“It used to be that a football manager could larrump a football boot at Mr Posh Spice’s forehead and get away with it,” bemoans The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, no doubt disturbed that in the modern environment of Serie A, a soccer equivalent of Reggie Jackson vs. Billy Martin wasn’t tolerated.
Fiorentina manager Delio Rossi has been given his marching orders for his touchline bust-up with Adem Ljajic during Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw with Novara. The incident occurred during the first half of the match when, with Fiorentina losing 2-0, Rossi took decisive action, removing Ljajic, and then swiftly took even more decisive action when the player sarcastically applauded the substitution. Rossi reacted to the dissent like a medieval gentleman, appearing to administer a slap to the face, perhaps putting on a duelling glove first, and then had to be held back by his coaching staff as he was winding up to punch the bewildered Ljajic.
Whether he told him to “E potete portare la vostra cena cazzo” remains unclear. Whether it was worth it is also up for debate. On the one hand, there are those who would relish the chance to punch a whinging footballer in the fizzog; on the other, Fiorentina’s president, Andrea Della Valle, sacked Rossi immediately after the match. Still, at least he has the satisfaction of knowing he managed what proved beyond John Sitton.