Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Second best is an apt description of Serie A at the moment.
And suddenly the chase for the runners-up spot has taken on more significance that it would normally have done.Inter did little to honour the title of “Italy’s top team” against Juventus – this being a game that is meant to be bigger for the Milanese side than their own city derby – allowing the Old Lady to somehow escape a potential mugging on Saturday evening.And we thought Fabio Capello’s Juve side were dull.
Having been totally outplayed by the Nerazzurri, who at times seemed completely uninterested in adding to their 1-0 lead, Claudio Ranieri’s lame ducks - reduced to 10 men for the second week running – somehow contrived to find an equaliser.It's a terrible state of affairs when a once-proud team are reduced to celebrating a home draw, and there was no surprise on Sunday when the club’s very own propaganda arm Tuttosport were calling for heads to roll.
Grygera nods home last-gasp leveller
First on the chopping block is, of course, Ranieri himself.
In the frame to take over is former midfielder Antonio Conte, who is leading Bari back into the top flight and whose name was chanted around the Olympic Stadium on Saturday – when the local Neanderthals weren’t racially abusing Mario Balotelli that is.When are the authorities going to make a stand against such uncivilised behaviour, or is a club going to finally find the fortitude to order its players to walk off the pitch?Anyway, on less pressing matters, Ranieri’s fate may well be sealed by Wednesday evening with failure to overcome Lazio in the Italian Cup. The Bianconeri are trailing 2-1 from the first leg and the Romans will come into the tie fresh from putting a spanner in the works of Genoa’s Champions League hopes.Then there is Milan to worry about. The Rossoneri are now level with Juve after sinking Turin’s other side in such a one-sided affair that watching Brazil coach Carlos Dunga asked Adriano Galliani if he could get Carlo Ancelotti to bring Ronaldinho on at the start of the second half.It is ineptitude more than anything else that is turning the scramble for the Champions League and UEFA Cup spots into the focal point for the closing part of the campaign.Having buried Roma last week, Genoa and Fiorentina breathed life into the ailing Giallorossi by their own inability to gather at least a point from the aforementioned Lazio and - in the Viola’s case - Udinese.It is not as if Roma deserve to take advantage of any late nerves from the two sides above them, as they had to rely on a dodgy penalty decision to overcome doomed Lecce.All-in-all, it was pretty much a weekend to forget all round, although Filippo Inzaghi’s failure to grow old gracefully as he celebrated another hat-trick in trademark demented manner did raise a smile or two.
Pippo pops in another three, and goes suitably insane
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Riccardo,did you ever hear the phrase 'If you've got nothing good to say, then don't say anything at all!' On a weekley basis you seem to tear Calcio apart as if you're a Daily Mail Sports editor is disguise. We all know Seie A isn't what it used to be. Football goes in cycle. Let's see if the Premier League 'dominance' lasts for over a decade as it's only been 5 unlike when Italian clubs rulled the roost.
We must also not forget that Italian did dominate Europe. What I mean by this was that it was based on Italian players and coaches as the limit on foreign players existed then. The current powerhouses are Premier League and not English by any means. Install the past limits and it would be a different case altogether. Liverpool v Chelsea last week had only 3 English players on the pitch!!! Liverpool reguarly field reserve teams with no homegrown players. Man Utd even come to Italy to unethically steal their talent (not to mention Quieroz using Spalletis system to create a wining side)
Foreign owners, foreign money, foreign players and foreign coaches. Please don't go on like every other Sky Sports 'journalist'!!! Isn't the great new England team only winning due to Capello?
Forza Calcio! Forza Italia!
I am a fan of Italian football and the Italian national team but I am a realist. I love reading Riccardo's posts because its realistic, it's not too negative and it's not overly positive either.
I do have to agree with you that Fabio Capello's Juventus was terribly boring. The racist chanting is also very sad and horrible moreover it is directed at a fellow Italian. How will the person feel when called upon to represent the country in the future. Balotelli is certainly going to be a future full Italian international and to be given this treatment by his fellow countrymen is sad. He might also get it on the pitch from fellow players no-one knows except him.
For Forza Il Lupi,the fact remains that young Italian talents are not given enough opportunity at the big clubs in Italy so they move elsewhere. Case in point: Macheda and Rossi. Even in the national team, older players are given more chances than the younger ones. I feel Lippi is also living on past glories and still relying on a lot of the heroes of 2006. He has got to freshen the squad and his tactics and get rid of those who are over-the-hill or not playing well enough anymore.
Serie A as a whole has to change. Juventus wants to sign a 35 year old Cannavaro when they could have been better off giving a younger player chance. A lot of the Italian clubs have too many old players who were great during their times but are past it now. There is a lot of Italian talent which has not been given a chance because of the reliance and preference of experience.
Italian clubs tend to sign young Brazilians and Argentines but not give the Italians a chance and this is really sad and not healthy for Italian football. A change in attitude is needed and I hope Mourinho and Inter will provide that next season.
I greatly enjoy Riccardo's writing. It is his job to be skeptical. What should he write? That Juventus announced a new summer football camp for 10-year olds? Calcio has a huge problem. No Italian clubs in the Champions League quarterfinals, and one in the UEFA Cup quarterfinals. Il Calcio is slipping away, and yet those idiots in Turin have the gaul to chant racist garbage at Balotelli, a man who could possibly help save Italian football. Disgusting. They should be ashamed of themselves. Forza Rossi!
Macheda and Rossi went for the moeny simple as that! Rossi didn't get a chance at Utd and Macheda has only played due to injury and suspension as well Ferguson fiedling an under strength side. Patrucci also went for the money.
Plenty of youngsters have come into the Azzuri side over the years. De Rossi,Montoliv,Chiellini,Quagliarella. I do agree that a few players need to make way but Lippi will mostly stick to the team who are WORLD CHAMPIONS for now.Who are all the great English player then? Capello has already seen through the Villa players and Aaron Lennon...really?
The fact is the players need to DEVELOP and shouldn't be playing first team at 17 or 18. How many of these starlets go onto be something? Rooney maybe, but he's only slightly better than he was at Everton, there has been no huge strides in his development, he just plays for a better side. Rossi had to move away to get a game.
Yes, Calcio has problems but if we can look long term rather than short term like the EPL (it will be financially bust in 4 years)
The racism is an issue but at least the league has sanctions.The Drughi have made a very important statement about there was no racial abuse. There is racism and coin throwing at English games and on trains to grounds every week but the media hides it away and the league has no sanctions. Phil Neville has pucnhed in the back and spat on at ANFIELD last season. It too a year to ban the culpri after pressure from support groups.
Problems yes but it's not the end of the world. The Italian Primavera sides are the best in Europe. Thye are technically gifted and players are develped as FOOTBALLERS not ATHELETES. Do we really want to play long term and chase everything for 90 mins like in England? Hva e you seen EPL teams outside of the 'TOP 4' play? Wigan are a top half side for God's sake!
I agree that the current Prem is an unsustainable business. I predict the creation of a European Super League comprising the top teams from England, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Scotland.
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