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A.C. Melancholy: How The Mighty Have Fallen

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A brief look at Milan's recent misfortunes and how they stack up to Roma's similar struggles.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-AC MILAN-LECCE Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

Yes, we Roma fans are a bunch of cry babies. But we had plenty of reasons to cry though: Injuries, stupid VAR calls, non-existent penalties (hello William Collum), a stadium that takes forever to build, transfers that make you go ‘WTF’, two legends who left the club in a short time span,...

Yet my sadness melts away when I think of that one club that’s even more doomed than Roma: A.C. Milan.

In a sadistic kind of way, Milan is like the gift that keeps on giving. For five years now, whenever AS Roma got too frustrating to watch, I just needed to look down the Serie A table and find Milan hanging in there like their life depended on it. Crisis after crisis.

While Roma usually ended in the top 4 (bar last season of course), playing the CL group stage and even knockouts, Milan has been a mess ever since 2014. No Champions League participation, no Scudetto or Coppa, nine trainers since January 2014 (Roma has five), one controversial Chinese chairman, countless sporting directors, troubles with UEFA Financial Fair Play etc. Not even club icons like Gattusso, Inzaghi or Seedorf could turn it around. One meager Italian Supercup in 2016, I’ll give them that.

Long gone are the days of Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello or Carlo Ancelotti. Cafu, Maldini, Dida, Nesta, Ambrosini, Inzaghi, Seedorf, Pirlo, Sheva, Kaka, Milan once entertained the entire world on a weekly basis. San Siro was a fortress, and with two wins in the early 200s, the Champions League was basically their second home. They were even more dominant in the nineties with five Scudetti, under the guidance of a powerful Silvio Berlusconi.

A.C. Milan anno 2019: The ‘stars’ nowadays are Bennacer, Piatek, Conti, Borini, Krunic, Duarte, Rebic and Bonaventura. Defeats to Udinese and Fiorentina, and narrow and unconvincing wins against newcomers Hellas and Brescia, has found Milan in an odd spot: four losses in the opening six games, which has happened in 81 years (1938!). No European football to heal the wounds. Roma’s current season is peanuts compared to Milan’s and the fans were screaming for blood. And so it happened: Marco Giampaolo was fired after their worst start since 1997, not even a win in Genoa could save the poor guy.

Stefano Pioli, former Inter coach and known to be a lifelong Inter fan (he grew up in a family of Nerazzurri), took over, but with all due respect, he’s not the top of the Italian trainers guild. He’s no Sarri, Spalletti or Conte, and at this point Milan can only dream of the likes of Guardiola, Klopp or Simeone. Apparently they asked for Shevchenko but his priority was the Ukranian NT...

Ouch. We know how it feels Milan, we were rejected by Conte too.

Anyway, Piolo’s first game in charge was no success (who saw that coming), they conceded a last gap equalizer at home against relegation candidate Lecce. And now Milan have to face a crippled Roma, that other Serie A club with a lot of headaches. Roma-Milan might just be a renaissance for one of these clubs, a chance to exorcise all the demons within and delay all problems for a while.

A Roman win is necessary to stay in the race for top 4. A Milan win would suddenly see the Rossoneri get level with the Giallorossi in the standings, and after such a horrible start. Who knew?