September 17, 2009
The Bari result was one that many in Italy had hoped for. It reinforced a desire, if not quite a belief, that Inter are a team in decline, that Mourinho is a maverick showman, a self publicist, a manager that has little regard for the integrity of Italian football and is using Inter as a sabbatical prior to a return to the Premiership as manager of Manchester United.
There is little merit in these views. Inter's team against Bari underlined Mourinho's pragmatic approach to football - the result is paramount.
September 7, 2009
The new stars had different experiences. Eto’o and Lucio had never played in Serie A before and this was obvious. Games and time will reveal if they can play in the environment of passionate, high expectation Italian football. Milito and Thiago Motta have had the benefit of one season in Italy and fared better.
The two week break between Matchday 1 ( August 22/23) and Matchday 2 (August29/30) because of World Cup qualifying fixtures permits me to offer a retrospective approach towards Inter’s first two games, in addition to an overview from Italian fans, press, rumours and general gossip.
Inter played their first game at the Guiseppe Meazza stadium as defending champions against newly promoted Bari, reappearing in Serie A after a break of 8 years. Over 53,000 fans attended this eagerly awaited start to the season with Bari bringing an impressive 3,000 from the deep south of Apulia, a journey of over 20 hours by train round trip and a distance of 1,900 kms. We all braved the heat which was 93 degrees F at the start and a balmy 85 F at full time but not in the Inter dressing room.