Vlog – Milan v Real and Inter top but all is not well in Italy

November 3, 2009

Resurgent AC Milan host Real Madrid in the Champions League later having beaten the Galacticos 3-2 at the Bernabeu two weeks ago.

Meanwhile Inter Milan are seven points clear in Serie A after just 11 games. All would seem to be rosy in one of Europe’s greatest soccer cities, but in reality Italian football is in the doldrums.

Mark Meadows discusses.


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Come on, Mark. While your thesis may be correct, condemning Inter for “scraping 2-1 victories” when two of their last four matches featured five-goal outbursts doesn’t do much for your case. Additionally, while some talented players have undoubtedly left Italy in recent years, Diego, Samuel Eto’o and Wesley Sneijder would probably be quite surprised to hear they’re past their sell-by dates — Ronaldinho isn’t the only person to have arrived in Italy over the last two season and, no, David Beckham isn’t the only other one.

In a three minute piece featuring only about 120 seconds of actual content, presuming to make a case for why “Italian football in the doldrums” is laughable, and does both you and calcio a disservice.

Posted by Martha | Report as abusive

If things are really so bad in Italian soccer, how come Italy has won the World Cup 4 times, as recently as in 2006?

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

I would assume Sam that Mark means in the last two years or so.

Posted by braidsy | Report as abusive

Indeed braidsy. I think the decline began with the match-fixing scandal and the Italy players bonded because of this and went on to win in 2006. Milan then won the Champions league in 2007 but since Italy and club sides in Europe have stuttered.

I didnt mention in the video the problems Inter have in Europe. We’ll see how they do in Kiev on Wednesday and maybe Ill do another piece.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Hi Martha, thanks for watching. Of course three minutes isnt long enough to get into the real nitty gritty. Yes Inter have played well and scored goals of late but they could easily have drawn the 5-3 with Palermo having been 4-0 up.
They struggled against Livorno first half at the weekend and won 2-0 thanks to a late goal.
I think the fact no Italian player is in the running for the Ballon D’or this year is telling and only a handful of Serie A players are up for the Fifa award.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

The lack of Italians on the ballon d’or list was the first thing that leapt out at me and must be deeply worrying for Italy. Are they ehading the way of Germany?

Posted by kev | Report as abusive

Hey Mark. I realize focusing on this is at best tangential to your central point, but I’d argue that Inter’s result against Livorno — who as you know had won two in a row, were organized, and frequently defended with nine men inside 30-35 yards — was actually quite good. After a poor start with a heavily rotated team (including teenager Rene Khrin making his first senior start and looking distinctly overwhelmed) and midfield of which only one player would be a starter in the first-choice lineup, Inter were clinical in the second half, and professionally put the game away. They’re better than they were last season, and are playing much better football. I don’t have much faith in their ability to make an impact in Europe (though I’m eager to be proven wrong), but they’re nevertheless a better team than they were with Zlatan.

That said, again, I don’t disagree with the idea that Serie A has fallen from its recent heights (indeed, you’d probably struggle to find anyone who would), I just find it difficult when the league are presented so simplistically, particularly consider that much of your readership probably don’t regularly watch calcio.

Posted by Martha | Report as abusive

I think the fact that there are none/less/little Italian players running for the Ballon ‘d or and Fifa awards proves that the teams within Italy has managed to be victorious based on teamwork and not for their individual display of talent, hence the huge amount of late goals scored.

Posted by Warren | Report as abusive

I can’t help but notice there are no comments on inter’s comeback yesterday and what it means for the moral of the team, especially if they might be the direct reason why barcelona is out of the CL in the next game in camp nou

Posted by Sherif | Report as abusive

I agree with the general feeling that Italian football has lost it’s status somewhat. This said, with the massive sums of money that have been poured into the premiership and the generous tax conditions afforded to clubs in Spain it could be argued as being on the cards. Italy has not been able to compete in the same way as before but has still managed to put together viable teams with some big spending by the top 3 or 4 teams. Calciopoli put Italian football back at least 2 years and hopefully we will see something of a re-emegence from the wilderness. Equally, Serie A is belittled by some quarters that see the pin ball style of the Premiership as the only football to watch, their views on Italian football are misguided and generally ill informed as they simply go on hearsay rather than any real experience of watching it……rant over!

Posted by Mauro | Report as abusive

Yes, a great comeback for Inter at Kiev. Could this be the start of an Italian renaissance?

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

[…] did a video blog on Tuesday about the¬†difficulties in Italian football (and got a bit of stick for it!)¬†and for 86 […]

Posted by Arsenal emerge as shining light in Champions League – Posted In UEFA Champions League | Soccer News Info – Soccer News Info | Report as abusive

I have watched your Vlog, maybe a little downbeat, I sense that you going with the current general “thinking” that an Italian team will not lift the Champions League this time around all the while quietly hoping that one does. Which what I am doing too. Chelsea and Manchester Utd are definitely strong favourites, Barca is in a dip at the moment. I honestly hope that the 4 Italian teams reach the next stage, it is possible, they jest need to remain focused for the last 2 games. We will see I suppose. I am a Juve fan but am rooting for all 4 Italian teams. The EPL is the richest league but I find the Italian league the most interesting by far.

Posted by Mauro | Report as abusive

milan won the ucl in 2007.. italy won the wc in 2006 ..italians r 4 times champion… in 2008 euro they lost to spain but in penalty shoot out….. if u r talking anout 2 seasons then it really dosnt matter… england won the world cup in 66 huh .. n i know they r lucky enough to lift the ucl 11 times… check out their statas and finals..huh… liverpool lost to fiorentina… fulham lost to roma.. real lost to milan… inter drew with barca … wtf u r talking bout…

Posted by khan | Report as abusive

in recent years its been common practice to see 4 premier league teams in the last 8 of the champions league and usually 3 in the last 4 as inevitabley 2 english teams will play each other in the quarters (usually liverpool chelsea) and as for finals since 2005 there has been at least one english team in every final since then, amounting to 6 premier league teams out of 10 possible final places with 2 italian teams and 2 spanish, so thats wtf hes talking about just because the italians are having a little purple patch and winning a few games against english teams doesnt mean the power has suddenly switched, the premier league is the stongest and best to watch in the world, FACT!

oh and as for fulham losing to roma, as a fulham fan id just say i think its great if you think a roma win is a good result as 18 months ago we were on the brink of being relegated and you were in the champions league quarter finals now look at where we both are, it takes 3 sendings off and 2 deflected goals for them to beat us so i couldnt be happier that little old fulham could cause the ‘mighty’ roma so many problems

Posted by maid | Report as abusive

Since 2005 there has been at least one english team in every final, amounting to 6 premier league teams out of 10 possible final places with 2 italian teams and 2 spanish…

The reality is that EPL teams have won only 1 CL since 2005, Spanish teams 2, and Italian teams 1. One win in five attempts (6 premier league teams out of 10 possible final places yet only one win!)

English journalists and fans have this bad attitude of trying to put other leagues down so they can claim that the EPL is the best league in the world…

Posted by African | Report as abusive

ok let me put it a different way, since 2005 4 different english teams have filled the 6 places out of 10 in the champions league finals in manchester united, chelsea, arsenal and liverpool, where as the italians have milan twice and spain has barcelona twice, does this not tell a story in itself that the english league is far stronger and has been for the last 5 years? barcelona are for me the best team in the world, obviously after last season, but besides them and real madrid the spanish league doesnt have any teams that will strike fear into any of the 3 english teams likely to progress into the knockout stages (remember chelsea scored 6 in two games against athletico and without aguero they would of not had any reply) and the same goes for the italian league, yes fiorentina have beaten liverpool this season but they are now the weakest of the top 4 in england and i believe chelsea united or arsenal will simply brush them aside, with only inter and milan posing a real threat to any of the 3 clubs mentioned. nobody knows wat will happen from now until the end of the competition but the stats dont lie and the english league has proven to be the strongest over the last 5 years on the european stage

Posted by maid | Report as abusive

think it’s hard to argue that english league has, collectively, been the strongest over the pst five years or so, but as maid says, the strongest individual team has often been found elsewhere. it was barcelona by a country mile last season, as they were in 2006 under Rijkaard.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive