Straight from the dark heart of Italy
There are only two teams in Europe who can still claim the treble
this season – and Bayern Munich happens to be the other one.
could still finish the campaign with the domestic title and Italian Cup
tucked away before lifting the Champions League – or if one was to
listen to the harbingers of doom then they could end up with nothing.
one of 'will they or won’t they blow it' commences this evening in
Florence when the Nerazzurri return to the Artemio Franchi stadium for
the second leg of their Italian Cup semi-final, holding a 1-0 advantage.
conspiracy theorists – or those with plenty of time on their hands –
had predicted Fiorentina would throw the league game at the weekend in
return for a win in the Cup, but why would Jose Mourinho want to be any
part of such a pact when he has already allured to dark goings on in the
The now silent one has once again bitten his tongue
and refused to shed any light on why he feels there is a conspiracy
against his side and why in the meantime they have made such hard work
of bringing early closure to the title race.
However, the way he
marched off the pitch on Saturday suggested that vengeance will be in
the air in the Renaissance city on Tuesday.
Just as in the Italo
Calvino novel, The Cloven Viscount, where a nobleman is split in
two on the battle-fight to become separate individuals possessing one
quality a piece, so we have witnessed a good and nasty Mourinho.
good Mou comes out in the Champions League, cheery and care-free with
the press, smiles for one and all; the nasty rears up when his mouth
twists into a half sneer to tell everyone he is sick and tired of Italy
and Italian life.
In Calvino’s fable, the villagers end up
disliking both halves of the nobleman until they are rejoined to balance
each other out – and this seems to be the case with our Portuguese
What he needs to do is become whole once more: we can
put up with him being charming and then bristling with anger at the
flick of his cashmere scarf, but one or the other is just a bore.
in truth he needs to get down to business again which means getting the
best out of his players over the next five weeks or so.
Europe, the team have played with confidence and determination, taking
command of matches and holding on to their advantage; at home it is
almost the inverse.
There are patches of dominant play but then an
inability to defend a lead such as at the weekend and Palermo before
Too many points have been dropped against sides they should
be rolling over and it is that balance in endeavour that has been
At this high-risk stage of the campaign no one
is asking them to play with open enjoyment but the players are not
getting the chance to enjoy the moment – in the league anyway.
little spring-cleaning may not go amiss in the Cup, with Mario Balotelli
and MacDonald Margia worth a run-out to rest Diego Milito and Esteban
Cambiasso for example.
After all, the strength in depth of the
squad was meant to have been the trump card, but Mou seems attached to a
core of players who will no doubt be in action against Juventus on
Friday and then Barcelona the following week.
Of course as in
Calvino’s ending it may all come together again with Inter and their
coach living happily ever after, but then again that may well not be the
case if the treble suddenly becomes the double.
More from Serie Aaaaargh!
"his mouth twists into a half sneer to tell everyone he is sick and tired of Italy and Italian life."
I challenge you to reproduce the quote where he says this. You won't be able to because he never did. He said he didn't like Italian FOOTBALL, which is different.
Latest Italian Football News
Balotelli to walk off next time racism repeated
Serie A results and standings
Serie A top scorers
Serie A summaries
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010