Monday, December 17, 2007

A grand derby in store

With Milan winning the World Club thingy at the weekend and Inter blasting all before them in Serie A what a cracking game we are promised on Sunday afternoon.

In the red-and-black corner the reigning European, World and Intergalactic champions. In the blue-and-black, those "Martian" champions of Italy. The Rossoneri might be a bit jet-lagged but it should still be a classic encounter. It is one which Ancelotti's men have to win if they harbour any hopes of an improbable comeback in Serie A.

Can Milan seriously trouble Mancini's masterful side? It really depends how committed they are to the game. On their day they are as good as anyone but how much is their heart in the fight for the Scudetto? I guess we will find out at the weekend.

Inter had their traditional stroll past Cagliari at the weekend. They were made to work hard in the first half but once they got ahead it was easy going. Elsewhere, Alex Del P impressed with a couple of breakaway goals which showed an old cynic like me that he might still have some life left in him. And Udinese lost which helps boost Fiorentina's chances of getting into the Champions League.


TrentToffee said...

Caught the 2nd half of the Torino/Roma game. All 3 points were there for Torino to take. Not sure why they didn't. Once again Roma show their soft underbelly. If they can't win these fixtures then they won't be in the mix at the end of the season. They're a good side and can do much better. If only they'd *believe* it. Another Copa Italia and a good run in the CL beckons.

I like the Torino shirt. I think I may have found a new team. I couldn't be that fickle. Could I ?

And talking of shirts. Have a read of the following link :-

Personally I think they should be prosecuted by the fashion police. Whereas Aussie Romanista will tell us that they should just be shot.

Juventino said...

And AR would be right to say so!

Serie A has become strange in that it is currently decided by how the top teams perform against minnows, instead of against each other.

Ginkers, Alex Del Piero is in the masterclass phase of his career. That is where you can clearly see that a player is far better than those around him in terms of how the game is played in his head, while he may struggle physically because he has had bad injuries or is old (beyond 34). It's normally creative players who experience it, and I find it a joy to watch. They begin to take defences apart with (seemingly) less physical exertion than when they were in their prime simply because they've just become smarter.

The first player I realised this about was Gary McAllister during Liverpool's fantastic 2001 (of course I'm sure he wasn't the first, but I'm only 24, so I was still very green in '01!). Baggio clearly went through it. So did Zola, and Signori.

Del Piero has always been limited physically since injuring his knee in 98/99, and has never been quick since. By comparison, Zidane never went through this phase because he never needed it. He never had knee problems like DP and Baggio, and never lost strength.

Out and out strikers don't really get to experience it, ether. Batistuta and Chiesa are two examples of finishers who have had injury problems and just can't (could not) keep up at the end of their careers.

It's also different for defenders. While experience is very useful, throughout a defender's career one mistake can be punished with a goal, so when a defender begins to struggle with the physicality of the game they're more likely to make that punishable mistake. Maldini is proof of that, I think, because (and I really really hate to say this because he's Maldini) he's become a real liability in the past couple of seasons because he's not up to it physically.

patcook said...

Juventino, i wish ADP would keep his mouth shut a bit more, i think his constant complaining about playing time and positions exacerbates peoples frustration with how inconsistent he can be at times.

If it was the CL I'd have my money on Milan for the Derby, but since its a league match I think Inter will do it. Plus, the strikers will probably be decisive and Inter win their hands down. Im hoping that Kaka pulls a performance out of his backside that Inter can't stop.

Milan need the win just to stay in contention for top 4!

Juventino said...

Pat, are you referring to what he said after Italy v France? I'm not sure on which way to go with that, because (1) I play, and I don't open my mouth when I'm put on the bench or not played in my preferred position etc, but (2) Del Piero was actually right about Donadoni's tactics for that match. DP was completely isolated as a winger, and had no impact because he was just muscled out and had no support from the full-back who had a marking job to do. Donadoni should have played Del Piero in the middle, with the striker, or played someone else as a winger.

Aussie Romanista said...

Trent I can't understand why any Italian would support a team who wear the English flag. They should wear light blue and white stripes.

Interesting to read that Mancini thought Milan were playing a friendly against Boca. Did someone say "inferiority complex"?

Pat, ADP has got to be the most humble striker in the history of the game when it comes to opening his mouth about playing time or his position. When Capello was shafting him he kept quiet and kept shoving it in his face with some brilliant performances when he got his chance.
One time he says something (which was probably blown out of proportion by the media) and you reckon he needs to keep shut. He should be in the national team for Euro 08 without a second thought.

Aussie Romanista said...

Blog: Everybody hates Inter

TrentToffee said...

AR, "Light blue & white stripes" :0)

I think they wear it because it's the flag of Milan, as well as Genoa, Bologna, and Barcelona. In fact there are several Italian teams who sport it on their club badge/crest. The history of St Georges cross is, apparently, complex and disputed. But you knew that.

patcook said...

The red cross on the white background is the city of milan's emblem. thats why inter play in that jersey. it is also incorporated into ac milans emblem.

AR, ill agree he kept his mouth shut when capello was in charge. but since capello left he has been letting fly too often in my opinion. I remember when capello left he said he was so happy because they hadn't got along and he wanted to play more. and he hasnt been quite since.

Iaquinta played wide for Italy during the World Cup and did well. If ADP cant be as versatile then i say shaft him, shaft him for good!!!!

Aussie Romanista said...

It's like the Socceroos playing in Ginger Spice's Union Jack outfit.