Last weekend Cagliari very literally rained on our parade: first with a hose, then with a strike from our own Roberto Acquafresca. Still, Ibra got his goal to equal Di Vaio's tally of 23 and Bolzoni got 20 minutes of play. It wasn't much, but this way he gets a scudetto medal with the rest of the team. Overall, it was not Inter's best showing by a long way. Plus, this means that there is at least one team that we have failed to beat this season. I hope that we do much better against Atalanta next week.
Here are the highlights:
Unfortunately, I am not really in a position to do a real review of the game. Between the extremely early start time and the terrible streams, I could hardly tell their players from ours. (I know, excuses, excuses). There were a few things that caught my eye, though - almost all of which are in the highlight video above.
- Jimenez got a start and was actually pretty good. He even sort of got a goal (the ball went into the net... a split second after the whistle for a foul by Cruz). If he can stay healthy, he may finally realize some of that promise he is supposed to have, unless he goes off to Sampdoria, that is. On the other hand, the new haircut is not to my taste. I prefer stableboy Jimi.
- Vieira is no where near ready/good enough to be playing for Inter right now. He may have had an illustrious career - he may even be able to work himself back from this horror he has become - but after his showing last Sunday, I want him out. He gives possession away far too often, and he can't even get a shot off when Ibra feeds him a sitter. With the way he is playing these days, he is nothing but a liability. Sad, but true. Au revoir et bonne chance, Monsieur Vieira.
- Inter needs at least one more central defender. If anyone wants to see what not to do in defense, just watch Inter right before Cossu's equalizer. Marco (who I still love) was slow and Nico was horribly out of position (and slow) which allowed Cossu to take on Toldo one-on-one. Toldo may still have some grab in those hands, but he just doesn't have the speedy reflexes that he used to.
- Which brings me to Santon. He goes forward quite well, but where are those man-marking skills we saw earlier? He should have tried a little harder to stop Acquafresca from scoring. Maybe he needs to go back over to the left for a while. Atalanta may be just the game for him to try that out as Chivu will be suspended for the yellow he picked up Sunday. Of course, maybe he just needs to stay away from the nightlife and "handfuls of girls". Hopefully Marco and Mou can set him straight.
- Cruz is a sad shell of the player he was last season. I dont know if his drop in form is mental or physical, but it is palpable. Word is that Mou's contract extension means that Cruz is on his way out (Fiorentina or Roma). On one hand, I am sad to see him go - he could be our answer to Pippo, supersub extraordinaire - but on the other, I realize that in order to make room for the new, someone has got to go. I wonder if this was his last game for Inter. (great, now I am getting teary!)
Bad hair = good player? Say it isn't so!
In the end, Cagliari deserved the win. The squad that Mou fielded did not have the chemistry that our usual starting 11 have together. Nico and Marco were rusty. Vieira is... well... bad. Cruz needs a change of scenery, I think. Put that all together and it equals Inter's fourth loss of the season (oh man, that stings!) Plus, this "get the ball to Ibra so he can get lots of goals" thing is starting to wear on me. Now that Inter has won the Scudetto, it is great that everyone is pulling together to help him win capocannoniere, but it is playing havoc with our attack. Ibra is going for every ball that gets within 10 feet of his feet - no matter who else might already be there.
In the end, it was what it was. I just hope we go out against Atalanta with a more bloodthirsty attitude. I want a little payback on the 3-1 debt.
For those of you who have been living under a rock with not access to the internet or any other sports news outlet, Jose Mourinho is now 100% Inter. He has extended his contract until 2012 and is rumored to be making obscene amounts of money.
Austrian wonderchild Marko Arnautovic has been recently heavily linked to both Chelsea and Inter. Apparently he had chosen Chelsea but they may rescind their offer as he has a badly fractured foot that may see him unable to play for four to six months. I hope this means that Inter are also backing away. Fifteen million euros sure seems like a lot for a relatively untested, broken kid.
I'll be back at Inter to stay. I feel indebted to president Moratti who has invested a lot in me, to Mourinho who forcibly wanted me in Milan. My first experience did not go well, I realize, also because I could not do the preparation. But I am sure of my value and I will prove it. My agent has proposed other clubs in Italy, but I said no. I am not afraid of pressure or the boos at the stadium. Indeed, on Sunday I would be in Italy to celebrate the Scudetto with my comrades.
I say, give the kid one more shot. If he still doesn't work out, then we can talk Genoa.
Allora Ragazzi, ci parliamo di più domani.
How sad is this. Bobby just wants to play with his Azzurrini friends in Milan. Dont let him slip away, Moratti!