Club Focus – Inter – The Goran Pandev show

This weekend marked an important point for both Inter and their rivals. It was the weekend in which Goran Pandev realised that he was not just a player at a big club, but he could be the player at a big club. His performance against Cagliari on Sunday was brilliant and, playing just behind the strikers to fill in for Wesley Sneijder, he made the fans in the San Siro forget about the absence of their Dutch talisman for 90 minutes. Pandev did not just show his wonderful ability, but also his versatility, playing in attacking midfield instead of as a striker, scoring one goal and assisting Diego Milito for another. The best part of course is that he was free. Pandev himself seems to have regained the enjoyment in his football after the debacle that was the last few months of his time at Lazio, and has settled into life in Milan very quickly: “It seems like I’ve been here forever,” he said. “I’m working well, I’m back playing and having fun. I’m really having fun, thanks Inter.”

Yet more rumours have appeared about the future of Nerazzurri Coach José Mourinho, this time talking about a possible move to Real Madrid. The problem is that Mourinho is currently under contract with Inter until 2012, and the club will not want to let him go without a fight, especially given Massimo Moratti’s recent praise for his appointment (although knowing il Presidente’s tendency to change his mind the two could be head-to-head again soon). There is also another problem – he would not be a success at Real Madrid. Despite the fact that die-hard Mourinho fans would argue that ‘the Special One’ would be successful at any club, Real is not just any club.

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No doubt that if José were to move he would win trophies, he may even be able to build another team as successful as his Chelsea side with the financial backing he would receive, but the problem is that he does not understand ‘espectaculo’, the one thing that Madridistas demand more than victory. Mourinho knows how to win, but so did Fabio Capello, and he was sacked twice despite his success with the team. A match between Real and Mourinho would only last as long as the fans’ satisfaction with mere victory – which history suggests would not be very long. Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has said that the rumours are untrue, but los Blancos are the sort of side that always make other teams worry about how long they can hold onto their prized assets. These kinds of rumours are not helped by stories such as the one this week suggesting that Mourinho is ready to use the release clause in his contract in order to return to England. Although his relationship with the Italian media has been difficult recently, there is nothing to suggest that Mourinho is actually thinking of leaving Inter, and with the club playing so well it would be a foolish move to walk away from such a good team and a lucrative contract.

Inter have a busy week this week, as their re-scheduled game against Parma (previously cancelled due to snow) will be played on Wednesday evening. Going to the Ennio Tardini will present a challenge that should not be taken lightly for la Beneamata as the Gialloblu have been playing well this season and despite their recent downturn in form and have the collective ability to pounce on any errors that Inter may make. On the other hand, a win would extend their lead over Roma to a huge 11 points, and make the task of catching them seem impossible for their rivals.

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

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