Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

The dust has finally settled on the 2010-11 Serie A season and for the first time in five years, the Scudetto badge will not be on the Nerazzurri shirt. It has been a hard and bitter pill to swallow, but it has made the desire for success that much greater for next season.

For most clubs, walking away with a tripletino signifies a good year, but many Interisti will carry the ‘what if’ questions along with the three trophies won. What if Inter had not been hit by 40 plus injuries by December? What if Inter had picked up more than five points in November? What if the timing of the March international dates had been different? Unfortunately these are all questions that will forever be unanswered and hypothesized upon, but fortunately they were able to salvage the season by lifting the Coppa Italia, which was the last major trophy of the year throughout the major European leagues.

Inter’s most valuable player of the campaign, Samuel Eto’o, once again was the lethal force that proved to be too much for Palermo, as he bagged two goals in the final. Although the Sicilians pulled one back, Diego Milito put an exclamation point on his personal nightmare of a season, getting on the score-sheet for the first time in months. The goal may have been an afterthought for the score line, but the importance cannot be underestimated as it declared Il Principe’s return by scoring the final goal of the year.

Celebrations ran long and hard through the night, culminating in a break of dawn cake cutting and champagne popping party back in Milan in honour of ending the season with a trophy. There has been no rest for the weary though, as the majority of the squad swiftly joined their national teams for the current batch of scheduled international dates.

There is also no rest to the tireless calciomercato rumour-mill, which seems to have gone into overdrive in only the second week of June. Almost every big transfer target available has been linked with a move to Inter, but what is most ridiculous is every media outlet reporting each rumour as fact. If one were to believe all the hearsay, then Inter would have a squad of 25 new faces and would be spending an exuberant amount of money. This will not be happening this transfer window. Contrary to popular belief, Inter will not be ripped apart due to a bad first half of a season.

There will be some revamping done, with fringe players leaving and the necessity of strengthening the bench in the forefront, preferably once again being two solid players deep per position. The core of the squad will remain, but it must be said that if an offer of at least £50 million arrives, it will be seriously considered. As Marco Materazzi said, “There is only one person Inter can’t do without and that’s the President.”

The number one concern of the Inter board is the Financial Fair Play regulations. Quite simply, if a deal does not make any monetary sense, then it will not be completed. Many times in the past, when Inter have expressed interest in a player, the transfer fee unsurprisingly rises anywhere between €5-10 million as the Inter of the old would easily pay the over-inflated price.

Take Lille’s Eden Hazard as a recent example. His price was reportedly in the €12-15 million range, which for a player with his potential seems like a safe bet. As it leaked that the Moratti family had been watching him, Lille increased the number to €15-18, then €18-23 million. Does €23 million for a player unproven in a big league seem like a safe bet? No, it doesn’t. For a few more million, Inter could offer the money to the likes of Udinese for Alexis Sanchez.

Speaking of Sanchez, it looked like he was headed to Barcelona, especially with the figures rumoured from earlier this week. The Catalan club are said to be offering €30 million and Bojan Krkic on loan, which frankly, Inter will probably not match. Udinese have stated that no deal has been struck with Barca and a meeting between the Inter and Udinese presidents is slated for later this week.  It should be known that Inter and Udinese had agreed on a €22 million fee back in November for a January move, but Udinese backed out in their quest for Champions League football. Some people have mistakenly compared the Sanchez non-deal to last summer’s ‘failed’ Javier Mascherano bid, but there are major loopholes in the comparisons.

It must be remembered that the push for the ex-Liverpool midfielder purely came from the Benitez and Carboni pairing, who wanted to give Esteban Cambiasso and cash to Liverpool. Second, Liverpool were asking £30-35 million or Cambiasso and £15-20 million, which was insane to ask for in the first place, as Inter was already in the possession of the best defensive midfielder in the world.

Looking at the current squad it is important to see that four new players were brought in January to initially cover injuries. These previous moves have made it unnecessary to force or panic buy this summer, instead allowing the club to focus on two or three key moves that can represent the impact needed. Many Inter Primavera will also be returning from loans this summer, including Azzurrini captain Davide Santon. The projected Inter squad for 2011-12 looks only to be getting stronger and deeper in order to compete on three fronts.

One of the most intriguing plotlines regarding the current crop of players revolves around the aforementioned Materazzi. Matrix has been a talisman for the club, donning the Nerazzurri shirt for ten years. President Moratti has given him free reign on his decision regarding his future; whether it means seeing out his current contract at the Giuseppe Meazza next season or playing abroad, potentially in the MLS as he was already linked with the LA Galaxy last summer. One thing is certain and that is the availability of a director’s role for the Inter legend when he hangs up his boots.

Matrix deserves a swan song season in honour of his service for the club as his influence is greatly underappreciated by many. He is a leader in the dressing room, behind the scenes, off the pitch, and where cameras do not follow, but his importance cannot be stressed enough.  He is a vital organ to Il Biscione and a true personality that has become a rarity in today’s game. Materazzi is a part of Inter’s core and it is only right to celebrate his time with Inter with the deserved fanfare.

There is a firm belief that this squad is not done winning and many are curious to see what Leonardo can do with a full season under his belt. His point total after the winter break amounted to an astonishing 47 points – 53 if you include the postponed Cesena and Fiorentina matches, which was two better than Allegri with the same number of games. Finally, it must be said that one cannot undervalue the importance of the chemistry of this team. They genuinely love and care for each other and do not want the team torn apart.

When Javier Zanetti says that “Inter are a family,” no truer words can be spoken.

Comments are closed.

Featured Skills Video

    Write for Serie A Weekly!

    contribute Send us a timely, compelling post and we'll consider it for publishing on the site with mention of your name and social-media link.

    Click here to contact us.


Serie A Weekly recognises all copyrights contained. Where possible we acknowledge the copyright holder. If you own copyright to an image and object to its presence, contact the blog immediately using the "contact us" link at the top of this page. This blog is not responsible for the content of third party sites.