Does anyone remember the last time Inter Milan were a real threat in international football? Personally, I don’t remember any time like that.
I only remember the Nerazzurri as a sleeping giant which were awarded three Serie A trophies on a silver spoon- after Juventus were stripped of the title after the club was found guilty of match fixing.
When Jose Mourinho joined them, they regained their confidence and won a series of trophies, including their Champions League trophy in 60 years. When he left for Real Madrid, they crept back to the old times.
They lost the first tie of Coppa Italia semi finals against AS Roma in midweek, are not in the Champions League and the Serie A title is out of reach.
Well, they have sold Wesley Sneider to Galatasaray and with that money they should be in position to buy a quality striker and a midfielder of the same departed quality.
Team of the year: Swansea
I don’t know where Swansea City came from to claim such superiority in the Premier League that it even dares boss big clubs.
When they were promoted to the Premier League one and a half years ago, the Walsh club was one of the favourites for relegation. But in their surprise ammunition, they had a certain Brendan Rodgers, a man, who believes in keeping the ball on the ground.
When he left for Liverpool, clearly a bigger step for him, I kind of thought Swansea would struggle to keep up, I was wrong.
Swansea have only grown stronger. With the acquisition of Michu, the new head coach, Michael Laudrup, plays a similar game to Rodgers’ and has made Swansea a club to reckon with.
Last week they knocked Chelsea out of the Capital One Cup and are now super favourites to win against Bradford City in the final on Tuesday at Wembley Stadium.
Unless another English Club wins a trio of titles, Swansea should get the vote as the team of the year. They have clearly demonstrated that a cheaply assembled but professional squad can win what an expensively assembled club can’t.
AFCON is picking up
A boring day it was last Saturday when two opening fixtures of the African Nations Cup produced no goals. The following day was glamorous however; an underdog outwitted one of the Big Boys, Ghana, in an emphatic thriller that also exposed Asamoah Gyan as a terrible striker.
DR Congo players all had award-winning hairstyles (in the fashion police category) and seemed to be inspired by more than just skill, talk of a higher power.
They pulled off some sleek passing and when they went a goal down, they didn’t give up but came back twice to at least earn a convincing draw, thanks to strikes by Tresor Mputu Mabi and Dieumercie Mbokani.
South Africa did the same and lived to their tag as a strong host nation by beating Angola- probably this time they won’t pretend but contend seriously.
More than ever before, I am enjoying this competition; I am hoping for a fresh sight of new African revelations.
Fergie and Benitez should get a room
There are few managers in football that can go as far as to push an opponent into a busy railway, and, yet, in Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafael Benitez, that is just a pinch of what they can do to each other.
The two managers just can’t help but demonstrate uttermost dislike for each other.
Ferguson has gone as far as to claim that Benitez caused unnecessary rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United- and that he had never shared a worse relationship with any Anfield boss than he shared with Benitez.
On the other hand, Benitez claimed that all he thinks about are the clubs he coaches, yet most of the time, the urge to throw some mud at Ferguson is always an overwhelming weight on his shoulders.
Other than talking about “facts” against Ferguson and Manchester United while he was coach at Liverpool, Benitez has come out again, this time as Chelsea coach to spite Ferguson’s abuse of match officials.
Like them or hate them, if this isn’t a love-hate story, what more can it be?