Inter could have easily avoided the 4-3 defeat in Palermo. But Julio Cesar's two blunders [admitted by the Brazilian, with his typical frankness] can't be the only explanation of this loss. Having managed to survive the quick-fire start of the home side, Inter took twice the lead, thanks to Diego Milito's brace.
In Gasperini's words, that was Inter's worst moment. It wasn't actually. Nerazzurri never played fluid football against Rosanero, not even for short spells. Never looked to be in complete control or relaxed. There was always the feeling that Inter were capable of finding the net or allowing Palermo to score. And that feeling of uncertainty wouldn't have changed even if they'd have kept playing for three or four hours. At the moment Inter look like one of those sides designed to encourage opponents to attack without having any counter-attack tactic in mind.
Even Palermo are far from being the complete package [too many holes in midfield and not great quality behind], but Inter kept Rosanero in the game for the entire 90 minutes and in the end Miccoli and co. won. Among Inter's fans the general consensus is that the current squad is not made for Gasperini's 3-4-3.
If they play like they did against Palermo there are no useful schemes for these players: even a basic 4-4-2 would look too frail. I share Gasperini's view that Inter players can play effectively even in a 3-4-3 formation [honestly, he can't say anything else, otherwise it'd be like admitting that there was no point in appointing him]. And the quality of Sneijder and Zanetti’s performance proved it: the only two players out of their normal positions were Inter's best players on the pitch.
Far more questionable is Gasperini's team selection. Stankovic and Cambiasso are not the players they used to be; they are too slow to be paired together as central midfielders but Gasperini decided to start with them - why not try Obi, in the centre, alongside one of the two? The outcome of Gasperini's decision was plain to see for everyone: Palermo broke free too many times in the central corridor and Walter Samuel was left exposed several times [only a very generous referee avoided a second yellow card for the Argentinian centre-back]. It wasn't the only controversial choice.
Milito's brace is a sign that confirms what everybody knew - The Prince is coming back to his usual standards but he is not there yet; Forlan's beautiful goal will do wonders for the Uruguayan striker’s self-confidence, but until that very moment his impact on the game was zero. Same could be said of Zarate, who was taken off by Gasperini after half an hour. Brave and right decision. But you wonder who else on earth could pick this Zarate ahead of Sneijder? On the flanks Jonathan and Nagatomo didn't play badly but their presence in the starting line-up seemed to stress Inter's confusion and reduced ambitions. One defeat can't compromise a project [if there is one] but Gasperini [already under scrutiny] is now under big pressure.
Inter's man of the match: Javier Zanetti. Wherever he plays he gives the same consistent performance. As last man he made a prodigious tackle which was worth a goal. Inter's skipper certainly didn't deserved to be on the losing side.
Serie A 2011-12 / Day 1
PALERMO: Tzorvas; Pisano, Silvestre, Migliaccio, Balzaretti; Alvarez, Della Rocca (46' Acquah), Barreto, Ilicic (68' Bertolo); Miccoli, Hernandez (74' Pinilla). Coach: Mangia
INTER: Julio Cesar; Zanetti, Lucio, Samuel; Jonathan, Cambiasso (71' Alvarez), Stankovic, Nagatomo (62' Obi); Zarate (34' Sneijder), Milito, Forlan. Coach: Gasperini
Goals: Miccoli 48', 86', Hernandez 54', Pinilla 88'; Milito 33', 50' pen, Forlan 91'
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