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MessagePosté le: Mer 23 Mai - 12:57 (2018)    Sujet du message: Paddy Agnew’s Notes from Italy: Farewells and drama on the f Répondre en citant

Paddy Agnew’s Notes from Italy: Farewells and drama on the final day
 
maxbet Juventus, Napoli, Roma and Inter in the Champions; Lazio, Milan and Atlanta in the Europa League ; Crotone, Verona and Benevento relegated. At the end of another dramatic Serie A season on Sunday, those were the final verdicts. We say dramatic because nothing could have been more nailbiting than the very last match of the season which saw Lazio and Inter face off in a game that had become a Champions League play-off for the fourth remaining place. In a game of major swings of fortune, Inter gave one of their best performances of the season to come from a 2-1 losing scoreline to win 3-2 thanks to two goals in three minutes in the last quarter hour.

Not for the first time this season (see Salzburg in the Europa League), one had to feel sorry for an excellent Lazio which came a cropper at the very last fence, just when they appeared to have “the cat in the bag”, to use a Trappatoni saying. Not for the first time this season, too, one has to acknowledge that the experienced Luciano Spalletti has done a splendid job with Inter, not always the most straightforward club job in the land. This last week has been an important one and not just for Sunday’s on the field verdicts. This was the week when goalkeeping legend Gigi Buffon “departed” and when coach Roberto Mancini arrived to take over the national team. With the Russia World Cup just around the corner, the announcement of Mancini’s appointment as the new “CT” (Commissario Tecnico) was timely. maxbet

Without Italy at the World Cup finals, this will be a painfully difficult summer for Italian fans. However, as we look forward to next season, not to say further down the road to Euro 2020, Mancini’s nomination offers a positive, bright note for the Italian future. One of the leading lights in a formidable generation of Italian coaches, Roberto Mancini was the first Italian manager to win the English Football Championship when guiding Manchester City to the Premiership title in 2012. Since then, of course, compatriots Claudio Ranieri at Leicester City in 2016 and Antonio Conte at Chelsea last year have followed in his footsteps.

A fabulously talented player with both Sampdoria and Lazio, Mancini has proved to be an equally effective coach, winning league titles not only with Man City but also three times with Inter Milan (2006-2008). Following the sacking of Gian Piero Ventura last November in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for Russia, the Football Federation has understandably opted for a coach who, unlike Ventura, has a top class, winning and international pedigree. Coach to Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg since June of last year, Mancini was the choice of an ad hoc Federation team which comprised among others, former AC Milan defender Billy Costacurta, the deputy Federation Commissioner, and Lele Oriali, former Inter legend and 1982 World Cup winner. A winning card ably played by Mancini was his obvious enthusiasm for the job. maxbet
 


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