Club Focus – Inter – Seriously José, what’s going on?

Forget all the football politics, forget all José Mourinho’s spin, forget all the comments from other people in Serie A – notably Adriano Galliani – something is going wrong at the Giuseppe Meazza, and it is the black and blue half of Milan that should be worried. What the problem is cannot be explained by listening to complaints about refereeing, because eight points out of a possible 15 from games against Genoa, Cagliari, Parma, Napoli and Sampdoria is just not good enough. Bad refereeing could perhaps explain some of those points being dropped but not the way that the team have performed, simply not looking like the better side in many of their recent games.

Jose Mourinho’s response to this has seemed to be complaining, capped by his display this weekend – miming being handcuffed to intimate that what is limiting his side is the refereeing. This is the ‘Special One’s’ reply to everything that does not go well for his side – blaming somebody else. At first it was amusing to see him in press conferences, looking so laid back that he might fall off his chair at any given moment, and making a string of witty comments that endeared him to the public (certainly in England, maybe not so much in Italy). But when almost every week Mourinho has a new complaint about the officiating – even when his side win – it makes you wonder whether José has run out of ideas and is simply venting.

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The rumours linking the Inter Coach with Real Madrid or a return to England have surfaced again this week, and these only serve to strengthen his position in Milan, because he knows that if he were to leave or get sacked then he would have no trouble finding another top club that wanted his services. But have the titles he has won in Italy been largely smoke and mirrors? Calciopoli crippled Juventus, who have yet to really find their feet, Milan – although they have been champions of Europe – have not launched a real title challenge domestically for a while, and Roma, whilst being a talented side, have never looked in any real danger of claiming another Scudetto. Even in 2007/08 when the Inter clinched the title on the final day of the season, it was only the truly optimistic that believed the Giallorossi would overhaul la Beneamata. Not to take too much away from his success, because, as the cliché goes, you can only beat the teams with which you are presented, but he has not performed a Milanese miracle either, taking over a team which was clearly the best in the division and proceeding to win with them.

Now José, we want to see something really special from you. Tomorrow night, when Inter take on Chelsea, will be the sword by which Mourinho lives or dies. Win this tie, and things are looking promising, as the Champions League is the prize that has evaded him since he won the title with Porto in 2004. But lose, and maybe there are no more excuses, maybe Mourinho has taken the Nerazzurri as far as he can, and a change of Coach might serve the club well. With someone else in charge, the team could realistically be expected to win the title again next season, and the Champions League first knockout round would also not be an unrealistic goal.

Of course, this is all speculation, and the chances are that the seemingly bullet-proof Mourinho will be in charge for the team for as long as he wants, which may be until the end of his contract, or only until the end of the season. This is not anti-Mourinho, this is pro-Inter, the Coach might not be the reason that the club are not succeeding in Europe, but neither have they been succeeding while has been in charge. A club like the Nerazzurri deserve at the very least to be competing for the Champions League, if not winning it – who is coaching the side does not matter, as long as they can bring success. 2003 was the last year that Inter made the semi-finals and this has to change, domestic domination is all very well, but it is European success that President Massimo Moratti, the players and every Inter fan desperately wants.

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

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