Inter Milan 2012-2013 Season Preview
This summer has been pretty light so far in terms of news and updates. I’ve been working on some columns for Inside Spanish Football and Serie A Weekly asked me to write a season preview for their site and I thought I’d share it with our community.
If you’re a die hard Inter Milan fan like I am, you must have been disappointed by the team’s season last year.
It’s not really hard to understand what happened last season. The club made several mistakes in 2011 and unfortunately paid for most of them. First of all, the team lost its philosophy, its mental strength and its winning mentality from the Mourinho era. A (record?) total of 4 managers in less than 1 year brought different tactical systems and different football perspectives to the team.
Second of all, they lost the most talented player on their roster: Samuel Eto’o while far less talented players (Pazzini) and less capable players (Forlan) were expected to step up in that particular position. Finally too many players who were passed their prime were given important role. Dejan Stankovitch, Chivu, Lucio, Julio Cesar and Maicon helped Inter win championships these past 5 years. But let’s be clear, all of them are passed their prime and they all should have been replaced last year.
That being said, I have a feeling 2012-2013 will be different for Inter. Dejan and Lucio are already gone while Maicon, Julio Cesar and Chivu are on their way out. The likes of Coutinho and Ricky Alvarez will play a much more important role in the development of the offense and both of them will help Sneijder control the pace of our game. Sneijder is an excellent player and a different type of trequartista but Ricky and Coutinho are classic number 10s. Both are better suited to slow down the tempo of the game and deliver intelligent passes to open up the game.
Freddy Guarin, who was recruited in January, will also play a crucial role in Inter’s game. He has been really impressive so far in the preseason and having him in the center of our midfield gives us a player who can create offensively but really help out defensively. Silvestre was brought in to replace Lucio and is expected to be our main center back this season and to be quite honest I’m really exited about that… he will be more reliable than Lucio and Chivu. Handanovic who was also brought this summer should be the starting goal keeper and he has been pretty good so far during the preseason.
2012-2013 will be Stramaccioni’s first full season as the head coach of the team. Personally I think Strama is the man of the situation, and his system (4-3-2-1) suits the team perfectly. He seems to appreciate creative midfielders and there is no doubt that Coutinho, Ricky Alvarez and Palacio will be given more opportunities to run the offense with Sneijder. Last season we saw that he was a bright tactical mind when he outfoxed Allegri’s Milan in the derby but he knows he will have to do much more than win one big game if he wants to achieve great things with Inter.
Juventus has a quality team but unlike last season they will have to play champions league football and they lack the depth to compete on three tables. Milan lost their two best/important players and (probably) won’t be competing for the championship and while Napoli, Roma and Udinese have quality teams, only Inter seems to have the depth and the quality to make a serious run for the championship.
I don’t expect to do much in the Europa League (although I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the final 4 of the competition) but I do expect to see the Inter I’ve seen win championships this season.
Let’s just hope everything goes right this year!
Benjamin Dalusma (aka BD)
BD can be followed on twitter @BD1592 or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org