'The Beautiful Game' is back: Jose Mourinho and his anti-football are slowly being shown up

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Towards the tail end of last season, Verona played Bologna in a Serie A game at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi. The hosts won a desperately scrappy encounter 2-1, thus boosting their hopes of beating the drop. In that context, Verona's rather defensive display, coupled with their attempts to waste time at every possible opportunity, were understandable.

Bologna boss Thiago Motta was fuming, though. "Today was like the Italian football of years ago," he told reporters. "There was always someone on the ground. One guy went down, the physio came on, then the physio went off. Then, another guy went down and the physio came on again. With such a tempo of play, I don't think my guys could have done much better."

For those that cared to comment, Motta was cast as a sore loser trying to claim a moral victory after an actual defeat, portraying him as some sort of football-hipster-manager that gets upset when opponents have the audacity to defend deep against a clearly superior, free-flowing side. However, Motta had a point when he argued that the officials should be going more - or, perhaps more accurately, instructed by their bosses to do more - when it comes to tackling time-wasting and simulation.

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"When someone continually stops the play, it's obviously difficult to play with continuity," he argued with rather flawless logic. "So, by allowing these stoppages, you favour the team that wants to play anti-football, and not the one that actually wants to play."