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

There is no denying that the Nerazzurri season thus far has been full of trials and tribulations, with the critics out in full force tearing into the former European and reigning World Champions at any given opportunity.

Just last week, Inter were barely above the relegation zone, languishing near the bottom of the table after a defeat at home to second place Udinese.  The loss came after two consecutive wins, seemingly killing any momentum the team had hoped to garner.  Once again, alarm bells started ringing throughout the media as many declared the team “too old,” “uninspired,” and “unmotivated,” with some going as far as calling the squad “irrelevant.”
Yes, times are tough, but in no way is this Inter Milan team irrelevant.

The fact that a good number of the squad have been dealing with injuries seems to have been disregarded, as well as the fact that a full strength Inter has not yet been featured this season.  The past six days has seen the return of Lucio, Maicon and Diego Forlan, while also seeing the long awaited Inter debut of Andrea Poli.  Interisti are still anticipating the return of Wesley Sneijder, who looks set to come back after the winter break.

During this time of perceived uncertainty, it has given a chance for manager Claudio Ranieri to utilize the youth at his disposal.  Known for not giving younger players a chance, the Tinkerman has shown otherwise in recent times.  Davide Faraoni has taken advantage of the openings in the squad due to injuries, starting the last three matches for the Nerazzurri.  Ricardo Alvarez has begun to show why Inter were so keen on him, with his marvelous left foot and ease on the ball.  Though Philippe Coutinho has also had his struggles with fitness, the little Brazilian has displayed the capabilities of being the creative outlet needed on the pitch.

Some may have already written this season off as one for rebuilding, but it is not written in stone that Inter cannot incorporate young talent while also striving for a coveted Champions League spot or even higher.  After fourteen matches this season, the club is only three points off compared to where they were last season.  For a club in “crisis,” being in joint sixth place is not that bad of a place to be.

Inter need to put a positive string of results together and have a golden chance of doing so with the upcoming games before the break.  This weekend has the Nerazzurri travelling to Cesena, while the following midweek encounter is the rescheduled first round match at home to Lecce, originally postponed due to the players’ strike.  Both Cesena and Lecce look to be easy targets as they sit 18th and 20th in the standings, respectively.  Inter cannot take these matches for granted, as evidenced by the defeat to Novara earlier this season.

As clichéd as it may be, the players have stated that every match from here on out will be viewed as a final.  It is imperative that the squad takes each game one at a time, not overlooking any opponent in lieu of a bigger matchup after.  Attitude and confidence have been bolstered from the last two performances as not only did Inter achieve back to back victories, but two clean sheets as well.  The last time the Nerazzurri had back to back, clean sheet wins were in February of this year, while Leonardo was still in charge.

While the primary focus has been the league, it was of great benefit to the team to have qualified for the Champions League round of sixteen with one match to go.  After the shaky start with the home loss to Trabzonspor, Inter ended up advancing to the knockout stage as group winners.  With today’s draw the Nerazzurri are a seeded team and will have the advantage of playing the second leg at home.  The Italians will now face French opponents Marseille.

Finally, warm wishes must be given to Javier Zanetti and his wife Paula, who are expecting their third child. Auguri, Pupi!

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.