Reuters Soccer Blog
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The coaches of the three biggest Serie A clubs recently indulged in what has always been one of the favourite pastimes of the older and wiser — picking fault with today’s youngsters.
Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho kicked things off when he criticised 19-year-old forward Mario Balotelli’s approach in training and suggested that footballers of his age were more interested in Ferraris and Bentleys than getting on with the job.
“It’s probably a generational problem,” Mourinho said. “At the moment it’s very difficult to find a player who’s 19 or 20 and thinks like a man.”
Reporters asked Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara what he thought, but if they hoped to stir up another Mourinho-versus-the-rest-of-Italy row, they were disappointed.
There is nothing new about putting expensively assembled football teams into the hands of former players with glorious on-field pasts and little coaching experience. But I think it’s fair to say that Pep Guardiola’s remarkable success in his maiden season in the Barcelona dugout contributed to AC Milan and Juventus recently appointing novice managers Leonardo and Ciro Ferrara.
Juve’s Italy defender Nicola Legrottaglie said he sees Ferrara as “the Italian response to Guardiola”. Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani, meanwhile, preferred to compare Leonardo to the precedent they set with Fabio Capello, who like the Brazilian was a club director before his 1991-96 stint in charge that produced four Serie A titles and a Champions League.