Straight from the dark heart of Italy
He came, he saw, he perspired a lot. An unfortunate choice of Alice-blue shirt exposed Jose Mourinho’s inexperience at the highest level of fashion sense on the opening day of any Serie A season.With the thermometer hitting the high 20s in the notoriously clammy port city of Genoa, the Inter boss was never going to survive a stain-free evening under the armpits.
His opposite number, Walter Mazzarri had played it safe and gone for white thus allowing him to dispatch with his jacket for any sortie around the technical area.And to think, it had all looked so easy for the Portuguese in the warm-up as he posed against the dug-out, looking mean and lean sans jacket and tie - the perfect Paco Rabanne model.Club owner Massimo Moratti, who was busy chain-smoking up in the stands – now we know where he gets that year-round pallor from – had compared his new man to the great Helenio Herrera.The Argentine coach, of course, was a style guru in his own right back in the 1960s and on his debut led the side to a 5-1 win at Atalanta.Back then, La Gazzetta dello Sport hailed the new era as the start of something very special so no doubt they were preparing such gushing headlines for the noughties version.As befits his George Clooney-like status, the flashbulbs where in overdrive from the moment he stepped off the coach.Smart move then to take his place on the bench attired in jacket as a camera had been strategically placed to record each blink, twitch and sigh.
Zlatan nets to make it 1-0 to the Inter
Very little happened in the first half-hour or so as Inter played the ball around neatly without actually going forward.A few scribbles on the notepad and the odd moment staring into space were interspersed with a nod to his assistant Beppe Baresi who had been forced to make do with wearing his training kit.Then lo and behold, just as we were all nodding off, Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the ball in net and Italy had it’s first glimpse of the Jose shuffle down the touchline, accompanied by a bit of fist pumping.Natural coolness was then restored, followed by a bit more frantic scribbling and a pat on the back for the Bari brawler Antonio Cassano.All going according to plan then and not a swear-mark to be seen. However, the big-haired Mazzarri wasn’t about to allow Mourinho to stroll off into the night with a trademark one-nil to the Inter.As Samp upped their game so the first beads began to form on the Special One’s ever more anxious brow.
Jose gets a little hot under the collar, and under the arms
He was left in the delicate situation of ignoring the rivets and allowing them to roll down his cheek or wiping them away thus exposing himself as someone who was feeling the pressure somewhat.Samp scoring actually got Jose out of a sticky spot: the perfect excuse to throw off the shackles of cool and leap out of the dug-out to shake his head and do a bit of pointing before leading Luis Figo off the pitch and hopefully to the knacker’s yard for clapped-out wingers.It was all rather downbeat in the post-game interviews as well as an obviously strained Mourinho tried in vain to curtail those rambling questions so loved by Italian reporters before tossing back his well-coiffed head and escaping to the sanctuary of the Inter coach where no doubt the AC was at full blast.
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