Sunday, June 24, 2007

Return of the Tallies

There was a time when Paolo Di Canio, Enrico Annoni, Rino Gattuso, Lorenzo Amoruso, Sergio Porrini, the Bonetti brothers, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Pasquale Bruno and the likes made their living in Scotland. Those were great days for me because there was rarely a game without Italian interest. But, slowly, they disappeared - so imagine my delight to see Massimo Donati signing up for Celtic.

I know of at least one Celtic fan out there hungry for information (and a good steak and a grappa!). So here is the benefit of my not-so-great knowledge of the Italian game. Donati was part of the great Atalanta youth set-up so his technique can be pretty much taken for granted. He also has about 26 Italy Under 21 caps to his name although he never graduated up to the full Nazionale. It would have been a natural progression as he played at Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20 level. Part of that, I think, can be put down to his unsuccessful move to Milan which has since seen him loaned out to Parma, Samp, Torino, Messina before returning to Bergamo.

I have always thought he looked apparently quite cumbersome but was actually deceptively skillful. He must have about 200 Serie A appearances under his belt at the age of 26 so that says he must be doing something right. He doesn't get a lot of goals (about nine in Serie A, I think) and he does pick up the odd booking. So that sounds like a pretty good replacement for Neil Lennon doesn't it?

The only question mark has to be over how he adapts to Scotland but he is a reasonably physically imposing presence so I don't think that should be a problem. Now I hope a few more follow him and we can get back to those good days of an Italian-packed SPL again.


martinobhoy said...

I'm delighted he's signed. I've always thought Celtic should have one or two Italians in our squad due to the size of the Italian community in Scotland.

Although the papers at the weekend seemed completely underwhelmed by the signing. I couldn't see a mention of it anywhere. On the other hand a £6m prospective French international going to the other side of the city got loads of coverage even though the chances are it will never happen.

Paranoid? Me?

ginkers said...

Never let it be said. An Italian in the hand is worth a Frenchman in the bush...

Aussie Romanista said...

Why the hell did the angel of Italy Monica Bellucci marry a Francese??
Pisses me off!
I hope she mooned him in the face after Grosso's penalty!

ginkers said...

A wise point AR although having Monica Bellucci moon in your face might not be seen as much of a punishment in some quarters...

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