Rumours have been rife over the last 48 hours regarding the exact motives and catalysts behind Gennaro Gattusso’s neck-throttling, forehead-thundering behaviour on Tuesday night. A few choice words may have been said by Spurs number two Joe Jordan, but that still leaves many bamboozled by the midfielder behaving as if he had an anti-social rattle-snake caught in his jock-strap.
OTP decided to go underground for the truth – hovering around the murky under-dwellings of the San Siro multi-story car-park – and returning with some sensational ‘off the record’ testimonials.
Five alleged reasons why Gattuso went mental:
1. When tranquillisations go wrong
AC Milan Physio: “Gattusso normally comes in at half-time more pumped up than a taut bouncy castle. His pre-match ritual of juggling scorpions whilst break-dancing over hot-coal’s doesn’t help – the man is an adrenaline junkie. So big Alessandro Nesta often does the honours and stealthily fires a tranquiliser dart at Gatts’ neck. It’s not easy because Gatts is normally monkey-swininging across the shower-heads at this point. The dose is enough to knock-out a morbidly obese triceratops, but it just works to slightly calm down Gattuso for the second-half. This time Nesta missed and took out Ibrahimovich instead. It explains why Gatt’s went on to lose his head and why Ibra looked more subdued than a nun at a death metal gig.”
2. Contacts mishap
One of Gatusso’s contact lenses fell out during the second half thanks to a flailing Peter Crouch elbow. AC Milan’s optician: “This created double vision for Gatusso and by sheer chance – the resulting mixture of 20/20 in his left eye and a -3.75 prescription in his right made Joe Jordan appear as a large and refreshing Lucozade bottle. This rare visual quirk is known in medical circles as the Loco-zade phenomenom and fully accounts for why Gattuso picked up Jordan by the throat. He was just trying to quench his thirst. The head-butt was also merely an attempt to close the bottle nozzle. Strange but true.”
3. A tribute to Ronaldo
Gattuso was good friends with the Brazilian striker during the 2007-2008 season (the then room-mates once held the regional record for synchronised kebab eating). The midfielder’s erratic outbursts on Tuesday night was actually an emotional tribute to Ronaldo, coming just one day after his retirement. Ronaldo: ‘”Yeah, he called me up the next day. Apparently the act of something snapping inside and ending up on the sidelines for the foreseeable future was a homage to my injury-torn career. I would have preferred it if he scored a mesmeric goal instead but a tributes a tribute and I love that adorable little scamp.”
4. Family affairs
Gattuso started the game in a furious mood after having a raging argument with his 18-year-old daughter Nicole earlier that day. Miss Gatusso: “I told Papa that I had been seeing an older man. That really got him riled. I should have left it there. For some reason he exploded when I said that the new boyfriend was very local, he likes politics, his name is Silvio and his surname rhymes with ‘hurls a pony’. I’ve seen him angry before but that was the first time steam had literally come out of his ear canals. He then ripped open his shirt and turned green. I instinctively knew that wasn’t good.”
5. He’s lost in the Stone Age
San Siro archive documents reveal that Gattusso was discovered in 1991 embedded in an Italian Alps glacier. A young Paolo Maldini – then a keen hiker – spotted and successfully resuscitated the frozen Neanderthal and carried him back to AC Milan’s training ground. Carlo Ancelotti: “He was just what we needed in midfield that season: a robust thug who’d run and run. We’d often tell him the ball was a curled up sabre-tooth tiger and the team needed feeding. There were a few problems. He kept doing graffiti of rudimentary paintings of stags on the dressing room walls, his 5400-year-old life really didn’t help our ‘ageing-squad’ tag and a lot was lost in translation as he only spoke in grunts. That’s why we pushed so hard to sign Peter Beardsley in ’92 – to make him feel at home.”
If you want to hear more absolute footballing-twoddle from Ben and the OTP Podcast – you can listen to their latest episode, which features an England Home Shirt Give-Away: