ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - FC Inter Milan
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FC Inter Milan
Posted by Gianni Serra on 08/08/2011

AC Milan defeated Inter 2-1 in Beijing in the Supercoppa Italiana this weekend. Bad omen? Yes, according to many Inter fans that are already complaining: "The first trophy of the season's gone. We need new signings otherwise it will be a nightmare". Right or wrong this judgement can't be based on the game played in China. A travesty.

The fact is that the Supercoppa’s worth can be overstated – it’s a friendly match dressed up as an official trophy. It's the same for all these much pumped curtain-raiser-supercups all over Europe - all introduced by a great fanfare but still technically meaningless. With Cambiasso, Milito, Maicon and Lucio still on holiday, Inter's only goal of the game came from a player [Wesley Sneijder] who's likely to leave the club within days ['I am not looking for a move but I know the club needs cash and has already fixed a price...'].

Scheduling these so called 'official' games - when ahead there are still three full weeks to transfer players in and out - shows just the level of permanent congestion in the football calendar. Too many fixtures. Really, too many. Even by a merely financial point of view this abundance will reduce each game's value and interest. Anyway, this went so far that to get more attention, instead of reducing the number of official competitions, the big heads who run the game chose to put the 'official' tag to games that used to be friendlies , and still are, despite the more emphatic label attached. The body language of the players speaks volumes about the difference between these summer trophies and proper cup finals. The real stuff's still to come.

The explosion in Football of these who-couldn't-care-less trophies seems to follow step by step what has already happened to Boxing, when the will to exploit this sport in the most avid way led to the proliferation of both organizations and World Champions. Football seems just glad to follow that suicidal route. I know it's like swimming against the tide but there is no way I can take seriously [by a footballing point of view] a Cup played in Beijing just to sell more shirts and credit cards in Eastern Asia.

This game meant even less to AC Milan. It meant something only to Inter's new coach Giampiero Gasperini, who has been under the pressure to win over sceptics since the day he was chosen to replace Leonardo. The former Genoa's coach is widely rated as one of the best in Italy. While coaching the Grifone he proved to be clever, elegant and brave in choosing the schemes and exploiting his players qualities; he was also very good at reading opponents' tactics and changing pattern during games.

However, to lead teams like Inter you need to be more than an astute tactician. You need charisma. It will help you with the players, with the fans, with the media. What happened to Luigi Delneri at Juventus last season explains very well this kind of situation. To judge Inter and Gasperini we need to know the squad first. If Carlos Tevez joins Inter and Samuel Eto'o stays, Gasperini's trademark 3-4-3 will benefit a lot from the Argentinian's addition, as no other team can field two forwards so keen on chasing fullbacks. And Gasperini's 3-4-3 formation needs forwards willing to press and able to swap positions during the game. The central forward position should go to Diego Milito who was magnificent under Gasperini at Genoa. Is Pandev going to stay? When Cambiasso is back will Stankovic be a substitute or a starter? Same doubts surround Alvarez, who is unlikely to be an automatic choice for midfield. Luc Castaignos, who's apparently far behind in the picking order, could be a revelation and get more games than expected. Still too many ifs, too many question marks. The truth is that this team is still a work in progress, with few certainties. One of them must be Joel Obi - the 20-year old Nigerian midfielder has everything to become a new Edgar Davids. He can be the Pit Bull Inter were looking for to add dynamism to the midfield.

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Posted by piffy pete on 08/08/2011

youre such an inter fanboy. you got outclassed, and milan is by far the better side now. grow up and acknowledge it

Posted by passerby on 08/09/2011

piffy you are an idiot. shut up. one swallow does not make a summer.

Posted by Pietro on 08/09/2011

Piffy Pete, Inter outclassed? 1st half was mainly Inter, 2nd mainly Milan. The thing is that Milan showed the complete package, Inter no. Sneijder is going to UK, Eto'o is going to Russia, who's gonna replace them? These are the worries for Interisti fans like me certainly not losing vs AC Milan with half team available.

Posted by AC Milan schooled Inter on 08/09/2011

Actually Galliani said the Supercup was a big deal.

Posted by Sam on 08/09/2011

Fair point. The supercoppa is something of a joke but it is always sad to lose to Milan. My main concern is with the direction that Inter is heading. Being a team that follows the rules we are now facing the fact that we need to sell a number of top players in order to fit in with financial fair play. Many other teams are using loopholes and shuffling the pack to get away with having a lavish squad but Inter, as always appear to be looking to comply. Sneijder, Eto'o and Maicon all appear on the block leaving the team shorn of three key players with replacements appearing to be young players or untested talent. At the moment it appears doubtful that if we lose these players we will be able to compete for titles, hopefully I am proven wrong. The only thing Financial Fair play will do is enable the English, big Spanish clubs and clubs willing to flout the laws to get ahead of honorable teams like Inter. Only time will tell

Posted by AC Milan schooled Inter on 08/10/2011

I think this article is an excuse. If Inter had one I think the SuperCoppa would be a bigger deal.

Posted by Sam on 08/10/2011

To all the AC Milan fans out there complaining about sour grapes, yeah you are probably right there is probably a bit of that and no doubt if Inter had won we would be smiling to ourselves. For me the most important thing about Milans win is not that fact the trophy you won is as important as the gold stars teachers would hand out in spelling contests but that fact that these wins build the winning mentality. Inter did it over a few years starting with the Coppa Italia and culminating in the CL. To win these cups reinforces this mentality whilst a loss can undermine confidence. Hopefully Inter can turn it around during the season and break this losing streak against Milan since Mou left!

Posted by Pietro on 08/10/2011

Nailed it Sam! Winning mentality seems gone but I think that allowing your best players to leave can do more harm in this aspect than losing a derby without Maicon, Cambiasso, Milito, Lucio. I fear Inter's will to comply with fair play rules can turn the World Champions in a team that will struggle to reach QF in the next UCL.Hope I am wrong but this is my biggest worry

Posted by Zaid on 08/11/2011

Agreed with you Sam.
True that no Inter fans would like to see we lost again Milan. But strangely, for this match, I didn't feel it was a big deal.
More worrying is the future path of Inter, it seems like we are going backwards or downwards.
We need to rebuild and look like gearing to comply with the financial fair play hence the high possibility of shipping out expensive star players, but young players in Inter squad isn't the best out there. I reckon Inter haven't manage the transition period well. They might not have much choices rather than doing it now, but sadly they fail to avoid to weaken the team while at that.
I don't care if we doing not so well in CL, but we must take back the Scudetto. That is all that matters. It just that currently, the vibe of a Scudetto winning team isn't just there. Inter look like another 'title challenger' not champion. I'm afraid Inter are going further south this season. Lets hope the new Coach have something that wouldn't let that happen.

Posted by Bellal A. on 08/11/2011

I hope Gasperini can do something with the team, he did well at Genoa but we shall see this season.


Posted by Sam on 08/12/2011

I agree with you that we must look after matters at home. The Scudetto has to be the priority in the long and short term and European success come after. Your comment about 'the young players in Inters squad not being the best out there' is interesting to me. Inters youth teams have actually been some of the most successful in Italy and Europe over the last few years and we have a number of top young players out on loan as well. I believe the problem Inter has is that the system appears set up to find 'diamonds' or future super stars who will be able to fit straight into the first team. I believe Inter need to change this and focus more on a single playing system across the club from 1st team to youth like Barca and Man U have. Players would then graduate into the top team's style seamlessly and I believe we would see more youth players making the grade. This would require more consistancy in the coaching side too however. Not something Inter is renowned for!

Posted by Shello on 08/12/2011

All you interesti are correct in some way or the other,I especially am not a fan of this 3-4-3 formation. Inter have proven themselves with a trequartista. Eto will be a huge loss for us if he goes but snieder will be an even bigger loss if he ships of to the uk. I hope for the club's sake the coach changes his tactics quickly and builds his offence around sneider. I am also quite keen to see alvarez and coutihno playout wide and castinagos come in as a reg. sub for one of the fowards. We have good youth and with the experience from players like snieder,zanetti, lucio, cambiasso and etal we can really stun italy and even europe this season. Forza Inter!!!
p.s-if eto leaves tevez could really be a good replacement. My strating XI(4-2-1-3)Caesar-Zanetti(yuto)-lucio(caldirola)-samuel(rannochia)-maicon(jonathan)-cambiasso(obi)-motta(mariga)-sneider(stankovic)-eto(luc)-milito(pazzini)-alvarez(coutihno).
Another thing chivu and cordoba were good but too slow to be starters.(n.b gasperini)!

Posted by connor on 08/13/2011

I am a bit upset about this loss to Milan, no doubt. But take a look at the strength of the lineups- Milan had their top 11 players playing, whilst Inter did not. Sure that may or may not have contributed to the final result, but it does say something.
Inter are still getting used to Gian's tactics however I am very spectical about this. Watching Inter play, I realize that perhaps it's Gian who needs to adapt to how Inter play, and not the other way around. Should Gian's favoured 3-4-3 formation be the death of him? Inter just aren't really suited to play with that sort of formation. I think Gian should adapt to how Inter SHOULD play and not how he WANTS them to play. Inter and Genoa are two different teams and mentalities. It worked with Genoa, maybe not with Inter. But I hope, for Inter's and Gian's reputation, that it does work.

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Posted by Francesco Interista on 09/01/2011

sure this game will sting, I can't say that this game doesn't mean anything. We win some and We lose some, now the next time we play milan and we win, the victory will be much more sweeter.

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