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Thread: Can Inter Win The Champions League?

  1. #1

    Can Inter Win The Champions League?

    This is the same article as in my notes on facebook:

    On 27th of May 1964, a group of daring talents would make history against the biggest European giants on the continent and proceed to become eternal champions in the hearts of every black and blue supporter in the city of Milano.

    Internazionale Milano 1908 was a name being edged in gold as the players entered the Prater Stadium (now Ernst Happel Stadium) in Vienna, Austria to face Real Madrid, a team that had reached 7 of the existing 9 finals that began since 1955. Alfred De Stefano, Puskas and a host of Real Madrid's golden generation and a few emerging talents were no match that day to the powers of a highly defensive yet powerful Inter team that played arguably some of the best counter-attacking football at the time led by the one man who literally stole the show in Austria, a one Sandro Mazzola, suppourted by the flying winger Luis Suarez and Jair with good defensive cover led by il capitano Giancito Fachetti. Inter were a force to be reckoned with and they tarnished Real Madrid' golden players 3-1 and embarked Inter on a great international journey that led them to the Interconntinental title twice as they managed to defend their title against Benfica of Eusebio the next season in the San Siro.

    Sadly, this era under the now legendary coach Helenio Herrera has faded and although Inter enjoyed much success in the 1960's, that success started to die out in the 1980's and finally 1990's in which Inter truely lost their pedigree on the continental stage except for three times in the UEFA Cup in which squads containing legends such as Klinsmann, Denis Bergkamp, Aaron Winter, Pagliuca, Zamorano, Ronaldo, and Youri Djorkaeff were not able to replicate their successes in the league.

    Nobody knew what happened to Inter in the 1990's, call it calciopoli, call it bad luck, call whatever you want to call it, the fact remained that Inter were no more a team to be feared because even if they were seemingly close to success, the rumor is that Inter will always find a way to kill itself, and that was even more persistent when Inter incredibly lost the chance at domestic glory for the first time since 1989 on 5th May 2002 when Inter lost to "close friends" Lazio 4-2 and Juventus won over Udinese to actually fall to third in the table after leading for most of the campaign and handing over the scudetto to Juventus.

    Well, it's the 21st Century, and although the problems continued, there was a full stop at the end, and a new chapter was going to be written in the history books of Italian football as Italian investigative authorities in 2006 uncovered match fixing scandals dating two years earlier and as such the numerous corruption rumors were augmented with tangible evidences and led to drastic measure in which the only true winner in it was Inter Milan. With big clubs such as Juventus, Fiorentina, Lazio and Milan were tarnished in re-building themselves for the coming season of the World Champions Inter sought to capitalize and brought in talents to add depth to a squad that looked to start putting in the missing trophy form the cabinet since 1989, the scudetto. Inter brought in Maicon from Monaco to supplement the right flank in attack and support Javier Zanetti, Fabio Grosso befoer the World Cup and Maxwell to solve the left back crisis left void since the departure of Roberto Carlos to Real Madrid, Patrick Vieira from relegated Juventus to supplement the central midfield department and the creativity of the midfield and Olivier Dacourt for the defensive midfield part. Mariano Gonzalez would be a speedy winger option to supplement an attacking force of Adriano, Recoba, Cruz, bumpered up by the arrival of the already legendary Crespo and legend in-the -making Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Inter went on to win the League for the first time in more than a decade but chocked massively on the big stage by again being eliminated in the round of 16 by Valencia.

    In the 2007-2008 season, it would be Inter's century in existence, Inter needed to do something to gift its fans. The Champions League which was already the next target after the league title was vocally wanted by the fans. Cagliari legendary striker David Suazo joined the ranks of the Italian champions, Nelson Rivas came in to help cure Inter's defense problems, and Chivu came to supplement Maxwell in the left flank for the departing Grosso but still Inter crashed out of the competition with a loss to Liverpool in the round of 16.

    In the 2008-2009 season, Inter raised the stakes even higher. Jose Mourinho came to the helm of the team, and with him he brought in speculation that half of Chelsea's players would join the Inter Milan squad. Moratti made an approach to Liverpool's Steven Gerrard who was in contract negotiations with Liverpool and it was reported that Inter tabled around 25 Million Euros but got rejected. Inter sough the next best option, Frank Lampard and he was very close. Inter tabled at first 8 Million English Sterlings, that got increased to 10 million and there are rumors it even reached 11.5 million, but in the end Lampard stayed in London and renewed his contract. Inter brought in Amantino Mancini from Roma and Ricardo Quaresma from Porto in a move that people thought would shoot Inter into the sky of Europe, at least make Inter more competitive in Europe. Muntari came in the midfield as another option for the attacking midfield role and Adriano returned from Brazil but again Inter chocked against Manchester United after most summer transfers failed to live to expectations.

    Now to the analysis bit of our article and it's 2009-2010, can Inter do it?

    Inter have been struggling with two key areas that prevented them from playing better in Europe. The defense and the attacking midfield. Inter's defense of Marco Materazzi and Ivan Cordoba, supplemented by Burdisso and Samuel was strong, but chocks frequently and is crazy-prone with Marco and Burdisso in the books, now Burdisso is gone to Roma and replaced by Lucio. An excellent choice as Lucio is a brilliant defender, a leader of the back four and a good attacker and header and what Inter didn't have in their defenders is the ability to go forward with the ball and supply from the back, Cordoba never had that really. With Lucio and Samuel, Inter can rely on a very good powerful pair of central defenders, although I would prefer Cordoba over Samuel because Cordoba is faster and is more intelligent than Samuel when defending.

    In the midfield, Vieira has proven to be a liability every time he plays, in fact Inter have lost most matches in which Vieira played in. Thiago Motta would augment Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso in the central/defensive midfield role, both Cambiasso and Motta can attack and go forward, and Javier can pick up behind those two and the attacking midfielder. Vieira needs to go as he is no longer creating balls nor defending properly.

    The last most important part of the puzzle is the attacking midfield role. Mourinho tried to do something different with Inter and that was to play with 2 wingers in a 4-3-3 system but it failed because the players weren't adapted to that style of play and because Mancini and Quaresma chocked massively in their first season. They weren't reliable and couldn't create chances and as such the problem of the trequaresta for Inter which has been so since Youri Djorkaeff left the club stayed until Inter brough in Sneijder. In less than 24 hours, he was given his debut to Inter and Italian football fans in a baptism of fire, the Milan Derby. Sneijder's first touch almost resulted in a spectacular long range goal if it weren't for Storari's hands.

    In this one-sided clash in which Inter won 4-0, Lucio showed his power and stability and attacking strengths except fro one mistake against Pato. Motta made us hate Vieira and not miss Cambiasso with his movement, long passing and technique and Sneijder's shots and movements were enough to cause panic amongst Milan's defenders.

    The problem is though that Inter still don't have a reliable playmaker, Lucio is just a defender after all, he can't be called upon to go forward and create passing opportunities, he can only support. The same with Maicon. Motta is not creative and can only help so much when attacking as well, he can only support. That's make the whole burden on Sneijder's shoulders, but even Sneijder doesn't have the killer pass, he is yet to show his creativeness, which we saw just glimpses of in the Inter-Udinese match to supplement his good movement and shots. That became very apparent when Inter were playing a game of "mercy" against Barcelona in the San Siro. The two were like giants, but the Catalans were more powerful, with Inter just doing enough to stand it ground and push back a little. Inter were more reliant on the counter because of the speed of Messi, Henry and Ibra and most importantly the passing of Xavi. A true playmaker, who is not an trequaresta, but a central midfielder with the most lethal of touches and passes. Xavi picked up passed on the ground and in the air to Ibra and Messi when big Inter defenders such as Lucio and Samuel were in front and covered by Chivu and Maicon and three times Barca almost scored. Lucio was being put to the limits, Sneijder didn't create chances, and Motta had an average game trying to overpower Seydou Keita and Yaya Toure. Will this be the same when Inter play against Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, etc...?

    Notice that I didn't mention Eto'o or Milito, this is because I don't see them as any different to Ibra when he was in Inter, if the team was as it is now and Ibra was still here and there were no Eto'o or Milito the result would have been the same. This is because Eto'o and Milito need a team behind them to supply them to attack and score, and although there is no doubt that Inter with Eto'o and Milito would be better team option, remember Ibra could have played with Milito and that would have been a different story.

    I don't put Eto'o and Milito as critical elements in Inter's campaign, because Inter have attackers, and Eto'o, Milito and Arnautovic will only be able to do something when the critical elements above are met.


    So far Inter will not be able to win the CL, just because Inter's creativity is not high enough, and if it is, it relies on just a player [Sneijder], and to rely on just one player is not a safe bet.
    Last edited by Karim; 12 Oct 09 at 09:13.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karim View Post
    So far Inter will not be able to win the CL, just because Inter's creativity is not high enough, and if it is, it relies on just a player [Sneijder], and to rely on just one player is not a safe bet.
    For some reason I just scrolled until the end of text and I was not expecting to see such a pessimistic opinion to be honest, after what seemed like a great read. I will certainly read the whole thing up but my first thoughts are connected to your conclusion.

    So far, every single team that starts in the European Champions League has the chance to bring the trophy home. It is not always about strength of the squad or economics within that club, there is something called power of football as well. Yeah OK, English teams are running the place now and theoretically besides the Big 4 and the two Spanish clubs, oh lord nobody else can put their hands on the trophy. There are also loads of interests in the middle (I begin to realize that year after year) but some day, some team will outflank all of these and win having absolutely no chance at the beginning.

    We all dream of a Champions League final night and sincerely I am always expecting it. The taunts from the Milanistas or the English/ other media does not bother me at all. We should all keep our hopes until the end. Do not mind the billion reasons why we cannot win, just trust the few ones that we can make it all the way on a beautiful night of May.
    Ooooooh, forza Inter, non mollare, vincerai! / E quando dalla Curva questo coro sentirai /
    Internazionale non ti lasceremo mai!

  3. #3
    Wow, 75 views, and one reply, its looks like many haven't enjoyed my article

  4. #4
    Besnik's Avatar
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    Nice!
    Massimo Moratti: "Javier Zanetti ha sempre onorato la maglia e ci ha sempre fatto sentire fieri di essere interisti"

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    Thanx for that Karim...
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    Actually, nice writting. I agree with it.
    GRANDE INTER, Amore Mio!

    Dear Santa, the past year, you took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson and my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze.
    I want you to know for the next year, that Milan is my favorite oldie, and Juventus is my favorite bitch.

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    Karim - one question that came to my mind is that the lack of creativity the only reason for lack of success? Inter's CL SF run under Cuper (which has been our best effort in CL in the last decade) was not built on creative midfield. I understand we might stuggle to break down Barca or Man U in CL, but surely not the likes of Rubin or Olympiakos or even Anorthosis?

    If we have to recall the last time we dominated a team in Europe, we have to go back to the 5-1 thrashing of Valencia or 3-0 at Highbury.

    Mental block?

    I dunno, but it is more than missing a creative midfielder.

  10. #10
    Ok, but these instances are individual instances, and a very good Emre in the Highbury case.
    You need consistency, under Cuper there was more of a catanaccio type style of play, but we had Crespo/Vieri who were on top form managing to score most of the not so many opportunities for us to score. Also our luck was a great factor, that showed against Milan.

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    Yeah that season we spent all the luck vs. Valencia and had none remaining for Milan. Plus we were very unfortunate both times against Milan...in the semifinals Vieri was injured, and in quaterfinals Adriano was injured.
    Impazzisco per te, questo e canto d'amor
    che mi viene dal cuor, FORZA INTER ALEEE.

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    No, Adriano was not injured in EuroDerby II. He started both match and ended with big whoop.

    Karim, you make a very good point with regards to the midfield. I think it is, without trying to point out the obvious, THE missing link in our squad. I wrote this article a couple of months back and also mentioned about it.

  13. #13
    That's a very good piece, and explains again just part of why we arent good in Europe

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    Now really, you prefer Cordoba over Samuel? Seriously? Cordoba's got speed and a good elevation, but he is tactically poor and blunder-prone. Not to mention that he can only man-mark in defence. On the other hand, Samuel is the kind of defender who has in his positioning his main attribute. I bet this does come handy when you play alongside someone like Lucio, who is notoriously famous for not having a great positioning (unless when it comes to attacking that is...).
    With regards to Motta, I dont agree with you when you say he is just a support. He is our only midfielder who can dictate tempo and when the team makes the right movements, he is the player who will dictate the one-two or the through pass. In fact, right before the Barca match, Xavi said about him that if he hadnt had all those injuries, he would still be Barca's 'pivot'.Unfortunately he needs the team to work in a certain manner, in order for him to shine.
    Dont have much to say about the rest of the article, since I totally agree we dont have a decent chance at the trophy this year. These players have to first mould into a team, then we can talk.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lombardiamia View Post
    Now really, you prefer Cordoba over Samuel? Seriously? Cordoba's got speed and a good elevation, but he is tactically poor and blunder-prone. Not to mention that he can only man-mark in defence. On the other hand, Samuel is the kind of defender who has in his positioning his main attribute. I bet this does come handy when you play alongside someone like Lucio, who is notoriously famous for not having a great positioning (unless when it comes to attacking that is...).
    With regards to Motta, I dont agree with you when you say he is just a support. He is our only midfielder who can dictate tempo and when the team makes the right movements, he is the player who will dictate the one-two or the through pass. In fact, right before the Barca match, Xavi said about him that if he hadnt had all those injuries, he would still be Barca's 'pivot'.Unfortunately he needs the team to work in a certain manner, in order for him to shine.
    Dont have much to say about the rest of the article, since I totally agree we dont have a decent chance at the trophy this year. These players have to first mould into a team, then we can talk.
    At most, Motta would have been their now Yaya Toure

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    A pivot means more than Yaya Toure however, with all due respect to Y.Toure of course.

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    Hi there –


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    You make it sound so good I thought it was free of cost.


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    Was it just me or did that post screamed HOSTEL at you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handoyo View Post
    Was it just me or did that post screamed HOSTEL at you?
    As long as it's like the first part of Hostel, then book me up asap....

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