Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Notwithstanding his dodgy knee, Saturday should see Francesco Totti makes his 400th Serie A appearance as AS Roma look to keep the feel-good factor going at Bologna.Ah, Bologna.
On any other weekend we would have said, finally, three points for the Romans away from home. But there’s a new man in charge at the strugglers... Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Totti's 400th game will be a damp squib if Mihajlovic gets his way.
Totti: 400 not out for Roma's imperious No.10
Roberto Mancini’s attack dog at Inter has been handed his first coaching role, replacing the ineffectual Daniele Arrigoni at the start of the week, and with the remit of getting Bologna out of relegation trouble by hook or by crook.It’s a bit of a derby for Mihajlovic, who was in the Roma side back on March 28 1993 when Totti made his debut for the Giallorossi at the tender age of 16.A controversial figure, to say the least, during his playing days, and a hate-figure for the Giallorossi fans when he joined Lazio, the Serb will no doubt have been feeding his pups on raw meat over the last few days.Mancini was on hand to lend some support to his old number-two at the first training session. Looking relaxed and extremely dapper in country-squire attire, Mancio has been keeping a low profile, but has just given his first full-length interview since getting the boot at Inter.Speaking to Max magazine - obligatory lovely draped on the front cover, (Lola Ponce to be precise although no doubt of little interest to readers of this blog), Mancini seems in no hurry to get back to the everyday rigours of managing a football team.
Of little interest to Serie Aaaaargh! readers?! Pfft...
However, he hinted that he wouldn’t mind getting out of Italy for awhile and could that mean following in the footsteps of his good mate Gianluca Vialli at a English Premier League side?“There won’t be anything for me at the moment as I don’t speak English that well,” he maintained. “However, I am working on that.”He certainly has plenty of hours to fill so no excuses there. Still being paid by Massimo Moratti six months after the event, and no doubt for some time to come, the 44-year-old stays in shape playing tennis and five-a-sides but the emotional scars still linger.“I was in shock,” he admitted when Moratti broke the news, and this a day or two after winning another league title. “Maybe it was the tension that had built up, maybe the anger and disillusion of being sacked but I couldn’t accept the idea of finding myself outside my normal world.“However, with every day that feeling is passing.”Mama’s cooking has helped after he when to ground for a while and returned to the family home in Jesi, hence the work-outs in the gym as well.He may have lost a bundle in the recent stock-market crash but there is a 30-metre cruiser docked in the harbour in Genoa and a stake in a hotel in Sardinia to keep the wolf from the door.“It’s not as if I have to survive on 300 euro a month like some people. I have been on holiday for three months.”
Mancini offers helping hand to Mihajlovic at Bologna
Straight-talking as ever apart when it comes to his former club and the man who sits in his seat... Jose Mourinho.“I have nothing to say about Inter apart from one thing: the title. We were the strongest team for two years and I am sure they will win it again.”Maybe seeing his old mate Mihajlovic back in the game will encourage Mancini to follow suit sooner rather than later.
Newcastle United anyone?
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