Por Que?February 3, 2016
“I meant what I said. I hate the violence. I hate the killings. But I cannot just stand aside and let the others die for me. I will fight too. I can kill. Don’t ask me to kill.”
Those words, by Miss Mary Masembuko (Whoopi Goldberg) to Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo) when she found her gun hidden behind her fridge in Sarafina! came to mind as I decided to write this. They probably aren’t relevant here, but you know what? I don’t care.
Later tonight, I will be watching Inter take on Chievo in the Serie A, I think. I mean I don’t know whether I’ll still be awake at the time, or if the Kenya Power people will be harbouring other ideas. Though frankly, I won’t be all that disappointed should I miss it. Strange, huh?
See, I love Inter. I don’t say that about Arsenal or Bayern Munich or Real Madrid a lot. Not that I’ve suddenly fallen out of love with them, far from it. With Inter, the feeling is just special. It’s almost as if I don’t expect anything from them in return. Whenever I watch Inter and they score a goal, it’s as if I’ve never ever seen a goal scored before. I doubt if this makes any sense. Oh yeah, about that, sense. Love doesn’t and probably shouldn’t make sense, so there.
Anyway, that implies that I should probably exhibit a bit more enthusiasm for the visit of Chievo. Sadly, that’s not the case. I’m tired. Yes, tired. This was always going to be a strange season for us the Nerazzurri. Alright, we entered into it with the primary goal being a top three finish required for Champions League football. Then we flew off the blocks. Ok, not quite, but we started well and all of a sudden, it seemed as though the league title wasn’t that far off. The team wasn’t exactly obliterating opponents, but found a dogged, mechanical way of 1-0-ing their way to win after win. You’re right, it wasn’t pretty. We’d fumble around, get a corner in the 30th minute, score and shut shop. That was it. You knew the game was over with the goal. Napoli may have been the entertainers, Roma the ones showing promise and Juventus rising from the ashes, but at the end of the year 2015 it was the blue and black Biscione (viper) that had slithered its way to the apex of the league, looking very much like the efficient machine destined for the Scudetto. I’ll cut to the chase. A month later, we are fourth, 10 points behind the irrepressible Napoli and every inch lucky to even be in that position.
I really don’t know what to make of all this transformation. In the course of the season every time I’ve sat to watch an Inter match, I have been unable to shed this feeling that our manager, Roberto Mancini, has been guessing his way from the training pitches at Appiano Gentile to the referees’ final whistle week in, week out. His team selections have been more mysterious than the Shroud of Turin, the Babushka Lady and the Bermuda Triangle combined. Fine, Samir Handanovic is always in goal. The rest of the positions are always up for grabs for anyone. And I mean A.N.Y.O.N.E. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he picks his team by rolling the dice. Some days Yuto Nagatomo will be the right back, other days the left back, or not in the squad altogether. Heck! At times he’ll be the captain. Same to Juan Jesus – left back, right back, centre back, captain or anonymous. Upfront is awash with even more mayhem. Mauro Icardi is the official club captain and my leader, saviour and legend – the one we rely on for goals. These days it’s not shocking to not see him anywhere in team sheets. My go to line at the start of games is usually ‘what have we here today?’
We could easily have won this season’s Scudetto and that’s bearing in mind that this is a very poverty squad. Make no mistake about it. The problem is that Don Roberto tinkers with his squad too much the bloke has no inkling of what his best eleven looks like. Mind you, this is a multiple Italian champion and a Premier League champion not so long ago with Manchester City. I don’t understand, fam. I really don’t. We don’t create chances. At all. How does a team win a game without creating chances? There’s a time our starting XI consisted of the keeper, the striker (Icardi) and 9 defensive or defensive minded players. I’m seated all alone in the living room, it’s late in the night then I see that line up and a voice in me screams ‘yo dude, go to bed already!’ You wonder how possible it is that a coach spent a week in training with his squad and got convinced that there’s no other personnel he would deploy for that match. What is this filth?
Speaking of managers, today I’ve had an interesting (not really) debate on Twitter about the usual culprit, Arsene Wenger. Of course this is in the wake of Arsenal further denting their title chances (lol! What now?) last night with the draw against Southampton. By the way I am aware Inter was the subject of this, but you know, due to public demand I’ve had to digress. The public here being the voices in my head. So someone was regaling us with tales of how wrong it is for the fans to demand that Wenger leaves, how we’d struggle and generally how Man United we’d become in the wake of this. Normally I would just scroll up but I don’t know, I couldn’t resist. How can people think like that? And I’m asking with as much sincerity as I can muster. So if Arsene died today, or became too sick to discharge his functions we’d just fold up the club and liquidate since we are only going to experience misery and problems?
The guy’s been there for twenty years, half of which he has been good and the other half he’s been somewhere between abject and inept. What more is he going to do that we haven’t already seen? What change is he going to bring as he approaches 70? New ways to implode? Or discover another fourth position not known before? When a despot extends his time in power past the legal limits, there’s global outrage but when a coach with an average track record is asked to leave after two decades it’s a scandal and a study in ingratitude. It’s a funny place, this world of ours.
Back to Inter. Did you hear that some club had a Deadline Day bid for Captain, Leader, Legend Mauro Icardi rejected by Inter? What’s the world coming to? Somehow I can’t help but think Inter actually warmed up to the idea and only binned it not because of the backlash that would ensue but rather because they would have no time to find a replacement. I swear I hope this is not the case. If we are going to sell Icardi mid-season then why not just go ahead and petition the Italian Federation for us to forfeit the rest of the campaign?
All the best to the boys tonight against Chievo. Crossing my fingers for a 1-0. In our favour, just to be clear.
Thank you and good night!