Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Well, if you have been out of the game for around eight months why hang on and take an extra few days holiday?
Thus Jose Mourinho has been marching around Inter’s training ground making sure everything is just so ahead of the squad’s return in mid-July.
Nothing has been left to chance.
The training pitches at the Appiano Gentile complex have been re-laid with various types of turf approximating different playing surfaces.
Floodlights have been installed so that the team can simulate the conditions of an evening Champions League tie.
A ‘cage’ has been built for the players to play one-touch five-a-side games where the ball will always be in play.
Then, for those secret training sessions, lengths of canvas can be quickly erected to shield the players from prying eyes.
Diet will also play a big part for the new-look Inter, with the players loaded up with fruit at the end of every training day.
The Portuguese has requested a new software system with a computer installed in his office, previously occupied by the new-media luddite Roberto Mancini of course, so that he can study up on the opposition.
Mourinhomania has had its domino affect with the fans, with season-ticket sales up 30% from this time last week, no doubt impressing president Massimo Moratti, who has already compared his new man to the great Helenio Herrara who was in charge of La Grande Inter in the 60s.
Such is the demand to bare witness to what Mourinho has in store that the local council in the area around the pre-season camp in Riscone di Brunico has admitted that they cannot cope with demand for accommodation.
Of course, being Mourinho, he has put a dampener on those tifosi hoping to spend a week’s break watching the players train by requesting that the early sessions take place behind closed doors.
If he doesn’t get his way then perhaps he will ship those canvas screens up for the duration.
Anyway, as they say, anticipation is high and that’s even without all those big-name signings on the way.
The latest news is that Jose is ready to raid Real Madrid for Arjen Robben.
If so, this could bring the number of wingers at the San Siro to an impressive four if Ricardo Quaresma and Amantino Mancini arrive, not forgetting Luis Figo, of course, whose help in brokering Mourinho’s arrival has landed him one final year.
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