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Manu’s Grab Bag: Zombie Derby

A truly lifeless first half by the champs is salvaged by Cristiano Ronaldo’s 600 career club goal. Inter has not won a trophy in 2,889 days.

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Back when I was in college, I got a summer job as an over-the-phone translator. Do you know how, when you call to customer service hotline, they give you different language options? Well, some companies are too cheap to hire actual bilingual people for the job, so what they do instead is they hire an English speaker and they pay some company like the one that employed me, to translate the conversation between the English speaker and the Spanish speaker on the other side of the line.

The job was as tedious, boring and soul sucking as you can imagine it was — picture all of the ugliness of being a customer service rep but with none of the actual power to help people. Still, it was OK money and I could do it remotely from the comforts of my own home, so it could have been worse.

As the summer ended, I had lined up a pretty good internship for my senior year and I couldn’t get the hours to work for me to stay at the translation gig. At that point, I became very aware of the fact that the last couple of weeks of August, were going to be the last weeks on the job, ever.

And let me tell you something, folks. There has never been a less committed, more half-assed and uninterested employee than I was those last couple of weeks. I dropped calls on a whim, I transferred them over to other agents due to “technical difficulties” almost immediately, if anybody gave me the slightest bit of tone I would disconnect with no explanation. At one point I straight up hung up on people for like an hour straight.

They caught up to me, eventually. Getting chewed out by my “supervisor” on the second to last day before I was planning to quit, being told that if I kept it up I would get fired and then quitting on the spot, because screw it.

I’m not particularly proud of it, but I’ll tell you something, after watching Juventus zombie walk their way through most of Saturday night’s Derby D’ Italia with the Scudetto secured and essentially nothing to play for, I felt a bit better. It’s hard to muster motivation for something that you know doesn’t matter, it happens to Juventus and it happened to my punk ass back in college.

The best part, though? Bum ass, Inter Milan could still not beat us. What a joke of a club.


Winner: Cristiano Ronaldo

You know what, I’m still not part of the CR7 fan club/cult, but I get it more and more. One of the few players in the squad that just seems to care, day in and day out. Showed it throughout the season — outside of a few short spells of poor play, probably due to fatigue if anything — and showed it against Inter again.

Also, 600 goals (!!!), that’s unbelievable. Not to incite a pointless Lionel Messi vs. Ronaldo debate, but with Messi sitting pretty at 598 goals, it really makes you realize how lucky we are to see these two dudes reign over an entire decade of football.

True legends of the game. Bummer not to be able to see Messi play for Inter in the derby, though, was he injured or … oh, right.

(This might become a straight up roast of Inter, I’m not promising anything.)

Winner: Leonardo Spinazzola

Spina continues to be a game-changer every time he steps on the field, as he provided a lot of the pace and attacking skill Juve was lacking, coming on as a sub. I truly don’t know what the future holds for Juventus long term plans, but with their nominal starter Alex Sandro, finishing up a rather lackluster season, might be time to give the Italian a chance for the coming games.

I’m really bummed out about Sandro, though. He was arguably the best left back in the world a couple years back. Still want to see that guy again, but the results are not encouraging.

Loser: Inter Milan’s sense of self respect.

Bruh, that’s just sad.

Don’t expect a retaliation banner from the Juve faithful, though, because, well:

Parting Shot of the week

There’s still another derby on the deck with the Derby della Mole on deck next Friday against Torino, and after that another few match days before lifting of the trophy and that’s it for the 2018/2019 season.

With not much on the line in the coming weeks, my only hope is to see all the young guys get play and for Max Allegri to tinker and experiment with every player on the squad.

Play Miralem Pjanic in the hole, give Matheus Pereira a start alongside Moise Kean, give Spina the nod for the rest of the season, start Nicolussi Caviglia with Bentancur and Emre Can in the midfield, play Giorgio Chiellini as a winger. I don’t care, get spicy with it.

There’s going to be a lot of changes and uncertainty this summer, might as well jump start it already.

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