- One last thought from Wednesday’s Champions League match before I turn my attention back to the friendly confines of Serie A, where everything is still pretty rosy. Watching David Villa convert that set piece only highlighted what Inter are missing this season. Have you ever seen a team, much less a team at the top of its table, that’s less threatening off of direct free kicks? Granted, the Nerazzurri are tough in the air and have been monsters when given corners and set pieces from the side (including one the other night), but teams can pretty much foul our guys with impunity in the center of the pitch above the penalty area. I really don't even clap when we win one. By my unofficial count, we’ve only converted two direct free kicks all season, Figo’s incredible game-winner in the SuperCup and Adriano’s skipper at home to Fiorentina. I wish there were statistics available for this but I can’t find them anywhere. To be able to bend a free kick into the back of the net is to have the ability to steal momentum and change the game, as we saw Wednesday. I would guess the guy to turn to would be the perpetually injured Alvaro Recoba, but the odds of him getting many minutes when he returns are obviously very low as he’s not the type of player that should be playing next to Ibrahimovic, whose place in the side is untouchable.
I’ll tell you, as much as I enjoyed picking on Sinisa Mihajlovic, and his slightly ambiguous relationship with Mancini, I’ve never appreciated the guy more.
- Anyway, if the match still has you a little down, here’s a great YouTube clip for you of our last trip to the Mestalla (complete with the AWESOME commentary of the legendary Roberto Scarpini, who will himself be the subject of his own post before too long). Should be enough to cheer you up and remind you that this thing’s not over yet.
(At some point this weekend I’ll figure out how to put the video right on the page, along with some pictures and dress this place up a little bit…)