Serie A Weekly welcomes writer Richard Hall
A torrid week slipped slowly into catastrophic, as first the Nerazzurri were beaten in the Europa League by Tottenham only to have their 105th Birthday celebrations completely ruined by upstarts Bologna at the weekend.
Massimo Moratti is suitably unimpressed and Andrea Stramaccioni should be fearful for his job, “I think my work will be judged at the end of the season and not now, then it will be up to the president to make a decision,” while feelings amongst his player’s run from apathetic to distraught.
Some of the players have their soul focus on the second leg against Tottenham “It is an important and great competition, especially now when you have to face very strong opponents, let us hope we can win it,” said Argentinian forward Rodrigo Palacio. Whilst team mate Esteban Cambiasso stated, “We entered this competition with the idea of giving it the seriousness it deserves, because it is a title we believe in – we as a team have a lot of desire to do well here.” The situation undeniably is important, nobody argues with that. Like many of the Inter faithful they all ‘wish’ they could win the competition even if the task would have been made easier if Palacio had grabbed the away goal that in fairness, he really should have finished. The problems however, lie somewhat deeper.
The lack of the away goal is a substantial problem however, if the Nerazzurri were hoping that a return result at their own ground would be tough but not impossible, they may now be thinking again. Diego Milito, Walter Samuel, Yuto Nagatomo, Matias Silvestre, Ricky Alvarez, Gaby Mudingayi and Joel Obi are all injured. This is a huge problem as Milito and Alvarez are integral and it could also be argued that so ate Nagatomo and Samuel. Add to this that Tommaso Rocchi, Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Ezequiel Schelotto are all cup-tied and you can see the depth of the problem.
Stramaccioni certainly has a problem on his hands as without even looking at the pros and cons of Tottenham, this Inter side as it will line up would struggle against, well, Bologna coincidently. This is an issue heightened by Moratti’s latest statement when he announced: “Branca said that he and Stramaccioni will remain next season? In truth, he said that the President makes decisions and he is right. I evaluate things on a daily basis. In my view, if results change then everything can stay as it is. I don’t understand why we, especially in the first half of games, can’t express ourselves in the way that we need to. That could be a mental or physical problem. Yesterday we threw away a half of football and that is serious.”
So during what will certainly be mission impossible against Tottenham, the Nerazzurri and in particular Stramaccioni, will have one eye on their Presidents reaction. This distraction must surely cause some anguish as various combinations of replacements are being bandied about. Figo and Baresi, Zenga, Blanc, Mazzarri and even Leonardo in some role. A sensible President will see the game against Tottenham as lost and look towards the next clash against Sampdoria before deciding the fate of his young Coach, but this is Inter.
you can find Richard @gentleman_Ultra on twitter