Blame the Management: The Downfall of Inter Milan
After the glory days of Jose Mourinho and the unprecedented treble, many of the Nerazzuri faithful were looking for a dynasty under the Portuguese coach, but it was never meant to be. After the departure of the legendary coach it was up to the teams management to sustain the standard of the team, but unfortunately Morrati and Co. didn’t keep up to the hopes of the fans.
After the world cup and the new names emerging from South Africa, many interistas were watching closely to see the names Morrati and Branca would add to our already strong but ageing team, where everybody noticed that after giving 110% under Mourinho in a long fought season and the harsh environment of the vuvuzela land, small touches were needed to keep up our competitiveness both in Italy and Europe, with the right coach to continue the dynasty that we all were hoping for.
Rafael Benitez was the chosen one, not a bad name in European football with 2 Spanish league titles and 2 UEFA cup winners with Valencia, and a Champions League trophy with Liverpool against AC Milan, Inters arch enemies. Benetiz asked the management for some names to impose his tactical ideas with the 4-2-3-1 formation which was opted during his time at Valencia and Liverpool. His demands were clear to get him Kuyt, Mascherano and Sanchez. Excellent names that would have fitted amazingly with any formation opted with inter. Morrati’s blinded faith with our veteran squad took another leap with the selling of our home grown wondekid Mario Ballotelli, not a bad apiece of business if reinforcements were made to strengthen the team or at least our attack knowing that Pandev was our third offensive player, yes Pandev, how could a team Giant as Inter have Pandev as his backup plan after 2 amazing strikers as Etoo and Milito. InterMilan’s management missed a great opportunity after being crowned the Kings of Europe to lure any player they want, and many top players offered themselves to play for serpents as Cavani and Mascherano, from here I knew the Grande Inter dynasty we were hoping for would never come with such management. Don’t think I am defending Benitez, I hate him as every other Interista but I think he was treated unfairly.
After the winter break Benitez was sacked and Milan’s Leonardo was hired with a couple of reinforcements were done, the addition of Rannochia and Pazzini, two very good signings but as usual a fluke must be found in our deals were Pazzini could not play in the Champion League after playing in the preliminary rounds with Sampdoria. What management knowing that they were going to face fierce competition as the likes of Barcelona, Real, Manchester, Bayern and many more buy a player that cannot play in the champions league, and with the decline of Militos performance we were solely dependent on the magic work of Eto’o. None the less we won the Coppa Italia, finished second in the Serie A, reached the last 8 of the champions league after a humiliating exit on the hands of an inferior Schalke team with a 5-2 loss in our dear Giuseppe Meazza stadium.
After the mediocre results I was sure Morrati and Branca were summing up a plan to get Inter to the status as the most feared team in Italy, but how wrong and blind I have been, will I forgot that we had Massimo Morrati as the owner and President of our beloved team and his trusted assistant Marco Branca as the head of the technical staff of Inter. First they hired Gasperini as the new coach after the departure of Leonardo due to a lucrative offer made by the Qatari’s PSG of France. Gasperini made it clear that he was going to run a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3 formation, so most of our summer deals were made according to his plans.
First they decided to sell our 37 goals hitman Samuel Etoo to Anzhi Makhachkala, once again not a bad piece of business, but what were the substitutes?? An ageing Diego Forlan who was surely past his glory days and Zarate a very talented player never the less notoriously known for his ill conducted both on and off the pitch with his previous teams. Without strengthen our attacking department of last season that didn’t score a single goal against either Juventus or AC Milan, Moratti once again gambled with the future of the team, thinking any deal done can be both financially lucrative and pitch effective as the Etoo, Milito and Sneijder deals… well guess better Dear Morrati, Mourinho had the last words of the deals done in the 2009-2010 season. Our midfield wasn’t in a better shape consisting of ageing squad with an average age above the 30 years mark. The capture of Poli from Sampdoria was an excellent signing but with his young age he still haven’t reached the stage where he could fill the role of two of the best defensive midfielders of their generation Javier Zanneti and Cambiasso, and has yet to play because of his continuous injuries. Our midfield players showing a decline in their play on the field were most goals came from a slip-up done from our midfield either from a personal mistake or the lack of pressure on the opposing team on the contrary of what was displayed during Mou’s era. Another midfielder signed the unknown Alvarez of Velez Sarsfield seen as the deal of the year deal for inter with the “astonishing” number of 11.75 million euros. Showing nothing so far, I guess we are looking at the flop of the year in the Italian serie A, the player lacks the speed and technical abilities to compete in a strong league as the Italian league. With the defensive department needing the most freshening up, once again in Branca’s fantasy world Lucio, Samuel, Chivu and Cordoba could still live up to his expectations even after our disastrous defensive display of last season. Many young names were talked about during the summer transfer period as Coates of Uruguay and Van der Wiel of Ajax but unfortunately no big names were signed except for Jonathan a substitute from the Brazilian Santos, which still have to prove his worth of playing for one of Europe’s finest teams. Once again none of the names purchased above were the names wanted by Gasperini, he asked for Palacio and Lavezzi, as usual Morrati and Branca decide to go with a different path that of the coaches demands, and blame his formation for being the source of the problem, well if they knew his playing style before signing him… so either let the coach force his ideas on the team or don’t hire him at all.
Many may argue that I am not mentioning the FFP rule that will be applied next year, will we started messing up after the treble winning season, with the appointment of weak coaches that the management could easily control and easily fire if anything goes wrong, to the very weak mercatos that are weakening the team instead of strengthen them up. Morrati please step down from your throne as the ultimate dictator of the club and let some experienced personal to take over, cause the fans won’t be willing to wait another 10 years for a scudetto and another 45 years for a Champions league trophy.
BY HADI BASSAM Follow on Twitter @hadibase