored the lone Tottenham goal that saw them off to the next round. One goal you say? Where’s the credit for the Spurs defense? I was getting to that.

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Notes from a spaced out soccer fan, Feb. 22

By Jonathan Gold

(Note: I have officially banned myself from writing about Arsenal – Orient on the advice of my physician. I have absolutely nothing to say about a team that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the world one day and then draw with Leyton goddamn Orient, or why so many good players at Arsenal are out of form or…takes drugs)

Aah, fine. Away we go.

SPAIN

The mighty Sid Lowe over at the Guardian thinks the goal scored by goalkeeper (!) Dani Aranzubia to rescue a point for incredibly dull relegation candidates Deportivo is the biggest story of the La Liga weekend, and he might be right. It was the first scored by a goalkeeper from open play in the history of the league, after all. Personally, I like his name enough that I’ve been going around saying “Arrrranzubia!” to friends and co-workers and that’s the extent my my interest in the matter. Hats off to him, though, big goal.

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Notes from a spaced-out soccer fan, January edition

By Jonathan Gold

SPAIN

It doesn’t speak particularly highly of Emanuel Adebayor’s progress as a player since joining City a couple seasons ago that they could only even hope to get 15 million pounds out of Real Madrid, a club not known for its fiduciary restraint. And they probably won’t even get that, of course, given that the extent of The Special One’s ambitions in his boardroom battle with Jorge Valdano are just to get an extra striker for the rest of the season.

Why on earth would Madrid want to exercise that option, anyway? Who wants a fifteen-million-pound overgrown baby and noted malcontent in a locker room that already includes Cristiano Ronaldo?

Elsewhere, Valencia won a truly wacky contest against Malaga 4-3, and Real Madrid and Barca are close to a completely unexpected meeting in the finals of the Copa del Rey after both teams won the first legs of their semi-final matches.

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Edinson Cavani piggybacking on World Cup success

By Kevin Koczwara

Edinson Cavani didn’t set the world on fire when he played for Uruguay at the World Cup. In fact, he didn’t get much of a chance to show everyone just what he is made of because he had play third fiddle to the World Cup’s best player, Diego Forlan, and an attacking wing-man with world-class, Luis Suarez. But when Cavani got his chance to show everyone his attacking prowess, he made the best of it, scoring one goal and assisting on another in his six starts.

Cavani’s broke out onto the world’s big stage last season playing for Palermo. The 23-year-old helped Palermo work its way into a much prized UEFA Cup spot in the standings with his 13 goals in 34 appearance (31 starts), which shouldn’t have come as a surprise because he stepped up his game the season (08/09) before with 14 goals in 35 appearances.

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Serie A Thoughts: Inter Milan pushing for sixth straight Scudetto while Di Natalie keeps scoring for Udinese

Leonardo has resurrected an Inter Milan squad that looked dead in the water under Rafa Benitez. If Inter can win the game it has in hand over league leaders AC Milan then the club will be just three points a weary looking Milan side.

By Kevin Koczwara

Life looks a whole lot better for Internazionale fans since Leonardo took over and Rafa Benitez let the San Siro door smack him in the rear. The Brazilian has lead Inter Milan to four consecutive league wins, helping the club jump from sixth to fourth in the table today after a 3-2 win over Cesena.

Inter Milan’s defense hasn’t been stalwart since Leonardo arrived — the club has yet to keep a clean sheet under the Brazilian — but he has injected a new life into an attack struggling to find an identity under Benitez. The Nerazzurri managed a meager 20 goals in 15 games under the Spaniard. Compared with Leonardo’s rejuvenated Inter Milan, which hasn’t scored less than two goals under Leonardo in his five games in charge, and one can see just how much stress has lifted from the squad. In fact, Inter has scored two goals once, three goals three times, and four goals once — an impressive run for a team that looked flat for much of the Serie A season.

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Tottenham not in need of Beckham

David Beckham said he would never play for any other English Premier League other than Manchester United when he left for Real Madrid. It looks like he may going back on that word as Tottenham's manager Harry Redknapp claims loan talks with Beckham are in advance stages and the former Red Devil could join Spurs sooner rather than later on loan. (Courtesy Ramsey Mohsen)

By Ryan Fleming

Just the other day the infamous David Beckham was linked to not AC Milan, the Serie A giant that Becks has spent a brief time the last couple years, but with English Premier League team, Tottenham Hotspur.

Now, if you thought similar to how I did, then you would have found this as a complete surprise. Not as surprising or rather absurd as the recent link of Spurs midfielder Luka Modric to Chelsea, but alarming nonetheless.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has told the media that Becks will act as a sort of mentor for younger players, more specifically Aaron Lennon. I’ll go along with the idea that the former Manchester United midfielder could show the pacey, but often wasteful Lennon a thing or two, but for what Becks demands (at least £100,000 a week), is it really worth it?

For one thing, I cannot see the England international getting the playing time that would be truly beneficial to him and the club which he belongs, the LA Galaxy. Loan moves are often to develop a younger player attributes, or to give a player an opportunity for more playing time that he wouldn’t necessarily receive at the club to which loaned him. For Becks, the move to North London couldn’t be called beneficial, but more silly, perhaps more like a rainy holiday away from the sun and warmth of Los Angeles.

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Anelka and Ibrahimovic arrivals would boost MLS reputation

By Kevin Koczwara

Nicolas Anelka said he would like to play in the MLS once his contract expires at Chelsea in 2012. (Courtesy Jay Meydad)

By Kevin Koczwara

Nicolas Anelka and Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t be the youngest studs on the ranch when they decide to move the Major League Soccer. Anelka will be 33 in 2012, when his contract at Chelsea expires, and he expects there to be suitors in America to pick up his big salary desire and a more competitive league in the MLS by then. Ibrahimovic will be 33 as well when his contract expires with AC Milan – his sixth club –and he decides to plunge into the American soccer market.

With all the rumors swirling about layers like Ibrahimovic and Anelka moving to the MLS one has to wonder: is the MLS becoming a last stop on the professional soccer express? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No.

Americans want brand name everything — that’s not a secret — and as of right now, the MLS can’t afford brand name soccer players with its narrow budget. It just isn’t possible. So, we will have to live with the alternative: soccer stars in the dwindling pinnacle of their careers.

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Benitez's Bold Statements Cost Him His Job at Inter Milan

Rafa Benitez spent just six months in charge of Inter Milan before being relieved of his duties. (Courtesy DJDannyP)

By Kevin Koczwara

Oh, Rafa Benitez, you wily, old man. You’ve worn out your welcome at the San Siro with Inter Milan already. It didn’t take long. Massimo Moaratti will be pleased to rid his hair of the negative Benitez before his players become disenchanted like Yossi Benayoun and Albert Reira did at Liverpool, among others. It took just six months.

It took a lot longer for the former Valencia boss to do the same at Liverpool – demanding transfer funds and saying he has no support from his bosses. Eventually, the board there had enough of the managers antics,and Benitez found himself unemployed. Now, speaking out again about transfer money and poor league form cost Rafa another job, his second in less than a year.

Inter Milan needed a new manager when Jose Mourinho bolted for Real Madrid after securing an unprecedented treble and winning the club’s first UEFA Champions League trophy since 1964. Benitez made improvements at Liverpool during his time there one – cannot forget he did lead the team to glory in the 2005 Champions League.

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