Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Crazy, crazy nights...

Phew. I have just finished watching Milan take on Shaktar Donetsk in one of the most entertaining games of the Champions League. I lost count of the goalscoring opportunities at both ends. Kalac was superb in Dida's place. Seedorf struck two sweet, sweet goals. And the Gila monster awoke in style with a double. Which brings me to my main point.

Let's take two players - Alberto Gilardino and Amantino Mancini. The Milan man has been regularly jeered by his own fans, the Roma man was booed off on Tuesday night after missing a penalty. Just how fickle are supporters allowed to be?

There was plenty of understandable rage in Gila's goal celebrations. Do the Rossoneri believe in him or not? Do the fans have faith in him or not? Is it OK to cheer your player when he scores and jeer him when he does not. Or should those fans grow up and get behind ALL their players. It has not helped the striker that the fans are ready to get on his back at any moment.

The same argument goes for Mancini. Remember that great goal he scored against Lyon, the one where he did about 68 step-overs? Everyone was praising him to the heavens then. He misses a penalty (not even taken all that badly) and the Olimpico berates him. Hasn't he earned a little more respect? I don't know, maybe there is more to it than that.

One thing is for sure, both players seem to hurt more than most at the criticism thrown their way. There is the same look in Mancini and Gilardino's eyes when their own supporters start to lose patience with them. Their confidence seems a brittle thing and the tifosi have the power to snap it. Maybe they should use that power a little more wisely.

Anyway, a last thought for all Milanisti. If only Serie A sides defended like Shaktar....


Pat said...

I cant remember Milan scoring from corners so often!! Perhaps this is cause to play with more width.

I think Milan's tifosi have been very patient with Gila. I mean he cost 17 million pounds and thanks to his brace now has 4 goals in the champions league (maybe 5). thats not exactly what he was brought to the club for

I also think players have t have won trophies for clubs. Inzaghi hasn't been playing well but doesn't get criticised so heavily because he has been instrumental in 2 CL wins and a League title. Gila was a peripheral member in last years CL win. If he scores the winner in this years final or scores 30 goals in the league to bring home the scudetto then next time his in a slump he might not get booed.

As for the issue of Serie A defences. While it is true that Serie A sides defend deeper and in more numbers, i still believe that Milans style allows teams to close them down.

Venezian said...

I disagree completely Pat. Gila had a good first season (17 league goals), and even last year he was Milan's top scorer in the league with 12. And yet the fans have never really been behind him, and that does affect him - he is clearly a confidence player.

He is a great player when on form and when he has the fans behind him. Between him and Inzaghi, I would always take him these days - he offers a lot more to the team apart from his goals - he can hold up the ball and his link up play brings Kaka and Seedorf into the attack.

There's no denying he wasn't at the top of his game last year, or the start of this season, but he seems to be getting back to his best - apart from the goals v Lazio and Shaktar, his general play has improved a lot in recent weeks (see the way the game v South Africa turned when he came on). That is a huge bonus for Italy as well as Milan.

BRN SCOZIA said...

I'm really not sure if the booing spoken of actual;ly exists TBH. Speaking to fans they arent aware of any booing.Part of the problem has been the silence of the Curva has literally meant that a few individual chants can be heard and of course there are always a few who will boo. Of course he is a confidence player but really seems to lack it at times even when you wouldnt expect it .
Anyway im hoping for more of ther same this weekend as we head across for Milan Roma and Brescia Triestina.Roma canleak goals too so hopefully an open game with another comfortable Milan victory.
Brescia too are flying high in the Serie B so that will be interesting.

Pat said...

venezian, Milan didn't win the league when Gila scored 12 or 17.

And the Champions league is to Milan what the post season is to the Yankees. For those who dont know baseball, Yankee fans dont ever fully accept a player until he produces something special in the post season and they refer to it as earning your pinstripes since the uniform has pin stripes.

the Yankees currently have a player named Alex Rodriguez, who will probably break barry bonds all time home run record and one of the best players at the moment but he has never played well for the yankees in post season and has oft been booed.

I think this is a similar situation for Gila. And lets face it, 17 and 12 are good goal tally's, but there not going to lead the team to a scudetto. He needs either to score 25 in the league one year or play a major role in bringing home a trophy.

Also venezian you say he is "a great player when in form", every professional football is great when in form. great footballers are in form for most of their career, and Gila hasn't found that consistency yet.

TrentToffee said...

I'm of the opinion that it's generally unacceptable to boo your own players, unless of course, they aren't applying themselves, or playing silly buggers with the press and other clubs. I feel for Gila. Give him a good run and show some patience, and he'll deliver.

Liverpool lost yippee !!

ginkers said...

I have definitely heard Milan fans jeering him but maybe it is just a noisy few, right enough.

Gilardino definitely has enormous potential, I don't believe I have seen a sharper Italian striker back to goal in recent years.

And I guess expectation levels are high. If a player couldn't win your heart in Florence unless he brought trophies we would never love anyone!

Pat said...

True but if Fiorentina started winning trophies regularly and then spent 17m pound on a guy and the trophies started to dry up i dont think he would be received terribly well.

I think fans have the right to do what they want. They are the only reason the team exists anyway.

Aussie Romanista said...

Re Mancini, I think his blatant diving in some games this season have worked against him in the fans' eyes. Definitely a last split-second resort when he can't get past a player in the area. He needs a solid kick up the ass for not doing much so far. Jeering for the penalty miss I don't agree with though. He struck it well but the keeper was up to it. Totti wouldn't have been booed and probably not De Rossi either had it been either of them.

The point about Gila's build-up play is spot on. Against Man Utd off the bench last season, every touch was perfect, he held the ball up well and ended up scoring a splendid goal. His two headers v Shaktar were excellent as he was able to direct them both even though clearly being held by the defender at least for the 2nd.

Milanista said...

THere were fans directed at Gila even Maldini said it. I don't think it is right to boo any player of your team be it Mancini or Gila or Adriano for that matter. Players strive on confidence and when it is not given to them obviously they are not going to deliver. I don't the "fans" that boo their players are true fans. You are meant to stick wth your team through thick and thin and if you boo it is only you that is causing the player to not score.

Everyone knows the abilities of Gila and Adriano but when someone oes through a personal crisis and it shows on the field the only thing you can do is support that player and hope for the best.

I for one hav enot given up on any of those players be it a milan player or not.

As you mentioned Ginkers, you can se ethat burning passion in their eyes when they score surely that says something...

Pat said...

i don't think booing poor performance means you've abandoned your team.

And lets not get too carried away sympathising for Gila, who is a multimillionaire with a beautiful wife and child on the way. He doesn't have much of a right to feel depressed just because people don't think his doing his job properly.