Monday July 6 2020
Some Serie A identities are innate

Just as a leopard can't change its spots, some Serie A clubs simply cannot shake their natural identities, for good or bad, writes Susy Campanale.

It’s remarkable that some clubs have an identity firmly entrenched in their very being, which cannot seem to change, no matter how many coaches, players and owners pass through. Inter are the Pazza (crazy) side that will lurch from a magnificent victory to a ludicrous self-inflicted defeat. Roma will always find a way of creating drama and chaos. Lazio forever think like the country cousins in the shadow of their city-dwelling rivals. Juventus grind out results, because winning is the only thing that matters. Atalanta run like the wind, or the Goddess in their club symbol.

The 2-1 defeat to 10-man Bologna was Peak Inter. Antonio Conte can’t change the nature of this club, no matter how much he blusters in Juventus-style tones about a winning mentality. They are up, they are down, they have no in-between. Their colours are black and blue, like a bruise, no room for a grey area here.

Roma are red and yellow, the colours of fire, and like the city when Nero fiddled, they are eternally ablaze. The club burns everyone who steps through it, from coaches to players and Presidents. You can’t rest for a moment when the ground is scalding hot, always on your toes, hopping from one foot to the other, one idea to the next, four-man defence to three, but always reliant on the fire hydrant that is Edin Dzeko. If the Bosnian doesn’t score, the rest of the team may as well be pillars of ash.

Lazio are blue and white, like the sky over the city of Rome, which their fans tend to watch from the outskirts. It’s tradition that the Biancocelesti supporters live around the Eternal City, while Giallorossi are in the urban centre, and that does reflect on their approach to football. Claudio Lotito rescued the Aquile from bankruptcy after Sergio Cragnotti spent his way to success in Italy and Europe, but he wants to achieve the ultimate result with the minimum effort. Lazio are the epitome of the braccino – holding back – providing Simone Inzaghi with the bare bones of a great team and no fleshing out. It might well have worked if the season had followed normal parameters, with the top teams all playing twice a week in Europe and the Coppa Italia, leaving Lazio to focus entirely on Serie A. But that’s the problem when you only have a Plan A – things change.

Juventus brought in Maurizio Sarri, hoping they would blur the edges, bring some creativity and excitement to the side. But no. Black and white it is. Get rid of the stripes all you want, Old Lady, the clear delineation will not change. Coaches and players don’t transform or even influence Juve. The club changes them instead. The Bianconeri monolith is a statue of solidity, practicality and planning. Some might even call that dull, and even the most committed Juve fan would concede that’s a fair assessment.

Winning non-stop, out-spending their rivals, plucking the best elements from the opposition to further strengthen themselves and weaken their enemies. Sarri is on track to win the Scudetto and he’ll still get criticised from all quarters, potentially fired this summer, or he’ll be the one to walk away. He’s had to “convince” Paulo Dybala to focus more on attacking than defending, to stop tracking back and helping out, to un-Juve himself. La Joya means the jewel in Spanish, and Sarri wants so badly for him to sparkle in the spotlight, not be glimmering faintly in a network of ornate ironwork.

Atalanta’s symbol is La Dea – the Goddess – whose hair flows in the wind because she ran every footrace against the men who wanted to marry her, therefore preserving her freedom. Gian Piero Gasperini and his team know only one approach to football: run. And yet, the last two games have seen them keep clean sheets and score only one or two goals. Maybe a leopard can change its spots after all, or at least learn some new skills. Just as Juve are trying to be more like Atalanta, La Dea are taking some tips from the Old Lady.

Have your say...
Inter are black and blue because all the beatings they have taken over many years had left their skin bruised black and blue !
on the 9th July, 2020 at 8:40pm
What this blog highlights can also be applied to FANS!

Some fans always look at OTHER EXCUSES, never dwell on how their team is just not managed as good as Juve. (Because with Pallottas & Lotitos it never will be.)
So it's easier to focus on other things because ultimately they are still "valid" --clubs are treated differently.

Still, oher fans are so ARROGANT that they respond with a Bonucci-smiling face: "We're not favoured."
"We'd win anyway."
"We ONLY designated refs for games..!"
on the 7th July, 2020 at 5:54pm
Did you see how much I wrote? I can't go into every point of subject, so it's great when others, like you just did, contribute views as well.
I swear, I also wrote what you just said, but exchanged it for "Susy praise"...

...Because ultimately, it still is favouritism.
& it doesn't explain why a big team gets a weak pen in a game where minnow dominates them.
Favouritism is not only pens. Interrupted plays, yellow cards, drawing VAR offside lines, deciding when to use VAR, playing schedules
on the 7th July, 2020 at 5:16pm

Have you ever thought that the big teams get more penalty decisions because they generally tend to dominate the game and spend more time in opposition territory therefore they're going to have more situations where the decision isn't clear so purely by law of averages they get more favourable decisions.
on the 7th July, 2020 at 3:47pm
@Grand Old Lady
No way! --I need my herbs to sleep!

(I was going for the record. I think it's 12 done by "Maldini's Heir"...
Where is that guy? I always loved his comments...)
on the 7th July, 2020 at 2:47pm
8...Just maybe, somebody needs to share the herbs a bit more :)
on the 7th July, 2020 at 8:37am
Damn USoT is hammering hard cold facts! Savage
on the 7th July, 2020 at 1:53am
7? I can do 7..!

What you do to Roma, Roma does to Udinese, Torino (Benatia, Petrachi.)
--It's a "big eat small world".
Look at Napoli & how they're using Roma's fall for poaching Manolas with Under being next. (Juve would take these 2 if they were on their level.)

Back to Susy's blog. She offered us something different, THOUGHT PROVOKING. We're so quick to point out foolish pointless blogs... Why not compliment one that's AWESOME? "Milan Fan" gave a nice generalisation of Milan --"A CL Beast"
on the 7th July, 2020 at 12:58am
& I hate your:
"Everything works out in the end..."

When Juve gets 20 points above the rest, hype dies & suddenly you also get bad calls so in the end season DOES even out...
But that's not fair as player mentality & motivation are half of the game!

You're just so OBLIVIOUS.
Even now some Juventini are "How we weaken opponents?"
Do you take our best players or do we take yours???
RIGHT NOW!!! you're drooling all over Zaniolo & Donnarumma..!
You think I'm dreaming of getting Dybala??
on the 7th July, 2020 at 12:04am
5. You get favouritism. BECAUSE you're GRAND. GREAT PLAYERS. BEST IN SERIE A. BY MILES!!!
But it goes hand in hand.
Roma & Milan aspire to be SUCCESSFUL ...& FAVOURED like you! (Inter are already on good way.)

Yet you stubbornly acknowledge only one half --"Juve Grand, No Favours!
Real/ Barca, They Favours!"
LOL (Interestingly, THAT favouritism you see..!)

Even Spidey says: "With Great Power comes Great Favouritism."
Well, maybe not "great", but BIGGER, absolutely.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 11:48pm
4. This season, Juve, Inter, Lazio continuosly received ref favouritism. Not in every game, sometimes even against them... But far more "help" than other Serie A teams.

Inclination is also when refs make perfect decisions (according to rules) when you play! but are sloppy & make mistakes when officiating other clubs (Torino-Samp).

Why are refs "better", "more sharp" when Juve plays. Why is TV showing Inter-Brescia & not Parma-Verona? Why are there more comments under Juve blogs??

on the 6th July, 2020 at 11:17pm
Remember when you came out of Serie B, you didn't get the same treatment from refs (as before or now).
This year, Lazio is fighting for top & suddenly almost every ref decision goes their way. Why is that?
Ask Lazio fans how it was for them a season or two ago.

World/ Italy is getting tired of Juve winning every year. When Inter emerged as real Scudetto contender, in their first face-off, ref was more inclined to Inter!
It's not something that refs plan to do. They are not bought.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 10:59pm
2. But the real factor is POPULARITY.
& it shifts! If Pescara is fighting for top with Inter... & Juve is 5th for 7th season in a row... Dybala (probably) won't get that penalty!
Because ref is not a robot. NO ONE WANTS THAT PEN. Not fans, not media, not commentator.
There will be a backlash for ref if he makes "unpopular" decision. Media is going to lynch him.
So, 50-50%, 60-40% chances ALMOST ALWAYS go to where the HYPE (AKA MONEY/ POWER) is being poured to!
Why is this hard to accept??
on the 6th July, 2020 at 10:44pm
1. Back to Serie A:

Because Juve have more FANS, therefore more MONEY, therefore more POWER!

Juve plays Pescara for progress in Coppa game. It's 1-1 in Turin; "Dolphins" advancing because of away goal.
In 90th min, Dybala falls after a slight contact.
What's possibility that ref will give penalty???

Same thing, Roma-Pescara, Dzeko falls. Will it be pen???

on the 6th July, 2020 at 10:28pm
Monkeys in SERIE Animal are hillarious! They're the only ones who don't speak. In games they whistle for no reason & wave cards. HAHAHA
They are starstruck by Zebras because their players are "Ronaldo's & Lebron's" of this world. That's why Monkeys even hang around their headquarters.

I am not promoting anything!
Google SERIE Animal & you don't get anything!
Surely you don't believe I sign my art "United States of Totti" HAHAHA

Milan Fan, thanks for your kind words.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 9:52pm
For Milan I chose Lions. I think they are most fitting. (Having Tasmanian Devils doesn't make sense.)

Zebras are later in story, only for a short period, replaced by White Tigers.

@British Beef,
Nothing degrading with making Inter Snakes/ Reptiles --they are the coolest & look more like DRAGONS in my designs.

Also, jersey stars in SERIE Animals are different; you get one for each championship. So Wolves have 1. Eagles, Reptiles, Lions have 10-15 each... & Zebras' chests are full of stars.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 9:24pm
@Milan Fan, are you kidding me... Juve's lawyers made them look like victims of Calciopoli --They'd BURY ME for drawing Zebras playing football!!!

I wrote this story long ago. Obviously, left out all the details here. (Like, how Alpha in their last match tears youngster Omega's jersey number off, making kid's 100 into 1 & showing him that "they can all be alphas".)

I was just inspired by Susy's AMAZING BLOG to write my take.
There are so many animals featured in Serie A! Palermo Hawks as well.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 9:04pm
what a ridiculous article. players make the team, not colors. doesn't matter if inter were a banter club 5 years ago, this is a brand new team, has nothing to do with being inherently "pazza."
on the 6th July, 2020 at 8:41pm
@Anonymous, well they're not plucking players from scudetto rivals because they have none. But they do pluck the best from the rest. Particularly young Italian talent. Whether they end up breaking into the first team is another story. But it seems whenever there is some hot young Italian talent somewhere Juventus is invariably linked. This is not a criticism. I think other big Italian teams should follow suit instead of going for overpriced or overpaid imports.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 7:38pm
@USoT She didn't do Milan because she's a Milanista and if she wanted to do it, she would've had to rightly point out Milan's habit of success in Europe which is in their DNA, and that simply doesn't go down well with some fans of other teams. *cough* Zebras *cough*

By the way your idea seems cool. I doubt you'd be sued, I've seen Bleacher Report making a comedy thing like that for the Premier League. And there's no animal representing Milan, you'll have to introduce the devil eventually. haha
on the 6th July, 2020 at 7:04pm
@Anonymous I've got another one for you, his name is Pjanic :wink:
on the 6th July, 2020 at 7:00pm
Also, for visual clarification:
-These animals are anthropomorphic; walk on two legs & wear jerseys/ cleats.
-I never refer to club names, they're plainly "Wolves" (in Red-Yellow), "Dolphins" (in White-Blue), etc.
-They play Mini football, 5 + goalie.
-Animals' personalities/ looks are inspired by real players --"Dog" from Wolves is a cross of De Rossi & Radja (bearded, tattoed). One Zebra has hairstyle of Vidal, another's mane looks like Nedved's, etc...
-& FI would be story's main sponsor;)
on the 6th July, 2020 at 6:39pm
@United States of Totti

Blah blah on monkeys liking zebras. Thats boring.

Juve having 40 stars on our shirts? It might take another 370ish years, but we will do it.

Do the reptiles languish in dark corners of the league, and never see the sun that they so crave?
on the 6th July, 2020 at 6:31pm
And inter is still trash.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 5:52pm
you're insipid, undigestible satire would be entirely ignored.
'artist'? using a blog to promote unintentionally laughable buffoonery
on the 6th July, 2020 at 5:00pm
What a bogus article... Obviously it's all down to Juve paying the refs! They paid the ref yesterday to send a Bologna player off and get Inter a penalty to lull them into a false sense of security so they'd eventually lose. The same has been going on with Lazio. They've gotten cheap penalties for weeks, all because Juve paid their refs, so they'd get overconfident and be humiliated at home by Milan.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 4:09pm
--They'd have to become, not great players, but a GREAT TEAM!

Each match would be special & COMEDIC, like: Donkeys, (always content with draw) "parking" their butts in front of their goal --covering it whole with their behinds :) )

I'd really like to do this story (which shows winning isn't everything & this sport connects us...)
--But I'd be SUED by Serie A & probably Juventus!!
(I swear to God, I wouldn't make Zebras cheaters, just extreme rich athletes that Monkeys are inclined towards.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 3:41pm
Story revolves around a Wolf Alpha who, 20 years after Wolves won their ONLY championship & disbanded, tries to put together another team to compete with other animals.
Apart from Dog, who reluctantly joined Wolves as he was disqualified from his Dog team (because his grandfather was part Wolf...), Alpha's team are amateurs who only ever played football for fun!
How will they fare against other Pros, especially Zebras who have 40 STARS on their shirts??
on the 6th July, 2020 at 3:23pm

Beutifully written --poetically even!

(Only sorry to see Milan, Napoli, Fiorentina missing... But you did the "top five".)

I also did similar "research" myself, assigning values/ culture to clubs.
As an artist I wanted to make a comic book called "SERIE Animal"; a parody of Serie A, where clubs are represented by ANIMALS! (Roma Wolves, Juve Zebras, Torino Bulls, Lazio Eagles, Catania Elephants, Chievo Donkeys, Inter Snakes/ Reptiles, etc... Of course in my story refs are monkeys!)
on the 6th July, 2020 at 2:51pm
@Juventinoo Not for the first time she's done that. On the whole these blogs are quite insightful. It's hard to digest us being seen as 'dull' but the club must look at not just branding and marketing revenues but how they are really perceived outside of Italy in particular. That's why sticking with Sarri for now makes sense - we have to become 'easier on the eye' and not stifle players' ability to express themselves. That is my one regret of seeing Mandzu go.
on the 6th July, 2020 at 2:09pm

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