Club Focus – Inter – Derby della Madonnina and Jermaine Jenas?

In terms of the season as a whole, this is a very important weekend for both Milanese sides. The Derby della Madonnina presents Milan with a chance to capitalise on their recent fine form and get to within three points of top spot. Inter, on the other hand, will want a win to inflict a huge blow to the Rossoneri’s morale, and extend their lead.

But with Esteban Cambiasso, Sulley Muntari, Dejan Stanković and Thiago Motta not yet fully fit, the Inter midfield could be under-strength for one of the biggest derbies in Europe. It could, however, present a chance for one of Inter’s other players, like Ricardo Quaresma, to take the opportunity to shine on such a big stage. Up-front, Inter look pretty good, with Mario Balotelli, Diego Milito and Goran Pandev all likely to feature and they will sure give Thiago Silva and possibly Alessandro Nesta (depending on whether he is passed fit) plenty to worry about. At the risk of tempting fate, this is shaping up to be one of the most exciting Milan derbies in quite a while.

Transfer talk in the last few days has included a strange story about the Nerazzurri being interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas. Even more puzzling is the suggestion that Jenas would cost Inter €11.5m, or Sulley Muntari plus cash (despite the fact that the Ghanaian cost more than €11.5m on his own). After the Júlio Baptista saga it seems as if la Beneamata are endeavouring to find a player whom they need less than the Roma man, and have found one in the shape of yet another centre midfielder.

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If Inter are desperate for more options in midfield, the ever-growing rumours of a move for Cristian Ledesma will cheer the fans as they seem to get more far-fetched every week. Reports have suggested that Inter are preparing to offer Lazio money for the player in an attempt to beat Juventus in the race to sign the Argentinean. Ledesma’s case for his contract to be terminated is due to be heard by the arbitration panel on the 26th January and the Biancocelesti could lose him for nothing, so they have an incentive to sell him to Inter before that date. Should the choice come down to Ledesma or Jenas, there is only one sensible option, and that would not be the one increasing the amount of Englishmen in Serie A.

Elsewhere, Italy Coach Marcello Lippi says he will not be bothering to visit Inter on his trips to watch the clubs in Serie A because they do not have enough Italian players to make it worth the effort, even though he will be coming to Milan to watch the Rossoneri. With Mario Balotelli the only Italian that sees anything closely resembling regular first-team football for Inter, it is hard to argue with the logic behind Lippi’s descision. “I will go and find other teams, starting from tomorrow,” said the former Juve Coach, “But not Inter, as there aren’t enough Italian players – simple as that.”

At the Oscar del Calcio ceremony, Inter players destroyed the opposition by winning the majority of the awards on offer. Mourinho took home best Coach, Inter got best team, Júlio César was best goalkeeper, Zlatan Ibrahimović was best foreign player and Diego Milito won the fan award for his performances at Genoa last season. But all these awards will not be able to calm the fans should the Nerazzurri get beaten by the Rossoneri on Sunday night.

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Inter Club Focus 2009/10

Pre-season


Another Scudetto for the Nerazzurri?
– August 18, 2009

Week 1


A stuttering start, and a Portuguese explosion
– August 25, 2009

Week 2


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

Week 3


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

Week 4


They never had a problem with ugly wins
– September 22, 2009

Week 5


Partenopei are beaten Black and Blue
– September 25, 2009

Week 6


Blucerchiati run rings round Inter
– September 29, 2009


Champions League? You’re having a laugh
– October 2, 2009

Week 7


I’d rather be lucky than good
– October 6, 2009


The international break
– October 6, 2009

International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)


Transfer Talk
– October 13, 2009


Back to Genova
– October 16, 2009

Week 8


The Puzzle continues
– October 20, 2009

Week 9


What next?
– October 23, 2009


Papering over the cracks
– October 27, 2009

Week 10


The pressure is on as Inter almost throw it away against Palermo
– October 30, 2009

Week 11


Judgement day awaits
– November 3, 2009


Just in time
– November 6, 2009

Week 12


A draw with Roma, but things look good
– November 10, 2009

Week 13


Back to the day job
– November 20, 2009


A Messi situation
– November 24, 2009


It was embarrassing
– November 27, 2009

Week 14


José gets ruffled
– December 1, 2009

Week 15


Derby d’Italia
– December 4, 2009


It could be worse
– December 8, 2009

Week 16


Disaster averted
– December 11, 2009


A missed opportunity? More for them than us
– December 11, 2009

Week 17


Resolutions
– December 18, 2009


How do you solve a problem like Mourinho [does]?
– December 22, 2009

Winter break


Grazie Marco
– December 29, 2009


Inter transfer rumours beaten black and blue
– January 5, 2010

Week 18


Mario Balotelli, hero and villain
– January 8, 2010


Wesley Sneijder: the human get-out-of-jail-free card
– January 12, 2010

Week 19


A potentially beastly decision
– January 15, 2010

Week 20


Bari wasn’t great, Milan must be better
– January 19, 2010

Week 21


Derby della Madonnina and Jermaine Jenas?
– January 22, 2010

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