Friday, October 23, 2009

the enigma that is Milan

When I said Milan, I meant not the city. Yes, the city might lay claim to being the fashion capital of the world. I mean, this is the city where everybody is in designer clothes; heck even the priests/clerics wear armani! I am not making this out of thin air here, I saw it once or twice on Discovery or one of those documentary channels :) While I do know that this would make a better read to the fairer sex but I am today writing about the most worshipped thing in Milan, the AC Milan team. When talking about football, or calcio as the Italians call it, try not to say AC Milan or Inter Milan. It might sound OK to the uninitiated but man, that would be an insult to both sides of Milan's footballing divide. To the tifosi and those who aspire to become one, there is only one Milan and regrettably only one Inter.

Milan are a great team, a mighty team. This is a team who had won everything that is on offer in club football. You name it and they surely have won it. The scudetto (Italian League title), coppa italia (Italian Cup though one wouldn't brag about winning this one heh), UEFA cup, European cup and/or Champions League (7-time winners at that!!), European Supercup and Intercontinental cup. Yes Milan are a team of winners and to see they struggle this season is very tough on a rossonero like me.

Earlier in the season, Milan received a hiding from Inter - in the Milan derby - at home (though we actually share the stadium with Inter, Milan were the home team for the day). 4-0. That is the mother of all embarrassments for Milan. To make it worse, a few weeks after that, Milan managed to lose to a team from a country that is more apt at making watches than playing football, FC Zurich of Switzerland in Milan.

The thing is, this is about the same team that played last season except for the sad departure of Kaka to Madrid. True, Milan were not that great last season but this season, their performance had been catastrophic! I guess that goes to show how much Milan depended on Kaka before and his abrupt transfer, though very much anticipated, was a gargantuan blow. This is further compounded by Ancelotti leaving for the greener pastures of the premier league only to be replaced by Leonardo, a rookie coach! Italian football is on a downward spiral and leading its way is its most successful club in Europe, Milan. Milan have gone from an old team who occasionally play great football to an older team that couldn't even string a few passes. Sad sad sad.

That was why, no one, not even a tifosi like me could have fathomed what had transpired on that fateful Wednesday night. Milan were up against the very club that not only robbed them of their talisman but one that had since bought the world footballer of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo and one of the best strikers in the world, Karim Benzema to form a new dream team. Cumulatively, Real Madrid (the only team with more European cups than Milan (9), though they've won 5 of theirs in the first five seasons of the competition when teams were much less than today :P) have spent no less than GBP 200 million this season alone!

And to have seen Milan concede the softest of opening goals - courtesy of Didaster - I feared that another trashing was on the cards and Milan would be extremely lucky if they were to lose by a solitary goal. But after an anonymous hour - Milan wise that is - Pirlo struck and it was a cracker. Real were under no real threat when he received the ball and decided to unleash a thunderbolt from 35 yards out. It was a defining moment and Milan from then on were playing like the Milan of old with dizzying short passes and awesome movements. It was no wonder that 4 minutes later they struck again. This time a chip from il capitano Massimo Ambrosini found Alexandre Pato through on goal. Casillas, the Madrid keeper, decided to surge forward in panic to intercept the pass but found himself in no man's land and was caught out by Pato. 2-1 Milan!

Milan were playing really well by now though Madrid, in an attempt to salvage the tie went all out to force a goal. And score they did from a well-implemented corner play. 2-2. Milan continued to press Madrid and Ronaldinho, anonymous up until then, was now alive. Madrid's defence were in shambles and from a corner Thiago headed home though the goal was controversially ruled out by the referee. A fracas ensued and both teams luckily escaped with a yellow card each.

As the saying goes, you can never keep a great team down for long. Milan were full of passing when Ronaldinho laid a short pass to Seedorf who then picked out 20-year-old Pato on the far post. Pato calmly volleyed the ball home and Milan held on for a famous win.

Pato has arrived and for a brief moment all of Milan forgot their sorrows and basked in the glory of the moment. A victory in the historic Bernabeu was indeed sweet but we still have a long season ahead of us. Let this victory be a cornerstone to a new all-conquering Milan. I shall be waiting with bated breath to see how this one will unfold.

Till then, arrivederci!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Deyda Down w Diarrhoea

I have gotten pretty excited about being able to blog from the convenience of my iphone. So I guess I'll put up another posting - complete with a picture this time - just for the heck of it.

This is Khaleeda, who also goes by the monicker Deyda, fiddling about with her mommy's camera. For the past 3 days, Deyda has been warded in Pantai Medical Centre due to a serious bout of diarrhoea. I really hope she could be discharged tomorrow as I think she really misses her elder sister and brother. Plus I don't think I can handle another day here at the hospital; I am not feeling good myself in this confined space :(

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Iphone blogging: testing 123

I have come across this free iphone app that I think would be very handy; BlogPress Lite. It was developed with the help from the Google people and so far the integration with Bloggers seems quite impressive. This Lite version that I have installed however should have some limitations to it. But I guess we get to that later as we discover them.

Hope this one comes out OK :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

The Road Not Taken

Not to be mistaken with this blog title, this is The Road Not Taken, a poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963). Sums up the plethora of choices and decisions you have had and made in your life and the fact that they would continue to affect your life in one way or another. To me it simply says that there is no right or wrong decision. You just have to know in your heart that though past decisions have brought you here at this point in time, what really matters is what choices you make from now onwards. The past is only there for the purpose of education. Learn from it and try to be wiser from it. And try to live a life free of regrets. I am sure we at least could strive to lead one.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(1920. Mountain Interval)

The second attempt

This is actually my second attempt at blogging. My first, of which I can't recall the name nor would I want to share it here, was an implausible attempt at rationalizing myself. It ended up being too complicated and over-analyzed. Really hated that one. Definitely not something I'd be proud of so I decided to drop it.

This second one on the other hand would not attempt to be too clever or try too hard to sound clever :) This one would serve as an outlet for me to write about anything and everything that crosses my mind. At least those stuff that are interesting enough for me to let my lazy mind to dwell on. There would be no rules. Except for maybe no misfiring grammars.

Well, let's see how this one pans out.