Milito, Milito, Milito, Milito. If good sense had prevailed we'd never have seen the Prince's epic performance in the 4-4 draw against Palermo. The Argentinian forward shone and scored four goals but it was still not enough to defeat Palermo, a brave team whose hero was Fabrizio Miccoli who scored three goals. To schedule Serie A fixtures at 20.45 on the coldest nights of the year says everything about the people who rule Italian football.
Playing in the snow on a heavy pitch could have led to a boring game. But the severe weather conditions apparently freed players of all the tactical limitations: all of them played with the freedom and enthusiasm typical of summertime games on a sunny beach or, more fittingly, of a football match played among friends in a car park covered with snow. Not a serious thing but a highly entertaining one for the viewers, whereas very demanding and risky for the players.
So I'll try to save only the positives. Let's start with Julio Cesar and Ranocchia then. Maybe not. Another day, hopefully. Far better to pay homage to Diego Milito. The comeback of the year. If you are finished you don't fly and find the net four times in such a game: 12 goals in 17 league matches for the Prince. Credit to him to keep believing in himself even when Ranieri arrived and immediately dumped him for Pazzini, who was Milito's deputy under Gasperini. Also credit to Ranieri for fielding Milito in the starting eleven as soon as the former Genoa's forward improved his form.
Against Palermo, Ranieri began the post-Motta era with his favourite 4-4-2. The midfield line, right to left, was Zanetti, Cambiasso, Poli, Sneijder. At Madrid under Bernd Schuster in a similar 4-4-2 scheme, the Dutch playmaker played several games on the flanks (exchanging positions during the game with Arijen Robben) and also in central position alongside Fernando Gago. So Sneijder has the ability and the intelligence to play decently wide or in the middle, he proved that at Ajax and, as said, at Real. Nevertheless he gives his best in a free role behind the strikers. At the moment the ideal compromise would be a midfield of four (Zanetti, Poli, Cambiasso, Obi) with Sneijder behind a lone striker (Milito now, with Forlan, Pazzini, Castaignos and Zarate as alternatives). No chance it will happen.
Serie A 2011-12 / Day 21
Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Ranocchia, Nagatomo; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Poli (65' Palombo); Sneijder (67' Obi); Pazzini, Milito (87' Zarate). Coach: Ranieri
Palermo: Viviano; Munoz (62' Pisano), Silvestre, Mantovani, Balzaretti; Barreto, Donati, Bertolo; Zahavi (62' Ilicic); Miccoli, Budan (74' Vazquez). Coach: Mutti
Yellow cards: Munoz
Goals: Milito 22', 56', 61', 69'; Mantovani 17’, Miccoli 52', 66’, 85'