This week we saw the real power that football fans hold when they group together. Upon hearing the developments behind the Kaka deal, the reaction by the Milan tifosi was in the main positive, at least in terms of their reaction to the player. With other players, maybe who have not the same personality or principles as Kaka, the fans could have seen this as their star player refusing to rule out a transfer until the last minute, to either build up his power in negotiating future contracts, or to generate a level of admiration and appreciation that he feels he deserves, after all its no secret that Ricky has been feeling “under-loved” recently.
But instead the fans decided to persuade him with affection. The weekend match against Fiorentina saw almost exclusively positive banners and signs, which the player clearly saw and appreciated. Additionally the fans descended on the street outside his house in Corso Magenta in the centre of Milan to sing supportive chants and beg him to stay, for the best part of three days. The protests against the running of the club are less positive, but the fact that a “love offensive” as I have heard it called, can work so successfully, is a relief when supporters can often turn against a player just for keeping silent.
Inter’s Coppa Italia victory over Roma helped to ease some of the pressure that Massimo Moratti has heaped upon his Coach Jose Mourinho in the past week. The Inter President has spoken publicly after the 3-1 defeat to Atalanta, demanding to know what went wrong. The return of Adriano to the starting line-up (he played the second half against Atalanta) to partner Ibrahimovic worked well, with both getting on the score-sheet. The return of the young and very promising left-back Davide Santon to the starting line-up gave the Nerazzurri a great attacking threat, and as a team they played some good football, but it is another less-than-convincing result when you consider that Ibra’s goal was offside. Nonetheless if they can return to winning ways at the weekend against a seriously toothless Sampdoria side then all will be forgotten and forgiven, at least for now.
Genoa are unbeaten in their last seven Serie A matches, led by the eye-catching performances of Diego Milito all season. Transfer rumours in the media linking the Argentine with a move to the Premier League seem to be optimistic as although the club would surely be reluctant to part with him, the fact that the Genovese club are sitting in fourth spot would probably help the player to refuse such a move. If they manage a win at home to Catania, as they are expected to do, they will help consolidate their position, and can create breathing space ahead of Napoli should Roma get anything from the San Paolo.
Juventus are only three points behind the league leaders at present, and with Fiorentina having lost two in a row, it would be difficult to see La Viola coming away from Turin with any points at all. On the plus side, wins for the chasing pack, which is now reduced to two clubs – Juve and Milan – help bring drama to the title race, which will become increasingly intriguing due to the top two clubs’ Champions League campaign, something the Rossoneri do not have to consider.
Juventus vs. Fiorentina – Key clashes
125th Derby del Sole – Napoli vs. Roma key clashes
125th Derby del Sole – Napoli vs. Roma tactical breakdown
Juventus vs. Fiorentina – Past history
125th Derby del Sole – Napoli vs. Roma past history