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Inter 0 – Novara 1

In the first meeting with Novara this season we looked the worse team on the field. Win lose or draw today, we definitely looked the better. Progress is slow in the ultra safe, ultra conservative world of Italian football but it’s a very small consolation when it happens and you lose – even if it’s aggravating that it hasn’t happened enough or when it should have. Inter needs to win against teams like Novara. Especially after so much hard work went into getting into this position in the first place. The yo-yoing is just frustrating.

Speaking of progress, I would be very surprised and shocked if Poli wasn’t bought immediately from Sampdoria upon the final whistle of this game. It’s become obvious, to me anyway, that if there is to be any revolution or return to the top for this team, Poli needs to be a part of it. He can defend, he’s practically an infant he’s so young, he can run the field and he can pass. He’s exactly what Branca has been searching for in a midfielder. As far as I am concerned our mercato begins with him. And if it doesn’t, then I will consider it another failure no matter what happens after that. Rejuvenating the midfield should have happened a long time ago. By the way, taking off Poli for Forlan instead of Stankovic was a mistake in this game I feel.

As far as this game goes, the lineup was something of a surprise. Cordoba getting more game time is an interesting decision. Same with Chivu. I’ll never hear or read the real why, but I would love to know the back story there.

The week leading up to this game was filled with stories of the team having a collective nervous breakdown or the team in revolt or the team falling apart or Ranieri ripping the team a new on, or Moratti ripping the team a new one. Regardless of the result of this game, the only thing that I tell the team exhibited this week was hard work in making the Christmas tree formation work in the first half. We created a ton of chances in both halves and the final ball just wasn’t there. If there was a culprit in the loss for this game it’s in our baffling and continual disbelief that teams will counter attack against us. For some reason our defense refuses to be alert or play deep enough for the long diagonal pass that every Novara player seems alert for that after 18 months since Mourinho left has our midfield and defense surprised that it happens.

This game is indicative of what attrition and selling off our best attackers/attacking prospects have cost us. We got a lot of money for each – one could say that there could have been more in the cases of Mario and Destro – but for all the chances we made we couldn’t do better than put the ball on the crossbar. Forlan looks more and more a waste of space to me. Looking back at my own words, I was against the purchase in the first place, vehemently so, and it’s bothersome to be proven so right on this one. We didn’t actually pay anything transferring him, he was owed so much money by the nearl bankrupt club that they basically let him go where he wanted, but it was still too much. Zarate was an interesting addition and I think much like Lazio did several years ago; we looked at his potential and ignored the person… as if the two are separate.

Materazzi is long gone, Motta is not with us anymore and any shred of physical domination is long gone with the both of them. Taking cheap shots against Sneijder or either of the forwards goes unpunished and there is no one in the back to keep heads on swivels for anymore. As important as putting goals in the net, this is supposed to be a physical, contact game and an enforcer who can stay on the field is worth something.

The only thing that works for me right now is that it’s times like this that force change. In the ’90s and early ‘00swhen the team was going through its worst period ever, we found Zanetti and the building blocks for our best years ever.

There is hope for the future, I just don’t know how long into the future we are going to have to wait for it.