Category Archives: Pre-Season
It’s that time of year again and the upcoming season is fast approaching, the mercato is heating up and the team is starting to shape up ahead of the upcoming season. This year I was lucky enough for Inter to come to my home city of Glasgow for a friendly against Celtic to commemorate their 125th anniversary as a football club.
I was sitting in the away end just to the left of the goals with around 25 other Inter fans (more than I thought). Strama made five changes to the starting line up which faced Como midweek and again used the 4-2-3-1 with Handanovic, Silvestre at right back, Chivu and Ranocchia at centre back, il capitano at left back. The two holding midfielders were Guarin and Cambiasso. Then the three behind the striker were Sneijder directly behind Milito as striker and Jonathan on the right with Coutinho on the left of the three.
For the past few months there has been a lot of talk about having to rebuild and rejuvenate the Inter squad and as I’ve said in previous articles this will only solve part of issues that are affecting the Nerazzurri so badly this season. One of the major changes that needs making is that Massimo Moratti needs to look very closely at the people he has running the different aspects of the club and get rid of those that aren’t helping to move the club forward, replacing them with the right team of people who can turn the club into a proper international business and increase revenues in a way that clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona have been doing for years.
One position that desperately needs changing in the opinion of nearly all Interisti is that of technical director Marco Branca, who after years of mediocre or disastrous transfer dealings must be shown the door before the summer so we can move the club forward with someone more suited to Inter’s new project like fan favourite Lele Oriali or even, as rumoured by both French and Italian press, a return for ex coach Leonardo but this time in Branca’s position.
In this article though I’m just going to look at the rebuilding and rejuvenation of the squad and my vision of what Inter should do this summer to not only produce a competitive team again next season but also save the club some money so in the future we are ready for UEFA’s FFP rules, and also help moving towards owning our own stadium and eventually even be in a position to once again purchase the world’s superstar players.
So that’s it the transfer window for 2011 and what a summer it has been, unlike last season there has been a lot of movement in and out of Inter. It all started with rumours of Sneijder going to Manchester United for a record transfer fee of €35+ million and the equally amazing rumour that want away Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was linked with a move to the Nerazzurri. Then the club was thrown in to chaos as the then manager Leonardo was 1st linked with a directors job at PSG which he denied at first and then shortly afterward took it leaving Moratti without a coach, from that point on rumours started flying about possible replacements including Jose Mourinho’s protegé Andres Villas Boas but eventually after being turned down by a hand full of world class coaches Moratti decided on what was the best of the rest Gian Piero Gasperini and so Inter’s transfer window resumed, though another cloud was hovering over Inter, our huge debt and the need to resolve it in time for the FFP’s and so the massive spending of old that Moratti was famous for had to be held in check. That doesn’t mean we haven’t brought in some fantastic players though, while offloading others that weren’t part of the future plan for us or could bring in a healthy profit to help us financially…..
Andrea Poli is now an Inter player. The midfielder, with Giovanni Branchini and his agents, met with technical director Marco Branca and sporting director Piero Ausilio in the Nerazzurri headquarters in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II yesterday to complete the loan deal from Sampdoria with the option to buy in 2012. The Italian born midfielder is Inter’s 5th first team signing this summer and has been brought in to strengthen the central midfield position.
21 year old Poli was born 29 September 1989 in Vittorio Veneto in Italy, he started his career in Serie B with Treviso. In the January transfer window of 2007 he was signed in a co-ownership deal with Sampdoria but stayed on loan with Treviso until the end of the season. He made his Serie A debut with Sampdoria in a 0-3 loss against Cagliari on the 4th November 2007, he spent that season in the Sampdoria Primavera squad that won the Campionato Primavera. The following season saw him loaned out to Serie B side Sassuolo in order for him to gain a bit more first team experience. He returned to Sampdoria for the 2009/10 season that saw him become a key player in the squad that finished the season in 4th place, gaining Champions league qualification only to see the team relegated from Serie A just a year later, and now he starts a new chapter on loan again but this time returning to Serie A as part of the new look Inter squad. Time will tell how he will do with the Nerazzurri, but if he impresses there is the option of Inter making the move permanent next summer.
Samuel Eto’o has completed his move to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala after passing his medical on Wednesday night and has now joined up with his new team mates at the squads base in Moscow. The reported figures for the transfer aren’t as high as have been speculated in recent days with Anzhi paying Inter 21 million Euros and paying Eto’o 10 million Euros per season
When asked about the move Eto’o said
“The project is very interesting, money is not so important for me, that’s just part of football,”
His debut with the Russian club will come on Saturday when Anzhi take on Rostov and he will be wearing the number 99 shirt. Many people in the football world think this move is a massive backwards step for Eto’o who is the most decorated African player in history, playing for not only Inter & Barcelona but also Mallorca and Real Madrid, during his career he has been named African player of the year four times and has won the European Champions league three times including two trebles back to back. He has also won both the Spanish and Italian leagues, an Olympic gold medal and the African cup of nations twice. For me he is one of the greatest strikers of all time.
The last pre season friendly of summer 2011 ended in a 2-2 draw for Gasperini’s team against Greek side Olympiacos, and even though Inter had to come back from two behind there was still many positives for the Italians, the first half for example saw Gasperini’s plans starting to take shape with excellent build up play and creation of chances, they also showed the flexibility of the squad with changes in formation from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3. The second half started badly with bad defending giving away the first goal for the 10 man Greek team from a dead ball situation then later a bad clearance from Ranocchia gifted them a second. Though the Nerazzurri fought hard and Pazzini managed to pull off a brace to save the day and finish the game as a draw.
Highlight video via ROARINTER
It was Inter’s treble winning hero Diego Milito that showed he was ready for the upcoming season by hitting the crossbar and also scoring the winning goal against Milan to secure the trophy in the second match for Inter in the pre season triangular tournament. The trophy itself doesn’t really mean anything but if your one of the clubs that doesn’t win it you can be sure of some serious criticism. The competition consists of three 45 minute games and the winner is the team with the most points at the end of the night, Inter claimed the trophy with 5 points: 2 for the win against Juventus on penalties and 3 for our 1-0 win against Allegri’s AC Milan. It was by no means a perfect night for the Nerazzurri but it was clear that the team is starting to find it’s shape with the return of south American players that have missed out on the previous pre season games, and even with our new formations and tactics our old character still stood out giving us Interista hope that things are going to come together as the start of the season approaches.
The evening started with the mini derby d’Italia against Juve which ended 1-1 and was decided on penalties
It was the fourth pre-season summer friendly for Inter yesterday against Turkish side Galatasaray played in the neutral venue of the rewirpowerSTADION in Bochum, Dusseldorf, which is a city of the largest Turkish community in Germany. It wasn’t a surprise to see that the stadium had sold out all of it’s 20,000 seats to see the Turkish giants take on the World Champions. The weather conditions were hardly perfect, with a temperature slightly above 10 degrees, heavy rain, a slippery pitch and a bothersome wind. It also proved to be that the Turkish team & fans were hardly perfect either with some nasty tackles & an incident involving the Galatasaray throwing flares in the second half. Both their players & fans were a disgrace considering this was supposedly a friendly, there is no need for fans of any club to be throwing flares on to the pitch & the crunching tackles coming from the Galatasaray players were out of order, if I didn’t know better I would have thought this game was a UCL knock out match not a pre season friendly & I feel that the Turk club should be fined for the behaviour of their fans.
After a morning training session that included recovery programmes for Ivan Cordoba, Jonathan, Thiago Motta & Nelson Rivas. After the session it was decided that three players weren’t 100% and wouldn’t be involved in the afternoon friendly against Mezzocorona, missing was Yuto Nagatomo (slight muscle strain in the left thigh which he picked up during the morning session), Giampaolo Pazzini (groin fatigue, is this down to the fact he’s still a newly wed? You decide!) & also Walter Samuel (who is still involved in a strength training program after last seasons injury)