Club Focus – Inter – A derby win, a semi-final, and disciplinary charges. Just another quiet week for Mourinho

It will not come as much of a surprise to hear that José Mourinho will be dragged up in front of the disciplinary commission to explain his comments following last weekend’s Derby della Madonnina. The Portuguese Coach was incensed by a number of controversial refereeing decisions, spearheaded by the bizarre red card to Wesley Sneijder for sarcastically clapping the whistleblower. In his interviews with Italian TV, Mourinho openly professed, “I have already understood they won’t let us seal up the Scudetto.” ‘They’ now want a chat with the Inter boss.

Sitting alongside the Special One in the FIGC naughty chairs will be Nerazzurri general manager Ernesto Paolillo, after he delivered his none too conspicuous view that “they want to re-open a title race by not recognising the superiority of a team and they want to do it in a none-too-legal way.” A hefty fine can be expected for each with Mourinho possibly incurring a touchline ban as well. The disciplinary commission have brought the charges about as Mourinho and Paolilo’s actions ‘aimed to damage, directly or indirectly, the prestige and credibility of the Federal Institutions, casting shadows of doubt over the regularity of the tournament.’ Perish the thought.

Although it is easy to pay little attention to Mourinho’s diatribes made in the heat of the moment, the disciplinary commission must be conscious to stamp down on any suggestions of foul play. Calciopoli is still felt around Italian football, and with the FIGC eager to portray a new light, such accusations will not sit lightly and it is likely Mourinho will bear the brunt of their dissatisfaction. As yet, no summons has been issued to Marco Materazzi for his stunt with the Silvio Berlusconi mask. Matrix has passed it off as harmless banter, saying, “It was just a derby prank, nothing more. There was no intention to cause any trouble or to offend, and there was no political intention.” It makes you think that Materazzi must have caught back episodes of Spitting Image during his spell with Everton.

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Ahead of tonight’s Coppa Italia quarter-final meeting with Juventus, Mourinho did have some consoling words for stricken Bianconeri boss Ciro Ferrara. Mourinho has been far from immune to criticism since his arrival on the peninsula and claims, “In Italy a Coach who starts the season on the bench and finishes it there is not a Coach, but a hero.” Unfortunately for Ferrara the sympathy stopped with words as il Biscione dumped Juve out of the competition thanks to another late rally. Diego had put the visitors ahead only for Lúcio to equalise, before Mario Balotelli pounced late to set up a semi-final with Fiorentina. Juventus fans were banned from attending the match at the San Siro as a punishment for their continued racial abuse of Balotelli, who took great pleasure in piling further misery on the fallen Turin giants.

The Nerazzurri are now well placed for a domestic double, but must maintain a safe distance from Milan in the league. The Derby result ended one of those mini-slumps which Inter fall into, and restored the lead to nine points over their great rivals. Next up is a visit to the Ennio Tardini to face Parma. Although the talismanic Sneijder is suspended, la Benemeata should have more than enough to deposit a Parma side who have collected just one point from 15. Inter have formed a nasty habit, possibly borne out of complacency, of dropping unnecessary points in fixtures they should be dominating. If they are to make any headway in Europe this season, Mourinho may opt to shuffle his pack either side of the Champions League games. If so, it will be important for the team to maintain a comfortable buffer between themselves and their pursuers to enable the Special One to comfortably rotate in the league schedule. Errors in games like this weekend’s can prove farer reaching than just Serie A. Revitalised after taking care of the Rossoneri, Inter now need to show that efficiency and consistency of champions.

With just a couple of days of the transfer window left, the transfer of Cristian Ledesma from Lazio looks to be dead after the league’s arbitration panel decided not to rescind the players contract. The Argentinean midfielder must now sit out the rest of his contract in Rome, with the champions reticent to meet Lazio’s €15m valuation. Director Marco Branca had indicated there was ‘another player’ in the cross-hairs, with initial speculation that the player was Sporting Lisbon’s Portuguese schemer Miguel Veloso, however, late on Thursday evening reports surfaced that the club had just struck a deal with Valencia over the acquisition of Manuel Fernandes.


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Inter Club Focus 2009/10

Pre-season


Another Scudetto for the Nerazzurri?
– August 18, 2009

Week 1


A stuttering start, and a Portuguese explosion
– August 25, 2009

Week 2


It’s derby time
– August 28, 2009


A wonderful derby but the champions of Europe are waiting
– September 1, 2009


All is well for la Beneamata
– September 4, 2009

International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)


Friendlies, injuries and stolen boots…
– September 7, 2009

Week 3


Nerazzurri look to the future as Ibra looks back
– September 11, 2009


Inter get a point, but that’s not the point
– September 18, 2009

Week 4


They never had a problem with ugly wins
– September 22, 2009

Week 5


Partenopei are beaten Black and Blue
– September 25, 2009

Week 6


Blucerchiati run rings round Inter
– September 29, 2009


Champions League? You’re having a laugh
– October 2, 2009

Week 7


I’d rather be lucky than good
– October 6, 2009


The international break
– October 6, 2009

International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)


Transfer Talk
– October 13, 2009


Back to Genova
– October 16, 2009

Week 8


The Puzzle continues
– October 20, 2009

Week 9


What next?
– October 23, 2009


Papering over the cracks
– October 27, 2009

Week 10


The pressure is on as Inter almost throw it away against Palermo
– October 30, 2009

Week 11


Judgement day awaits
– November 3, 2009


Just in time
– November 6, 2009

Week 12


A draw with Roma, but things look good
– November 10, 2009

Week 13


Back to the day job
– November 20, 2009


A Messi situation
– November 24, 2009


It was embarrassing
– November 27, 2009

Week 14


José gets ruffled
– December 1, 2009

Week 15


Derby d’Italia
– December 4, 2009


It could be worse
– December 8, 2009

Week 16


Disaster averted
– December 11, 2009


A missed opportunity? More for them than us
– December 11, 2009

Week 17


Resolutions
– December 18, 2009


How do you solve a problem like Mourinho [does]?
– December 22, 2009

Winter break


Grazie Marco
– December 29, 2009


Inter transfer rumours beaten black and blue
– January 5, 2010

Week 18


Mario Balotelli, hero and villain
– January 8, 2010


Wesley Sneijder: the human get-out-of-jail-free card
– January 12, 2010

Week 19


A potentially beastly decision
– January 15, 2010

Week 20


Bari wasn’t great, Milan must be better
– January 19, 2010

Week 21


Derby della Madonnina and Jermaine Jenas?
– January 22, 2010


Inter show why they are the champions of Milan
– January 26, 2010


A derby win, a semi-final, and disciplinary charges. Just another quiet week for Mourinho
– January 29, 2010

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