It’s the latest instalment of your salvation, Italonostalgia fans, as we one again rummage through James Richardson’s drawers to find some gold, in this case another round of lost Gazzetta Football Italia episodes. So roll up, roll up for some choice 90s cuts from the days when shirts were billowy and Serie A was king.
Gazza’s rollneck, Samp go wild and Roma’s prince – January 15, 1994
The days when Paul Gascoigne’s links to camera were coming to an end, but he still managed to deliver a few, most notably this week while dressed as a the wayward scion of a wealthy family who is trying to clean his act up a bit. Elsewhere there’s some red hot action from Milan, who are held to a rather chastening 0-0 draw at home to lowly Lecce, Roberto Baggio negotiates a dreadfully indisciplined wall to bang in a free-kick for Juventus and Inter – stop us if you’ve heard this one before – make a dreadful mess of things.
Also Jimbo wears some remarkable knitwear, but removes it just in time to profile the Prince of Rome, Gianni Giannini, to ask what it’s like to be the designated saviour of a football club that hasn’t done much for a while.
Yung Totti, Italy’s finest Taibi and Lake Como with Paul Ince – October 19, 1996
James visits Paul Ince’s gaff, with a lovely view of what is presumably Lake Como, although Ince tells a disturbing tale of on-pitch racism. Kenneth Wolstenholme makes his contribution to the oeuvre of ‘words said before unfortunate events’ by noting that then Piacenza stopper Massimo Taibi was “rated as one of Italy’s finest”, a young Francesco Totti absolutely mugs off Milan and Sebastiano Rossi, plus a lovely piece of avuncular commentary by Ray Wilkins.
James brings news of turmoil with the national team, with Arrigo Sacchi’s time with the Azzurri coming to a limp end, Christian Ziege announcing he was off to Juventus (he went to Milan, in the end) and a near-deadly encounter with Perugia’s ‘maverick’ president Luciano Gaucci.
Japes on a plane, slippery Sven and a Veron banger – February 2, 1997
It’s japes on a plane, as James and Incey take a strangely deserted looking flight and recreate some classic Police Squad-esque gags, as well as what might have been a cameo by a young Thomas Ince on Gazzetta Air. In other news, Juventus return to finish PSG off, as it were, to win the European Super Cup having taken the first leg 6-1, James brings us the alarming news that Sven Goran Eriksson might have gone back on an agreement to manage Blackburn in favour of Lazio, which we’re sure was just paper talk, plus there’s some equally implausible news that Juventus might be leaving Turin, so much did they dislike the still relatively young Stadio Delle Alpi.
Plus there’s a belter of a goal of the month competition, featuring acrobatics from Youri Djorkaeff and a rasping volley from your pal and ours, Juan Sebastian Veron. Woof.
For more slices of Italian football nostalgia, we can heartily recommend Golazzo, which you can subscribe to here. Or indeed you can get a twice-weekly dose of James Richardson on the Totally Football Show – subscribe here.