Inter Oh Inter. Past, Present and Future...
16 Aug 2011 By Rasvinder Bhullar
It seems now like it was light years ago when Inter won it all; Serie A, Italian Cup, Champions League, Italian Super Cup, World Club Cup. In short, they were known as Champions of Italy, Europe and the World. Post-Mourinho era, Inter have its 3rd manager in charge now, a throwback to the early desperate days of Moratti's reign where he sacked managers easily and quickly and was rather indecisive on their futures.
Benitez was always the wrong choice to replace Mourinho. He did win the La Liga with Valencia but from his time at Liverpool, he was known more as a cup manager as he did better in cup competitions than in the league. He reached a high point in the league when he ran Manchester United close in 2008-2009 but then he managed to shoot himself in the feet and tried starting the mind games against the master, Sir Alex Ferguson and fell short. At Inter, I wasn't convinced he was the right choice but I was hoping for a pleasant surprise but I got none. Well at least he managed to get Inter the Italian Super Cup and most importantly, the World Club Cup so as not to undo the good work of Mourinho before him. From his first day, he did seem determined to undo the good work of Mourinho so thankfully he didn't manage to do it for the above-mentioned cup competitions.
Bentiez got the sack to my absolute relief and joy and in came Leonardo, another appointment I was sceptical about having laughed at him and his Milan side the previous season. He proved to be a pleasant surprise and a breath of fresh air as his Inter played attackingly and entertained all but for Inter fans, it was always occupied with heart attacks as the defence crumbled and was almost non-existent at times. It's not what we are used to seeing after being used to seeing strong defensive displays under Mancini and Mourinho. Leonardo delivered one trophy, the Coppa Italia and tried in vain to claw back the lead in Serie A and ensure a respectable end to Inter's reign as European champions. For all his efforts and the efforts of the team, we got embarrased by Milan and we never recovered from that and were embarrased in Europe too by a supposed lesser team in Schalke 04. For all the early post-season promises that he would stay, came the sudden announcement that Leonardo would be leaving to take up a post as a sporting director at PSG. I personally believed he reached the maximum of his ability as a manager with Inter and it was a right decision on his part to take up the sporting director post.
Post-Mourinho era, I noticed that when things went wrong on the pitch, a lot of times heads dropped, shoulders slumped and it was like the Inter of old, the Inter that promised a lot and won nothing. It didn't happen under Mancini and Mourinho but it was back under Benitez and Leonardo. Gone was the fighting spirit, the pride of being champions and this was an Inter that were the champions of Italy, Europe and the World. It's a throwback again to the days when Inter won nothing, promised a lot and delivered little.
Now under Gasperini, Inter started with a display that had the confidence and pride of the successful Mourinho and Mancini eras as well as the despondent, tiring and resigning times of Benitez and Leonardo. It's early days yet but if the pre-season dealings are anything to go by, I believe Inter fans like myself are not looking forward to the season with much relish. Inter need to balance the books to come in line with UEFA's Financial Fair Play. After selling Balotelli for a big amount last summer, it looks like it's the turn of Eto'o this summer. I understand the need to sell to balance the books but of all the ageing warriors at Inter, why Eto'o? The player that literally carried Inter on his shoulders on more than one occassion last season. It reminds me of a time when Inter decided to cash in on Crespo after a good season to no gain for the team the following season.
The choice isn't shrewd and Inter will certainly suffer in his absence but my argument is there are better candidates to be sold rather than Eto'o. Inter have many ageing warriors that have served Inter well but are reaching the stage where they would be considered over-the-hill. Players succumbing to frequent niggly injuries, who don't seem to have the spring in their steps and have lost a bit of pace and verve. They might be Inter legends and known as Mr.Inters but in football, there always comes a time when a player has to move on for younger players to come through. In my mind, I have players like Maicon, Julio Cesar, Stankovic and Cambiasso plus there are those that aren't quite good enough like Pandev, Rivas and others that surplus to requirement. Inter are a big club but for them to resort to small-club tactics of selling its best and big name players, is embarrasing.
Continued at http://footballspeak.com/post/2011/0...reversing.aspx