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Werder Bremen 3 - Inter 0; Non-Review


The Werder result was embarrassing, this is true. So embarrassing that I will spend very little time on it at all and concentrate on issues that are important to the club going forward – since we don’t yet have flux capacitor technology and I can’t erase the last 5 months from eternity.

An Inter Player of the Game…? Surely you jest.



This is what I said following the game in the comments section and I still think that this is the crux of my problem with Benitez’s approach to this game… season:

If we want to rest people... then why the hell were Zanetti, Cambiasso, Motta, Eto'o and Cordoba playing.

If we wanted to give the young guys a run out then why were Zanetti, Cambiasso, Motta, Eto'o, Orlandoni and Cordoba playing.

If we wanted to win the game then why was Biraghi, Orlandoni, Muntari, Nwankwo, and Santon (at winger-ish) playing.

See, it seems to me that it was just throwing some guys out there and seeing if we can get away with a draw without any forethought.

My issue is that this could have been an opportunity to accomplish something. A leader would have made this a positive situation that would have lifted the team. I don't care if we finish first in the group, although if we are serious about saving/making money than it was worth more to win. I am just wanting this team to want to do something more meaningful than just, "We have to play this game... let’s just get it over with."

As it turns out, we had a couple chances – not very many – as piss poorly as we played and if we had played this game seriously with actual personnel we had a shot to win the group (I’m not saying that we certainly would have, considering our form, but we had to have had a better chance than the one we had if we had prepared better and not used all the youth players) and avoid the Barcas and Real Madrids that we are in no shape to play right now. So without the amount of forethought that an amoeba can generate – without a brain mind you – Benitez has seriously messed with our chances in the OTHER tournament that we are in after having fucked with our chances in Serie A for several months now. Thank the gods we haven’t played a minute of Coppa Italia yet…

I don’t have a problem losing games considering the effort and energy spent last season, as I have pointed out in the summer blog posts regarding my expectation for this season. I think that most of you guys are with me in that – once you get to the top of the mountain there is only one way to go.

But… and this is a big but – not the good kind, sadly – I don’t think that we expected to go plummeting down the other side. I think we expected to fall a few feet, realize that we are who we are and then fight our way back up to the best of our ability, with a plan and with some order. We expected Benitez, or whoever the coach was supposed to be, to help us fight our way back up the mountain, not push us further down.

Okay, that’s enough of that nonsense. On we go to other topics.

Coaching Change

Here’s my prediction: There is going to be one soon. “When?” you ask. I don’t know. Everyone is careful to say that we are going to see how the CWC goes, but my thoughts on that are like my thoughts on retirement: If you are thinking about retirement, then you pretty much already are and should get going. If you are thinking about changing coaches… then you already have already breached the last barrier keeping you from doing so. Personally, I don’t think that Benitez’s job is safe even if he wins the CWC. Let me correct that thought, I don’t think that Benitez’s job SHOULD be safe even if he wins the CWC. Winning the CWC is what he should be doing safe or no.

It’s Serie A that’s always more important to me. Doing well in the league makes money for placement, makes money for qualification into the Champions League and it prevents coaches from getting fired, which is something that I hate seeing.

The question is who to get to replace him. Folks, if I have learned anything these years following Inter it’s that the gap in coaching between “tactical” Italian coaches and “tactical” non-Italian coaches is Grand Canyon-esque. Chievo shouldn’t have a better game plan – especially since they have had the same game plan every game for the last decade, get it to Pellissier on a long kick from their own half of the field where 8 defenders hang out all game long – than we do considering all the options that are available to us.

In other words, anyone half decent couldn’t do much worse… they would actually have a plan that we could implement that would be better than, “Short passes people, backwards is preferable. Let’s have our least technically skilled players – the central defenders – make delicate passes and control our possession right in front of our own goal mouth, instead of the Sneijders and the Eto’os taking care of the ball in the other team’s half. And never counter attack; I don’t care what you have been built for these 6 years.”


Transfer Mistakes

I want to both gloat in this section and apologize at the same time. The gloating part is the easiest so I will do that first. We so should have sold Maicon when we had the opportunity to cash in. He’s been useless this season whether he had been on the field or not. He’s just not going to be worth much more at any other time in the future. Especially now and it would have taken 6 million € off the books. I love the guy as a player, but he’s just not at his best. Nowhere near it.

Okay, now on to apology. We should have been busier this offseason in acquiring new talent. I, at the time, didn’t think that we had to and that this was a good time to save some cash. I was totally wrong. Not only should we have sold Maicon as well as Balotelli – and yes, I am still happy we sold him. If he were on this team right now it would be a bigger, if possible, disaster.

But we could have even cashed in on Milito. The rationale in keeping him was that he’s a great striker and he would have won us more games. The rationale in selling him was that he’s never going to be worth close to what we paid for him again, except after winning the Champions League.

We probably should have sold him. I know that this statement might cause consternation among the female population, but I can’t help it. If you are trying to save/make more money than you are dishing out, then the Milito’s of the world need to be bought and sold pretty quickly. Especially once you consider his wages.

Having said that, we shouldn’t have loaned Destro out and we definitely shouldn’t have done so with an option for co-ownership to Genoa. Destro might be our Gourcuff. We should have kept him and we never should have made the opening for another club to try and take him. The only difference is that Destro and Inter still have, by all reports, a decent relationship. We might be able to fix this one.

We needed to be more aggressive in buying talent in Serie A. Buying talent outside of Italy is definitely cheaper and more players are willing to move from good clubs in Eastern/Northern Europe and South America to Italy. But we needed to buy a midfielder or two from a team like Sampdoria (here I am thinking Poli, Manini or Palumbo) or Udinese (Asamoah or Inler). These are teams that generally need money and are willing to sell in the summer. These midfielders are Serie A acclimated and have a certain level of technique – offensively and defensively. Plus, you can’t tell me that they wouldn’t have been hungry to finally win something big: be it Serie A, Champions League or the CWC. Like all decent players in Serie A, they are probably a little overpriced, but are you telling me that selling Maicon, Balotelli and Milito (60 million € for the 3 at the very least) couldn’t net you the money to buy four of the above names with lots left over?

Who would score our goals, you ask…. And I would reply, who’s scoring them now? It’s not Mario, Maicon and Milito… that’s for sure. But we would, for damn sure, not be giving up nearly as many goals either, plus two of those guys up there can play wide, which we need since there isn’t a Maicon doing that for us and we won’t see Coutinho again until February.

Why couldn’t we have brought in a Luca Toni for a season to be a physical presence in the middle of the attack if we need players who can score? Luca was free and he has proven ability to score in Serie A. Talk about low risk and high reward. He has to have been a better option than Pandev… who’s not even a striker.

As far as not bringing in a defender… I can actually see this one. We have too many on the books as it is. But Samuel, Lucio, Cordoba and Chivu are all quality central defenders and I can understand not bringing in a new guy. I won’t understand it if they don’t clear out the dead wood and don’t bring anyone new in January or next summer.

PS, Don’t count on Ranocchia coming in January. I am not saying that it won’t happen, because, what do I know? But I wouldn’t count on it.

Possible Winter Fixes

There is still a chance for either Inler and Asamoah from Udinese, but I think that time is running out for Inler.

I can’t see anyone leaving Sampdoria – minus Cassano – at winter. They will be fighting for Europe.

Tell me again why we don’t offer Palermo anything for one of their fullbacks…? I mean just offer something and see what the response is. Maybe a deal can be made.

I don’t see how Cassano doesn’t come to Inter, if he’s available for free. He’s less drama (I’m not saying that he’s no drama) than Balotelli at this point and we need something up front.

I can’t see Alibec not getting more involved in the team. We are desperate for a striker – right now all we have is Eto’o – and Alibec can be that.

There might be players available from Bologna since they are in financial troubles. Di Viao comes to mind if the team needs to cut salary. I don’t know how that club escapes relegation and it makes me sad because a team from a big city like that should be well supported and well maintained. It’s a sad day for the league if a team from a city like that has to get sent down.

We need a defender for somewhere on that line. When Chivu comes back, I can’t see him not being a center back, but with Benitez… I have no expectation of common sense.