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.
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.
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)
Inter’s first pre season friendly went with a bang as Gasperini’s flexed their muscles in a 6-1 win over local side Trentino this afternoon with usual suspects Pazzini & Eto’o scoring the first two goals in the 1st half. Trentino managed to claw one back with a high curling shot over Castellazzi. New boy Alvarez slotted home the 3rd and narrowly missed a wonderful long range effort from outside the box, Pandev gave Inter their 4th showing that despite being fairly slow & clumsy he can still put them away. The final two goals came from youngsters Castaignos & Longo. I have to admit I didn’t see the match as I was working but from what I’ve seen on YouTube Ricky & Luc both are showing that they are fantastic purchases for the Nerazzurri as well as the established players showing that the ‘Grande Inter’ is still is alive & kicking. I realise that we were only playing a small fry local team but the squad seems to be connecting very well & for me this upcoming season is looking very promising.
There was a “full house” for the official presentation of the 2011/12 Inter squad in Piazza San Giacomo, Pinzolo, this evening, just as the whole of Pinzolo and the Val Rendena are sold out in this period while the area plays host to the Nerazzurri’s pre-season training camp. This evening there was chanting, passion, flags and a huge banner: “Giù le mani da Giacinto” (Hands off Giacinto). The Inter fans wanted to show their support for Facchetti, the symbol of this club, as the team was presented by Roberto Scarpini live on Inter Channel.
After Inter were welcomed to Pinzolo by the local authorities – the mayor of Pinzolo William Bonomi, president of the organising committee, Anita Binelli, president of the local tourism authority (ApT Madonna di Campiglio-Pinzolo-Val Rendena), local councillor for tourism and president of Trentino Marketing SpA Tiziano Mellarini – Signora Bedy Moratti greeted the fans on behalf of the president and the club. Then all the players were called onto the stage one by one: first up was vice captain Ivan Ramiro Cordoba, who also greeted the fans on behalf of captain Zanetti and his other team-mates involved in the Copa America (Cambiasso, Milito, Lucio, Maicon, Julio Cesar) and the Under-20 World Cup (Coutinho). Samuel Eto’o was the last man called up, to great acclaim by the crowd.
There was applause for all the players and an impromptu director’s role for Yuto Nagatomo: he incited everybody to ‘jump if you’re not a Rossoneri fan’ (a typical terrace chant). Gian Piero Gasperini accepted the invitation and began bouncing up and down with the rest of the square.