With only a home tie against Lazio to go, Inter are once again the winter champions in Serie A. Despite the fact that the first half of the season has had good and bad moments, as far as domestic progress goes, José Mourinho has every reason to be proud of his squad. The final game before Christmas, against a Lazio side who will be buoyed by their victory over Genoa last week, could prove a stumbling block if they do not approach it with the right attitude. But if Inter can produce a commanding performance and get a victory to go with it, it will serve as another reminder to the rest of the league that the blue and black half of Milan is still where the power in Calcio resides.
There are, however, certain New Year resolutions that need to be made at the Giuseppe Meazza, preferably as soon as the winter break starts next Monday, in order for the team to maintain their position at the top of the tree, and we have picked our top 5:
1 – José Mourinho needs to calm down. The way that the Inter Coach has fallen out with one person after another this season is truly remarkable, even by his own high standards. This latest tussle with journalist Andrea Ramazzotti should concern the Nerazzurri faithful because it seems to be a sign that the pressure is finally getting to the ‘Special One.’ If the club are to have success in the second half of the season they will need their Coach to be at his charismatic best.
2 – Play with determination in Europe. Inter’s performances in the Champions League group stage were just a notch above abysmal, and will have to be considerably better if they are to beat any team they draw in the knockout rounds on Friday. One thing that characterised their early performances in the competition this season was a lack of drive, the team seemed to give up as soon as they realised that the games would not be as easy as in Serie A. The matches against Dynamo Kiev and Rubin Kazan showed a resilient side to la Beneamata, and this is what they will need if they want to progress in the competition. A good run in Europe would no doubt raise the confidence of the players as well, and ultimately result better league performances.
3 – Samuel Eto’o. Although the former Barcelona striker has been decent since signing for Inter, he has not shown the sort of form that made fans laugh at the Catalan side when they offered him as part exchange for Zlatan Ibrahimović. This has left Diego Milito to shoulder the goal-scoring burden, and although he has done admirably, just imagine how good the team could be with two free-scoring strikers.
4 – Cut down on club drama in general. Not a week goes by without somebody relating to Inter complaining, arguing or causing trouble, whether it is the Coach, the President, a player (step forward Mr Mario Balotelli) or a club legend like Sandro Mazzola. It cannot be easy for the players to concentrate when everybody seems to have something to say about them. If drama is generated about the Nerazzurri, let it be by external sources, but people who are involved with the club should strive to maintain a tranquil environment which will help the club to flourish.
5 – Let Marco speak. The fifth resolution for Inter is something of a personal indulgence. Since Marco Materazzi has not been playing much this season, his comments which keep us all amused have become all too rare. We want to see Marco back in front of the microphone as soon as possible so we can all benefit from his pearls of football wisdom.
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
Champions League? You’re having a laugh – October 2, 2009
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
The Puzzle continues – October 20, 2009
What next? – October 23, 2009
Papering over the cracks – October 27, 2009
The pressure is on as Inter almost throw it away against Palermo – October 30, 2009
Judgement day awaits – November 3, 2009
Just in time – November 6, 2009
A draw with Roma, but things look good – November 10, 2009
Back to the day job – November 20, 2009
A Messi situation – November 24, 2009
It was embarrassing – November 27, 2009
José gets ruffled – December 1, 2009
Derby d’Italia – December 4, 2009
It could be worse – December 8, 2009
Disaster averted – December 11, 2009
A missed opportunity? More for them than us – December 11, 2009
Resolutions – December 18, 2009