Monthly Archives: February 2012
The 2011/12 Serie A season has been a very hard one for all involved with F.C Internazionale, with everyone from President Massimo Moratti, the players, backroom staff and even the fans feeling the pressure of a season that has seen more defeats than any in recent memory and the ongoing crisis has deepened for Inter after their latest defeat to Napoli, making it eight games in a row without a win for the Nerazzurri, what is even more worrying is the fact that seven of those have been defeats and even in the one draw they achieved in that time there was still four goals conceded.
The Nerazzurri now sit in 7th place on 36 points which is a massive nine points behind Lazio in their targeted Champions league qualifying 3rd place and any chance of challenging for the Scudetto is long gone with AC Milan in 1st place, 15 points ahead with just 13 games left to play this season. On paper with a lot of lucky results Inter could still do it but the reality is that any dreams of their 19th Scudetto must wait until at least next season now.
With AC Milan’s 4-0 win over Arsenal last week and Napoli’s 3-1 win against Chelsea on Tuesday night the flag of Italian football was truly flying high, so it was up to Inter to finish the job against Marseille and make it three out of three for calcio. This though, in reality just added extra pressure for our under fire coach Claudio Ranieri to get the right result, with the rumour mill and the world’s media claiming a loss in France would signal the end of his Inter career.
Despite this immense pressure on his shoulders and with Massimo Moratti, his son Angelomario and his nephew Angelo in the stands behind him watching every move and decision, he started the team with the slightly risky 4-3-1-2 formation. His starting lineup consisted of Julio Cesar in goal. Maicon, Lucio and Walter Samuel as you’d expect in defence with Cristian Chivu surprisingly taking Yuto Nagatomo’s place at left back. There was another surprise in the three-man midfield as alongside the obvious selections of Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso, Ranieri started the Serbian veteran Dejan Stankovic?!? No I don’t understand it either considering he had the in form Andrea Poli on the bench. Ahead of these Wesley Sneijder sat in his usual trequartista role behind Mauro Zarate (Yes yet another surprise starter!) and Diego Forlan who was making his Champions league debut for Inter.
In the aftermath of yesterdays umpteenth loss of our beloved Inter a lot of things are going through most people’s head. Everybody has a different view of how to fix things. There are calls to fire Ranieri, while at the same time the people who wanted Gasperini fired before the season even started are giving the coach a huge leash. A lot of people have given up on this season and are looking for the eternal cure of the summer expecting the team to be fixed and looking for available coaches and players and dreaming of the phoenix rising from the ashes. The press understandably are just waiting for Moratti to snap and fire his coach since this has been the way he naturally does things.
I, on the other hand, have a much simpler solution to this entire mess that will give the players, coaches, and fans huge motivation for the rest of the season. The best way to fix this situation is for Massimo Moratti to tell Claudio Ranieri that if you expect to be here only play the players you expect in your starting eleven next season. Simple! No more Stankovic because he is obviously unable to complete a simple pass anymore. No more Chivu because its obvious by now that the team will not renew his contract. No more Maicon because well now he has a knee problem and will not play and he is not as productive as seasons past. Zarate? Forlan? Milito? Pazzini? Decide who is the long-term solution and stick with him and change the teams playing style to reflect that. Don’t play Pazzini and expect to pass him the ball outside the box and have him do something with it. Emphasise wing play and cross the ball to him 10 times a game.
Coming in to this game against Bologna at the Giuseppe Meazza there was, despite recent form, a confidence that we could turn things around and gain a fairly easy three points. After all the Bolognese team aren’t having the best of seasons themselves and having not played a game for two weeks (their last two games were postponed due to bad weather) were likely to be a bit rusty, this was a must win the situation for Inter and all the odds were in their favor.
This wasn’t to be though as Claudio Ranieri yet again ‘tinkered’ with his tactics and this time fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation, which like last week’s 4-3-2-1 I am a big fan of. These tactics themselves aren’t the problem as in both games Inter held on to a vast majority of the possession throughout the 90 minutes, the problems on the pitch are coming from all the constant changes that Ranieri is making. He needs to stick with a formation, quickly find his optimal starting eleven and only make substitutions during the game when they are desperately needed not just when the whim takes him. These substitutions also need to show a lot more understanding of what’s happening on the pitch as he never seems to make the changes that are so obvious to the rest of us.
Week 23 of the 2011/12 Serie A season saw minnows Novara arrive at the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza sat at the foot of the table with only three points from their last ten matches, conceding a huge 21 goals compared to just five scored in that time, so as you can imagine it was widely regarded that although Inter were going through a tough time in their last three games this match would be a relative walk in the park.
The last time these two teams met was back in September and the heavy defeat suffered by the Nerazzurri then turned out to be Gian Piero Gasperini’s last game in his short Inter career before current coach Claudio Ranieri took over the reins. So how is it possible that once again this struggling team has embarrassed the mighty Inter?
The news came out this morning as I got myself ready for work, “Fabio Capello resigns as England coach.” Living in Australia and being a fan of football in Europe is difficult as far as time zones go, but I try to stay up to date the best that I can. By the time I settled into my office at work news was already circulating about why he quit, about the possibility of Redknapp taking over, and then there was the inevitable – a list of clubs already rumoured to be after the Italian manager.
Seeing Tottenham as one of the clubs instantly gave me a nervous feeling. An overwhelming sense that the Nerazzurri should be doing all they can to gain the services of this remarkable tactician took over. We need to get Fabio!
After all the emotion had passed and reason began to take over, I was quite surprised that I was still of the feeling that this man would be the best manager we could get since the departure of Mourinho in 2010, and the following article will explain exactly why.
What I say about Inter’s performance at the Olympico? To be totally honest I’m lost for words at how things went so wrong for the Nerazzurri, although if I’d wrote this straight after the match I would have had a lot to say but I don’t think any of it would have been constructive. So instead I took the advice of Javier Zanetti and as he suggested in his post match interview I decided not to write anything rash in the heat of the moment and instead I’ve waited until I can analyse things with a calmer mind.
The weekend started badly as Europe’s freezing weather brought a covering of snow to the Olympico which meant that the game’s original schedule had to be postponed until Sunday afternoon and it was looking unlikely that it would even go ahead then, but the ground’s staff and a slight improvement in the weather allowed the game to go ahead.
From January the 1st rumours were flying all over the world about who was linked with Inter and who was leaving Inter but the whole of the month seemed to revolve around the Tevez transfer saga in which it seemed Inter were half heartedly chasing Manchester City’s want away striker just to drive the price up for rivals AC Milan, I have no doubt that there was no real desire in the management of the Nerazzurri to sign him at all, but regardless this worldwide story dragged on for nearly the entire month.
This meant that the one transfer that we acknowledged as being lined up, which was Juan Jesus, still hadn’t been completed by the 30th of the month and with just one day left of the transfer window it was looking very likely that Inter’s mercato was going to be a complete disaster. Then on deadline day itself Branca & co did what they do best and pulled some great deals out of the bag.
It’s beyond doubt now that Wesley Sneijder is no longer the asset that he was in the ‘09/10 treble winning season at Inter. Having lost 2 out of their last three games and drawing most recently against Palermo, the dream run that the Nerazzurri has had since December has now come to a halt.
Without trying to connect dots and blame recent results on just one player, a true fan of Inter Milan knows just how important the Dutch playmaker is to the squad. When he is in form, of course.
I can’t believe it! Last night I was unable to watch the match and typically it seems to have been an unmissable game with ‘il Principe’ scoring all four of Inter’s goals, a feat last acheived by Christian ‘Bobo’ Vieri on the 1st December 2002 when the Nerazzurri beat Brescia 4-0.
Despite the incredable performance at the attacking end of the pitch it seems that our defence and Julio Cesar in goal had a nightmare game letting in just as many goals including a hattrick from Miccoli meaning that we take just one point from this home game 😦