I'm not planning to discuss the first team at all in this article, but merely the youth teams.
Of late, the noise at Inter has been strong emphasis on the youth team. This is backed up, of course, but the youth teams winning 3 out of the 4 categories scudetti, and the victory in the NextGen competition. The message (again, no mention of the first team) at Inter is firmly 'youth youth youth' these days.
But does this claim really hold weight?
I'm a huge fan of the youth team, anyone who browses the Primavera section of the forums will know this. I do believe we have a very talented crop of players on our hands, but we should also look backwards.
Our beloved Primavera have now won 3 youth scudetti under Moratti - 2001/2002, and 2006/2007. Ontop of this, runners up in 2003/04, and 2007/08. We've won the Viareggio in 2002, 2008, and 2011. The Coppa Italia was also ours in 2005/06, and runners up in 2006/07.
We'll go through these in order.
The starting line up that day was:
INTER (4-3-3): Cordaz; Potenza, Beati, Ferraro, Pasquale; Franchini, Fraga, Kone; Martins, Pandev, Rullo
Primavera 2002-2003 (we lost)
INTER Coe; Fraga, Potenza, Franchini, Donazzan (Altobelli 72'); Adeshokan (Chiaria 76'), Biava, Napolitano (Alberoni 81'), Rebecchi; Martins, Eliakwu
Subs not used: Gemin, Nossa, Della Fiore, Valeri
I bet you recognize even less names from this (as top players) than the previous
Primavera 2006/07 champions
Inter (4-4-2): Tornaghi; Fais, Bonucci, Conrotto, Fautario; Puccio (Pedrelli 84), Bolzoni, Maa Boumsong, Biabiany (Figliomeni 90+3); Balotelli (D.Esposito 90+1), Ribas.
Subs not used: Belec, Cocchiere, Maaroufi, Litteri.
A few more recognizable names, but still not that many.
The loss to Sampdoria in 2007/2008
Inter (4-3-3): Belec; Santon, D.Esposito, Federici, Fatic; Gerbo, Bolzoni, Pedrelli (Napoli 84); Balotelli, Ribas, Siligardi (Obi 65).
Subs not used: Tornaghi, Filippini, Caldirola, Destro, Khrin, Litteri.
Coach: Vincenzo Esposito.
As you can see, winning the Primavera is hardly a new thing for us. The typical lead time on seeing these players come to the first team, as well, is like 3 years. Alot of these names now are amateur footballers - if not completely retired - yet (if you browse this forum), all so highly rated at the time. There are discussions here (for example: http://forzainterforums.com/showthre...ht=carl+valeri - NOTE!! Where the ever optimistic snake is convinced the management are brilliant and always doing the right thing and everyone is class), where people herald these youth players.
Other examples are:
Are we really so arrogant that somehow we can look down on these people's opinions as rubbish back then, and put our current youth players on such a pedestal? Like I said, I DO believe alot of these youth players will go on to do good, if not great, things. But I'm sure many people back then felt the exact same way.
Clearly some of these players are quite good. But under Mancini, we had 26 youth players debut.
Here is the full list:
26) Filippo Mancini (17-01-2008, Inter v Reggina, Coppa Italia)
25) Marco Filippini (17-01-2008, Inter v Reggina, Coppa Italia)
24) Luca Siligardi (17-01-2008, Inter v Reggina, Coppa Italia)
23) Enrico Alfonso (17-01-2008, Inter v Reggina, Coppa Italia)
22) Aiman Napoli (19-12-2007, Reggina v Inter, Coppa Italia)
21) Ivan Fatic (19-12-2007, Reggina v Inter, Coppa Italia)
20) Mario Balotelli (16-12-2007, Cagliari v Inter, Serie A)
19) Gabriele Puccio (12-12-2007, PSV Eindhoven v Inter, Champions League)
18) Francesco Bolzoni (01-02-2007, Inter v Sampdoria, Coppa Italia)
17) Simone Fautario (17-01-2007, Inter v Empoli, Coppa Italia)
16) Sebastian Ribas (17-01-2007, Inter v Empoli, Coppa Italia)
15) Ludovic Biabiany (17-01-2007, Inter v Empoli, Coppa Italia)
14) Attila Filkor (09-11-2006, Messina v Inter, Coppa Italia)
13) Ibrahim Maaroufi (25-10-2006, Inter v Livorno, Serie A)
12) Leonardo Bonucci (14-05-2006, Cagliari v Inter, Serie A)
11) Ilario Aloe (14-05-2006, Cagliari v Inter, Serie A)
10) Domenico Germinale (14-05-2006, Cagliari v Inter, Serie A)
9) Goran Slavkovski (07-05-2006, Inter v Siena, Serie A)
8) Daniel Maa Boumsong (30-11-2005, Parma v Inter, Coppa Italia)
7) Matteo MomentŤ (30-11-2005, Parma v Inter, Coppa Italia)
6) Fabrizio Biava (15-06-2005, Inter v Roma, Coppa Italia)
5) Marco Andreolli (29-05-2005, Inter v Reggina, Serie A)
4) Tijani Belaid (29-05-2005, Inter v Reggina, Serie A)
3) Hernan Paolo Dellafiore (07-12-2004, Inter v Anderlecht, Champions League)
2) Dino Marino (21-11-2004, Inter v Bologna, Coppa Italia)
1) Riccardo Meggiorini (14-11-2004, Cagliari v Inter, Serie A)
do you really think we should somehow be more optimistic about the current crop than the previous crops? All of whom achieved equally as impressive, if not more so, things?
Inter will not be a GREAT place for youth until we do an overhaul. We need, for example, the full Barca style academy. Boarding houses included. Our scouting set up is too limited - looking only (with 20 scouts in Lombardy) very locally (and 10 for the rest of Italy). The coaching changes do not help either.
We've also always purchased 14-18 year old players, look back at some Primavera transfers and you will be hard to distinguish them from any we do nowadays.
So, my question is, to all the optimists
What's different? Why THESE guys?