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Denial, Anger, Barg… Nope, Still Anger

News and rants for this week, the first of May. I apologize for being somewhat absent, as real life has intruded. On with the show…


* I suppose that I should say something to act as closure, for myself if no one else, about the Palermo game. It was an ugly game to watch, even as an Inter supporter. The team looked like it was playing with only half a team – no attack, no midfield. Just a defense that went scrambling everytime the ball came down the field. There was no midfield support slowing the passage. There was no forward pressing up top to keep the set up from starting 30 meters from the goal mouth. Those guys in the back looked bereft of friends and at times I felt sorry for them as I knew they would bear the brunt of the criticisms even though defense should be a collective event for the whole team.

* Zanetti is expected to make a complete recovery and has vowed to come back to the team to fight. Unfortunately no one knows when that will be. Prognosis for this type of injury is really dependent on the person. Some have never made it back. Some can return to limited activity. Like a knee ligament injury, the athlete is extremely rarely as capable as before. There is always hope, although in this case my hope is that Zanetti comes back with time to participate in his farewell tour.

* It seems that everytime I look at the hotsheets there are new names added to the incoming transfer list. I wish they would just stop a minute and breathe. There is such a sense of panic and scramble to fix everything all at once. Here’s what should happen – according to me:

1. The collective front office should have a summit that meets for 2 days minimum.

2. The coach should describe his vision for the team.

3. The collective should hash out which players fit in which spot for the coach – every player should be discussed.

4. First choice for any holes in the vision should be filled by youth players coming up.

5. Then – and only then – transfers for gaps in the roster should be discussed, along with alternatives and budget concerns.

5a. A plan mapped out for those youth players that are between the team and the Primavera – are they Inter Worthy, do they need more seasoning, are they bench at best, are they makeweight or should they be asked to find a deal for themselves.

6. Hearty, heart healthy lunches high in protein and fiber.

7. Sales and departures should be recommended by the coach and discussed by the group.

8. A plan “B” should be prepared for the winter break in case injuries or performance doesn’t match expectations.

9. No matter what, stick to the plan for the year. And don’t panic.

*Maybe the above is a reaction to the hatred I have of panic decisions. I am not much of a long term planner myself but maybe I wish I was better at it. Having said that, there is rarely a case where throwing the baby out with the bath water is good decision. The wisdom of the group in a positive collaborating setting, like a sports team should be, must be better than a mad scramble for personnel at times, right? They were getting players before they know whether Strama is going to be back next season – what if those players don’t fit the new coach?! I mean, The Plan, in every sense – financial and tactically - is the difference between the Germans and the Italians right now, isn’t it? The German league stuck to harsh rules about living in their means in the 90’s - 00’s that led to stadium building and market exploitation. All this while the Italians were repeatedly spending big cable package money on players who rarely stuck around long term. There’s a lesson there somewhere. Maybe a 2 or 3 millennia old fable, I’m sure of it. Something about investing in infrastructure rather than temporary fleeting solutions, eliminating management redundancy, slowly and steadily winning something. It’ll come to me.

* #bringbackalfredduncan soon to be joined with #promotepatrickolsen. Hey, the whole youth team is my pet cat, didn’t you know?

* The call up of U17 players for the Italian National team is out. There are only 6 Inter youth players on it. That’s right; only 6 out of the 24 players called up are from Inter - at least one in every band except goalkeeper. I’m no math expert, so someone else can work out the fraction. The next highest number is Milan with 5.

* For those Crisetig fans, Parma and Inter have already decided to renew the co-ownership. My reading is that Parma gets to look him over before deciding whether to send him out again.

* I still am reading that the Handanovic saga isn’t over yet. It really should be. Integrate the young guys that this team has been grooming for years into the midfield. Add young bodies to the attack. Get young players to play more often, earlier in the season. Keep the phenom in the goal mouth. Build a stadium if you need money. Eliminate counterfeit merchandising outside the stadium if you need money. Make 6 calendars per year of half naked, peroxide blonde Inter Cheerleaders in unnatural, semi-grotesque poses if you need money. But don’t make the team worse; don’t make it harder to get into the European tournament that would bring in tens of millions. Instead, and I know this is a hard concept to grasp, keep the world class player and make the rest of the team better.

* Guarin is a midfielder. Can we play him there now, please?