Mourinho mouth back with a bang
It was too good to last: a summer of silence from Jose Mourinho.
Just when we thought that the moody one had gone all soft under the warm Italian skies, there he is putting the verbal boot into Claudio Ranieri.
The Juventus boss had started the mischief making - first with a quip that Chelsea would have sold Frank Lampard to the Turin club rather Inter, then a barbed attack on the Mourinho ego.
Speaking after a pre-season defeat to Hamburg last Sunday, Ranieri compared his reaction to a setback to that of the new Nerazzurri boss.
Ã¢ÂÂUnlike Mourinho, I donÃ¢ÂÂt need to win to be sure of what I am doing,Ã¢ÂÂ he claimed.
"Put a sock it in Claudio. What have you won..."
Proving that he had not lost his touch, that ruthless streak was back to the fore quicker than you could say Franz Beckenbauer Trophy Ã¢ÂÂ MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs first piece of silverware by the way Ã¢ÂÂ following a 1-0 win at Bayern Munich.
Ã¢ÂÂYes, Ranieri is right, I am demanding and thatÃ¢ÂÂs why I have won so many trophies,Ã¢ÂÂ was the Portuguese man of warÃ¢ÂÂs poisoned retort.
Of course, he wasnÃ¢ÂÂt going to leave it at that and then went on to belittle the man he replaced at Chelsea.
Ã¢ÂÂHe has the mentality of someone who doesnÃ¢ÂÂt need to win and at almost 70 years he has won a Supercup and some other small cups Ã¢ÂÂ heÃ¢ÂÂs too old to change his mentality.Ã¢ÂÂ
He may have been right about the lack of silverware, but Ranieri is a mere 56 and if Mourinho thought he was being witty, the remark didnÃ¢ÂÂt go down to well in a country where those within the football community fall over backwards in their fawning of each other.
The fact that Ranieri is so well liked didnÃ¢ÂÂt help either.
Even Inter were embarrassed by the remarks, well slightly, especially as they came on their own in-house channel although Mourinho seems unrepentant.
HeÃ¢ÂÂll be fuelling this feud for the rest of August and beyond, claiming in biblical fashion that Ranieri had spited him thrice but that his sole rejoinder had been the one that hurt the most.
Italy will just have to get used to such nuggets aimed at real or supposed enemies, but at least Inter are going to be as unpopular as ever Ã¢ÂÂ maybe thatÃ¢ÂÂs the way the man wants it.
"You must be confusing me with someone who cares..."
He will certainly get plenty of help from their fans who landed the club in the dock when they unveiled banners during a home game with Napoli last season, disparaging the fine southern city.
Ã¢ÂÂNaples, you are a sewer Ã¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂHi cholera suffers Ã¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ in reference to an ongoing garbage collection crisis which apparently caused a travelling fan to suffer some sort of psychological breakdown.
Ã¢ÂÂExistential damageÃ¢ÂÂ was the term the courts used as they slapped Inter with a grand and half fine plus costs.
So, with such huge pay-outs on offer expect plenty more cases as Romans taunt the Milanese over their inclement weather in the winter, Florentines on how Juventus always cheat and Palermo fans wave wades of euros at the notoriously tight-fisted citizens of Genoa.