It was a night to forget for the Rossoneri.
A below-par performance. Misuse of tactics and substitutions. A frenchman who should have seen red. A raging canine with rabies running around in the midfield and sidelines. All the ingredients necessary... for a Guy Ritchie movie that is.
It was indeed a night to forget for any AC Milan supporter, and a glorious night for any Premface (look it up if you're currently scratching your head). The bells of uncertainty rang once Massimiliano Allegri opted to field veteran Clarence 'I can't play for more than ten minutes' Seedorf instead of the young and hardly used Alexandre Pato. With an extremely sludgy first half with both sides content with keeping the opposition at bay, the match's highlights were all included in the second half. Highlights for all the wrong reasons...
Along came the second half. On the hour mark we witnessed Flamini's immensely reckless tackle on Vedran Corluka which deserved straight red card beyond any shadow of a doubt. And then, the main highlight of the match for the wrong reasons, Gattuso VS Jordan.
The Calabrese player was smelling blood ever since the referee's first whistle of the game. As he is already known for world-wide, Gattuso took his 'never say die' attitude to a whole other level. The player was already about to enter a heated argument with a scarecrow, I mean Crouch, and this only intensified Joe Jordan as he abruptly took over Redknapp to start yelling into the field.
The problem was that Jordan wasn't providing instructions to the team, he wasn't giving his players encouragement, he wasn't doing his job. Instead, the 60-year old chose to instead lambast Gattuso for his over the edge 'never say die' performance, something which should have initially been handled by Harry Redknapp.
With two glorious saves from Heurelio Gomes and a correctly disallowed goal for AC Milan in the 93rd minute, anything Tottenham Hotspurs was in a state of utopia when Crouch notched in the winner following an amazing run by Lennon. Once the final whistle was over, Spurs' victory was overshadowed by Gattuso's head-butt challenge on Joe Jordan near the Tottenham sideline after an heated exchange of words.
What followed was the usual, disgusting yet not surprising at all, barrage of hatred emanating from the United Kingdom's media. The Daily Mail began the usual trend by demanding that Flamini receives a ten match ban for his tackle.
Really? So what was Ryan Shawcross' excuse after almost ruining then 18 year old Aaron Ramsay's career with that horror tackle. What insane reason did Martin Taylor have when he broke Eduardo's leg, a vision so graphic that Sky Sports decided not to air replays of. Both players are English, so let's just call them 'accidents'. It's simple, none of them have reasons and they were merely reckless challenges, so stop childishly pointing at Flamini and demanding overwhelming bans.
But that was not all of it. At All. Along came the ever so articulate Graeme Souness calling Gattuso a 'dog'. He also stated that 'Both Gattuso and Jordan need to be locked in a room for ten minutes, with the Scot only needing five'. His extremely poor judgement was shared by the media, however I myself would place my money on a 33 year old man in his prime any day against a 60 year old, no matter how 'tough' Jordan is branded to be.
What apparently everybody is failing to notice (with no blame to anyone as the highlights were only showing the second half of the argument) is that once the final whistle blew, Gattuso confirmed that he was on his way to apologise to Jordan, only for the Scot to spout out the words 'Italian' and 'bastard' right to the player's face. Maybe Gattuso's reaction was over the top, but a deragetory comment like that would boil anybody's blood.
What must be made clear is that, off the pitch, Gattuso is a pure gentleman. No negative comments, no binge drinking, no teenage raping occurred throughout the player's career, showing his true self when opening the 'Forza Ragazzi' foundation. He expressed his pure passion for the sport in a highly tough manner only when on the field.
The next day, the Daily Mail exemplified the definition of xenophobia, idiocy and short-sightedness all in one with their front page title 'How the mafiosi of Milan made Spurs fans of us all'. The low point which the English media reached was beyond comprehensible and reminded me of how powerful propaganda is. In fact, AC Milan were never really considered a team of thugs, with their dark moments in recent history being the same moments any huge club goes through, with other clubs faring much worse in terms of morality and ethics.
Seriously, when have the Spanish, German or even Italian media ever directed this kind of hatred towards the north?
So explain this to me. Gattuso was riled by Jordan which led to his erratic and unsportsman-like behavior, followed by a barrage of hatred towards the Milan midfielder. Where was all the English media's hatred when Zidane was riled by Materazzi in 2006? I clearly remember, the Frenchman's actions were completely ignored with the media opting to produce lie after lie after attempting to guess what Materazzi had said to Zidane.
It's not just because I've loved calcio for longer than I can remember, but this treatment of Italians in the football world is far beyond what is defined as 'deserving'. Ignoring the facts and jumping on the bandwagon of 'Detestation for the Italians'.