Massimo's Mac attack
By Alex Dunn. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Massimo Maccarone has launched an outspoken and barbed diatribe in the direction of England coach Steve McClaren, a man he played under at Middlesbrough.
The Italian striker, who has now returned to his homeland with Siena after a disappointing five years in England, believes McClaren's time on Teesside was characterised by false promises, which were all too often broken.
Quoted in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Maccarone has not minced his words in issuing a candid assessment of both McClaren's management style and character.
"The 'magnificent' McClaren is surely the most hypocritical and false person I have had the misfortune of meeting," he told Gazzetta dello Sport's official website.
"He disgusted me by leaving me on the bench for the 2004 League Cup final after having told everyone I was his number one and he was counting on me.
"At the end all he could do was mutter 'I know, I know'.
"Only in England can someone with such evident limits become the head of the national team."
Maccarone did not reserve his scorn for McClaren alone, with current Boro incumbent Gareth Southgate also feeling the rough edge of the player's tongue.
"When he (Southgate) was a player all he did was tell me I had to resist McClaren's mistreatment," he added.
"He had promised me he would give me a run of six to eight games. He never kept it (the promise). Maybe that's the English way of doing things but for me a promise is a promise."
Maccarone's agent, Paolo Fabbri, has been quick to play down his client's outburst, of the opinion that perhaps some of these comments have been taken out of context or misconstrued.
"I am really doubtful whether Massimo would be so rude as to criticise Steve McClaren and Gareth Southgate in this way," he said.
"Yes, he was very upset not to play more often, any player would be, and yes, he might have specific points to make about McClaren and Southgate on a technical level - but I do not believe his frustrations go beyond that.
"When he knows what is being said in his name, I am sure Massimo will be pretty upset because it is just not his style to be so rude and make comments of such a personal nature."