The scoreline read Chievo 2-2 Internazionale. I though of the way that we had dominated this game early on and had deservedly taken the league through Dejan Stankovic and how we really should have made the score 0-2. But slowly Chievo came back into the game and it was only our current star man Adriano who could save us. For me personally, yesterday's game provided me with several areas for concern.
Defensivley we looked incredibley poor yesterday. A partnership of two unreliable defenders in Mihajlovic and Materazzi was always risky in my opinion, but then again Mancini had very little other choice. Nobody can doubt Mihajlovic and Materazzi's commitment to the Inter cause, but both are left footed and prone to the occasional glaring error and yesterday that showed. Perhaps Mancini should have taken more of a gamble and gone for the youngster Hernan Della Fiore in Central Defence yesterday? When Ivan Cordoba and Nicolas Burdisso return for injury I am hoping that our defensive issues will be cleared up, but Cordoba lacks height and Burdisso lacks Serie A experience. Recent rumours have linked us to the likes of Brazilian stopper Juan. He currently plays his football for Leverkusen in Germany and would be the perfect acquisition for us.
I am also very sad to say that the time of Christian Vieri is over. For the past several years he has been a hero of mine and for many other Nerazzuri fans. But it is clear now that Adriano is the new 'Emperor' of the San Siro. The question of whether they can or cannot play together is no longer the issue. The real question is even if they can play together, do we really want them to? Adriano is forced into a more withdrawn role when Bobo is on the pitch and I personally don't like seeing our most lethal striker being sacrificed in this way. But if Vieri could score some goals then maybe I would be willing to see this partnership used. But Vieri missed so many easy chances yesterday and therefore this potential partnership should be scratched off Mancini's potential partnerships. Adriano would function a lot better with Alvaro Recoba or Obafemi Martins at his side. I am becoming increasingly alarmed at how reluctant we seem to be becoming on Adriano's goals. He needs a strike partner to take away some of this burden and Recoba or Martins would most certainly do this.
The third and perhaps most worrying of all Inter's problems is Roberto Mancini. He is no doubt a very promising Coach and is capable of making his teams play exciting and attractive football, but he seems too loyal to old friendships. Yesterday he played both of his two old friends, ironically our two worst players of the night, Vieri and Mihajlovic for the full ninety minutes. Surely Inter would have fared better if he had taken Vieri off for Recoba rather than Ze Maria? Recoba playing on the Right Wing is a tactic I have never seen before and his trickery would have been better suited to playing alongside Adriano. Whereas if Mancini had seen Mihajlovic's mistakes and had the balls to take him off for Della Fiore, or even start with the Argentine, I am sure we would have enjoyed the outcome of this game a lot more.
So for Tuesday nights game against Werder Bremen I am begging Mancini to show some courage and drop Mihajlovic and Vieri. Ivan Cordoba will be back from suspension to step in at the back and we have Recoba who can play instead of Vieri. If our problem areas are sorted out then we can look forward to a promising year ahead.
George 'Giorgio' Carr