x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

'The New Mourinho' at Inter Milan is different from the old

It is notable when a young head coach declares that he will not be commenting publicly on refereeing performances.

Inter Milan's coach Andrea Stramaccioni gestures during match against Juventus.
Inter Milan's coach Andrea Stramaccioni gestures during match against Juventus.

This column is not obsessed with refereeing, as may have appeared the case in recent weeks. It simply that the officiating of matches in Serie A has been a dominant issue in Italy lately.

It never takes much, admittedly, to put refereeing decisions at the top of the media, public and argumentative agenda in Italian football.

So it is notable when a young head coach declares that he will not be commenting publicly on refereeing performances.

Andrea Stramaccioni, the 36 year old whose Inter Milan ended Juventus's long undefeated league run, had cause for complaint at some decisions during the 3-1 win, notably that the early Juventus goal evolved from a player, Kwadwo Asamoah, in an offside position and that Juve's Stephan Lichtsteiner should have received a second yellow card.

But Stramaccioni, emotional though he looked after the most significant victory of his short career as a senior coach, made a point of not being drawn into controversial observations.

He looks to have a long run ahead of him in his job, many afternoons and evenings that will test his undertaking on the subject of referees.

He should have many years to define himself as his own man, rather than being casually labelled "The New Mourinho" on account of his rigorous preparation and his success.

By not criticising referees, he is styling himself as very distinct from Jose Mourinho. Long may that aspect continue.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE