Friday, October 12, 2007

Only one result will do

The port capital of Liguria plays host to a must-win clash on Saturday night. Italy face up to Georgia in Genoa knowing nothing less than a win will do. Yes, there will be one eye on the afternoon clash between Scotland and Ukraine, but no matter what the outcome of that one, the Azzurri must win.

Most exciting element to the call-ups was the inclusion of young Riccardo Montolivo from Fiorentina. It made a fair bit of sense with Alberto Aquilani out injured. I doubt he will play, but still it shows some good judgment from Mr Donadoni at last.

Also interesting to see both Del P and Inzaghi left out. The former can have no complaints after his shabby display the last time out. Maybe Super Pippo might have been nice to have in there with his goalscoring pedigree but, on the other hand, you have to turn the page some time.

A final thought on the equanimity of the UEFA decision on the pitch invader and Dida. Celtic fined £12,500 and the big Brazilian banned two games. Everyone's a winner...

Stop press: Nice win for the Azzurrini on Friday night, a couple of goals for Acquafresca but a starring role for little Giovinco. It looks like the Italian school is still producing some exciting players. Italia 2-0 Croazia.


Pat said...

another great piece of footballing bureaucracy. They should put this one in the manual.How UEFA thought the two punishments were equivalent for each parties level of guilt ill never know.

Still i think Dida pretty much got what he deserved, it just seem so harsh compared to Celtics punishment.

Aussie Romanista said...

PO PO RO PO PO POOOO PO.... FABIO GROSSO!!!! What a legend! I hope Roberto Mancini saw that goal. What a pearler.
Did enough to win without convincing, as usual, but that's how we play.
Quagliarella has lost whatever he had last season, hope he gets it back, and Di Natale is over rated. Nice cross for Toni's header on to the post though. I'd still prefer ADP.
Ambro was awesome in the first half, he won everything and he was everywhere. Better than De Rossi has been for the Azzurri recently. Pirlo wasteful with stray passes. Conclusion: good enough for now.

Re Dida / Celtic. Piss poor fine for Celtic, should have 1 match behind closed doors, and not long enough for Dida's suspension. Milan should not bring on more embarrasment to the club and its supporters by appealing. Let's hope they don't.

ginkers said...


It seemed a strange piece of justice but UEFA specialises in those.


Indeed, it was a lovely finish and an OK performance. Need to be better next month.

martinobhoy said...

Or here's a thought. Maybe UEFA looked at the excellent behaviour of the Celtic fans over the last few years (including awarding the Fair Play Award in 2003 for the 80,000 fans in Seville for the UEFA Cup Final) and decided that the indiscretion of one fan shouldn't be allowed to tarnish this well earned reputation.

A one game behind closed doors for one fan getting onto the pitch!? If that was the standard punishment for such an offence then clubs all over Europe would be playing behind closed doors every other week.

Having said all that I thought Dida's punishment was extremely harsh.

Pat said...

martinhobhoy, i think what puzzles most people is the difference in the punishments.

If you apply the previous good behaviour thing to Celtic, then why not to Dida? I dont think Dida has a bad track record as far as sportsmanship goes and he was slapped by a fan, he would have been a bit shocked.

And the fan didnt just "get on to the pitch", he touched a player and that compromises the ability of teams traveling to glasgow in the future to feel safe and thats why i think if UEFA were going to take a hard line with Dida they had to be equally hard on Celtic

martinobhoy said...


I still think that anything more than a fine for Celtic would have been an injustice. If I was an opposition player I'd still feel a lot safer going to Celtic Park for a Champions League game than a whole lot of other grounds around Europe.

As I said though I thought Dida's punishment was harsh and fully expect it to be reduced after the appeal.