We already have expectation for next season thread. But this one i s an article by me
2004/05 - Is this our season at last ??
Inter last won a Scudetto title back in 1989 when players like Bergomi, Lothar Matthaus, Jürgen Klinsmann were in their prime form of their career. L.Matheuaus later moved to B.Munich, retired few years back and is already a coach now, but Inter?? It's still the same story. The only answer we get/got from 1989 till 2003, when asked "When Inter last won Scudetto", was/will be - "1989".
It's not that Inter was quiet till now. Inter is known as the "Sleeping Giants" of Europe; just like USA was, till Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. USA then showed the world what they could do and never stopped after that, but same cannot be said of Inter. Milan did try to wake us up (Japan) by scoring 6 goals in that infamous derby match in San Siro (6-0) and there were many periods when teams like Japan tried to wake Inter up; but Inter, still didn't wake up.
Many coaches were changed and tons of $$ was spent to bring that lost glory. Sadly, it was only the UEFA CUP title, that Inter was able to win (1998). Inter did come close to Scudetto title in few occasions like in 1998 and 2002, but sadly, they failed at the last hurdle. Had Inter won in these period (especially in 1998), things could have gone differently for Inter.
As time passed by, and Inter couldn't get success, they were put in more and more pressure by the media and fans, not to forget that the management would also not give enough amount of time to the coaches or the players. Words like "Continuity", "Plan", "Project" were not in Inter's dictionary. Players like Ronaldo, Bergkamp, R.Baggio, Kanu, R.Carlos, Crespo, Djorkaeff, Blanc, Zamorano, Seedorf, and co. joined and left Inter, but nothing changed in Inter.
Not to forget Inter's management decision to sell their players like Mutu, Ferrari, Pirlo, etc in their youth ages, who now are star players for their respective teams like Chelsea, Parma (Roma), and Milan.
But there is a saying - "It's not the same always, sometimes things change at a period of time". And at least for me, it looks like finally we are to expect something good very soon. It all started from the hiring of Cuper. And for the first time in years, Inter management decided to keep a coach for more than 2 seasons, which happened to be a record in Moratti's era. We didn't win any trophies in Cuper's era, but he brought back Inter to winning ways again and close to glory. Opponents would not take Inter lightly again and the results were also getting better.
Cuper's first season:
(1) 5th May 2002 (Inter choked at the last hurdle to win the last match of the season and thus lost on the title).
(2) Semi-finalist in UEFA Cup
Cuper's second season:
(1) 2nd in Serie
(2) Semi-finalist in Champions League
And Cuper had done all that without pure wingers (except Conceicao), which he had been yelling for. And when he finally got his wingers, he wasn't given enough amount of time and Inter appointed yet another new coach: Zaccheronni, who proved to be inconsistent when it came to results. He did get the 4th spot for Inter, which was supposed to be his primary objective.
And it can't also be said that Zach was that bad. Inter seemed to have wanted continuity and for that, I personally too, wouldn't have wanted Zach.
But Inter this time does make a brave decision, which should indeed be applauded. Instead of letting Zach continue with mixed feelings (which could have led to sacking next season incase of few bad results), Inter makes it clear to the coach that they have no intention of continuing with him, after which Zach is forced to give resignation and make way for the long awaited coach Inter had been waiting for - "Mancini", an inexperienced coach but already been in the wanted list of many clubs for the success he had had in a very short period of time. He didn't win any Scudetto, but Inter was convinced that this man might be the one who had the ability to do so. So was I.
Inter's transfer policy had already started changing since the arrival of Cuper. But this season, it only got better (it seems so uptil now). There might be few transfers, which are debating ones, but still, it's not a bad transfer market for Inter, keeping in mind how Inter used to be in the past. Therefore, until now, I am very much satisfied with the transfers. Inter seems to be eager for the word - "Continuity" and also seems to have found the meaning of the word "Project".
Inter seems to have known the value of money at last, as they have only spent $$ for one player - Burdisso uptil now, that also being not a big amount. Other players like Favalli, Cambiasso, Davids, Veron all are free agents. So, is the case with Mihajlovic.
Opinions vary from person to person, but still, I would say that the transfer market is going very good for Inter and I hope that it remains the same.
And coming to Vieri's case. After the departure of star strikers in the last two seasons: Ronaldo and Crespo, Inter seems to have decided to keep Vieri, even though Adriano was already brought last season (mid). Yet another debating decision, but here as well, I think that the decision is a brave one. Lets just hope that Vieri's good friend, who happens to be Inter's new coach, Mancini doesn't favour him.
Inter's back up players have always been of good quality, compared to other teams (lazio, roma) and that seems to have continued for this coming season as well. Instead, it seems that Inter's back up players will be of better quality than the past seasons'. In this case, the coach will have a big hand in this case, convincing his players to, have patience and wait for chances to be given. Otherwise, another problem could arise. This season, Inter has only targeted the players that can help them in a great deal and the "Project" seems to be there. The players just should be united and have patience.
Veron - If he gets his form back, then everybody knows what kinda player he is and the differences he can make.
Davids - A debatable transfer, but one cannot neglect his skills and abilities. And if could play as DM and does well, Inter's midfield might all of a sudden be the world's best from a pathetic one (if players like Emre, Veron, Stankovic, V.Meyde also do well).
Favalli - Instead of getting another LB (Dede / ?) as Inter always does, Inter seems to have decided to give chance tothe player they already have. I am discussing about Coco. Coco's a quality left back player, but hampered by injury problems. Had Inter bought someone like Dede, Coco's Inter future would have definitely been over. But this time, Inter decides to bring in a veteran left back, Favalli; who's not a star player, but who always does his job well and is consistent. Incase, Coco gets injured again, Inter won't have problem in the left back again as Favalli would take that spot.
Cambiasso - A star player some years back in youth period, who has the ability to do well. His 2nd seaosn with R.Madrid didn't go well, but one can't forget what he's achieved before that and not to forget that he's young. He would only get better.
Burdisso - Inter has never had problem with defence, when it comes to getting the right players, and the trend seems to be continuing. A very talented versatile defender and he's young.
It seems that Inter has at last realized that it's the midfield that's not performing that well, which is indeed true. After all, midfield is the link between defence and offence, which has a very important role. No wonder, Inter's midfield all of a sudden seems to be of quality, atleast on paper, which wasn't the case before (since I have followed inter).
Veron, Stankovic, Emre, Davids (?), V.Meyde, Kily/Cesar, C.Zanetti, Cambiasso ---- for me, those are quality midfielders. The only problem is how would Mancini accommodate them in his line up and if the players would accept the bench role for the sake of the team. And the other important thing, which should be noted, is that most of the midfielders in that list are versatile, who can play in different positions.
By saying all this, it doesn't mean that Inter will definitely win titles this season at last. They might win, might not; but I expect Inter to give a tough fight for the title.