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2011/12 Season Summary

Here we are at the end of a season that most of us would like to forget!  A season that saw Inter employ three coaches and finish in a lowly sixth place just scraping a place in the preliminaries of next season’s Europa League.  To rub salt in the wound of a bad season for us we also had to watch our arch rivals Juventus win their 28th Scudetto in an unbeaten league run ūüė¶

When the season’s fixture list was revealed back in July 2011 I published my predictions for the upcoming season and all in all I was expecting a usual season from Inter with a total of 24 wins, 10 draws and four loses which would’ve resulted in the Nerazzurri accumulating a total of 81 points, unfortunately this was a long way off the reality of what really happened.  The real stats for Inter’s 2011/12 season make for grim reading with just 17 wins, 7 draws and 14 loses meaning my prediction of 81 points was a massive 23 points more than the 58 we did receive.  The most depressing thing about these stats are the fact that my predictions were based on us having another average season but I’m still convinced that if we had achieved this level of performance we would’ve without doubt won the Scudetto.

 But instead we have to be thankful that the worst season for Inter since 1948 didn’t end a lot worse than it did for us, considering that at one point at the beginning of December there was talk of the mighty Inter being involved in a relegation battle by the end of the season we should be proud of the team for managing to finish in an European spot.

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Inter and the start of the ‘Stramala’ Era

It’s been a rollercoaster season for Inter and their fans.  After a glorious winning cycle that saw the club claim 15 titles (5 Scudetti, 4 Coppe Italia, 4 Supercoppe Italiane, a Champions League and a Clubs World Cup), the club is set to finish the season empty handed for the first time in 7 years .
Back in the summer of 2011, Brazilian coach Leonardo decided to leave the club unexpectedly after receiving a lucrative offer from French giants PSG when he¬†only¬†was in charge for 6 months. The club, who have already appointed the former Milan midfielder, after sacking¬†Jos√© Mourinho‚Äôs replacement¬†Rafael Ben√≠tez, found itself looking for another man to lead the ‚ÄėWorld Champions‚Äô at the time. After a month or¬†so¬†of painful search that saw them being linked to the likes of Fabio Capello,¬†SiniŇ°a Mihajlovińá, Marcelo Bielsa, and Luciano Spalletti, the club finally decided to go with former Juventus Primavera and Genoa coach¬†Gian Piero Gasperini, and this is where the disastrous journey started.

Inter sitting in the relegation zone but who is to blame?

No one can deny that the start of the 2011/12 season has been a disaster for Inter with them sitting in the relegation zone at a lowly 18th place with just 4 points from a possible 18 making this possibly the worst ever start to a league campaign in our club’s history.  This got me thinking as to who should take responsibility for this disaster?  Is it the coaches? The players? or even our beloved President Massimo Moratti?  Well in my opinion it’s yes, yes and yes they are all to blame and have contributed to us being in this position.

I then started to think am I the only Interista that thinks this so I decided to ask the Inter Family on Twitter and Facebook to see what the general opinion was and the responses I received proved that there are many issues affecting Inter at the moment, fellow Nerazzurri World writer Hadibase wrote the article Blame the Management: The downfall of Inter Milan in which he gives his opinion on what’s gone wrong. 

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Welcome to Inter’s new coach Claudio Ranieri

Everyone knew after the Novara game that Gian Piero Gasperini¬†wasn’t going to see the end of the next day as the Inter head coach but I can’t imagine that anyone thought that Massimo Moratti¬†and Marco Branca would instate his replacement so quickly. This says to me of course that this has been in the pipeline for a little while and regardless of what has been said in previous weeks Gasperini was rapidly running out of time.

A few months ago when we were originally looking for Leonardo’s replacement Ranieri¬†was amongst the list of candidates so it’s no real surprise that he was chosen. One crucial factor in his appointment is the fact he has been the coach of several top-level clubs and ‘The Tinkerman’ is known to have a talent for steadying a ship, which will be vital after Inter’s disastrous last couple of months. The downside of his appointment is that he is widely considered as ‘the best loser’ as he has a habit of coming close to honours of league titles or cup wins but always coming up short in the end. This isn’t as bad as it seems as long as Moratti¬†only sees him as a short-term solution because with the chaos caused by Leonardo’s departure and Gasperini’s¬†terrible era we need to be realistic and just set ourselves a target of qualifying for next seasons Champions league, anything beyond that would be a bonus and as much as I’d love to see our beloved club return to glory this season we need to settle the squad again and rebuild their shattered confidence, as Roberto Mancini said to the press recently Inter’s winning cycle has come to an end, as Interista¬†we have to accept this fact and realise our priority now is to setup the new foundations to return the club to glory in the coming seasons.

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Serie A: Novara 3-1 Inter, Minnows embarrass the mighty Inter

First of all I would like to congratulate Novara on their win, they by far deserved it more than Inter.  As for the Nerazzurri, they were shocking, for the majority of the match Novara was running rings around them making the World Champions look like a Serie C side.  On the bright side for us Interisti there is no way that Moratti can ignore the fans shouts for Gasperini to be given the boot.  Instead of them improving and getting the 3+ goal win that everyone expected they again looked disorganised and lost on the pitch which handed Novara the best possible home start as they return to the Serie A after 55 years away from the top flight, as for Inter they now sit at the lowest position in the league that I can ever remember.
If us Interisti had our way Gasperini would be dragged all the way back to Milano where he would be crucified then hung from the rafters of the Guiseppe Meazza as a warning to future coaches, but after the game Massimo Moratti seemed to be staying fairly calm despite his obvious anger as he was quoted as saying “Gasperini didn’t have control of the match? It really seems to me that he didn’t, but let’s sleep on it,”  which I believe can be roughly translated as “Don’t worry by this time tomorrow he’ll be long gone!”

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Results of the Who should replace Gian Piero Gasperini? Poll

Now that Moratti¬†has seen sense and dismissed Gasperini¬†I have decided to end our poll on who should replace him early and the results as voted for by the Nerazzurri World readers are –

  1. Guus Hiddink was the most popular with 20% of the votes
  2. Carlo Ancelotti came second with 17.78% of the votes
  3. A surprise third place for Inter’s very own Luis Figo with 15.56% of the votes
  4. And in joint fourth place was Giuseppe Baresi & Don Nerazzurri with 11.11% of the votes each

Wow it comes to something when I’ve been voted in the top 5 of candidates for the Inter job ūüôā

Unfortunately this is all irrelevant as it seems like Claudio Ranieri is going to be announced as the new coach very shortly.

For all the results see the poll below ūüôā

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Serie A: Inter 0-0 Roma, Draw not good enough for the Nerazzurri

Week 3 of the 2011/12 season saw Inter take on Roma at the Guiseppe¬†Meazza, with both teams having a torrid start to their seasons the coaches both needed a win to ensure their futures but despite chances, drama and a match I couldn’t take my eyes off for a minute it ended goalless, before the match myself and other Interisti predicted that it would end as a draw but going off the results of¬†previous matches we all thought this was going to be a high scoring affair, so how was it that two teams that play offensive football couldn’t score at least once?

The positive thing about this match was that we managed to keep a clean sheet for a change and¬†it also saw our legendary captain, Javier Zanetti, equal Giuseppe Bergomi’s¬†club record of 756 appearances in the Nerazzurri¬†colours, to commemorate this special occasion Zanetti¬†wore a special armband ¬†(“Zanetti¬†& Bergomi¬†756 volte nerazzurri”) which will be auctioned on E-bay with the proceeds¬†going to the PUPI¬†Foundation.¬† These 2 Inter legends appeared together 134 times in the 90’s and won the 1998 UEFA Cup together.

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UCL: Inter 0-1 Trabzonspor, improved performance still not good enough

What can I say about last night’s Champions League group stage match against Trabzonspor?  Well on a positive note Gasperini dropped his 3 man defence and Inter looked a lot better for it, they defended better, they passed the ball better, they looked more dangerous going forward but for some reason unknown they could not get a goal!

This of course means that Gasperini has now made appearances in all three competitions (if you count the Supercup as a Coppa Italia match) and also lost all three games, not a good situation for Inter or Gasperini as Interisti are now calling for him to be replaced, but it has to be said last night saw a marked improvement on previous competitive displays even though we lacked the right rhythm at times and as Massimo Moratti  himself  said Gasperini can’t be blamed for the goal that lost us the game.  He isn’t entirely blameless though his biggest problem is that the squad don’t seem to have any confidence in him or his tactics and the Inter coach must be all too aware that he’s walking on thin ice meaning that if the result doesn’t come on Saturday against the struggling Roma he could have one of the shortest ever coaching careers at Inter. 

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Serie A: Palermo 4-3 Inter, Gasperini’s formation issues sink the Nerazzurri

What a match! Goals galore and end to end action, a perfect evening’s football for the neutral fan and jubilation for the Palermo fans. The trouble is I’m neither, I’m Interisti¬†and for me there was nothing perfect about our week 2 fixture at the Stadio¬†Renzo Barbera, in fact if I’d written this report straight after the game it would have just been a page full of offensive words aimed at Gasperini, luckily though after a nights sleep I have managed to calm down enough to write this without resorting to insults.

First off i’d¬†like to say that everything I’ve said in previous articles about giving Gasperini¬†a few weeks to prove his 3 man defense does work, FORGET IT, last night proved to me without a doubt that it does not and will not ever work for us! The attacking side of the formation worked great (once Sneijder¬†was on the field!), but the defence was non existent¬†with Miccoli¬†and Hernandez breaking them down every chance they got. This of course was Gasperini’s¬†2nd competitive match in charge of Inter and more importantly his 2nd competitive loss, not to mention the poor performances during pre season, so it’s not surprising many Interisti are losing patience with him already.

Where did it all go wrong in Sicily?

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A look in to Inter’s Tactics

Since Gian Piero Gasperini’s¬†name was linked with Inter earlier this summer the main thing on Interisti¬†minds was the fact that the promising coach has a preference for using a 3 man defence, which he used fantastically at Genoa and since his arrival at Inter he has been working hard on adapting both the players to his formations and also trying to adapt the formations to his players. In pre season his results were a mixed bag with some stunning high scoring matches against lower end teams at the beginning up to a very disappointing loss against Chievo a couple of weeks ago.

All in all I think his formations are not¬†a good fit¬†with our squad as against any team¬†that is of¬†the calibre we should be facing throughout the season we have struggled immensely, you only have to look at the draw against Galatasaray and the two losses to both AC Milan in the Super Cup and Manchester City in the Dublin Super Cup to see that it wasn’t working for us, a lot of this is down to the fact that the formations weren’t playing to the strengths of our squad as¬†I discussed in my post ‘Inter’s summer Transfers – Do they really fit in with Gasperini’s Formations?’¬†¬† This article of course is now outdated as it was wrote half way through the transfer window and we have made a few more signings since then who we haven’t seen play in a Nerazzurri¬†shirt as yet, so it would be unfair of anyone to say that Gasperini’s 3 man defence will not work this season.¬† As such I am going to use this article to look in to how I think he could possibly make his formation work and also show an alternative 4-3-3 formation that he could change to mid game without too much trouble. Read the rest of this entry

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