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

So the new Serie A season is upon us once more. So far the typical clichés have proven to be incorrect. The age old stereotype of Italian defences being impenetrable was shattered with 37 goals being scored in the opening weekend.

Much focus was placed upon Gian Piero Gasperini’s favoured 3-4-3 system and how this would allow Internazionale to regain their Serie A crown, from bitter city rivals AC Milan.

A strained pre-season saw the “old-guard” handed new contracts, whilst youthful prospects, such as Davide Santon, were sold.

Star striker, Samuel Eto’o, walked out of the club in search of Russian treasures beyond his wildest dreams. Wesley Sneijder’s protracted transfer saga to Manchester United never came to fruition. Whilst Mauro Zarate and the Uruguayan sensation, Diego Forlan, arrived on deadline-day to subdued applause from the Beneamata fans.

Gasperini had been chosen as a safe pair of hands, who would act as a “yes-man” to President Massimo Moratti. Fabio Cappello had been the preferred candidate at the summer’s beginning.

Gasperini rested several formations in friendlies; including 3-4-3. 4-3-3, 5-3-2 and 4-2-3-1. However, the issue was complicated due the obvious flaws in Inter’s squad.

How does Wesley Sneijder fit into a 3-4-3 system? Inter do not possess wingers to provide the width required for this formation. The centre-backs, Samuel and Lucio, are too slow to form part of a 3-man defence. Therefore, do you use wing-backs in the midfield “4” to provide cover? Does this formation allow the team to challenge in the Champions League?

The issue of asking Samuel Eto’o to track back and defend was solved when he departed to Anzhi for £30million.

The other issues were answered in the opening defeat, away to Palermo at the Barbera. The 3-man defence was carved open, with Palermo winning 4-3. It was easy to expose Lucio and Samuel’s horrific lack of pace, and Miccoli took full advantage.

In attack, Sneijder looked awkward and confused; he had no influence over the game.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Inter lost 1-0 at home to Trabzonspor in the Champion’s League. Gasperini opted for a 4-3-3 formation, with Zarate and Milito leading the attack. It was to no avail however, as the Turks frustrated Inter’s attack. This sealed Inter’s worst start to a season for 90 years; they’ve lost their first three games. Hellenio Herrera must be turning in his grave.

The Italian press ahve subsequently turned on Gasperini. The Gazzetto Dello Sport, ran a 20 page special on each mistake the tactician had made.

Gasperini has not been helped by Moratti refusing to deny claims he will be sacked if Inter lose to Roma this weekend. When questioned, Moratti said: “To say this would make it impossible for the manager and team to focus on their work.”

Firing Gasperini this early would achieve very little; yet it is something Moratti is likely to do.

Perhaps it is time for the President to step aside. He is no longer permitted to bankroll the club under UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. Moratti’s children are also pressuring him to sell the club; add to this the costs of trying to fund the development of a new stadium, it would make good business sense for Moratti to get out now. But Moratti is not just a businessman.

The decisions Moratti makes are becoming more and more erratic; even more than usual! There is no long-term strategy at the club; three, possibly four, managers in twelve months is ridiculous.

The transfer policy makes no sense. Under Mourinho, players were signed to provide instant success. Benitez wasn’t permitted to sign anyone. Pazzini’s arrival in January had very little to do with Leonardo. Whilst Gasperini has had little influence over Zarate and Forlan arriving.

The side has lacked a quality winger for several years, yet Moratti is happy to ignore this and let the managers (and fans) suffer.

A sensible owner would have sold Sneijder for maximum profit this summer; liaised with the Director of Football to implement a long-term strategy; and most importantly, added vital youth to and old squad which is by far past its peak.

Is Moratti a sensible owner? Well, he is a glorified fan that’s for sure and one causing his fellow “fans” to suffer.

I fear Internazionale won’t win Serie A this season. If this is the case, it will not be because Gasperini played 3-4-3; it will be because of Massimo Moratti, Inter’s supremo-fan.

Ryan Ross

I became enthralled with Calcio back in the 90’s, when James Richardson presented Football Italia. My early mornings were spent following the trials and tribulations of Internazionale, during a period where they always flattered to deceive. It took a Frenchman to get me hooked though; Youri Djorkaeff, my favourite player of all time. This guy was key to Inter’s midfield, never mind his role in France’s World Cup win in 1998! I have a keen interest in Calcio’s rich history.

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One Response so far.

  1. robert Curran says:

    great article - really informative, look forward to the next one!

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