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.
Samuel Eto'o's penalty against Bari
Inter's midfield is aged and pedestrian. Vieira only played because Esteban Cambiasso is injured, possibly for two months. Vieira lacks pace and stamina. He was booked and substituted one minute into the second half and replaced by Quaresma. Inter had hoped that Vieira would have left prior to the new season. Quaresma is inconsistent and can play well for no more than 35 minutes and then he fades. Moreover he has expressed a desire to leave the San Siro. He represents a poor Mourinho signing made at the beginning of the 2008 - 2009 season and Massimo Moratti the club President and patron does not let him forget it.
Muntari was poor and substituted after only 29 minutes, replaced by Ballotelli. Thiago Motta was adequate but lacked support. The outcome was that Inter played with no width. Maicon instigated the vast majority of attacking moves from the right as he does every time he plays but there was nothing from the left. I felt as if I were watching Chelsea in Mourinho's last few months there.
Defensively Inter have problems. Materazzi is an icon for the Inter Ultras who have taken over the second green tier (aka Curva Nord). He plays, I believe, as a concession to these supporters especially when Inter play allegedly weaker teams such as Bari. He is slow, clumsy and over physical. He is regarded in Italy as a hot head and somewhat mad. He was fortunate not to receive a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on a Bari player. Mourinho immediately substituted him and Cordoba took his place in central defence.
Club captain Zanetti at left back is a good player but has lost pace, particularly as he is also expected to act as wing back. Against Bari he was often caught out of position. The weakness in both midfield and defence encouraged Bari to exploit the counter attack perfectly and from one of these they equalized.