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Rodrigo Palacio: A surprise package

 
In the summer after over 12 months of rumours Palacio arrived at Inter for around 12 million euros, odd pony tail and all. After netting 19 goals for Genoa in 33 appearances which was his best season since his time at Boca in Argentina he made the move further North to Milano.

This move was met with much criticism by most Inter fans saying that’s he’s not good enough and some were only bothered by the price tag. Me, I doubted the price tag. It’s a lot of money for a player I saw as a squad player when we are short on cash trying to re build. As I said many times in the summer, we have got some good youngsters, decent experienced players but not a lot in between. That issue was addressed quite well by Branca in the summer, with signings like Garagno, Mudingayi, Pereira and Palacio.  I just thought the money spent on Palacio, a player in his 30′s was perhaps a little too much.  Palacio goal return is not bad at all prior to his arrival.  At a club that is often struggling he often carried them.  At Genoa he always seemed a handful for opposition.  Always seemed to find space and time on the ball, happy to sacrifice himself on occasions and drop deeper and work for the team and go out wide and work the flanks. Palacio just seemed to always be apart of the goals at Genoa, scoring, assists or just a key pass or move that changed the game.

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Stretched To The Limit

There is an old and very well-known saying that goes, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”.

We’ve all heard it before, and even sometimes with a nice porterhouse steak in front of us it’s been realised in the literal sense. However, in football terms, this particular fan is starting to see the a moral to the story unfold for Inter.

Now, I’m probably writing an article right now that won’t sit well with a lot of Interisti, and well, who could blame them. You yourself are probably sitting there right now and can see where this is going… please don’t exit your browser, patience, let me explain everything first.

Before I move forward with this article, let’s take a look back to last season, undoubtedly one of Inter’s worst. We finished in 6th spot, only barely qualifying for any European competition and with only 17 wins and a massive 14 losses. Compare that to the prior season where we finished runners-up and with 23 wins and 8 losses. I also don’t need to remind anyone here of the treble form the season before.

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Talking Tactics

 
Tactics is a subject that fascinates me.  A subject I am constantly trying to improve my knowledge and understanding off.  I’m always interested in how teams set up and why.  One formation I have never been keen on is any that starts with 3 at the back.  Maybe it was down to lack of understanding, maybe a little ignorance on my part but for me it’s always been simple, 4 at the back at all times.
Over the last 12 months or so anyone who follows Serie A may have noticed that a lot of teams have adopted the three at the back approach, and its slowly being growing on me. At the beginning of the season it was obvious things were not clicking for Inter and all the talk of what formation to adopt was a common subject. When saw Inter line up with three at the back all I could think of was Palermo away, Novara away under Gasperini, I was a worried man.
Several games down the line I find myself trying to use three at the back on football manager, which is obviously a clear mark of approval.
To be fair to Strama he came out and said we can’t find the right balance playing with four at the back an a change was needed for the team to progress. Huge respect for the guy to come and say such a thing.

SerieA: Atalanta 3-2 Inter

Inter’s winning streak came to a halt in Bergamo, where Atalanta beat the Nerazzurri 3-2 in Week 12 of the 2012/13 Serie A.

There were no three points today but plenty of character shown by Andrea Stramaccioni’s side to battle back after going behind. Despite starting on the front foot, the Nerazzurri found themselves a goal down after 9 minutes of play as Bonaventura rose well to connect with Peluso’s inch-perfect cross. Denis had a great chance to make it two in the 36th minute but skied his effort from the edge of the six-yard box.

Fredy Guarin made no mistake with his 56th-minute free kick, blasting an absolute rocket past a helpless Consigli. Inter’s joy was short-lived though, because four minutes later Atalanta restored their lead as Denis slotted home Maxi Moralez’s low delivery. The Argentine midfielder caused more problems in the 67th minute when he ran into the box, seemingly from an offside position; Silvestre’s challenge made contact with the ball but the Atalanta man fell over and Mr Damato had no doubt it was a foul. Denis converted from the spot to take the score to 3-1. It wasn’t over there. As the game entered the last five minutes of normal time, Gargano picked out Palacio in the box and the Argentine finished clinically. 3-2 and all out attack for Inter in the final minutes, but it wasn’t to be. Atalanta were reduced to ten men in stoppage time when Parra saw red for a push on Guarin. (via inter.it)

Find out who I think is responsible for this defeat in my article on ESPN FC

Europa league: Partizan Belgrade 1-3 Inter

Inter sealed their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with two games to spare. Rodrigo Palacio grabbed himself a double after coming off the bench before Fredy Guarin made it three late on: Partizan were beaten 1-3. It was the Nerazzurri’s tenth victory on the spin in all games and also their tenth consecutive away win – a new club record.

The first half finished goalless thanks to Handanovic, who kept the scores level with two top-class saves from Ivanov in the space of a minute, proving once again how important he is for this team. After the restart, having rode their luck a little with Juan Jesus almost inadvertently succeeding where Ivanov failed, Inter took the lead thanks to Palacio, the Argentine well placed to chest home Guarin’s powerful cross. Partizan intensified their efforts and sought an equaliser but Handanovic kept the door shut. With 75 minutes on the clock Palacio made it 0-2, latching onto Guarin’s through ball and sprinting towards goal before beating Petrovic with a neat angled finish. Guarin twice the provider, Palacio twice the finisher. Inter weren’t in the mood for sitting on the lead though, and with three minutes to go Guaro added his own name to the score sheet after collecting Cassano’s through ball, with Palacio involved in the build-up. Tomic scored a consolation goal for Partizan in the last minute of normal time.

Stramaccioni’s side now sit on 10 points, level with Rubin Kazan and their place in the knockout stage is certain. All that remains to be decided is who will qualify as group winners: Rubin Kazan v Inter in two weeks’ time may well settle the matter. (via inter.it)

Read my full article on the match on ESPN FC

Does Wesley Sneijder have a future at Inter?

With Inter on a nine match winning streak in all competitions, Things are finally looking rosy for the Nerazzuri. Stramaccioni recently changed the formation to a 3-4-3, with the Tridente up top proving to all critics that Inter has what it takes to make a serious challenge for the Scudetto. One question still remains, how will Wes fit into this rejuvenated team?

Sneijder has been out injured for a good few weeks now and has been eager to get back playing for The Black and Blue. There is no doubt at all in Sneijder’s ability, and is one of the best players in the world in his position, but with Strama fielding a team that doesn’t incorporate a player in his position it causes a bit of a problem. Will Strama change his formation to fit Wes back into the line-up? Or will he try to squeeze him into the philosophy he has now?

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Inter beat Juventus 3-1 ‘sul campo’

Inter emerged victorious from a throbbing, packed Juventus Stadium. 3-1 the final score with two from Milito and one from Palacio, after the Bianconeri had taken an early lead with a goal that should have been disallowed for offside and Lichtsteiner was inexplicably spared a second yellow.

The first half was just 18 seconds old when Vidal put the Old Lady in front. However, the Chilean was set up by Asamoah, who received the ball in an offside position that went unnoticed by the match officials. After Cambiasso had twice taken aim without success, Palacio thought he had headed Inter level in the 12th minute, only for the linesman’s offside flag to deny him. Cassano then curled an effort inches wide as the Nerazzurri probed for an equaliser. Meanwhile Handanovic was doing his job well down the other end and the teams went in at the break with the score at 1-0.

Inter came out from the dressing rooms with renewed vigour as they set out on the hunt for the goal they deserved. It came just before the hour mark: Marchisio held Milito back inside the box, the Prince dusted himself off and buried the spot kick past Buffon. The comeback was complete after 75 minutes when newly entered substitute Guarin drew a save out of the Bianconeri No.1 with a stinging drive and Milito was on hand to tuck home the rebound. The third came on the counter with Nagatomo doing superbly to maintain possession under pressure before threading through for Palacio to finish.

The Nerazzurri remain in second but move up to 27 points, one less than the Bianconeri, whose 49-game unbeaten run is now over. (via inter.it)

Read my opinion on this historic victory for the Nerazzurri in my article on ESPN FC – Inter show real charater to stop Juve in their tracks

Juventus v Inter Preview

Okay. We all know how important this game is so there is no need for me to stress that to anyone. Although its early days, it could possibly be the game of the season for both clubs.

With Inter hot on the Bianconeri trail, both teams are going to be raring to go and giving it their all. Juve’s last game against Bologna was a bit of a shaky one, with only sealing the win in the dying embers of the game through Paul Pogba. This win stretched their record to 49 games unbeaten, But as we all know, the more you stretch something, the more likely it will break, and hopefully we can deliver this final blow.

I must admit I did not manage to see us play Sampdoria last night but I did get all the updates thanks to the team on Twitter and it sounded like a great game to watch. With Inter apparently dominating most of the game, but with a lapse in concentration from Samuel and Ranocchia allowed Munari to tap home from point blank. We cannot afford to make these mistakes against a team who is high on confidence and top of the league, so however Stramaccioni decides to set up his team on Saturday, everyone will have to give 110% to ensure we can get the result we all want.

As for predictions, well I really cannot guess which way this game is going to go, and it really will come down to which team is in the best frame of mind when they step out onto the pitch. The line-up meanwhile is another thing no one can guess, as Stramaccioni has shown us throughout this season, he can field a number of different formations. If I had to guess I would say he will go with a back three as this is when we play our best defensively, going with Ranocchia, Samuel and Juan Jesus. I personally would go for a four man midfield, starting from left I would choose Nagatomo, Cambiasso, Guarin and Zanetti and the Tridente up top. As for Sneijder, there are still doubts about his fitness and i doubt Stramaccioni will risk him playing from the start and could possibly see him make his comeback from the bench, hopefully once we have gained a comfortable lead, fingers crossed.

For a bit of pre-match reading why not check out Don Nerazzurri’s article on ESPN FC – Derby d’Italia - The infamous Inter – Juventus rivalry

Forza Inter!!

Follow Michael on Twitter – @MichaelFindlay9

Inter Monthly Review


6 games played and 6 wins. A month of good results, improving performances and a lot of praise for Stramma

The fixtures and results from October

October 4th- Neftci 1 – 3 Inter

Goals from Coutinho, Obi and Livja gave Inter a more than comfortable victory in Azerbaijan . A completion I find hard to get excited for but it’s good to see other players get a chance to play. I miss the Champions League and hope it returns soon. Inter’s 500th and 501st goals in Europe came in the first game Inter played in Azerbaijan.

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