Friday November 9 2012
Inter, forget about Europe!

As Inter qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League, Alex Mott explains why the Nerazzurri have to abandon their hopes of winning the competition for the greater good.

As far as hostile footballing atmospheres go, Belgrade is probably up there. The Partizan stadium with its flares and wall of sound can lay claim to being one of the least enjoyable away trips in Europe.

The fact then that Inter came away from Serbia with a resounding 3-1 win is testament to what they have become under Andrea Stramaccioni – a resolute side that can score goals. Rodrigo Palacio bagged two second half strikes and Fredy Guarin sealed the win with a late one of his own.

It was a successful Thursday night for the Nerazzurri, as they qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa League and continued their winning run that stretches all the way back to September.

New signings have bedded into the squad supremely well – Samir Handanovic had another excellent game, Alvaro Pereira is proving an astute arrival down the left, Palacio and Guarin both arrived less than a year ago.

Everything looks rosy in the San Siro side's garden then – a young boss with the world at his feet, a team with genuine title credentials and cross-city neighbours becoming a laughing stock.

Not since the Jose Mourinho days have things looked this bright for Massimo Moratti's men. So why then could Thursday night spell the end to all this goodwill?

We've seen it time and again across the continent – juggling the demands of a European campaign and a domestic one is nigh on impossible. Over the past 20 years, only four teams have won the Europa League/UEFA Cup in the same year they won their own League title.

Porto did it. Galatasaray were another. CSKA Moscow as well. Only Valencia have won that particular double whilst in a major European League.

Last season none of the finalists in the Champions League or the Europa League were League champions. Chelsea didn't even finish in the top four. Bayern Munich finished eight points behind Borussia Dortmund. Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao were two and nine points respectively outside La Liga's top four.

Unless you're a Barcelona or a Manchester United, it simply can't be done. Inter, today not as strong as their treble winning team, are a good side. They could be great. But they just don't have the depth to deal with the rigours of a two-pronged assault.

They proved last weekend they can be considered Serie A contenders. The Nerazzurri defeated a Juventus side who had gone 49 matches unbeaten. It bares repeating again – 49 games without losing a single one. And Stramaccioni's men were fully deserving of the win. No dodgy decisions. No contentious calls. This was 90 minutes of pure dominance.

Playing Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti for the entirety in Belgrade though, just undermines all that good work in Turin.

The last 32 of the Europa League starts in February. Inter have to play Fiorentina and a Milan derby over that period. Get to the last 16, and the fixtures immediately following their European jaunts are Sampdoria away and the arrival of Juve in Lombardy.

If they want to win Serie A, Inter have to abandon Europe's second club competition. Play the youngsters, gain experience and focus fully on knocking Antonio Conte's side off their perch.

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Have your say...
Inter would not be where they are in Serie A at the minute if it wasn't for referee's being Inter fans. I am a Roma fan, and we have had many decisions against us this season, but most of our losses have been because o defensive fragility, playing two young brazillians in defence is not the best idea, but i have taken to Zemans return of relentless all-out attack football, but anyway, inter can go for the europa league nd still do well in Serie A with the help of Italy's incredibly bad refereein
on the 14th November, 2012 at 11:04am
This is about the daftest blog I've seen here....Inter should forgo the Europa league? The Bundesliga is where it is today because they took the Europa league serious..Inter dominated Juventus for 9omins?what a schmuck..Inter will crumble before long.If y'all remember last season,they had a remarkable winning spell before they crumbled.Its gonna be dèjá vu this season.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 10:16am
I can understand the view of the author. Any Interisti must have this crossed their mind too. But judging from the comments coming from Interisti, most of us want the team to fight in all competition (Serie A, EL & Coppa).

Strama and the club will have to choose wisely depending on the situation. I hope we will fight and succeed in all fronts but if choices need to be made, then my vote go to the Serie A, as we need to finish at the minimum in 2nd place to quality directly to CL next season.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 7:53am
this author is a not soo smart
on the 12th November, 2012 at 5:31am
No EL means no 4th CL spot. Crazy article.
on the 11th November, 2012 at 7:20pm
I am from Pakistan but i love Serie A more than any other league in the world...

It pains me to see any Italian team lose, it pains me to see empty stadiums, but the attitude "go to lose" or forget this competition or other pains me even more!!! Better to die like a lion than a lamb

Forza Azzuri and Forza Inter
on the 11th November, 2012 at 5:18pm
I see what you are doing. You and Susy are deliberately making such weak arguments, so even younger people can argue the opposite. More comments, better rating for your blog. Diminishing the strength of your arguments against getting more comments? I don't know... In a long run you will be remembered just as lousy blogger...
on the 11th November, 2012 at 9:59am
Strange article. Italy needs that 4th spot back. Inter are through, so by all means put out the reserves for the last 2 games in the group, but in the knockouts, they should really go for it. And that goes for the other 3 too. Inter and Napoli easily have the squads to win this thing. Why not do it?
on the 10th November, 2012 at 11:17pm
No Italian team has reached the final of this competition since 1999, I say win the whole damn thing, and help continue to peg back the gap of uefa coeffient.

I hate inter but love italian football and if inter winning helps italian football then why not!

I also hope Juve and Milan can not only escape their CL groups but both get to QF min and at least one progress. Any one of 3-5 teams could win Serie A.
If Inter bomb out these writers will accuse inter of not taking europa league seriously.
on the 10th November, 2012 at 8:59pm
its ok people its only susy campanale in disguise
on the 10th November, 2012 at 8:55pm
Mr. Mott's speech should be pointed to Juventus, who will be eliminated from Champions League if they can't win over Chelsea on Matchday 5. Instead of Inter who won over juve and partizan easily.
on the 10th November, 2012 at 6:15pm
This article makes my blood boil. All italians teams should try and win in europe. We ve lost 4th CL spot because of teams fielding weaker teams and not trying in europa league. I am desperate for us to return to the 90s where we dominated euro competitions every year. We must get back to where we where in the past for the good of our football. Any one who doesnt agree with this is clueless. I'm anxious about tomorrow. Forza Roma, we have to win defeat is unbearable.
on the 10th November, 2012 at 4:26pm
Lol what a stupid article along with stupid people posting. Firstly, inter were a joke this season until they played Milan. Now suddenly every1 is brown nosing them? Trust me inter wont even make the top 3 this season. As for the European competition, y do idiots keep saying "Italian teams don't try". They do try but they just get whooped cuz the football is slow and out of date. Juve is the only Italian team trying to modernise so credit to them.
on the 10th November, 2012 at 3:10pm
Italy was demonized all over the world for a Serie B betting scandal - teams trying to lose. Now, we have folks advising one of our top sides to try to lose. What a planet we have!
on the 10th November, 2012 at 3:02pm
I only think about Inter, and I completely disagree with this argument.

Its in Inter's best interest to go as far as possible in EL. This young squad needs to learn how to negotiate 2-3 competitions at a time, so that when we qualify for CL next season, we don't waste it away. Italian teams ve to learn how to be competitive in 2 fronts...

I do agree that Serie A is the focus, but Strama is so far managed the balance right. I see no reason to change that.
on the 10th November, 2012 at 1:47pm
-and I would like to add, winning the scudetto won't make a team all together great, its just add to the tally.. If so, why Juve should struggle to qualify for the CL? EL should not be any different.. Winning the league and cups will make a team great.. That what's Strama's men are trying to do.. Just trying to do it again.. Mou did it.. Why not again? FORZA INTER!!!!!!
on the 10th November, 2012 at 9:48am
I had to said it, Mr Mott here either a genuine fan or just a guy from the sad neutral corner of the Curva Nord that lack all the passion a true fan has for their team. I would like to remind everyone that, NO ONE ever said that Jose Mourinho team were a GREAT before they won the treble. So what makes you call this team to abondan its voyage for greatness? A big team like Inter had to has its OBLIGATION to its fans to win anything that's up for grabs. Europa league or else..
on the 10th November, 2012 at 9:42am
The timing of this blog is so wrong. Inter beat Partizan in the Europa League and it beat Juve in the Serie A. If anything, they have shown enough ability to juggle competitions.

The Europa League wasn't like the old UEFA Cup back in the 90s but Inter shouldn't forget Europe. If they get knocked out, so be it. If Inter keep winning, one extra trophy for Inter and for calcio doesn't hurt.

Forget these all Spanish Europa League finals! Take us back to the 90s, where Serie A reigned supreme!
on the 10th November, 2012 at 7:46am
@Viktor... No YOU don't get it (the irony), it's your way of thinking the reason why Italy lost a place in the Champions League. EL still gives you some money, if you win it you get the Super Cup, more money, and you help italy in the coefficient. Inter has a large squad for a reason.
on the 10th November, 2012 at 7:09am
What a joke, we need to do better in Europe. Pride is at stake and just winning series A is just not good enough. We need our 4 CL place back and we need to shine in Europe.

Comments like this are very sad to read and only encourage a defeatist attitude in the Italian game.

Forza Inter and go for it, we want to see stadiums full and respect from other nations for our Calcio
on the 10th November, 2012 at 5:20am
Load of crap
on the 10th November, 2012 at 3:51am
90 minutes of pure dominance? In no way did Inter dominate. Infact could have gone 2 goals down (aside from the offside goal) in opening 20mins.

Inter had a great second half, played the counter attack extremely well, definately brave, clinical and smart. But not dominating.
on the 10th November, 2012 at 2:50am
I'm a big Juventusfan, but i will support any italian team in europe.
i want inter to win the euroleague, for the coëfficient and prestigue of italian football.
Seriously, how mediocre would serie a become if playing 2 competitions is to much for a scudettocontender
on the 10th November, 2012 at 1:46am
no wonder this joker is trying to write a peice (of ....) for this illiterate website
on the 10th November, 2012 at 1:11am
It pains me to see any Italian team lose, it pains me to see empty stadiums, but the attitude "go to lose" or forget this competition or other pains me even more!!! Better to die like a lion than a lamb (wise words)
on the 10th November, 2012 at 12:09am
I'd love to say Alex Mott is an AC Milan or a Juve supporter, but as we have seen through the comments, Italian supporters have more sense, and realise the importance of European completion. And while they promote the notion of inter winning the Europa league, likewise, inter fans would love a CL final of Juventus and AC. And given the shocking state of teams in the CL this term, Bayern is the only team in form.

Given this site is actually from England, I'll say Alex is Liverpool supporter. Ew.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 11:29pm
Lets not even forget Deki who is an experienced traveller in Italian and European competition! Now, with all this depth that we already do have, plus youngsters who can already hold their own, such as Mbaye, we still have a January transfer window to strengthen and get some depth. We need a RB, and this area, plus the extra striker area, will be addressed come January. With one of the strongest defenses in the world, one can't help but be reminded of a certain treble winning side.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 11:24pm
Oh wow. Did I just read the worst advice ever given? In Belgrade, we won comfortably in the end, no Milito, barely any use of Cassano, no rannochia, no Samuel. And all that combined with the use of the shockingly useless Silvestre and Jonathon. Lets not forget, once people return from injury, our Europa league team can boast chivu, Alvarez, coutinho, Mudingayi, obi and Sneijder. And even if any of these players get into the first team, the people they replace can easily dominate in Europa.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 11:16pm
Lol @ europa league. Couldnt care less. Well done in league by Inter but Europa league... Cmon. Focus on league avoid injuries and drained players by not putting too much effort in a league noone cares bout. This is so obvious. People who dont get this is are either youngsters or just plain n simple dumb.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 10:41pm
Is mentality like this that in Italy's football that has slowly but surely ranked us lower and lower in UEFA's co-efficient ranking and thus lost 4th place in the CL.
Unfortunately this is the approach that most Serie A teams take when it comes to Europa League...for the sake of Calcio I hope Inter takes it very seriously or else the French and Portuguese will catch up soon! And for those who say, "who cares about the EL", clearly you don't understand European football in its entirety.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 10:40pm

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