Mourinho on form as Milan derby day looms

It’s derby week and fashion week all rolled into one in Milan so there has been plenty of preening around the city.

Willowy models and braying fashion designers have all been giving their views on La Derby della Madonnina.

Of course, the Jose Mourinho factor puts Inter down as firm favourites as far as the fashioniste are concerned although D&G are sitting on the fence: despite being big Nerazzurri fans they deck Paolo Maldini and co. out in their club suits so can’t be seen taking sides.

Anyway, enough of such frivolous matters and down to the nitty-gritty of how long it would take the doyen of the smouldering Bryan Ferry look, Mr. M of course, to get a dig in at AC Milan? Not long.

 "Don't call me arrogant, but I'm a special one." 

After Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani hailed Rino Gattuso’s amazing powers of recovery from a fractured wrist to play his part in the much-needed win over Lazio, Mourinho suggested that maybe something had been amiss with the initial prognosis.

The midfielder should have been sidelined for a month after falling into the dug-out during a game with Italy ahead of the World Cup 2010 qualifier in early September.

Nevertheless, there he was, protective cast and all, charging all over the San Siro turf on Sunday evening, leaving the Portuguese smelling a rat.

“I like transparency when it comes to my injured players and giving out the correct predicted time for their recovery,” sniffed Mourinho. “Others prefer to suggest a longer lay-off and then it seems wonderful when they return ahead of schedule.”

Gattuso raring to go following miraculous wrist recovery 

Don’t be surprised if he expects Alessandro Nesta to make an appearance on Sunday as well but, as yet, this little tease has failed to get a rise out of Milan.

However, expect some sort of retort as the week progresses, especially from Gattuso who generally shoots his mouth off quicker than you can say “50-50 ball.” Leaving aside the mind games for a moment, Javier Zanetti should play his 600th game for Inter this evening when the champs play Lecce.

The 35-year-old is still full of running and looks as if he could go on until he's 40.

"I'm going to regret doing this in the morning..."

The late Giacinto Facchetti currently holds the club record, on 634 games, so that landmark will surely have gone by the end of the campaign.

If Maldini is rested at Reggina this evening and leads out Milan on Sunday, alongside Zanetti, the pair will have a combined 1475 appearances between them.

Impressive stuff and certainly a fitting moment for two members of the football community who have always put actions before words.

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