Straight from the dark heart of Italy
The first of the winter winds are sweeping down from the mountains and a chilly blast can be felt in the centre of Milan, in the halls of Inter’s headquarters.
Reporters from the local media outlets have been hanging around the splendid Via Durini palazzo in the hope of cornering Massimo Moratti and leading him down the path of dropping some hint that Jose Mourinho’s time in charge is coming to an end.
Moratti’s gruff utterances suggest that although all is not well in the house of Inter, it would seem that the Portuguese is safe as long as the Champions League dream remains alive.
However, he couldn't resist a dig at his not-so-special No.1 and indicated that the team’s mindset needed to be little more on the task at hand – implying that Mourinho had been at fault in his preparation for the trip to Barcelona.
As we have seen, apart from Fiorentina’s stirring efforts, the road to the Bernabeu could yet be littered with Italian wrecks before the end of the year, so better to turn to the comforts of home – and the return to Serie A action.
As the fates would have it, it is the Viola who arrive at the San Siro this weekend and no doubt Mourinho has had his assorted South Americans and Europeans on a diet of blood-dripping, red meat after they lost their appetite for the fight at the Nou Camp.
The schoolyard bullying tactics should be enough to regain their battered self-esteem, although there seems little to fear from the supposed title contenders.
Neither Juventus nor AC Milan are equipped for the long haul, and the latter look on the brink of a meltdown to mimic the one which derailed their chances of mounting a title challenge last season.
Ciro Ferrara is on a steep and taxing learning curve.
He has to find a system to bring the best out of Diego – but did we see the Brazilian's best in the Bundesliga last year?
Could it be that he is not the €25 million he's cracked up to be?
Let’s hope that's not the case, but certainly there is a noticeable straining of relations between the player and coach with each passing week.
After the dismal outing at Bordeaux, Diego committed the sin (in Italy anyway) of questioning the “mister’s” tactics.
It may be a valid point, even if the club would have preferred if it had been said in private.
Ferrara has not helped his cause by proclaiming that his Juve would play in a style more akin to Spain – making the ball do the work and dragging the opposition all over the pitch before delivering the coup de grace.
In fact, it is possession that the team have been unable to master.
Momo Sissoko has never been considered a great passer; that is Felipe Melo’s stock in trade, but the Brazilian has been well off the pace - neither a deep-lying playmaker nor a ball-winner.
The talent is there and in Ferrara’s defence, injuries to key personnel such as Alex Del Piero and Claudio Marchisio have hindered the development of his 4-2-3-1 formation.
A further setback at Cagliari this weekend will leave Ferrara with little option but to re-examine his approach to Inter the following week.
Maybe he will have to ditch flair for force, or face self-destruction.
FourFourTwo.com: More to read...
NEW Italian results, fixtures & tableSerie Aaaaargh! homeBlogs home Latest Italy newsNews homeInterviews homeForums homeFourFourTwo.com home
Latest Italian Football News
Berlusconi: Allegri to stay on as Milan coach
Italy overhaul Japan to reach Confederation Cup semis
Italy 4 Japan 3 - Confederations Cup result
Juventus sign Ghana midfielder Asamoah from Udinese
Former Italy midfielder Gattuso named Palermo manager
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010