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Sunday April 14 2013
Old School Milan

Mario Balotelli’s ban against Napoli might not be such a bad thing for Milan, argues Susy Campanale.

“If there really was a conspiracy to help Milan reach the Champions League, then Mario Balotelli wouldn’t be sitting out a three-match ban.” Massimiliano Allegri’s riposte to Massimo Moratti and his paranoid Inter chums made sense, as Super Mario has been sensational since arriving from Manchester City in January. He has scored seven goals in eight Serie A games and provided two assists, but being forced to do without him might not be such a disaster after all.

Milan are unbeaten in Serie A in 2013 and arguably missed the cup-tied Balotelli in the Champions League capitulation to Barcelona, but the comeback to push for second place did not start with him. Balo made his Rossoneri debut on February 3 with a brace against Udinese, but before that the team had notched up seven wins, two draws and a single defeat. It was not exactly a shoddy selection of results. Since his introduction, they have amassed six wins and three stalemates, so more or less on the same scale.

Great friends they may be, but Stephan El Shaarawy has undoubtedly suffered from being Balotelli’s partner on the pitch. The goals have dried up for the Little Pharaoh, who turned into a supplier of chances rather than someone with the responsibility to finish them off. In the PM era (Pre-Mario), El Shaarawy scored 15 goals in 22 Serie A games, whereas AM he managed just one in eight rounds. Even taking into account natural fluctuations in form and the fact he is still only 20 years old, that is a significant drop.

Factor in that it was El Shaarawy who bagged a brace to complete Milan’s comeback from 2-0 down and hold Napoli at the San Paolo in November, and the scene is set for this Pharaoh to rise again. Whether or not Stephan actually scores, Balotelli’s absence will undoubtedly change the way Milan play. Giampaolo Pazzini is much more of a ‘sit in the box and wait for someone to pass it to me’ kind of a centre-forward. Someone else will also have to take the free kicks, seeing as Balo had called bagsy on every single set-piece. Maybe it will help the rest of the team to remember they were pretty good even before Super Mario strolled in and a head-to-head with Napoli is the ideal confidence-booster. That way when he does return, it’ll be as an added bonus and not the rock they are desperately clinging to.

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Have your say...
I'm suprised Suzy hasn't wrote a blog bitching about juventus again especially after our loss to Munich. Can't take her seriously especially after the juve v genoa blog. Complete joke.
on the 15th April, 2013 at 3:05pm
Guys.. Boss is a pathetic excuse for a fan. He knows nothing about this game. He's a blind Juve supporter and he even embarasses the true Juve fans with his garbage comments. His statements are based on his dislike for Milan. Nothing to do with facts or knowledge to which he has absolutely none. He knows nothing. He just shoots his mouth off but has zero knowledge. He's not a true fan. Ignore him.
on the 15th April, 2013 at 3:02pm
As for SES, whilst he is a willing runner & good finisher, I do feel that people are overhyping him. Like Marchisio, he often disappears, in an attacking sense. I don't see him making any telling passes or taking on the defenders enough with dribbles. It is like he is playing with the handbrake on. Opponents are starting to suss him out. He is only 20 though, & has plenty of time to add greater depth to his game & make himself more unpredictable.
on the 15th April, 2013 at 9:23am
It was a pity that, on one of the rare occasions that we see a packed stadium in Serie A, the players & coaches put on a snorefest. Last night was an opportunity to put on a show & try & attract fans back to the grounds.
on the 15th April, 2013 at 9:12am
Aside from a brief spell in the first half, it was a very disappointing match. There was little intensity from both sides. Milan's lack of creativity in the final third, was once again all too apparent. Montolivo is the only Milan player that has any creativity, composure, & ability to play a telling pass. I really hope that Saponara can make a difference, but something tells me that he won't be enough.
on the 15th April, 2013 at 8:57am
If Allegri is so concerned about young players why did he play Niang against Barca? This is the problem all season. Allegri can't stop changing the starting line up. We've had a whole season nearly and he still does not know his starting line up. He doesn't know who the captain is. Monty one week. Abbiati the next week. If you look at the run of games we've had unbeaten you could say it's a great achievement or you could say this squad was good enough to challenge Juve.
on the 15th April, 2013 at 8:23am
A new low for Allegri! I can't believe he dropped SES. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever. We were extremely lucky not to lose. Even if you look at it tactically. We were lucky that Maggio did not push on more but before the game you would have wanted SES ahead of Robinho to track back. Milan had no attack down the left hand side. SES's lack of goals recently was not really a big issue since his all round play was fine. Now with Allegri's post match comments the pressure is on SES to score!
on the 15th April, 2013 at 8:19am
@Boss u are talking nonsense. you dont know football. SES is superstar in the making
on the 15th April, 2013 at 5:05am
Goals mean nothing el shaz is playing like a star week in week out he sets up chance he provides the run the crossovers and remember hes 20 its his second season in top flight and his first as a starter give him time to develop more and you will see him as the worlds best. Allegri is a dog for playing second string team against a teamwe needed to beat n flamini typical challenge by him
on the 15th April, 2013 at 1:21am
Having watched the game expecting to see SES play i was left disappointed with Allegri's choices for the starting 11. The result is something us Juve fans will definitely be happy about. The first 45mins. got me excited and i certainly enjoyed watching both teams play open football. Second half left me falling asleep. Considering that this result doesn't do either club any favors i had hoped for more in the second half. I think the red card forced the game to an almost slow motion procedure.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 9:20pm
I don't buy conspiracy theories, but I think the Inter talking-head was talking about the PKs given to Milan that turn out after the fact not to be penalties at all, even according to Allegri. I think Allegri has stated that three times in this half of the season. Many of Balo's goals are PKs, and that's why he's now called Penaltelli. Lol.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 7:48pm
Hopefully we get to sack allegri once for all. Picking binho, constant, etc for a huge game like this. What is he thinking?? He just added 50 years to our average age. What a moron
on the 14th April, 2013 at 7:40pm
Another one with lots of good points Susy, thanks.
My two ¢ is that when you land someone in Balo's weight-class there will be changes and expectations. I think, despite the stats, SES does pretty well. If he is pushed out (hope not) then maybe he can't chew the leather, he's missing an ingredient.
Allegri did well so far in getting rid of that Ibra-centric mentality of the past years. They fill the Balo gap well.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 7:20pm
As iam juventus fun. I don't care milan and napoli but i care to be draw this game forza juve
on the 14th April, 2013 at 6:29pm
Can't believe allegri is benching ses for binho. I'm furious.

@boss

Your aware that pretty much every big team is interested in ses. He has a market price of easily 25 mill right now, at the age of 20. Do your research then talk all I hear is crap coming out from you mouth. How bout change sport. You contribute with nothing as we always tell you.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 6:27pm
Yall need to stop complaining. El Sha is a winger not a stricker. Wingers create not score a ton with the exception of giaccarini ronaldo bale and nagatomo, as those superstars score every chance they get. El Sha is 20 hes ok but would be better if he added more elements tohis game. give him time to grow. 
on the 14th April, 2013 at 5:48pm
Has everyone heard the news, Milan want to sell ses to Cagliari as he was overhyped and crap. Ses is the new gilardino.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 5:31pm
Hmmm, nice one suzy. May I say b4 Balo came, milan were playing 3men up front and yet El-Shaarawy was scoring goals. So wat is it wit d intro of Balo dat El-Sha can't score again? Balo is playing d Pazini role now and El- use to score wen Pazo was b4 Balo. So why can't he find d net again like he use to wen Pazo was in dat trident now dat he's not always there but Balo. Am confused u know. I just pray he grab a brace or hattric 2day.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 4:20pm
Mustafa I would be sad to be a Milan fan and share the team with you. Lack of passion and total ignorance make you a mercenary fan.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 3:01pm
Completely right. Like it or not, balo has pretty much caused el shaarawy's lack of goals (not that he's really doing bad). But in these games when balo is missing ses can do well (he plays much better with pazzini). I really just want to see el shaarawy end the season on form.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 2:37pm
Uhhhh...its an opinion editorial, Mustafaa. You may not agree [you are not supposed to, its an incitement to think at best], but it is an 'either or', it is 'something'.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 12:48pm
i agree 100 per cent. your opinions always make sense suzy. and a great milanista to boot. forza milan.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 10:59am
Lady,

You need to know what's the difference between news and blogs, yet this is neither.
on the 14th April, 2013 at 10:48am

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