Club Focus – Inter – It could be worse

Losing the Derby d’Italia is not a disaster. Yes, every Interista wanted to beat Juventus, because it was Juventus – but the three points dropped is not that serious. The Nerazzurri still hold a comfortable five-point gap over Juve, and given the recent form of la Vecchia Signora the gap may well extend against next week. José Mourinho knows that the basis of a title victory in not built upon beating the other ‘big teams’, but about consistency against the rest of the teams in the league. The victory could well prove to be the highlight of the season for the Bianconeri if they fail to get the result they need against Bayern Munich this week.

The reaction of the players says it all. The Juve squad celebrated in front of their fans like they had won a cup final, whilst the Inter team were upset but fairly philosophical in defeat. Esteban Cambiasso described the game as “crazy” but said that they are still four points clear at the top of Serie A, and as determined as ever to win the title. Júlio César summed up Inter’s situation very well, saying: “When you play a game like Juve-Inter you always want to win. However the Coach is right, the fact that we are still top of the standings means the result has changed little.”

Speaking of Mourinho, after the Juventus game he was so angry with his team that he went straight from the changing rooms to the team coach, refusing to talk to any of the Press. During the match, he was sent off after 22 minutes for sarcastically applauding referee Massimo Saccani following Felipe Melo’s goal, which can have done little to put him in a good mood. The behaviour of Mario Balotelli – who continues to make things difficult for himself – is beginning to be a real problem for Mourinho, and you have to wonder if a point will come where he is a bigger problem for la Beneamata than his talent is worth. It is difficult enough for a Coach to keep the team successful, without having to run a day-care centre as well.

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Now Inter have to focus themselves on the task of beating Rubin Kazan to progress in the Champions League. This could well be more important – especially for Mourinho – than the Derby d’Italia, as Inter are currently facing humiliation in the eyes of Europe. This weekend’s loss has once again started the speculation that should Inter lose this match, the Portuguese Coach will be job hunting by the end of the week, and people affiliated with the club – such as Sandro Mazzola – have not helped this. There have also been reports that relations between President Massimo Moratti and his Coach have become strained. Whether or not these are true remains to be seen, but historically, coaches that fall out with il Presidente tend to get fired rather quickly.

Beating Rubin Kazan should be a task of which Inter are more than capable, but if Football Italiano had a Euro for every time Inter should have beaten a Champions League opponent but failed, we would be able to buy Zlatan Ibrahimović back from Barcelona. This must surely be a situation – like the Dynamo Kiev game – where Mourinho throws all the attacking power of his side at the opponents. The tactic actually worked well against Kiev because Inter had a lot of possession and shots, but needed a bit more luck (some call it good finishing) to make the result a win rather than a draw. If the champions of Italy cannot win such an important game in front of 80,000 fans in their own stadium, then they do not deserve to qualify. Any emotions that the players still harbour from Saturday’s defeat should be channelled positively into this match. For now, this is Inter’s Champions League final.

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

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