Posts Tagged ‘Inter Milan’

La Liga without Mourinho and Guardiola?

Would they be doing this in England next season?

In politics, there are no permanent friends but permanent interests. This also applies in football. Going back to when Jose Mourinho was an assistant at FC Barcelona while Pep Guardiola was a player, they had a good relationship. Fast forward to the present day, Pep is the head coach of Barcelona while Jose is in charge at Real Madrid, the situation has seen “once upon a time” friends or members of the same boat turn their backs against each other several times in the media when the clasicos come up.

A possible reality that may dawn on the Primera Liga in Spain this summer is that both outstanding managers may be plying their trade in other countries, with the speculations surrounding their futures.

Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid)
The loquacious Portuguese who is in the second year of his four-year contract at Real Madrid may be considering quitting the White House in Spain. Why is he quitting when his team is performing very well and are on their way to their 32nd La Liga title – the first in four years? We know how many battles he has fought since making the Spanish capital his home; battle for autonomy in all football related matters at the club, battle to break Barcelona hegemony and return the club back to its glory days, lastly his love-lost affair with the Spanish media.

It’s clear he is totally not comfortable in Spain where the experience hasn’t been as enjoyable as he expected. Although he has been granted greater autonomy than any Real Madrid coach before him, he delivered the Copa del Rey last season and he his on the way to a La Liga crown this term, but then, there is a certain BARCELONA and his perception of being treated badly by the media in Spain.

Recently, the Special One was spotted house-hunting London, an exercise which has increased the speculation about his return to the Premier League – a desire he has never hidden publicly. Jose loves the EPL and has a relationship with the press that doesn’t come close to his experiences in Italy and Spain.

Potentially there could be two new vacancies in the Premiership come this summer. Harry Redknapp is favorite for the England job which leaves Tottenham without a manager, Andre Villas-Boas has also been shown the exit door at Mourinho’s former club, Chelsea. Mourinho’s relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has greatly improved since they parted ways in 2007 and he would be given the financial backing to rebuild the “aging” squad. Tottenham would not be able to compete with Chelsea financially and even Chelsea would be a financial come down after being at Madrid where money is never an issue. Tottenham offer an enthusiastic prospect but not much more, working with players like Luka Modric and Gareth Bale is an attraction and if Mourinho was to go there, both of those players would surely stay at White Hart Lane.

Mourinho leaving Madrid is a question of when and not if as he would be leaving as an accomplished man who returned the glory days back to the Santiago Bernabeu as well as ending Barcelona’s hegemony.

Pep Guardiola (FC Barcelona)
Everything that has a beginning must surely have an end. Since he took over Barca’s first team in 2008, Guardiola has been working on a 12-months rolling contract which he has renewed in the last two years but it appears he is weighing other options this time around.

Pep has transformed Barcelona into world beaters, an envy for many rivals and an epitome of what many desire. It’s difficult to comprehend why he is stalling on a new contract or a reason why he wants to leave; maybe a new challenge is what he is relishing as he has conquered not only Spain and Europe but the entire world with Barcelona.

Pep is a through-in-through Cule breed; he hasn’t been disrespected by the Spanish media so his reasons may be personal. A quiet air of discontent has been circulating around since current president Senor Sandro Rossell’s discrediting remark about Joan Laporta’s administration which was met by an opposite opinion. Pep is seen as supporting the previous regime – that can be understood since Laporta was the man who gave Guardiola the opportunity to manage the team. Guardiola’s stand on the situation has been perceived as supporting an enemy, an act which has resulted in a bit of bad blood but his success and popularity with the players and supporters at the club has made it quite difficult for the executives to turn their backs against him. With the La Liga title heading to the capital this season, his team’s dominance may be coming to end and it provides him an opportunity to part ways with his employers.

Inter Milan and Chelsea are monitoring his contractual situation at the Camp Nou closely. If Pep decides to leave, it will be his second exit from his beloved club.

Whenever Jose or Pep decides to leave Spain for other challengers, their departure will be a colossal loss for their respective clubs and the league as they are about the best managers in the game presently. Losing both in one summer is unimaginable for me. What do you think?

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New faces on the bench in the Calcio

Among the top italian clubs (AC Milan, Internazionale, Juventus and AS Roma), only AC Milan will continue with their manager from last season. Perhaps on the grounds that he (Max Allegri) succeeded in breaking Inter’s hegemony in the Serie A with their Scudetto triumph.
We shall be looking at other three teams and what changes these new managers can bring to them.

INTERNAZIONALE 

Can he ease away the memories of The Special one?

Post Jose Mourinho era has been difficult for the Nerazzurris as their fortunes have dwindled. Former coach Leonardo won the Coppa Italia last season to bring some succor to The Black and Blues but he has been replaced with former Genoa and Crotone tactician Gian Piero Gasperini.
Three managers (Benitez, Leonardo and Gasperini) in a year for Massimo Moratti club has brought a lot instability to La Beneamata.
Gasperini is saddled with the responsibility of securing the Scudetto back from their cousins. The former Juventus youth team coach carved a niche for himself during his spell at Genoa. He led the club to Serie A in his first season and consolidated their status in the Italian top division. A fifth place finish in his third season was the pinnacle of his success with the Rossobulus before he parted ways with the club.

The Grugliasco native has shown that he’s an ambitious coach and certainly fit President Moratti’s picture of the man capable of easing away the memories of The Special One from the minds of the Nerazzurris.

JUVENTUS

The darling Old Lady of Turin have suffered tremendously since the Calciopoli scandal that rocked the foundation of the Turin club in 2006. The Bianconeris haven’t steady their ship.
Several changes in the board room which has seen three Presidents emerge in a space of four years which  has heaped a lot of pressure on the men in the dug-out (six coaches in five years).
Former player, Antonio Conte has been appointed has the man to lead La Vecchia Signoraout of its wilderness and restore its pride

Can he bring Glory days back to the club?

and glory days back.
Conte, 41, who started his coaching career as an Assistant Manager to Siena manager, Luigi De Canio in 2005 has slowly built his reputation in the lower leagues in Italy. He led AS Bari to Serie B title in 2009 thus securing promotion to Seria A for i Galletti. A similar feat he performed in Tuscan when his AC Siena won promotion back to the top division last season.
The former Lecce player missed out on the Juventus job in 2009 to his old team mate (Ciro Ferrara) but he has finally landed the big one.
He has his work cut out with the average un-Juventus-like players that Luigi Del Neri used  in  prosecuting last season’s campaign if he’s to succeed.
Hopefully, Giuseppe Marotta can assist by doing his job excellently and desist from recruiting laughable players who do not fit in, keep their quality youngsters like Marchisio who came through the club’s academy, though they’ve lost the atomic ant (Giovinco).
I guess He (Marotta) needs some schooling from bad man (Luciano Moggi) to help Conte.

AS ROMA

Goodbye Catalonia… Welcome Eternal City

Financial uncertainity has played a vital role in the Gillarossi’s unstable future. Former President, Rosella Sensi tried to chart a new path for the club since the demise of her father Franco in 2008 but very little success has been recorded.
With Thomas DiBenedetto’s takeover, a new breath of life is upon i Lupi.
The board decided not to continue with former player and interim coach Vincenzo Montella by appointing Luis Enrique.
The former Barcelona B coach hasn’t managed a team in top-flight  football yet but his success with Barcelona’s second string side where he led them to promotion play-offs says a lot about his coaching pedigree.
With the takeover process expected to be finalized soon, Luis Enrique will be provided with sufficient funds to freshen up a stale and tired looking Gillarossi for the new campaign.
He has promised the Eternal City fans attracting football that is always on display at the Camp Nou.
His appointment is seen as a gamble in some quarters. The jury is out on him.

Leo and his Derby della Madonnina woes

In 2009/10 season, the first Milan derby of the season was a Week 2 fixture. The Rossoneris were hosts to the Nerazzuris at their Giuseppe Meazza stadium. Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan welcomed Leonardo to managerial business with a four nil victory. An ego bruising loss for the Brazilian who had a playing career with the Red and Blacks and knows what the loss means to the locals. Leo’s Rossoneri side took a while to recover after he fashioned out a winning formula. The two sides met for the second derby in Week 21. Leonardo’s Milan side were the form team in the Serie A and book makers tipped the Rossoneris to avenge their early season loss but The Special One gave Leonardo another coaching lesson. Inter Milan defeated their cousins two nil in a bad tempered match with Inter finishing the game with nine men. Jose Mourinho added salt to Leonardo’s injury his post match comment by saying, “The only way AC Milan would have won this game was if we (Inter Milan) were down to seven men“.

A jinxed man?

Leonardo shocked the Diavolos when he accepted the Inter Milan job last December after Rafa Benitez left. Leonardo woke the sleeping champions from their slumber  mid way through the season as Inter Milan starting producing the expected result.

AC Milan played host to Inter last weekend in another Derby della Madonnina that had so much influence on the Scudetto title with two points seperating league leaders  AC Milan and defending champions Inter Milan. Both sides went for the juggernaut with an attacking formation. Allegri stuck to his 4-3-1-2 formation despite the continued absence of  Zlatan Ibrahimovic while Leonardo surprisingly switched to 4-2-1-3, a  formation he used while he was with AC Milan.

The host got to a perfect start as Gattuso combined well with Pato to set up Robinho but his effort was saved by Julio Cesar into the path of Pato who slotted the ball into an empty net. Kevin Prince Boateng and ageless Seedorf bossed the midfield with Thiago Motta and Esteban Cambiasso looking clueless and out of sorts. The Nerazzuris should have level at the end of the first stanza but Eto’o missed a good chance.

Inter were up for a herculean task when Chivu got his marching orders for a professional foul on Pato nine minutes into the second half. The Duck doubled his side lead in the 62minutes when he prodded home a far post cross from Abate. Substitute Cassano put the game beyond reach with his 90th minute spot kick. Leo’s Inter have been brought down to earth and their title dreams may well be over. The interesting thing here is that Leonardo has managed both Milan sides in the Derby Della Madonina with no victory and his team yet to score a goal while conceding nine goals in total.

Is there a jinx?