San Siro and the air of resignation. The fans’ passion has faded away

September 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Whoever attended the Serie A fixture between once-giants AC Milan and Udinese Calcio at the San Siro on Sunday afternoon will have taken note of a few things.

On the one hand, the ever splendid stadium and the sunny weather didn’t go unnoticed. On the other hand, an average team and an empty stadium capped off by a lack of support.

Because the passion, the real one, which used to characterise Milan and set It apart from other clubs in Italy in their heyday, has slowly but surely waned.

If it was already known that Milan no longer are the iconic squad with talismanic heroes from the 90’s or early 2000’s, nobody can now dispute the fact that more and more Rossoneris are walking away from their once-beloved team.

The drop in attendances and the quietness of the mere 28000 fans on Sunday was alarming, very alarming.

The Curva Sud’s frosty relationship with the board has thickened instead of thawing. The lack of transfer activity in the summer was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It has rubbed further salt in an already bleeding wound. Many players were monitored yet uncaptured. As always.

But apart from that, the sustain has gone. Whoever used to go to Milan games ten years ago like me couldn’t help but draw parallels between then and now.

Fans no longer encourage or sing the players’ name during the match. Apart from Donnarumma’s one of course.His meteoric rise commands the respect of everyone.

When the speaker announced the team before the kick-off, most of the players’ names were met with derision and embarrassment instead of being roared.

Again with the exception of the prodigious goalkeeper, Bacca, Romagnoli and Bonaventura who were given a warm reception.

In addition, instead of buying the match kits of the current players, most of the Milan fans still wear jerseys from players of the past like Inzaghi, Kakà, Maldini, Ibrahimovic, Shevchenko, Baresi or Prince.14344778_10210606892273938_1670246148697463172_n

And how can one blame them?

Besides, these days the fewest get shirty over a missed shot or pass. The fewest whistle an underperforming player.

If ten years ago Clarence Seedorf wasn’t given it his all by walking on the pitch, the Curva Sud or Fossa dei Leoni members didn’t hesitate to voice their discontent.

They’d tell him in no uncertain terms that they weren’t satisfied with his display. But now, they have given up. It is accepted that Montolivo or Abate don’t deliver.It’s normal when Abate fires a cross to the stands instead on Bacca or Adriano’s head.It’s normal that Montolivo is wearing Baresi and Maldini’s captain armband.

No player apart from the above-cited 4 and the missing Niang turns on the supporters.

The shocking dip in membership and Jersey sales prove it.

When Udinese scored the winner two minutes from time, the goal didn’t send the stadium into a dark mood as it should have done.Neither would a late Milan winner have sent San Siro into raptures.

When Perica flicked in the winner i tifosi rossoneri shook their heads in dismay for a few seconds and left the stadium immediately afterwards.The reaction was one of “deja-vu”. Nothing new. We have already seen it many times.

The eight minutes of additional time the referee added on, looked like an open training session. Apart from the twenty-two players and the stewards there weren’t many people inside the ground.Not that it was packed before anyway.But once upon a time fans never left the ground before the final whistle.Unless Milan were leading 4-0.They left earlier to avoid the traffic congestion.

But the alarming fact is that most of them were not even disappointed or angry when leaving the stadium.

“The only way we will play Champions League again is if they extend the number of Italian participants to eight teams”, some fans were saying in the wake of the 1-0 loss.

The mediocre squad, the confusion in the hierarchy, the shortage of incoming quality transfers, the poor treatment towards former legends and the selection of former Inter Milan men Fassone and Mirabelli to build the new Chinese Milan are incurable diseases for the fans.In footballing terms, of course.

It will take years and years for the old Via Novara to be packed with cars on a match days.

Winning or losing no longer makes or breaks a day.Coming away with less than three points has become the norm.

It also makes no sense to get carried away after a (rare) win because no continuity will follow.Not much time will pass before the happiness will transform itself into despair again weeks later.

The atmosphere San Siro generates these days can be likened to the one in a funeral.Sadness reigns.Acceptance and resignation have taken over.You cannot take the past back. You can shed tears but it makes no sense to grieve.Accept what happened and move on.

The past is gone and the future is unpredictable.

While the present says that the once-loyal fans’ love for the red and black colours is gone.

Milan, a side already deemed to be too weak to fight for silverware, are doomed to even more woes after the latter keep on turning their back and walking away.

Tiredness and a lack of excitement.

The situation looks irreversible.And this is very alarming.

 

 

 

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