Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dead and buried?

It's the first real chance to take the temperature of Italian football in a European context. Many have been rushing to pronounce the patient dead already. Over the next three nights we will get a better diagnosis.

The departures of Ibra and Kaka have been cited as symptoms of our illness. Well, the Swede-you-would-most-like-to-slap is coming back to the San Siro - all attitude and arrogance. The rest of Italy's Champions League contenders will go up against the best that France has to offer.

I fear for Milan and Fiorentina, I am hopeful for Inter and optimistic for Juve. They could all deliver a real tonic for Serie A if they manage to grab any kind of positive result. Then we will get an indication of our strength in depth when the Europa League takes centre stage.

By late Thursday night we will have the readings from the heart monitor. Is Italian football's decline terminal or is it responding to treatment?

ROUND ONE: He may be old but Super Pippo still knows where the goal is. His second strike was pure class to defeat Marseille. Juve got a draw which was probably fair on balance of play - but annoying after taking the lead.

ROUND TWO: Inter content with a draw, I reckon, typical Jose Mourinho approach - happy to hold Barca at bay. Still seething about Fiorentina. With 11 men against 11, we produced a very efficient display - better than last year's 2-2. Gila sending off compromised the whole night. Still, take it on the chin and move on.

ROUND THREE: Maybe the worst night of all. Genoa record a handsome win but Roma and Lazio lose to the might of Switzerland and Austria. Deary me...


Anonymous said...

Inter have to challenge for the Champions League this year. There's no reason why they can't, but if Inter win the league four seasons in a row and don't even come close to making the semi-finals yet again, Serie A looks very very bad.


ginkers said...

Totally right on that one. Mourinho was brought in with a single mission - win in Europe. If he doesn't at least come close to doing that his time with the Nerazzurri has been a failure.

patcook said...

So i guess we describe Gila's red card as self harm?

Certainly disappointing to see all the english clubs start with wins and Milan be the only Italian team to win, although if there could only be one...

Fio were obviously hard done by with the red card, but i guess if you look at Arsenals comeback, you need to be able to react to adversity.

Juve were disappointing I thought, to let the lead slip at home... very un-italian!

Inter will probably be happy with the draw.

ginkers said...

Inter definitely happy with the draw, Juve lacked the fight they have shown in Serie A and Viola would surely have got at least a draw 11 against 11. Frustrating night.

As for Arsenal, it clearly helps if you are allowed to use your arm to control the ball in the penalty area. Bitter, moi?