An away day in Milan: time to pop into the cemetery.

by Bulldog Drummond

Milan has multiple attractions: the San Siro stadium, La Scala, and Cimitero Monumentale di Milano – the cemetery.  If I had to nominate which one stays in my memory it would be the latter.  If you have ever been there you will know why.  If you haven’t, you just can’t imagine what it is like.

When I was first taken there I thought, “what on earth am I being taken to a cemetery for?”   30 seconds after walking inside I knew why.  It tells you everything you ever wanted and didn’t want to know about Italian society, in a way that the football ground, a pizza bar and the opera can’t.

But enough of the walking dead, I hear you cry.  What about Arsenal?

It is being said that instead of the 20,000 or so Milan normally get for Thursday games they might today get 70,000, first because they have been reading the media coverage in England about how awful and hopeless Arsenal are (always a good way to give the opposition a lift) and also because they have been much improved since their change of manager.

Milan began their life in this year’s Europa with the preliminary rounds in July taking on CSU Craiova of Romania starting in July, and then in August Shkendija of Macedonia in home and away knock out rounds.

They came top of their group in the group stages, although there were a couple of uncomfortable draws against AEK Athens – followed by the first knock out round against Ludogorets Razgrad

Date H/A Opponent Res Score
14/09/2017 A Austria Wien W 5:1
28/09/2017 H HNK Rijeka W 3:2
19/10/2017 H AEK Athen D 0:0
02/11/2017 A AEK Athen D 0:0
23/11/2017 H Austria Wien W 5:1
07/12/2017 A HNK Rijeka L 0:2
15/02/2018 A PFC Ludogorets Razgrad W 3:0
22/02/2018 H PFC Ludogorets Razgrad W 1:0

In the league up to December however they were having a hard time but on 27 November last year the club sacked Vincenzo Montella and brought in Gennaro Gattuso who had previously managed  FC Sion (as player-manager), U.S. Città di Palermo, OFI Crete F.C., and A.C. Pisa 1909.  At the time of his appointment he was in charge of the AC Milan youth team.

As a manager at the moment he has a win rate of 57.89%, far superior to anything he has ever achieved before, his best previous record being with Palmero at 37.5%.

If we have a look at how the has been doing in games since December last year we can see the obvious up turn in their form.

Date H/A Oppositioin Score Result
03/12/2017 A Benevento Calcio 2:2 D
10/12/2017 H Bologna FC 2:1 W
17/12/2017 A Hellas Verona 0:3 L
23/12/2017 H Atalanta 0:2 L
30/12/2017 A ACF Fiorentina 1:1 D
06/01/2018 H FC Crotone 1:0 W
21/01/2018 A Cagliari Calcio 2:1 W
28/01/2018 H Lazio Roma 2:1 W
04/02/2018 A Udinese Calcio 1:1 D
10/02/2018 A SPAL 2013 Ferrara 4:0 W
18/02/2018 H Sampdoria 1:0 W
25/02/2018 A AS Roma 2:0 W

So what sort of team might we put out?

With Ramsey not playing in the Brighton game I suspect he will play in a formation that might look something like this…


Kolasinac Koscielny Mustafi Chambers

Xhaka Wilshere


Iwobi Welbeck Ozil


The alternative might be


Kolasinac Koscielny Mustafi Chambers

Xhaka Ramsey Elneny

Ozil Welbeck Mkhitaryan

You pays yer money…. or not as the case may be.

109 Replies to “An away day in Milan: time to pop into the cemetery.”

  1. @Bulldog

    The list of AC Milan games doesn’t include their cup run (they’ve reached Coppa Italia Final after two 0-0 draws v Lazio).

  2. A reminder to all’Untolders’. Tonight’s match kicks off at 18:00 UK time rather than the normal 20:05. Live on BT Sport in U.K. There is also a sound commentary on or text commentaries on the BBC or Arseblog.

    However you follow the game it’s time for us to get rid of our shackles and play football.


  3. I find it interesting how polite, sorry, positive, most in the UK media is after Spurs were thrown out where Arsenal have repeatedly failed.
    Thrown out after having led and controled the contest, where Arsenal most of the times had to run after a result and even sometimes managed to still get a win, even if not sufficient. They were so damn confident, this was their destiny. And no one talks about the meltdown after Juve changed system in the second half.

    No mention of stuff we hear about Arsenal. Nothing. Everybody’s sorry for the FA’s little princes, that’s it. They squandered a golden chance, were unable to get the ball into the goals even with all their chances. Yet nothing.

    I just find it telling.

  4. @Chris

    Maybe they have shitted themselves already knowing it was a rehearsal of what will happen with Tottenham-laden England at World Cup?

    BTW, I fully recommend to all our former great players who now want a job at Arsenal to see Gattuso’s CV. Yes, he is an AC Milan legend but he didn’t get the first team of AC Milan immediately. No, he had to prove his worth elsewhere first. Same goes for Conte – he had to build his reputation and learn through clubs such as Atalanta first before taking a hot seat at Juventus (it was in trophyless years after Calciopoli when he became a Juventus manager). Guardiola and Zidane had to work with B teams of Barcelona and Real respectively before getting the real thing into their hands. Same goes for Luis Enrique who had to go through painful yet useful school at AS Roma before winning everything with Barcelona.

  5. @Josif,

    Excellent point about former players becoming managers at other clubs. Stark contrast to Henry who’s willing to jump right in because he accepts a challenge and backed by the media who definitely don’t care about Arsenal’s best interests.

  6. Josif,

    well, England has heroes like that, with a lot of success, doesn’t it ?

    Who were these 2 brothers who conquered the Spanish Liga ? So damn good they were sent back because Real and Barca immediately recognized their position was dangerous. Neville was their name, right ? ;=))) So good they now can present their genius game in game out on the telly. I’d say they are in very good company….

    On the other end, we’ve got an ex Arsenal player learning from Guardiola at City.

  7. Hey Bulldog (you know I can’t resist)
    Always a fan of your posts but I’m confused. What exactly is so telling about Italian society in this cemetery? You set up a premise in the title and don’t support it. I’ve been there but perhaps others haven’t. Cheers.

  8. Team 1 nearly correct, Mkhitarian instead of Iwobi

    Beach – Cech, Holding, Iwobi, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Nelson and Nketiah

    No real surprises and probably our strongest available players although I would have started Nketiah instead of Wellbeck.

  9. Hello 13.

    How do we need 3 treatments, if Milan only has 1 foul? Three in one blow?


  10. This one was coming. f..k them all !

    I’m switching to an arab BEIN stream. These commentators are talking every 10 seconds about ‘no-character Arsenal’, about Mr Wenger losing his legacy and getting all excited each time an AC Milan player touches the ball…and resuming to criticism when Arsenal have it. Disgusting.

  11. Well to me it looks like we have a ref who is righfully in his job.
    Nice for a change

  12. Think Someone had better tell the Milan players the Oscars was last weekend!

  13. might have to change the stud lengths. At least 4 Gunners have just plain slipped on the pitch.

  14. If that Milan player goes off the field one more time, does he have to stay off?


  15. Luckily for us…Milan have finished farming this season when we visit….

    Last time we were there….there were ? fields on either side of the pitch

  16. Wow…if we can play that well with slippers…..wonder what we can with some proper football boots on…

  17. Ian that a 4-3-3 essentially an said away goal already! I’d not begrudge Gasprom United a CL win if it mean the Souds missed out!

    Dispatch them! Lacazette still to be added! Danny if you can’t score mate, what can we say, but bye!

    Good luck son!

  18. They supposed goner, who said he just wanted to win, he didn’t care how souls be eating no half his hat now.

    I told him he was a United fan, he didn’t like Jose ethos, so maybe he’s just a glory hunter!

    Hiua! Squad fire at will!

    Question Mikhi! Panic buys! Of course he didn’t have him on his must buy list, we always trade without united!


  19. How to go Aaron! Hmm, no assist given yet.

    I did have a couple of moose here yesterday, a cow and a calf.


  20. I am listening to American commentator…far more neutral/enjoyable than the British commentators when I switch back to hear what they are saying.

  21. Ozil, Ozil, Ramsey, third man Runner Composure! 2-0, tie control.

    Now learn from the last two times we’ve been 3-0 up at the half.

    And then what we must understand about the second leg in last round.

    Qtrs here we come!

    Hopefully Athleti can draw Dortmund if the progress as certainly expectedly over two legs.

    Sporting next round! William Carvalho needs to know what time it is.

    Now control! Out of the league, such a difference.

    Raising the bar!



    They don’t play for the gaffer, pull my other leg, I’ll like it more!

  22. Bloody Jenas brings up the penalty not called against Ospina but doesn’t mention the stonewall penalty that Welbeck didn’t get at the other end.

  23. just listening to the eggheads….

    – well the 1st goal took a fair bit of deflection…..
    – they review the goal, how Milan lost the ball, basically, just all the credit for Milan being bad, no comment for excellent pressing from Arsenal
    – the italian forward was so naïve, he ought to have searched contact with Ospina so he’d have gotten a clear penalty….so cheating would have been better….wonder what that idiot is telling his kids about doing that at school.
    – Milan were just amateurish at the back, funny they did not take a goal in more then 500 previous minutes….

    So well, i guess Arsenal have been very lucky, probably they were playing with the current and there must be a magnet in their shoes and the ball.

  24. Arsenal, to their credit, have found so much room….
    Again, it is their merit, but well, not, it is not because there is room.

  25. Where’s them trolls complaining about abuse? I think the abuse is being shoved in their faces thus far by the Arsenal.

  26. What’s the referee doing? He talked to teh players just before the first half ended (according to LiveScore), and a couple minutes into the second half he is again talking to the players.


  27. The nerves seem to have finally gone. The boys are playing with far more confidence than in recent weeks. COYG!!!

  28. It’s great to see the lads pressing high-up the pitch taking the fight to Milan.

  29. Wellbeck is no target man. Giroud would have been lapping it up tonight!

  30. Holding for Ozil. I can see why but I think there’s another goal to be had.

  31. That guy pulls Elnenys hands and slaps himself goes down gets a foul….

  32. So Arsenal did not win in fact.

    The egghead stating :

    this has been a very difficult week for italian football (guess talking abour the player who died) and explains probably why Milan were so poor…..

  33. I’d like to see a fight between Gattuso and Kolasinac….
    Winner faces David Sharpe..@ 114 somewhere in London..

  34. The preview for that match in the Daily Telegraph today was by Charlie Eccleshare

    It had the headline

    “How Gennaro Gattuso has rebuilt AC Milan – and why Arsenal should be afraid”

    I can’t say what the article said because they have made it one that you have to pay to read. I wonder if it was worth the money.

  35. This an entirely different side when they come out on the front foot like they did today. Terrific performance!

  36. That was better – maybe not great but much better.

    Well done the lads


  37. knobby
    09/03/2018 at 6:57 am

    I’d like to see a fight between Gattuso and Kolasinac….
    Winner faces David Sharpe..@
    114 somewhere in London..

    LOL HaHaHa HaHaHa. best laugh tonight- thanks Knobby.

  38. Tony,

    I have the print version of the paper and that article failed to make the cut so I would be extremely surprised if it was worth the coat of the paper it wasn’t printed on.

  39. ‘I’d like to see a fight between Gattuso and Kolasinac….
    Winner faces David Sharpe..@ 114 somewhere in London’

    Pure gold.

  40. Well done to all of them. Spirited. Keep it going and lets see who laughs last.

  41. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well played , guys ! Very composed and controlled game and with a bit of luck could have scored more .
    I guess it will rather be a quiet night for all those experts in the studio and in the pubs. And somewhere some brave soul would taken on the bookies’ odds and made a tidy little bundle.
    Menace ?

  42. Those that think Arsenal played against 11 are mistaken. The ref was initially ok but started to fail miserably to see the Italian speciality of mama mia dives & fouls. He booked some Arsenal players for no reason but allowed Milan to get away with worse fouls.

    There is no let up from poor officiating.

    Remember the standard that these guys carry is FIFA and that means nothing as the badge has lost its integrity from the highest in office to the dopes in PGMOL.

  43. It would be great if Arsene Wenger started the post-match interview with “Reports of my team’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Have a good day” and just walked out.

  44. And somewhere some fool would have heeded the so called experts advice and bet on a massive Milan goal fest and lost his paycheck.
    Ah, well there is always the next game !

  45. Brickfields – I missed out on the betting as I am in India & busy with some preparation for a young lady’s Navjot.

  46. Andrew Crawshaw

    “That was better – maybe not great but much better.”

    Not great ?

    A bit harsh Andrew.

    That is the best we’ve played for ages, against an in form side.

    Personally I think ‘great’ is exactly what that performance was.

    Well done boys.

  47. wouldn’t it be great if arsenal win the europa league and spurs finished fourth…..
    wonder if the press will b***h that their c**ks were stolen….

  48. Well done to management and stuff for calming them down and reminding them that they can actually play.

    There was communication tonight and covering.

    Maitland Niles …not easy to come in the game like he did and was pretty much faultless. Calm player.

    And the much derided Xhaka (im guilty as well) has shown he is no pussy in the last 2-3 games. Has risen. Not hidden.

    Lolo!!! There you are !!!

  49. Isn’t it just great being an Arsenal faithful and always being able to enjoy the ride ?

    And pouring scorn on the experts ?

    And laughing at the fate of the Spuds ?

    Goodnight guys , its almost 4.30AM in Malaysia and have to work tomorrow .

    And with a silly and sly little grin on my face !

  50. Brilliant performance tonight!

    I didn’t expect such a great display from the boys and the manager. They were facing a really good team, motivated team and a team that played on their own pitch. Yet we managed to put a real team display with some crisp passing and compact movement. Players knew where they had to be and they put a shift that CC21 and Seo paid with injuries. Hopefully not serious ones.

    I was thinking: at some short point of the game, we had CC21, RH16, AMN, JW10 and DW23 on the pitch. Five Englishmen. Did any English journalist praise Arsene or Arsenal for that?

  51. I thought the sportsmanship of AC was very good. Apart from one incident near the end they stayed up when a dive might have got a penalty, and considering who their coach is they’re not a fouling side. Officials were pretty good too.
    Not the result I expected TBH, but that was our best performance of the season.

  52. Josif,

    stop that….they may get called to the WC. The 3 Lions team will built on be a Spurs base, it will fail but the blame will be laid on Arsenal players and their incompetent coach who’s not been able to teach them english football.
    So better not mention them…. ;=)

  53. Chris what are the odds of Kane getting sent off for an olypic dive? And dirtyAli for a dirty tackle?

  54. Well done boys, perfect away day. Cleansheet almost forgot the feeling.

    Well done.

  55. Where Are the so called fans i told you we had fanatics. Welldone guys Its always a pleasure to hear the sewer rats no more. They tell us they will be with team whatever happens. They just need Arsene out.where are they the team has won now

  56. Well, Arsene and Koscielny must have been successful in reminding the team how good they are! Great result!

  57. @Pat,

    the eggheads on the irish show were commenting about that ‘famous’ meeting, laughing about it, about some player having tears, and just calling all a bunch of players with no nerve nor steel. Making a mockery of it in a few sentences. Just not one ounce of basic human respect.

    Apart from howling with wolves and being followers, they know to do nothing.

  58. Just thinking about this silence about the Spurs meltdown.
    And about PSG not making it after getting Draxler, Neymar and Mbappé in 2 consecutive mercatos.

    In France, PSG not making it was felt as a sad day throughout the country. The whole hype around the game was immense.
    And you had stories around the whole continent about that game.

    As for Spurs, well, nothing or not much. Sure enough, Juve was talked about.

    I guess the difference is that in fact no one, except poor-trophy-starved-Spurs fans, gives a s…t in the UK and in Europe.

  59. Brick – Yhe location says so much!

    I was beginning to like the adversary, then they went too far to bridge the gap and it wasn’t all undone.

    I didn’t laugh, I was just….. fitting!

    I read the article Tony, I assume the unequal sensor delay has just cause. Nothing gets by me.

    As always, not always when you call but always on time. Cup momentum, and nothing we can’t beat. Antonine missing but open goals!

    Monday night games, sole viewership, nothing else is on! Jenas Ribbish Spud commentates Arsenal games, drop viewership, Arsenal pick up huge tv rights purely because wen are watched by rival south and neutrals and non football fans.

    Wifey watched to show interest in my passion, then she watched the boys, then she watched Ozil and Sanchez link madness then watched to analyze Ozil’s work rate, lack of, efficiency and they aren’t similar in their way. Quiet, deceptively efficient, provider, wallflower, class, luxury player, complacent, emotional, doesn’t believe handle aggression well, genuinely smiling, everyone is playing well. Sometimes goes hiding in big games, slow to react to a challenge, but will eventually. Envied by other managers!

    Watching someone analyze these selves through a footballer, especially a female.

    Then she began to understand the he tactics, see the goals deelopong, passages of play, became an officienado at work, the girl to be envied twice over Bynum her peers.

    Once tactics, married with physics and some social science, then the media portrayal, I was reminded of game times, and isn’t watch her drift into a second past time during a lull and back minutes beforehand goals.

    The ref was slightly not biased against, but had no choice but to Ben more subtle. Wasn’t the Ospina challenge hurdled!

    Still a better shot stopper, almost as bad a team gathering, we need an athlete shot stopper. Butland is still my nod!

    That was better indeed, what was required for sure, now we can attack, control, press, counter press, counter attack, it’s half time essentially Andy we aren’t 1 goal up!

    I’m not happy, because we can still play better! A lot better and I would want them to know that and I expect to see that in the next level eagle game let alone the. next EL game.

    I’m not impressed! Go home rest, think about what went right, what wen the wrong, what needs to inproved on and most of all, why young aren’t a bale to de liver they this consostently, in spite of what forces work against us!



    SOMETIMES playing FM I’d drop the CL finish 3rd and win that to help the reputation rating in the hidden game stats rather than edit it and fox the player attributes fairly.

    I don’t usually opt to adjust player stats though and mentality!

    But interestingly Arsenal reputation rating isn’t diabolical and that affects everything in the game, signings, officiating, wages, media, transfer costs!

    I say everything for a reason!

  60. Lol Chris yeah such bias commentary even my west ham friend was getting annoyed once I told him during some arsenal matches like how augero stared at Mustafi before foul and the leap frog Kane did to Koscielny to score a foul goal to Alonso’s flying elbow which knocked out Bellerin he pointed all this out to me before I said to him which he didn’t realize before

  61. The gunners who bet against us haha, the rivals who did haha!

    The neutrals who did, haha!

    Hunter is Xhaka the type to grow in a furnace!? Is he! Hmm… I think Sead, Bellerin, Monreal, Jack, Ramsey, Auba are all naturally that kind. Mikhi is learning it, Lacazette, Iwobi, Mustarfi are all some way off that level!

    AC is exactly right! He know she his team in that regard.

    A13 love the love commentary! Truly! I was enthused, if only you were Mexican or Araboc and I could understand you would I Ben anymore overjoyed!

  62. Maitland Niles is back in as LB lets pray he’s typically robust for us brothers!

    I said Cohen should be made available and you need 4 FB and two U21 capable of breaching that gap!


    As I commented Mo and Mesuts instagram last night, Insha Allah!

    Lets bring them to the Emirayrs and show them how young get exposed when you attack us, with football not violence. When the slant of the pitch isn’t over 45′

  63. Marvellous!! No sound on. No pundits. No commentary. No fucking distraction. Ball and movement silent rapture.

  64. @ keng cheong -09/03/2018 at 7:42 am – Have never ever watched or celebrated a game at a mammak stall/shop so far. I actually saw my first full game via free streaming last night. And it was surprisingly very good.

    I gave up on the morons on Astro a few years ago. And Videocon did not stream it live yesterday.

    Anyway I prefer my own company ,and the occasional voice or two that reside in my head ! They sound more sane than most of our countrymem . Avoid talking kok at all cost !

  65. Who needs medication or other forms of ‘help’ when the Arsenal themselves are aphrodisiacal ? Most especially when be play beautiful Wengerball ?

    It only becomes weird if you call out our players’ names during coitus or have mental images of them ! That ‘ll be sick !

  66. TH14 could never manage a club as he is distracted form contractual obligations by PU55Y. He left Arsenal because he was playing off side. His views of football are based on his experience playing the game, & very little of that involved imparting information, skills or planning systems. Very few players have the intelligence to manage a team & structure a squad to best effect. They all claim to be bosses but few actually have the IQ to develop themselves into managers. It takes a lot less to be a coach.

  67. I would like to thank all the Arsenal fans who traveled to Milan Thanks For the support and keep It up. That Is what we need and that Is what we call supporters always behind their team no matter what.

  68. Brickfields

    I know what you mean about Astro. I never subscribed to it. Used to go to my wife’to-be’s place to watch footie on Astro. I think she is beginning to realise why I go there so late at night…. Turned her into a Gooner as well.

    Anyway, do you touch base with the Arsenal Supporters Club of Malaysia?


  69. Gunner 6 – Sorry just read your comments above .

    I usually watch all by myself at home. Never ever hang out at clubs or bars. Drink only wine and mostly at home. My wife has just acquired a taste for it and has half a glass with me.

    Never have joined any Arsenal fan club , as am away from all the major hot spots and residing in the town of heavenly peace!
    Anyway , how many young ones would want to listen to a sixty-one year old uncle going in on about Charlie George or Micheal Thomas moments?

    Cheers !

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