Saturday August 11 2012
And we're back!

The Italian Super Cup brought goals, drama, controversy and Napoli throwing a tantrum. For Susy Campanale, it’s as if the season never ended.

It can be a hard time for football fans, those few summer weeks in-between the campaigns. Transfer gossip, friendlies and whatever you call the soccer at the Olympics are all well and good, but the Supercoppa showed what we’ve been really missing. Juventus and Napoli battled non-stop in Beijing, providing us with six goals, two red cards, controversy and the unusual sight of the losing team boycotting the victory ceremony. We’re back, folks!

Italian football is about so much more than just the sport itself and a friendly cannot stir the passions the way a competitive clash inevitably does. There was absolutely nothing friendly about the Super Cup. From the get-go there were crunching tackles and arguments breaking out all over the pitch. Cesare Prandelli tried to introduce a new approach to fair play during Euro 2012, urging his men not to complain to the referee or stir up tension with dissent. Juve and Napoli clearly didn’t get the memo, as having goal-line referees for the first time only served to provide two more people their players could moan at.

The Partenopei had every reason to be upset at the final whistle. They were in front twice, then saw two men sent off just before the end of normal time, followed by Walter Mazzarri. There are plenty of questions over what Goran Pandev actually said to get a straight red card, while Juan Camilo Zuniga could’ve avoided both bookings.

Even with the ever so slightly dubious penalty in favour of Mirko Vucinic, Napoli shouldn’t have gone so far as to boycott the trophy presentation. It’s a lack of class and sportsmanship that I’m afraid has become rather too common under Aurelio De Laurentiis. On the other hand, perhaps it was a good thing not to hear what the Napoli President had to say after this match. It would’ve been hard to translate without the aid of a lawyer and an advanced swearing dictionary.

Juve weren’t exactly better during the match, as they complained about every single decision, while Antonio Conte’s ban provided them with extra motivation. I have already said the Coach did not deserve to be charged with failing to report a potential fix to authorities, but even then the 10-month suspension is utterly futile. If he can continue to work with the team day by day in training, pick the starting XI and hold the pre-match team talk – as long as it’s not in the locker room – then what kind of a ban is it? Don’t expect me to believe modern technology won’t allow messages to filter down to Massimo Carrera from the stands, either... Add to that Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli chaining himself to the FIGC headquarters (with a parasol and a plastic chair) to protest his three-year ban in the betting trial. If he hadn't announced a hunger strike, I bet he would've had a picnic hamper. It looked like quite a pleasant, summery protest.

If the Supercoppa is a sign of things to come this season, then we’ve got a fiery campaign ahead of us and not necessarily in a good way. Handbags are fun, but it’s getting into hair-pulling and eye-gouging territory here.

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Have your say...
Clearly no-one understands football if you think Juve cheated! Its Juve who are cheated!!!! Juve win the league then their manager gets banned for 10 months due to a testimony of one man versus 23!!!! After 5 years and the legal limitations Inter should not have been awarded the league. So you know what the FIGC should be cleared out of all Italians and foreigners bought in then there would not be a conflict of interest!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:54pm
I dont think the writer of this article watched the same game. Juventus was the better n stronger team. The red cards n penalty was spot on especially when u c the kind of penalty awarded to milan last season. Both of napoli goals were defensive mistakes by Lucio who don't know how to play in a 3 man defense n Bonucci who just started training 2 weeks ago. For Napoli to boycott the ceremony was classless n shows they r sour Losers. Juventus just need a goal scorer n they'll b deadly.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:50pm
LoL at the Juve haters...

Any game they win, its because of the ref or this or that !!! Give credit where its due for once...
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:50pm
Wow, as a die-hard Roma fan I'm no friend of either of these teams but the comments and people perceptions of football in Italy is getting pathetic. Juve cheated? Are you frkin kidding me? Napoli played rugby and reacted like meat-heads when things started falling apart. And do any of you clowns really think, with all that is happening with FIGC and Conte right now that Juve would be working some back room deals and bribing refs? So many people who follow Serie A are pathetic.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:49pm
What do you expect from a Club like Napoli? With a arrogant, disguisting President like De Laurentis?? Napoli's fans woud die just to beat Juve in a game, such is there hatred towards the North of Italy. When Juve were robbed last season in the Coppa Italia Final they stilled stayed to collect there medals. Maybe Napoli's Coach should train Pandev to keep his mouth shut? And Zuniga deserved to be sent off. Napoli were lucky to end the match with 9 men tbh. Another great Juve Win.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:44pm
Ladrone 6.0???? Moggi, no Moggi, Conte, no Conte...

good to see Juve remains Juve no matter who is at the helm..... dubious decisions in their favour remain the norm....
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:43pm
there was sunthng fishy in there... in last 10 minutes : 3 red, penalty, loads of freekicks, etc... dint expected no-footballing issues being in spotlight again...!!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:35pm
That Referee was pathetic. Yes some of Napoli tackles were over the top but Juve were not innocent. Whoever you support you have to admit the ref was pathetic. Surely it paints a bad picture of Italian football when a ref like him is put in charge of an important match. Napoli did well to boycott. Are Juve fans saying they did not protest when they had the two titles taken off them if that is not the case take 30 sul campo off the shirt
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:28pm
There are two things really hard to find in Serie A: a game against Juventus with a fair referee, and when that happen, a Juventino realising and saying that they were favoured...
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:25pm
@Anonymous & Romanista, I thought you live by the 'never slave to results' philosophy, yet you cried 'RuBe' everytime we win, I don't what it's called in your hood but here it's called 'jealousy', it's shows that result does matter for you.

Anyway, you have your chances since we're thrown into Serie B and we won it back before you do, yes... we're that good, deal with it!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:14pm
Honestly, this was seen as logical. What a disgrace of referee, but all the guilt is not at Juve's side, since the deignation of that poor man for a high danger game like Juve-Napoli tells a lot of the things that are wrong in Serie A.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:14pm
I am a neutral who doesn't watch a lot of italian football, but this looks a lot like a win that has been bought with money. I don't have any reason to hate Juve, but this makes me wonder a lot.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 6:11pm
Congrats to Juve. Dominated the game. Napoli just countered. Bravo Juve. 2 trophies since conte
on the 11th August, 2012 at 5:59pm
juve are back, doing what they do best. With the help of referees, i do foresee a juve domination in the league, at least for a few years. Of course they will still be a laughing stock in Europe. Some things just can't be bought.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 5:42pm
Napoli has shown again that they lack the maturity to deal with high pressure matches. The reckless tackles, insulting and arguing with the officials show that they don't know how to keep their emotions in check when things begin to go against them. The manager and the president fuel this attitude by their behaviour when they should be the ones trying to calm the players down and keep them focused on the match. With this attitude Napoli will never be the great, legendary team they want to be.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 5:39pm
I love the comments from the Juve haters. Every time we win, it's "They cheat. No fair. Whaaaa.". Stuff it, babies. Juve are Champions of Italy and the Super Cup!!! 
on the 11th August, 2012 at 5:17pm
As a juve fan i hope sanctions against napoli r taken after there disgracefull actions in china i know it wont happen only juve have sanctions taken against them shame on italian football forza juve
on the 11th August, 2012 at 5:16pm
Still sour susy - thanks for your Napoli updates earlier made my afternoon very entertaining!! :)) Forza juve!!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 5:06pm
Thank God FIGI are taking a hard line on betting and match fixing.I think the referees should seriously be investigated . They always tow along with certain teams and this must be checked before it breeds chaos in the league. After all, it looks like Serie A has got"children and grandchildren "
on the 11th August, 2012 at 4:51pm
Nice to see that Football-Italia continues its policy of holding every other team except RuBentus to some kind of moral standard. Napoli showed "no class" by not appearing at the awards ceremony? How about RuBe getting a bunch of free kicks in dangerous areas, 3 men sent off and a penalty all in the final 10 minutes. Lets just forget Behrami getting pushed down in the area just as a cherry topping. No mention of that stuff, huh? 
on the 11th August, 2012 at 4:39pm
I think this is a pretty cynical view of Juve's performance today. To somewhat imply that Juventus were needlessly moaning is a bit daft, especially if you watched the game. Napoli were relentless and reckless in their tackling, and on a couple of occassions (Giovinco & Pirlo), Juventus were lucky not to have players on the treatment table. And to say that the penalty was dubious...well, you must be have been watching through Galliani's spectacles, because that was stonewall!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 4:37pm

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