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Five Questions with Max Power

It's do or die time for the Nerazzurri this season...

Valerio Pennicino

Now that the international break is over, it's time to focus solely on Inter. The draw against Torino is firmly in the rearview mirror so let's dive into the mind of Max Power to find out what he thinks of the Nerazzurri going forward.

1. Where do you see Inter finishing?

Inter better finish in the top three. There's no excuse for failing to qualify for the Champions League in a diluted Serie A, which is devoid of any serious star power. This isn't your father's Serie A that's for sure. Aside from Juve (which can't even get out of the Champions League group stages), there is no team even remotely scary and if we can't finish in third place then we might as well morph into Newcastle United right now.

2. Who will be the breakout star of the season?

I agree with TB's assessment of Mateo Kovacic. He's a burgeoning star who is ready to strut his stuff this year, but I'm going with Mauro Icardi. You can ask questions of his maturity all day long, but the kid is dripping with talent. He has the potential to bust out in a big way. Like Capocannoniere big.

3. Do you see any potential stumbling blocks?

We've seen my major concern in the first round already: Inter's inability to beat lesser teams. The Nerazzurri led the league with 15 draws last year and a repeat showing will spell doom for Walter Mazzarri. Inter has to beat clubs like Cagliari, Atalanta and Sampdoria if it hopes to return among the Italian elite. Mazzarri has to learn to go for the jugular against these types of teams, especially at home.

4. What will define a successful season for you?

It's Champions League or bust for me. It would be nice to beat Juve, Napoli and Roma once this season as well. If Inter doesn't beat Milan twice this year then it's time to change captains before this ship sinks.

5. Any other thoughts about this coming year?

It wasn't so long ago that this club stood alone at the top of the mountain gazing triumphantly below at the rest of the unfortunate souls who could not hack the journey to the peak. It was an absolute pleasure watching the 2010 team.

It was a bit liking seeing Mulholland Drive for the first time. You're hoping for the unthinkable at first. 'It' could happen you say to yourself. Partway through the movie you realize that 'it' might actually happen. By the midway point you can hardly contain your excitement as 'it' has a good chance of happening.

An hour into the flick, it's pure bedlam as 'it' is probably going to happen. The best part is always the moment before 'it' actually happens and when 'it' finally happens it's just pure unadulterated joy with a mix of shock and disbelief. 'It' really elfin happened! Did 'it' really happen? Eff ya 'it' happened! You never forget a moment like that.

But it's been all downhill from there. Inter has mimicked the career arc of the Foo Fighters. They reached the pinnacle with the Colour and the Shape, but since then the band has released a steady stream of disappointing albums, and are hardly relevant.

This is a big year for Inter. If it fails to impress this season then the club is danger of joining the ranks of Serie A has-beens where it's no longer a serious contender for the Scudetto and fans are forced to reminisce about past glories to numb the reality of the current situation. A giant can fall off its perch and fail to return to those dizzying heights. It can happen. It's happening to the University of Michigan in football right now.   

This current team can be remembered as just one of the many Mickey Mouse outfits of the last couple of years or it can be the catalyst for the club's resurgence. It could go either way at this point. Viewer discretion is advised.