The theme of the Inter Club Focus so far this season seems to have been inconsistency – and Inter’s latest performance has confirmed that the Nerazzurri’s biggest obstacle this season could be themselves.
Playing away at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris is not an easy prospect – especially when you have Inter’s poor recent record against the clubs from Genova – but after their performance against Napoli on Wednesday, the Nerazzurri had every reason to be confident. Unfortunately, Inter lost the match to a second half Giampaolo Pazzini goal despite having enough chances to win the game, and a Ricardo Quaresma goal disallowed after a deflection against the offside Lucio compounded the misery for la Beneamata.
In truth, Inter were unfortunate to lose a game that could have gone either way, a fact not lost on captain Javier Zanetti who summed up the match in his usual candid manner: “It is simple, we were unable to convert out chances. However, we have noting to reproach ourselves with, this is football. You often don’t deserve to lost a game, but still go home empty handed.” Goalkeeper Julio Cesar echoed his captain’s sentiments, insisting that his side were the victims of bad luck rather than a poor performance: “I don’t think that Inter played badly, we managed the ball well and I think that the draw was the fairest result. Now we move on forward and look at the next game.”
Samuel Eto’o, who experienced his first taste of defeat in the Nerazzurro colours, was surprisingly philosophical when asked about both the defeat and his new role as part of an attacking trident with Diego Milito and Mario Balotelli. “This is the reality of football, I take advantage of the freedom which Mourinho allows me and I find myself well in that position. Everyone can give their opinion, but I have nothing negative to say.” It is, perhaps, a sign of what a difficult day la Beneamata had when you consider that with three strikers on the pitch failed to yield the goal that the side needed so badly.
Sampdoria, on the other hand, were understandably delighted with the result that sees them return to the top of Serie A and their president, Riccardo Garrone summed up the mood at Marassi well, saying: “We are currently top of the standings, enthusiasm is sky-high and beating Inter is always a big feat.” Luigi Del Neri was also buoyed by the win, and offered his perspective on how his team achieved it: “We had good ball possession and a very balanced defensive phase.” Said the former Chievo boss, “I wanted to attack with intensity, then it can happen that you lose against Inter, but I went well for us. It was also a bit of a lucky win, but still a deserved one.” He was then asked about his success against Inter with Atalanta and now il Blucerchiati and answered “The secret to beat Inter? Let’s say that I was also a bit inspired by the match we had when I was the Atalanta Coach and we beat the Nerazzurri 3-1 at Bergamo.” They do say that magicians never tell the secret behind their tricks…
Jose Mourinho was – perhaps unsurprisingly – less than impressed when it was suggested to him that he has met his match in Del Neri and responded in a characteristically uncharitable fashion: “Is he my bete noir?” he mused, “He can’t be, I became European Champion with Porto, I left, he replaced me and was sacked after 15 days.” Understandably, the Sampdoria Coach was not impressed by the lack of respect from the Portuguese tactician and responded curtly: “If this is what he said, then Mourinho would’ve done better to keep staying silent. We deservedly won this match against a big club by working hard and putting in the quality too.” If Mourinho is trying to create a ‘no one likes us, we don’t care’ style mentality at Inter then it is certainly working because the list of people he has alienated this season just keeps growing.
Finally, Marco Materazzi was in the news again this week – but in the less familiar role of this victim, complaining that there is a double standard in Serie A refereeing when it comes to Juventus and Inter: “I am a little bit like Mourinho” said the fierce defender, “I don’t’ like it when I suffer injustices.” He then elaborated, saying, “Did you hear what Felipe Melo said after his booking [against Genoa]? Shall I tell you? He said ‘you son of a bitch’ to the referee. Why was he not sent off? The laws must be equal for everyone. It happened in the Trofeo TIM as well – I told the referee that it was a shame he blew for a penalty [and Materazzi was dismissed].” Whether ‘Matrix’ decided to recall verbatim the words he used to question the referee is not clear, but it is probably fair to assume that it was slightly more colourful that the defender let on.
Inter Club Focus 2009/10
Another Scudetto for the Nerazzurri? – August 18, 2009
A stuttering start, and a Portuguese explosion – August 25, 2009
It’s derby time – August 28, 2009
A wonderful derby but the champions of Europe are waiting – September 1, 2009
All is well for la Beneamata – September 4, 2009
International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)
Friendlies, injuries and stolen boots… – September 7, 2009
Nerazzurri look to the future as Ibra looks back – September 11, 2009
Inter get a point, but that’s not the point – September 18, 2009
They never had a problem with ugly wins – September 22, 2009
Partenopei are beaten Black and Blue – September 25, 2009
Blucerchiati run rings round Inter – September 29, 2009