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Friday March 1 2013
A problem waiting to happen

John CarewRuud Van Nistelrooy? Alex Mott questions how wise Inter were to think they didn’t needed a back-up for Diego Milito during the transfer window.

It was a routine European win. Rodrigo Palacio scored twice as Inter defeated Romanian side CFR Cluj at San Siro. The game itself, however, could prove to be the point the Nerazzurri’s season fell apart.

As Diego Milito went down in a heap inside the first 10 minutes, it was fairly clear to everyone what had happened. “I saw him make an unnatural movement with his leg,” teammate Fredy Guarin said after the match. “I saw his face, so I could tell it was serious straight away. He landed awkwardly and twisted it horribly.”

It was only an operation, and hundreds of messages later, that the full magnitude of the injury finally struck the club – not only had they lost their best striker for the rest of the season, but they were extremely threadbare up top.

Antonio Cassano has obvious class, but eight League goals and a patchy injury record means he can’t always be relied upon when it matters most. Palacio initially hit the ground running after joining from Genoa last summer, but no goals in five matches is a worry when your side are relying on your predatory instincts for a Champions League spot. And then there’s Tommaso Rocchi, who’s started all of two games after signing from Lazio.

One striker injury-prone, another goal-shy and the other hardly used – it’s not a roster that inspires great confidence. But despite that, President Massimo Moratti was clear that no free agents would be brought in to fill the gap. “We don't like to think about these things 12 hours on from an injury like that, but I can categorically rule out the chances of bringing anyone else in,” he stated.

“I don't think the team will crumble now and I actually think this will give us more strength to play well because the injuries are starting to mount up. We need to keep going and keep winning. We need to stay in the Europa League and secure third place in Serie A.”

The sentiment was clear, but that didn’t stop rumours circulating that the Beneamata were in fact lining up a centre-forward on a short-term deal. And when he arrived in Milan, no one could quite believe it.

John Carew had been released by West Ham United at the end of last season for not being good enough in England’s second tier – now the 33-year-old was being given a chance at one of Italy’s biggest and grandest clubs. That was until he failed a medical and was sent on the next plane home.

It was perhaps a lucky escape for the Nerazzurri, but there have been stories since of a move for former Manchester United man Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

The irony, however, is that Inter had two forwards at their disposal just waiting to be given their chance at the highest level. Samuele Longo, 21, has been on-loan at Espanyol since the start of the campaign, and although clearly not the finished article – just three La Liga goals shows that – he is surely better than an over-the-hill former great?

Then there’s Marko Livaja. Sold in a co-ownership deal with Atalanta in January, the 19-year-old has already shown, given the chance, he can produce at the highest level in Italy – scoring two in a 3-2 loss to Roma last weekend. And his Europa League exploits for the Nerazzurri earlier this term – four strikes in six matches – means he is currently second-top goalscorer for them in the competition.

Milito’s injury was a shocking and unfortunate accident, but the current striker crisis was staring the club in the face all along. If Inter don’t make the top three because of a lack of goals, then it was bad business off the pitch, not on it, that will cost them. 

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Have your say...
Gjb, I'm not sure wenger omitted bendtner from the team purely on ability. Bendtner had made snide comments which led to a fall out with wenger. Then u have anelka, who is a decent player. Unlike inter, juve r competing in the cl and we need players with that experience. What exactly does rocchi bring? I would rather have bendtner then rocchi. At the end of the day, juve have done well with their strikers when contrasted with inter.
on the 4th March, 2013 at 12:00am
BOSS,Bendtner's problem wasn't competing with RVP. Wenger bought Chamakh, Gervinho,Podolski and Giroud despite having him on the books. Even with RVP gone Wenger still doesn't want Bendter. Heck, Sunderland and Birmingham didn't want him either. I doubt an independent observer would see Anelka and Bendtner as adding meaningful diversity to the team.The fact is that juve signed two EPL outcasts while inter didn't. Nothing you say will change that.
on the 3rd March, 2013 at 9:44pm
Gjb, although inter did not sign carew because he failed a medical, had he not, they would have. The fact inter want to sign such players says to me that inter r clueless. With bendtner and anelka, as I said bendtner is a decent player. Competing with van Persie for a place isn't easy. Anelka was a good player for Chelsea. I dnt follow Chinese football so i don't know what he did out there. But we signed him for experience, he is cheap, and he has cl experience. Juve have a diverse strike, u dnt
on the 3rd March, 2013 at 3:00pm
Agree fully with Henry453, whoever wrote the blog is being a tad foolish dubbing Cassano as an out and out striker like Milito.

It's obvious that for once Moratti is looking at his purse strings in the same way Milan were when they first began "balancing books" and not buying in replacements.

Sure while doing this the team will be temporarily surpassed by other teams but once the sensible signings and rebuilding takes place, Inter will be a force again. Just ride out the storm. Forza Inter.
on the 3rd March, 2013 at 1:33pm
BOSS,I didn't try to discredit what juve has done so far this season. They are the best team in Italy. We were not talking about whether juve is better than inter. You were criticizing inter for giving carew a TRIAL, inter didn't sign him, he didn't stay past the first day. I am just pointing out that juve has done worst than inter in this regard by signing bendtner and anelka. Bendtner was a flop at arsenal and a minor success at a low level english club. When last was anelka relevant????
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 8:12pm
Gjb, juve must be doing something right, we are on top. Inter can't afford to be so stupid on the transfer market. Your absence from the cl this year and next season is indicative of a club in decline. Lazio and Napoli have overtaken inter in Italy.

I feel sorry for u gjb, if that was happening to juve, I wud not be happy either.
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 6:34pm
Gjb, anlka and bendtner r from top divisision teams. Carew is not. Juve were entering cl, didnt have a big budget, so purchased a young player who did ok at the World Cup. Anelka is still a good player. Where is the logic for inter trying to sign Carew? He was not in the World Cup, he has never been a big player. Reality is, inter r clueless. U sold sneijder and eto, and did not replace them. Since home left, u flopd
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 6:31pm
@GJB
If memory serves me right Juve had one of the best attacks last season, if im not mistaken it's the same this season. With or without the two players we are scoring goals. Nuff said!

Talk about stones & glass houses mate, didn't Inter bring in a Lazio flop? Don't try to deflect mistakes your club made on the transfer market by attacking Juve's transfer policy.

As i said, it happens it could have happened to any club in Serie A. We at least have alternatives even if they are poor!
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 5:40pm
@ juvefanatico
Good attempt to explain the purchase of those two flops but they were bought because juve needed strikers that could score goals. Bendtner has been injured for most of the season and anelka is not going to contribute much. juve fans are the last ones to talk about bad purchases. You have two of the worst for the season in your locker room.
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 3:04pm
Inter seem to be paying the price for having a treble winning team which was comprised so many players who in their late 20s. However I would also point out the likes of coutinho santon balotelli who were shipped off for one reason or another added to that cash which was wasted from the sales of eto motta and co. I would argue however that it is almost impossible to find someone who could force a fit milito on to the bench who is cheap and young
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 2:51pm
I think that Moratti made a gamble in thinking that Inter could get through the season without any viable alternative for Milito and it back fired on him. It could have happened to any club in Serie A. Still it could cost Inter the CL spot.
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 2:32pm
@GJB
I wouldn't put to much value on what Boss has to say, his comments are mostly irrelevant. However your observation of Juve's transfers is correct... Juve did bring in two EPL rejects. However based on their playing time it is clear they were brought as a safety net without any intention of them making an impact on Juve's game. Inter on the other side made an amateur mistake in the summer & in January. Carew's rejection has made it even more clear that they need someone to make an impact.
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 2:23pm
What were they thinking in sending Livaja away, not that he Messi, but he is pretty promising player, and they SHOULD have seen this coming. Milito has been injured for long periods last couple of seasons,they had backup and gave him away, so unprofessional of Inter.

But ok, this is the Inter we used to know before calciopoli, no structure or long term planning at all.

They dont need referees to ruin it for them, they are doing it all themselves.
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 12:48pm
To get all things even worst , today I just read it, there was a fight between strama and cassano in training and stankovic with cordoba stop it !!!!!!! As for the topic , managment made a lot of mistakes and should not do it again by signing a free dead strikers , they need six month to get in shape , promot one of primavira strikers
on the 2nd March, 2013 at 8:37am
It is mismanagement typical of the Moratti era. While I'm grateful for the huge amounts of his own money he has pumped in to the club over the years, so much has been wasted. So many average players bought for vast sums and give huge wages then knee jerk reaction cost cutting.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 10:31pm
BOSS, in your haste to bash Inter and them turning to Carew you seem to have forgotten that your beloved Juve turned to not one but two outcasts from the Premier League in Anelka and Bendtner. Both of which have had no impact. At least Inter didn't sign Carew. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Juve.

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones my friend!!!
on the 1st March, 2013 at 9:17pm
Ok let me deliver the bad news. Inter r crap. Now that juve r back inter have scurried away under a rock. When you rely on a second tier player from England, then u have it bad and u know your club has caught loseritis. Moratti is a fool. He has really messed that club up. It was bad enough as it was. Shud never have sold eto and then brought in pathetic managers.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 8:16pm
when will italian clubs learn - develop and keep your young

to get carew shows the stupidity of club management

these club managers are on how much

Morratti - gives us a call and i will hand you all 3 trophies, league, champions and coppa

first of all get an italian defence

second get a play maker and winger

third do not buy anyone over 23
on the 1st March, 2013 at 7:38pm
The fact is Inter needs to stop giving their youth players away for peanuts. Clearly Inter has one of the best youth academies in Italy and Europe judging by their dominance of the youth championship and their NextGen triumph. Also, look at all the future/curent stars that have left the club: Balotelli, Santon, Destro, Longo, and now Livaja. They need to hold on to those players rather than trade them for average players like Schelotto.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 7:37pm
you discuss 8 goals like it is nothing. Cassano is a second striker, and so goes deep, and creates play, and so 8 goals in his position is pretty good i'd say. you should differentiate between different types of strikers, so you are not discussing cassano in the same way you discuss milito. they are completely different players, so even if cassano was 100% fit all the time, you would still need to find cover for milito.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 7:15pm
The answer simple: bring forth the youth player. inter has nothing much to lose really. this is the stage where they should make the most of potential youth player they got. if they are good then keep them for the future sake. other clubs might come knocking if they got potential, so sell. its a win-win situation. theres no need to buy a new one or a former great! Lvaja and Longo are potential players..!!
on the 1st March, 2013 at 5:23pm
It has certainly been amateur hour at Inter. Milito is a great player, but has been injury prone for a few seasons now. Cassano is always going to struggle to complete 90 minutes. Palacio is useful, but not top class. Longo & Livaja should have been retained. Had they stayed, then Inter wouldn't be looking like a beggar searching bins for scraps. Let us hope that they learn from this, and next season have more faith in the young players that won the next-gen cup.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 3:58pm
We didn't need a back up center forward we needed a new one because milito is not able to play all the games anyway.

Branca made a mistake when he didn't get Cavani from Palermo when we had the chance. Now Napoli have become a stronger team based on him.

However, I believe a solution is Scholetto who did well in the area against milan. He has pace, Stature and is good in the air. Play him up front and rotate cassano and palacio so they are not over worked.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 3:34pm
This has been completely overblown. Yes, Milito is our best striker. However, Cassano has 11 goals in all competitions, and Palacio has 16 goals in all competitions. Yes, in Serie A he has gone dry in the past few games but that is normal with a striker. If Strama continues to play PLAYMAKERS like Alvarez and Schelotto .. the chances will come, the goals will be had. The Livaja deal made way for Schelotto, and that will prove to be a better deal than keeping Livaja. Schelotto is a great addition
on the 1st March, 2013 at 3:29pm
It was obvious before Milito got injured that they needed someone. Livaja as back-up was ok by me. But now Rocchi is the only centre-forward. If Palacio or Cassano get injured then they can probably forget about the top 3.
In the summer Leandro Damaio would make a good signing, backed up by a fit-again Milito. But they'll only be able to sign the likes of Damaio if they're in the CL.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 1:24pm

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