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 😦
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.
Another month of disappointment, out of the Champions League, poor performances and after every game wondering how this is going to get better. In the last few days of the month though Massimo Moratti took action and now seems to have begun the rebuilding process, finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The results from March/ Marzo
4th March- Inter 2-2 Catania
We scored, Cambiasso cried and we still didn’t win. Awful defending from Nagatomo leading to Gomez of Catania scoring. How Nagatomo could not see what was going to happen, there was only one way Gomez was going to go and the only person who failed to realise was the guy nearest to him. Catania’s second was offside, and clearly so.
When Poli and Obi came on that really added something to the team. They are two players I would like to see either side of Cambiasso a lot more. Do not forget Obi is a centre midfielder not a left midfielder, though he may not have a lot of flair I do believe he can can add something positive to our play. Our first goal came from Forlan making a run inside the area from the wing and tucking away. The second was a lovely finish from Milito rifled into back of the net from just inside the area.
After the 2-0 defeat to our old enemy Juventus the writing was on the wall for Claudio Ranieri and Massimo Moratti was left with no choice but to replace his head coach for the second time this season. His choice of Andrea Stramaccioni as caretaker may be one of the best decisions he has ever made. Time will tell!
As I’ve said many times this season a new project and philosophy for Inter is crucial for the club’s future and the appointment of our new head scout, Valentino Angeloni from Udinese, has sent clear signals to the rest of the football world that this time Inter are going to be doing whatever is needed to move the club forward. But what about the position within the club that is arguably the most important to the performance side of the club, the head coach? Read the rest of this entry
After Inter’s superb win against Chievo last Friday evening and with Marseille losing yet again in their own league the stage was set for the Nerazzurri to turn around the 1-0 first leg defeat. The plan was to show the French side the strength and resolve that Inter has to turn around results like these in front of a packed Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, using the same lineup that produced a winning display in Verona Claudio Ranieri expected his squad to come out fighting and take the game to the visitors.
The reality though was that from the kickoff Marseille looked as though they weren’t happy to just defend their one goal aggregate lead and wanted the away goal to sure up their position ahead of Inter. Less than ten minutes in to the game it looked like Inter would level things off as captain Javier Zanetti took the ball in to the box cutting it back for Wesley Sneijder who just had to chip it in to a fairly open net but instead he hit it low straight in to the goalkeepers body much to the surprise of everyone watching the match.
What a great week it has been for me and all Interisti, starting with the 2-2 comeback last week against Catania where we started to see sparks of the Inter we all know and love, then in the midweek I was honoured and proud to see that both Bedy Moratti & Inter themselves had mentioned Nerazzurri World on Twitter. Then as we celebrated Inter’s 104th Birthday the Nerazzurri secured their first win since the Lazio game back on the 22nd January.
This game saw the return of both Dejan Stankovic and Maicon to the starting line up and Claudio Ranieri opted for another try with the 4-3-1-2 formation. the lineup was fairly unsurprising with him going with our strongest back four of Maicon, Lucio, Walter Samuel and Yuto Nagatomo. The three man midfield consisted of Javier Zanetti, Dejan Stankovic and Andrea Poli, personally I would’ve left Stankovic out and brought in Marco Davide Faraoni to play on the right with Zanetti in the center but I’m not Inter’s head coach so we have to respect Ranieri’s decisions. The attack was exactly as I would’ve chosen with Wesley Sneijder behind the partnership of the two Diegos Forlan and Milito, this set up works well in my opinion as Forlan can drop deeper and wider to create more chances for Milito unlike Giampaolo Pazzini who like I’ve said many times is too similar to ‘El Principe’ and is purely a box player.
The week 26 match against Catania at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza was being considered a last chance saloon for Claudio Ranieri and just to add more pressure to the Italian coach’s situation, earlier in the day the man most people are touting as his replacement, Andre Villas-Boas, was dismissed from Chelsea FC after an unconvincing season in the English Premier League.
Ranieri himself must have realised he really is close to losing his job as for this match he decided to return to his winning formula of the 4-4-2 formation, opting to put our under fire trequartista Wesley Sneijder on the bench instead of risking once again playing him behind the strikers. Also despite being called up to the initial squad, Claudio decided to play it safe and drop Maicon from the match squad completely as he is still feeling some discomfort in his knee that was injured in the Champions league match against Marseille.
This meant that Javier Zanetti and Yuto Nagatomo took up the full back positions either side of Lucio and Walter Samuel, this is all well and good apart from he started Zanetti as left back and Nagatomo in his weaker rightback position. This of course is from the coach that has publicly said in the past that he’s not convinced by Zanetti as left back?!? New boy Juan Jesus took a step towards making his debut but unfortunately spent the entire match on the bench, this was a disappointment to me as I’m looking forward to seeing what the Brazilian defender can do, and there were times during the match where a quicker defender would have been very useful for Inter.
How it can all change in a month.
How can you evaluate the month just gone. At times we lacked a little luck, at times we lacked confidence lacked quality but to be honest it was quite a pathetic effort by some. If your leaving or want to leave then that’s fine but give your all until that time comes. And I mention Wes purely because I expect a lot more from him one because of his quality and two because how much he’s paid. His body language tells a story and one game in February he had 13 shots on goal, read into that an I truly feel he lost the desire and is playing for himself. A lot of players are not performing and by no means is Wes to blame but he’s paid a lot for a reason, I just haven’t seen that reason for a while.
The results from February
As the typical statement goes a great advertisement for exciting Calcio and a great game for a neutral, shame I wasn’t a neutral. Once again Milito was outstanding how you score 4 at home and still don’t win I’m not quite sure. Why and how did we throw this result away, poor goalkeeping an defensive balance, Miccoli an Palermo seemed to walk right through our defence an knock the ball into the far post. I rate Caesar but his positioning and ability to defend his goal from shots go across is awful.
Read the Don’s analysis of Inter v Palermo HERE
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.