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'We are Inter!'
(Written 7th October 2002)
Now we have a weeks break from Serie A and the CL and it is time to start reflecting of the season so far. Whatīs there that is missing? Whatīs there that is wrong? Why do we get no respect? These are things that needs to take into consideration and be discussed. We need to stop and think of what Inter is all about. Let us take point for point.
First place - No respect
This is for me a very surprising thing. In the Serie A this season we have won 4 out of 4 matches. Which is the team that everyone speaks about? Milan....
I canīt help feeling a bit annoyed and relieved about the whole thing. Annoyed - because I feel we are being completely neglected in the talks of being impressive and has done great results so far. Relieved - because we are still the underdog and the ones who they expect more from. If that is now relieving. I donīt like that media and non-Inter fans expect more from us. That means we have to play awesome football for 90 minutes AND win the match with big figures. Is it realistic? Of course not. We canīt play like that, because we arenīt that kind of team. Cuper said it perfectly. Let Milan play how they want, we are Inter. We are not a ball possession team and hasnīt been for AGES!
I believe the relatively poor performances in the CL has contributed a lot to the bad publisity we receive. I actually thought that many of our players would get the recognition they deserve with playing in the CL, like Cordoba, Dalmat, Cristiano, Il Capitano and etc. Instead we have performed honestly - like crap.
It has completely backfired, but we still are on second place. We still beated Ajax. But who spoke about that? Just us. The only one who cares if we win or lose. In the eyes of the spectators that doesnīt carry the Inter heart, we were just lucky and boring. We didnīt deserve the three points.
4 wins out of matches. What else do we have to do? We need a midfield. Thatīs what else we have to do. Do neutrals bothers about that Cristiano is missing? No, because they donīt know who he is. He hasnīt gotten the chance to show off in the CL and prove what an important player he is for us. When I was defending Cristiano during the summer, many people said that we bought Almeyda as a replacement for Cristiano and that now we could swap Cristiano for Nesta. What has happened? Almeyda hasnīt been able to make a pass correct and not won many balls either. A magnificant cross to Crespo - that is all.
What has been said now at various discussion forums? "We need Cristiano back!"
Ironic isnīt it? The most talked about defensive midfielder during the summer and even the most critizised one because using that as an argument for why we should make the swap. Now the most wanted player in the squad.
Returning to the no respect topic. Inter fans hasnīt been any saints either. We continuesly win our matches over and over again, and yet there are talks of firing Cuper. How spoiled are we? How much do we demand? Can we expect some harmony within the squads when our fans are acting as bloody spoiled brats? We finally got rid of Ingrato who showed to be extremely spoiled, and instead we receive hundreds of fans that acts like spoiled brats. It saddens me really. What I have always said: If you want to see an attractive team, root for a Spanish team.
Because we are INTER! And with Inter, it comes with pride, no matter what how offensive we play.
Then what happens? We pull off an awesome match against Chievo offensively, and who gives us credit now? No one...
They still continue to talk about Milan and Juve. Why? Because we donīt win with 4-0 in every match? Or that we just made it to 2-1? 2-1 and a hell of a good performance by Inter, and still no credit. Still no neutral fans that congrats us to a very impressive win. We still get to hear that we were boring and that Dalmat sucks. We got the no clean sheet in our face, after the first match we have played with that back three.
Say what you want, but we are INTER and we get the results. And in the end, itīs the points that counts and not the number of goals you score. We know this from the beginning and doesnīt bother with thinking about trashing our opponents just because we wanna look impressive for the spectators. We leave that for Milan, so they get the hype.
But no doubt, that Inter has caused very unneccessary heart attacks because not being able to finish off the match earlier. So if Okan and Almeyda had scored against Reggina and we would have won with 4-1 we would have been more impressive? Seems like that is what football is all about. Score as many goals as possible and play as offensively as possible, and you get the respect.
Hector Cuper - A new man
He has changed a lot this year. Moratti forces him to switch his favourite formation, and Iīll be damned - the man actually pulls it off to! Howīs that for a coach? After 5 years with 4-4-2 in Europe he switches the formation, and the dude still gets the results. He even realises what kind of positional play that it requires. Is he the best coach in the world? Many say no. Why? Because heīs too defensive. Just tell me one thing: What did Lucescu do for Inter? Thatīs the most offensive coach we have had for years. And together with Tardelli, the worst. Do we wanna witness Taribo West all over again where he throws the jersey? Or do we wanna witness the heart and grinta that Cuper brings out of every player? Cuper tells the players the magic words: We are Inter!
And the players gets it, and they know that when Cannavaro concedes a penalty in the last minute, that we have to score once more because of the honour. What happens? Recoba scores a goal in the next attack. We show everyone that we are Inter and Inter gets 3 points.
We lose to Lyon and what does Cuper do? Takes the blame for it together with every player that played the match. While the fans booes Dalmat, Cuper says that the whole team has to take the responsibility including him. Can we argue with that? No, we canīt because itīs as realistic as possible. Individual errors from normal worldclass players like Cannavaro and Cordoba costed us the match, but if the rest of the team canīt help them, whatīs the use?
Second half in the same match, Canna score and throws up his arm in the air with a huge grinta. I can bet my ass that his words were: We are Inter!
And up with the arm. But being Inter is not enough sometimes.
The man does it again!
Luigi Di Biagio - The biggest mystery in Inter. Before the Sporting match, I personally wanted him on the bench for his poor performances. Di Biagio steps onto the pitch and takes the leader role. He scores the first goal and show us the way. He runs like crazy and is having the match of his life. The same day as he was questioned as a starter. What a phenomenon.
And this sunday it was his day once again. Being questioned once again and some wanted the youngster Beati to replace him as a starter. But Di Biagio doesnīt take offence and shows why he is playing for us. The man scores two goals and is cool as ever. He becomes the 3800th goalscorer for Inter. "Benvenuto Jacobo" says his shirt when he celebrates. I can bet it meant: Never question me
He scores once more and show us the way once again. 2-0... He shows up his finger that it is meant for the Inter fans. Up yours! I am Di Biagio and I score when no one else does and leads this team! Treat me with respect and Iīll give my all on the pitch.
What a guy! I might not be his fan, but you canīt help falling in love with a player that when heīs the most critizised shows how fickle some of us are.
Irony once again - Marco Materazzi
"Sell him, he is our biggest weakness!"
Those were the words before the season started. Everyone wanted Nesta to replace him. Instead, what happens? The freak plays the most for us and is being the best defender too. Outplayed Bierhoff, something that Stam didnīt do. And still there were some that wanted Stam instead of Materazzi.
He hasnīt picked up a yellow card so far. The defender with the reputation of only being a butcher and no class whatsoever. Then when you think that Materazzi has done it all for us, he steps up and become the assist king too. With the most precise long ball to Vieri, and Vieriīs outstanding shot, he assists us too. But still, he doesnīt get respect. But we are Inter and get used to it.
Is it irony or simple igorance to see that Materazzi has been our best defender so far, when we have signed one of the best defenders during the 90īs - Fabio Cannavaro?
Cannavaro who has costed us many goals so far, but here is a guy that gets the respect. WHY?!?!?! Yes, because he hasnīt been with us for that long and he is the captain of the most talked about NT. No one dares to disrespect him. But donīt get me wrong. Canna is slowly winning my heart too.
But I donīt like the disrespect that others do because of Canna. "Throw Cordoba out of the lineup and put in Canna!"
Cordoba who is our vice-captain and one of our most loyal players. Whereīs the respect? Or that we should drop Materazzi because he made a bad match against Croatia.
The point is that we are Inter and we donīt go by the names, but of performances and importance in the team.
With these last words, I would like to say that we are on top of Serie A without impressing that much, but we havenīt played any junior teams and we can improve a hell of a lot more.
WE ARE INTER!