Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Class is ageless as they say, and at seventy-something Silvio Berlusconi still doesn’t possess it.
When he is not picking a former Miss Italy and a Big Brother contestant as candidates for the upcoming European Parliament elections, he is giving it the old salesman routine of selling Inter’s title credentials short.
Despite still being seven points adrift of the Nerazzurri, the Milan owner is spinning an unlikely comeback for all it is worth.
And even if the government team fail to pull off the miracles of all miracles with six games remaining, Inter’s success will never be worthy in the eyes of the man who started out flogging vacuum cleaners.
"Together, we can do this..."
Harking back to Adriano’s handball goal in the derby, with a smirk that would have left even Jose Mourinho reeling with the insincerity of it, Berlusconi claimed that if that goal had been disallowed then the Rossoneri would only have been a point off top spot.
You have to admire Berlusconi’s front, not to mention timing: the matter would probably never have been brought up if Inter had not lost at Napoli.
The remark did have the desired effect and has planted a few seeds of doubt across town.
Gruff old Massimo Moratti was forced into a response, but lacking charisma could only come up with that old chestnut... penalties.
“We’ll count how many penalties Milan have had and then we’ll see who are champions,” he countered in the war of what ifs.
Rather than worry about engaging in a squabble with the neighbours, Moratti should be more concerned with matters back home and his coach’s laid-back attitude of late.
When not inviting persona non grata Adriano to drink the bar dry at the title-winning party and laughing off what seems a genuine desire by Zlatan Ibrahimovic to up sticks, he’s started shrugging his shoulders in response to just about every question put his way.
The dull, rudderless performance at Napoli encouraged La Gazzetta dello Sport to launch their “Crazy Idea” campaign - if Milan can catch Inter - yet all the uncommunicative one could come up with as he stifled a yawn was “well, it had 0-0 written all over it and they scored.”
What about the ref? A dodgy offside? It was too hot? Nope, not a thing to raise his ire. The dullness that engulfs everything associated with Inter has finally turned Jose into the Portuguese man of bore.
"Wake me up when it's over..."
Or maybe this is another variation of his [in]famous mind games: the game where he doesn’t mind anymore.
No doubt if he were back in the Premier League you would be selling the product for all its worth.
Berlusconi may be cheesy to some, but he knows how to maintain our interest.
Here’s hoping Jose returns from his self-imposed trading-on-cheap-shots embargo and gets back into the market of playing up the run-in to the season finale.
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All I can say is this:
Milan have been awared 14 - yes FOURTEEN - penalties this season.
What the bloody hell is going on in Serie A eh???
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