Odd & edds the last few days

News

In few words what has happened in Italy in the last 12 days:

  •  It’s taken place the San Remo Music Festival, someone won it, but who cares in 2012?
  • A man hurt himself falling from an electricity pole to protest against the construction of a railway between France and Italy. Only here you need to send the army, and to risk your life, to allow the construction of a railway!
  • The unions and the government have been fighting to change the regulation of the work. Nothing has changed, as usual.
  • In the Italian big brother one of the participant got himself out by climbing on a high wall and then falling on the ground because was drunk. He was thought to be the smartest one.
  • One well-known journalist Carlo Pellegatti, who works for Milan Channel, had insulted live and on air the Juventus’ coach Antonio Conte. It was very funny.
  • Silvio Berlusconi has not been convicted of bribery because the crime was prescribed. Nasa’ scientist are trying to work out how many times this has already happened in the past. They’re still trying.
  • Inter lost another couple of matches.
  • The Italian left published an announce to find a new reason to split itself, and to fight each other, because of since Berlusconi left they hadn’t enough to justify their own existence.

That’s all for today.

See you soon.

It’s Champions League’s time for Italian teams

Road to Monaco

Today 15th February in an icy Italy Ac Milan is the first Italian football team to play the round of 16 in the Uefa Champions League.

When more than one month ago the management of Italian teams find out which teams they will have to beat to reach the round of 8, almost everyone was satisfied. Ac Milan and Napoli made a good first part of the competition, and they would have met two English team which were facing a bad season Arsenal and Chelsea. Inter was trying to save its season and drew Olympique Marseille, not exactly the strongest team in Europe.

But sometimes things change, especially in football. Today we can look at Napoli and Inter that are playing very badly and that have achived almost nothing this season and Ac Milan, which is leading the Serie A but with two more games than Juventus, in big trouble because this season it has been unable to win a single match with main opponents. They played quite well against Barçelona, but they got a defeat and a draw, and very badly with Inter, and especially with Juventus, even with Udinese, which is third in the league but not exactly a main team, they played not so well.

Moreover they have a lot of players injured, and some internal problems, they said Berlusconi is not so happy with its coach, Ibrahimovic feels too much pressure when has to play important matches, Pato is always in infirmary and in the end the team is the oldest of Europe.

I think the last data is the most important of all, in the last years Ac Milan was always defeated by English team, usually younger than them and that run a lot more than the Rossoneri.

Arsenal meanwhile has shown some improvements and a great Van Persie, one of the strongest player of Europe at the moment.

If I had to make a forecast I would say: 50% of chance for Ac Milan to pass and 50% Arsenal. For this evening match I would say 2-2.

For the other teams I write something the next week.

No to Rome 2020 is a fact!!!

"We can be heroes just for one day"

Today is a great day for Italy and Italians, our PM Mr. Monti has decided to not guarantee with public money the crazy project to host the Olympic Games in the 2020.

This is not a typical Italian complains about modernity or everything different from the existent, this time is different, I told you before, and I wasn’t alone, that this adventure would be a disaster in a period when we have no money to spend.

In Italy usually who speaks louder at the end would be right. Not this time.

Few people and few journalist has spent words to make Italians aware of the danger we could meet (corruption, wasting of money, destruction of archaeological and historical heritage, etc), but between them I’d like to mention two people who I deeply respect: Pietro Mennea (former gold medal at Moscow Olympics 1980) and Fabrizio Gatti (our best reporter).

From a rational point of view the whole decision and history couldn’t go in a different way. The Olympic project was ridiculous, they spoke about private money, they spoke about do not spend more than established, and they try to make the Olympics game seem a good bargain, when they are just the best way to waste our money, these are arguments that only in Italy could work.

But this time, for the first time, it does not work.

To stop another 10 billion euros wasting of money, in a country which has faced since the last summer cuts for over 60 billion euros, we needed to appoint a technical Government, while all the MPs supported the Olympic bid from all the main party. Luckily they failed.

Italian Rugby

Italian Rugby

The “Six Nations” tournament started just few days ago and our national team already got its first defeat against France.

A lot of critics have fallen on our national team even though less than one could expect. I think this happened because of the fact we have a new coach, the French Brunel, and he has got a little of patience from the Italian fans.

Rugby is not so popular in Italy, it started to spread just few years ago (less than 5) in almost every part of the Peninsula, while before that it was confined in few places with a strong and old tradition (Veneto, Abruzzo, etc.). Many children now are enrolled with rugby team something unbelievable just a couple of years ago. The rugby’s marketing has sold the product very well, who plays rugby is seen like an old gentlemen, a person devotes to fair play and to a pure discipline. Aspects of the culture like the nearly alcoholism of many players and the frequent fight on the pitch between players are underestimated since now.

Even our television fought a tough war to win the right to broadcast Six Nations matches, because they guarantee good results in the Nielsen’s ratings.

All this popularity is not all so good for the movement, because even though many new people are getting involved in the game, not all of them are happy with the results of our teams, both national and clubs.

Our national team usually ends at the bottom of the Six Nations, usually in the 5th place, and often lost all the game they played. But with the great visibility and the spread of the passion for the game the expectation of the fans have become bigger. While just a couple of years ago an honourable defeat in any tournament was seen like a good match and a good base for our future, now every defeat cause more people to mutter their disappointment.

This is what happened to our preceding coach the “kiwi” Mallet, perhaps not the most nice guys on heart but for sure not an idiot, who achieved some great victories (such as France last year), but lost many others; initially he had got the support of every fan and every media in Italy, then after some times he became to be criticised, a normal thing, then he became to be treated like an idiot and in the end all the media hated him and started to give to him all the guilty of the defeats.

Now I’m not a rugby pundit but it’s clear that our national team is weak, especially when we have to attack, I think that we have to grow up more before challenge for the victory.

But our new coach Brunel said recently that Italy could aspire to win the Six Nations in the next few years!

He seems a good man, skilful, good coach, willing, but honestly this is too much!

After the last week defeat against France no-one complained in the media, just few critics, about our destiny of losers; Italy has shown a willingness to attack France, some new youngster, our media replied with a cold support to the new project.

I hope for our new coach that he will manage to win at least one game (maybe against Scotland) to save him from the contempt of our media’s criticism, that could be very unpleasant.

The fast decline of The Italian Cup (“Coppa Italia”)

The trophy

In the last decades our national football cup, called “Coppa Italia”, has faced a steady decline that seems to be unstoppable.

Every team participating employs its players who usually sit on the bench, or sometimes give a chance to their youngster, no-one risks its biggest name, unless some particular rivalry exist between the clubs (for example the recent Milan and Juventus, or Roma and Lazio).

The cup once was a noble trophy something that could save seasons, even if it never reached the importance of the FA Cup. But in the last years our federation reached the bottom, they changed the rules at least 4 times, and even if you are the man who wrote them, they are so complicated that is almost impossible to talk about.

For example is not clear who can participate; is not clear why only the semifinals ave a return match and the other not; is not clear what you get at the end: you win a trophy, you get the chance to play the Supercoppa (like the Community Shield) and so what?

Furthermore the competition is played during the winter and in the evening because the televisions want to broadcast it in the prime time, a reasonable request, but why did the League agree?

So if you caught a glimpse to an Italian match of Coppa Italia you might think that the Stadium is full, actually it is not, our directors have been become as skilful as Hitchcock at least, so you could always see a full stadium even if there are 5-10,000 people only, the magician of the cameras and direction.

A lot of ideas have come out in these last years: open the tournament to every professional team such as the FA Cup or (my favourite) play the Cup during the Christmas period with the best 8 teams of the league, such as in the basketball, or give to the winner a place in the next Uefa Champions League.

As always in Italy there has been plenty of words but no facts, so we have to hear absurd debates on the opportunity that our national television (which is almost bankrupt) must take to buy for at least 15-20 million of euro the next editions of this unfair, unexplainable and uninteresting competition.

That’s what we deserve.

That’s all for today next time we will talk about the first shy news coverage of the anti-olympic arguments.

Italian Sportspersons ask Government to support the Olympic Bid

The important thing is to participate.

Good evening dear followers,

it’s a today news that the most famous Italian sportsperson are pushing on Mr Monti, the Italian prime minister, to hurry up in make official the government support for the Rome Olympic bid to host the 2020 summer games.

In the past few days the President of the Italian Olympic committee did the same, as wells as other well-know personalities.

It could be a normal behaviour to push on the government to support the Olympic bid…it could be…but if you thought that the deadline for the government decision is the next 14th of February, or in other words just in 7 days. Days not years.

Why all these appeals to hurry the Government to support the Olympic bid?

If you thought that as the Rome Committee said that all the games would cost to the Italian State: zero euro (yes 0, nada, niente, niet, null), because the revenues and the private investors would repay most of the investment, and that Mr Monti is known to be a prominent economist, a person completely honest, why do you push so hard on it?

If the Olympic Games are a good deal he will sign for sure. If…

And if you thought that Mr Petrucci our chief of the Italian Olympic committee is in his last term of office and wants to leave a mark of his years as chief, and if you thought that the typical Italian sportsperson is almost illiterate and could sign something just with a “X” mark, you could understand because I’m so sceptical about the Olympic bid and especially its cost for the Italian people who are already paying for the mistakes of our past politicians.

Italian football under the snow

Image

A snowy winter for Italian football

While I’m writing these few rows a lot of football matches of every Italian league are being postponed because of the bad weather condition, especially the huge snow fallen almost everywhere.

Postpone football match could be something that can be understandable because of the bad weather, but then you could notice that in Germany or UK for example they did not stop to play football even if their winter are colder than our. So why we’re delaying most of our matches?

The reason is that our stadiums are very old and most of them are in very bad condition, the only exception is the newly built “Juventus Stadium”, and in theory the “Stadio Olimpico” in Rome, where however people go crazy with a very little amount of snow.

Why don’t the presidents of the football club build new stadiums or do them up?

Well the reason is clear, they don’t want to spend money.

In Italy all the Stadium are owned by the city councils, they rent them to the football clubs, with usually unfair rates or without being paid, and for this very reason they are not interested in spend money about something they don’t own. Even if this has not much sense, because they lost a lot of money hosting football matches in unfriendly structures; anyway that is what has happened until now.

At the moment they’re spilt into two fronts: the first the poor, are the ones who wants that the state should privatize all the stadiums (in Italian “privatize” means: sold it for free or below its market price); and the pioneers who wants to build stadium at their expense (in Italians that means: buy land where it’s forbidden to build and then try to push on the city councils to change the rules and allow them to make a huge amount of money from that land, usually a place dangerous for ecological or historic reasons).

With these two proud fronts you can understand why I am not very confident in the future of our loved game.