Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Serie A Wrap-up With Some Biscotti and Italian Love Cake

Let me first begin with the fact that Italian Love Cake is a real dessert. For some reason I can see that being integral to a Luca Toni pickup line.

This is the end of the Serie A wrap up with the final five teams. All of these teams are relevant to some degree (in reverse order again).

AC Milan
- 18 wins, 10 losses, 10 draws, 64 points. Where to start... where to start... Clarence Seerdorf sucks. Of course he has some shining moments, he's a professional footballer, but for this team and possibly Italian soccer in general, he's no good. How do I know? For starters his best games, which for me are still mostly unimpressive, are in the Champions League (this must be why people think he's good). And after watching at least 15 Milan games, the two I witnessed without Seerdorf is when the Rossinerri were at their finest.

Then there is Andre Pirlo, or I should say, the exhausted cadaver formerly known as Andre Pirlo. His freekicks have been generally bad if not completely terrible at times. His turnovers are evident and his transitions are slow. The man looks exhausted and he is not the same. Watch his game against Arsenal and you'll call 911... or whatever it is in Italy (thanks to Sept 11th its impossible to find on google).

Then there is Kaka. Something isn't quite right with Brasilians these days. Ronaldo got extorted by transvestites, Ninho is unhappy at Barca for some reason unbeknownst to me, Dunga has openly said he does not prefer older players (he means 24 and older here), Anderson can't close his mouth when he plays (pictured), Romario thinks he's better than Pele??? and their U-20 team could probably win the World Cup right now. The same goes for Kaka but in a different way. It used to be that I had never seen him make a mistake, and after seeing like... 2 mistakes this year, something must be wrong.

Inzaghi has been fun to watch but I think everyone agrees its time for him to part ways with AC Milan and come to the MLS. Same goes for Ambrosini.

If you aren't convinced by Alexander the Duck yet it's probably because the Champions League announcers ripped on him unjustly all game. He infused energy into this dying team and in the middle of the season he turned them around.

If this seems like rambling you're absolutely right. AC needs a complete makeover. Keep Kaka, Pato, Gilardino, Nesta, and Gattuso (if you can, he'll be gone though) and get rid of the rest. Especially Kalac, who sucks, and Dida (see Kalac).
So far their first move - signing Flamini is a great start. If they can snag Ninho they'll be gravy. As a Juventude I wouldn't mind AC rebuilding for 2 years but something tells me that won't happen.
Enjoy the Uefa cup this year boys.

And no, I don't mean that.

Fiorentina - 19 wins, 10 losses, 9 draws, 66 points. What a fiesty team. Their loses were against Inter (2), Lazio (2), Milan, Udinese, Roma, Napoli, Cagliari, Palermo (once each). Yep, Juve wasn't on that list (sonsabitches) and really there are only 3 "bad" losses on that list and those are outnumbered by "good" wins. The resume only gets better - they made it to the semis in the Uefa Cup beating some legit squads along the way and eventually lost to the Rangers in PKs. This a young upstart team that developed well. Expect them to be around for awhile and then for their good players to be bought.

Juventus - 20 wins, 6 losses, 12 draws, 72 points. Their loses - Udinese, Napoli, Reggina, Fiorentina, Palermo, Siena. The Siena one was at the end of the season when they had secured third so that one doesn't count. Palermo absolutely stunned/outplayed/raped us and Fiorentina similar. Udinese and Napoli were unacceptable. The problem with this team as you can see is not the losses, but the draws. This tends to be the case for a top 3 team (see: Arsenal).
Unacceptable draws: Cagliari, Sampdoria, and Catania. To be fair, Juventus had a pretty good Serie A. Coppa Italia hurt and the lack of Champions League (after The Scandal) hurt as well.
I really wish we had gunned for Roma a bit more and earned an Auto-qualifying spot instead of the opposite of that.

I have alot of worries for next year. Quickly - Nedved faded hard, Tiago is a huge maybe, Sissoko improved every game but was it because we said we would listen to offers?, Del Piero can't possibly produce like he did and Buffon carried us way way too much for comfort. Molinaro, my nemesis, we must replace. Our defense as a unit came around but my goodness they looked shaky at the start of the season.

What I'm not worried about: Our forwards, Iaquinta, Palladino, Trezegol. Camoranesi, Legrottaglie, Chellini, Grygera, Buffon.

Where I would love an upgrade: wing back (Molinotgood), attacking center mid (Tiago? Nedved? do we even have an attacking center mid?) and we could use a slightly better wing mid (Salihamidzic - who I like but still).

Roma - 24 wins, 4 losses, 10 draws, 82 points. Their losses - Inter, Juventus, AC Milan, Napoli. None of those are bad losses. In fact, I think this team really over-achieved this year. Totti was not the ridiculous force he used to be, Vucinic was very on/off and underused, Taddei I think is terrible and the same goes for Mancini. Guily, who I think is quite good, was underused as well. I really don't know how they scored any goals at all. Their defense and defensive midfield is world class though: Mexes, Panucci, Juan, Cicinho, Cassetti, and De Rossi held this team together.
Roma essentially chose the Champions League over the Scudetto - like most teams - and came out with nothing - like most teams not Manchester United. It's almost a shame how one's own league title doesn't mean as much as it should.

Roma has one more game of interest in the Coppa Italia Final and it should be a classic. Both Inter and Roma are looking for some sort of validation and because the Coppa is not all that important both teams should come out firing.

Inter Milan - don't let the media confuse you, this team was never actually vulnerable. They had 3 losses all year. Three. Tre. They were: Juventus, AC Milan and Napoli. They had 85 points and a plus 43 goal differential. Plus forty three. This squad went wire to wire and didn't lose until their 25th game. The Dragon just wanted you to think you could catch it. Go ahead, try and catch it.


Juan Walcott said...

remix, looks like Gattuso will be staying

looks like AC milan will never let anyone move the ball through the midfield with flams and gattuso now


Jim said...

It's true. I hope Flamini enjoys the Champions (Minor) League next year, though.