Club Focus – Inter – il Grifone get the job done

A 1-1 draw between Roma and Milan was just about the best result that Inter could have hoped for, giving the Nerazzurri a chance to gain points on both its rivals. However, the display against Genoa on Sunday night looked like that of a team which has run out of ideas, with Jose Mourinho even resorting to throwing on Ricardo Quaresma in order to try and break down an organised Grifone defence.

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Upon reflection, it was certainly not the worst display that the Nerazzurri have given this season, but the worrying thing is that a strike force containing so many highly talented players is struggling to score goals. Samuel Eto’o started on the bench because his form since returning to the side from the Africa Cup of Nations has been poor, and his replacement, Mario Balotelli, who has been playing well lately, spent more time complaining and rolling around on the pitch than he did carving out goal scoring opportunities.

The truth is, every team has nights where it finds it difficult, and fortunately for Mourinho, it happened to be the same night that Inter’s two rivals were also suffering. Next week’s game away to Catania will provide an opportunity for the team to get back on track ahead of their big game at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.

One thing that Mourinho will be hoping is that Carlo Ancelotti did not see the game against Genoa. Should Chelsea get an early goal against Inter then they could do worse than to study Gian Piero Gasperini’s game plan and try to stifle the Nerazzurri attack. They employed a similar tactic against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final last season when managed by Guus Hiddink, and were only undone by a fantastic late strike from Andres Iniesta. However, with all due respect to Inter, they are no Barca, and certainly have no players that can do what Iniesta does. Mourinho, still as outwardly confident as ever, would do well to spend time formulating a contingency plan just in case his side were to go behind early in the game.

Meanwhile, in the murky world of transfer rumours, it seems that Inter really are serious about purchasing Andrea Ranocchia from Genoa and Bari (as the player is co-owned). The defender, currently playing for Bari, would be a good signing for two reasons: firstly, he is a quality young player that could be a mainstay of the Nerazzurri defence for years to come, and secondly, he is Italian, which would provide a much needed injection of home-grown talent to the squad. Along with Balotelli and Davide Santon, Ranocchia could give la Beneamata a solid Italian base upon which to build for the future.

The best thing to have come out of this weekend from an Inter standpoint is that Roma seem to have given up on any hopes it had of claiming the Scudetto. Both Claudio Ranieri and Daniele De Rossi have said that the title is now Inter’s to lose, and given that the Giallorossi are still 7 points behind, it is an assertion that is hard to argue with. The last hope that la Maggica have of closing the gap would seem to be their game against Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on the 28th of March, but Roma will need to show a lot more quality than they did against Milan.

Finally, and thankfully, Marco Materazzi has reappeared in the news this week after Zinedine Zidane said that he would “rather die” than apologise to the Italian. In response, Materazzi said that he had no words to say to Zidane. The fact that this incident is still being brought up almost four years after it happened can offer no delight to Materazzi, especially as nobody ever seems to mention that it was the defender who scored Italy’s equalizing goal and, after Alessandro Nesta got injured, played excellently throughout the tournament to help Italy triumph. Poor Marco, perhaps he is forever destined to be misunderstood.


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

Inter show why they are the champions of Milan – January 26, 2010

A derby win, a semi-final, and disciplinary charges. Just another quiet week for Mourinho – January 29, 2010

Week 22

Snow game this weekend – February 2, 2010

Week 23

Coppa win and Gerrard in? – February 5, 2010

The Goran Pandev show – February 9, 2010

Week 24

Nine points clear – February 12, 2010

Week 25

Mourinho and Chelsea – February 16, 2010


Mourinho needs league form fast
– February 19, 2010


Seriously José, what’s going on?
– February 23, 2010

Week 26

It’s in your own hands now – February 26, 2010

Week 27

Worry about yourself, not your rivals – March 5, 2010

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