Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Jose Mourinho has been sporting an ugly scar on his forehead over the last couple of days.Those imagining that a disgruntled Inter reserve - take your pick - had finally cracked and smacked his boss over the head with a boot will be disappointed to learn that the Portuguese had merely bumped his head getting out of his car.It looks pretty painful, but it can't be anywhere near as bad as having to watch his side labour once again in Europe.
"I slipped and fell, I mean I banged it on the car, err, the dog ate it..."
On display was yet another comical performance from the defence, who ran around like a group of school-kids on their first trip away from home.
While another concern is that the team has become over-reliant on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to provide any spark of individuality. The Swede was left out of the starting line-up for the first time in 20 games. And it was only when the big man came on that we saw any of the verve and high-tempo approach which has been such a feature of Inter's domestic dominance.But the Champions League is an entirely different playground and while the majority of Serie A can be easily bullied into submission, that isn’t the case with the rest of Europe.Having lost at home to Panathinaikos and now away at Werder Bremen - hardly two heavyweights - Mourinho must now wait to face one of the group winners in the last 16.That might be relatively far off in February but until then all he has to go on is swatting the locals around.
Chelsea and Mourinho old boy Pizarro sends Inter packing
Roberto Mancini found himself in a similar situation last season as his side raced away with the title, only to come off the rails against Liverpool in the last 16.
The ever-confident Mourinho believes his men will be at the height of their powers come the first buds of springs, but will that be good enough if they draw Barcelona or Manchester United?A better bet for Italian glory lies with AS Roma who finished top of their group for the first time and have the added incentive, if one is needed, of the final being in Rome.Even Juventus look better equipped for Europe, with their counter-attacking approach, so for Mourinho it may well be more than just car doors that end up giving him a headache.
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Its a big shock to see a team under Mourinho so poor at the back.As a fan of Italian teams I thought at the start of the season Inter had a decent chance of winning the CL this year but if they continue to use wasters like Burdisso then they will be hammered by the first English team they meet.Sell that clown to Middlesborough or Newcastle and get in a few real defenders in January.As for the other Italian sides I cant really see a winner with them either. Juve's squad is not good enough,with people getting too excited over a few wins over the circus from Madrid,while Roma will be found out before the final.Still,I hope I'm wrong. The UEFA cup seems like a much more plausible target with both Milan and Fiorentina well capable of winning a trophy the Italians have not claimed in 10 years.
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