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...
It's funny how the author keeps going on about how it cannot be done, yet Inter themselves won not even three years ago not a double, but a treble. Of course it's not the same team right now, but saying it can't be done in the first place is why everyone else than Inter failed at managing a treble.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 10:24pm
Check out the Uefa coefficient rankings at present. Italy is now much closer to France and Portugal than Germany. With this approach we'll never get our 4th CL spot back. Europe has to be a priority for all Italian teams. (Europa League games carry the same value as CL when it comes to Uefa's formula).
on the 9th November, 2012 at 9:57pm
Wow, simply amazing brothers! This is what makes Italian football unique and the best. We are fans of rival teams but all know well that first we need to defend our roots, our pride and our football. Im really happy to see that although we could be rivals in SERIE A we can also agree and take a stand. FORZA SERIE A, FORZA AZZURRI, FORZA ITALIAN TEAMS! BRAVO
on the 9th November, 2012 at 9:16pm
For the greater good? Italy needs to start climbing the UEFA coefficient rankings again, and that means doing better in THIS competition. When was the last time an Italian side won this cup?
on the 9th November, 2012 at 9:08pm
on the 9th November, 2012 at 8:40pm
Play to lose? Don't want to win? No player or coach would share this philosophy. If they did, then they should quit football and become accountants.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 8:29pm
Are you kidding?????????? Inter's mentallity is to win it all!! plus Serie A can't afford to keep loosing UEFA's points
on the 9th November, 2012 at 8:22pm
What a joke.... everybody keeps saying Italy is the laughing stock in Europe as they dont guve a damn and you support that?

It is probably because of people with your opinion that we lost the 4th CL spot.

And if Juve wins te scudetto (which I still really think), Inter will probably regret if they abandoned the EL as that is a price I see them more realistically win this season.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 8:22pm
Even my nine years old cousin can write a better blog than you Alex Mott...all your blogs are terrible man...

I've been watching serie A from 1990..and never seen this beautiful competition under Premier League and Spain League like this year..and now you trying to tell us that one or more (maybe u'll write the same about this to Juve or Milan in CL) italian team should drop the european competition just because YOU THINK they incapable of winning it?
on the 9th November, 2012 at 8:20pm
If Inter have a chance to win any silverware, they should take it. If they do not then they are cheating themselves and the club. Although I would rather win the league, and I do not care much for the Europa League, if Inter get a chance to win it, they have to take it!
on the 9th November, 2012 at 8:17pm
And this is exactly why Italy lost their spot.. this mentality along with this article is stupid. I would be pissed if Inter didn't push to to win this competition and become the first ever team to win 4.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 8:16pm
on the 9th November, 2012 at 7:41pm
I cant believe this is a post from some one who claims to love Italian football.
I think Seri'A already has good number of teams who perform reasonably well in the league and so poor in Europe like Udinese,Lazio and Roma to the extent.
So let my Inter fight for every trophy that they can compete for specially Europe and get back the prestige Seri'A has lost.
AND I don't agree that they have less squad depth than Manchester.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 7:31pm
So I see that everyone disagrees with this Alex Mott. Well, thats a good thing because so do I. I am a Milan fan, but, even I want to see Inter do well in both competitions. What is good for the Serie A is good for the Serie A.

To Alex, your argument is completely flawed and you even do the nice thing by explaining why. As you said, Inter beat Juve after 49 matches and then beat P.B. away - a tough task as they come, I think your words was, 'it is up there'. So clearly they CAN juggle both.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 7:21pm
I am a Juve fan, but let me tell you I was very thankful to Inter for their 2010 exploits. I support every Italian team in Europe to the bitter end regardless of whether they are Juve's rivals or not. I want to see Italian teams back at the top of European competitions. Not so long ago, teams always feared drawing an Italian team, now drawing an Italian team is favoured as we are seen to be weak in Europe. This situation needs to be reversed.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 7:02pm
Alex, Go tell other teams to give up but not to INTER, not to the only team in this league who has won it all in 2010!. Strama is a winner, a competitor a champion. This is exactly why Mou gets angry at journalists who think they know better and try to attack the Coaches even when they are doing wonderful. Inter has heart and is a hungry team. Sure there is a risk of injuries and failure but tell me which war has been won without casualties?
on the 9th November, 2012 at 6:17pm
Oh, Mott

I forgot to tell you.

No one can knock Juve of Conte out of their throne.

Go play with a lollipop or something.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 5:54pm
how come inter doesnt have depth??? we have two excellent goalkeepers, 4 defenders while chivu out injured. 2 perfect left backs where we didnt have even one since roberto carlos. 4 midfielders and zanetti on right back. 3 fantastic attackers with 20 goals between them not forgetting livja who is not doing bad. with all the injured back (sneijder, stanco, coutinho) and some more reinforcements in the next transfer market.inter can go all the way to win even all 3 competitions,FORZA INTER!!!
on the 9th November, 2012 at 5:54pm
What a load of utter crap. The greater good is to do well in Europe and get back the 4th Champions League spot. We have lost it because of this few of the "inferior" Europa League. Yes it may not be as prestigious, but the points gained from it are just as vital for the coefficient.
The worst blog that I have read on this website.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 5:28pm
In the Last 20 years Milan and Inter have both won the CL & Serie A title and Milan and Juve have either won the CL and finished second in Serie A or Won Serie A and got to the Final of the CL on no less than 5 foruther occasions. That is good going in my book condsiering on most of those occasions were when Serie A was undisputedly the best league in the world on quality not money like the EPL and had a ton of home grown players in it as well as top foreign players. Argument does not hold water
on the 9th November, 2012 at 5:25pm
Excellent and intelligent posts by almost everyone on here. It is a pity that we are not running the Italian FA, and clubs like Palermo & Genoa! Nice to see that people still have common sense, and the ability to see the bigger picture. Kudos to you, have a great weekend, and good luck to all your teams!
on the 9th November, 2012 at 5:24pm
There is and has been only 1 Italian side that has won in Italy, Europe and the World in 1 year INTER 2010. So yes this squad is capable of doing such a thing again, it is this clubs phylosophy unlike AC or Juve who like to focus on 1 hence why they have never done this. But Inter should only attempt it for Inter not Italy as Italy is and always will be Anti-Inter even after 2010 when Inter saved Serie A single handedly in Europe to keep 4th spot Italy middle fingered Inter the following seasons
on the 9th November, 2012 at 5:09pm
Is this guy for real? Champions are champions because they try to win every match and tournament they enter... Who do you think Inter are? Chelsea? Top three in SerieA and EL winners! Forza Inter!
on the 9th November, 2012 at 4:50pm
With the logic you're proposing why not let Juventus and AC Milan give up the scudetto in order to win the champion's league? Surely the Champion's League is a more prestigious trophy than that of Serie A! Milan tried this a few years ago and failed. Napoli tried this last year, and to a certain degree, this year, and failed. Do what it takes to win any trophy, increase your revenue, attract big names. PLAYERS WANT TO PLAY FOR A WINNING TEAM.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 4:45pm
As Inter fan...

I don't care about Serie A coefficient. The 3 CL spots are there to stay and Italy won't get the 4th one back even if teams try in Europa League. That's reality.

However, I would be ashamed of my club if they started any competition or game without wanting to win it.

I would rather try at 2 fronts and lose both closely, than abandon one goal to barely win another. That's a sign of weakness and lack of belief in your own abilities.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 4:45pm
Who is this Alex Mott? Inter play badly in Europe - they get stick. They play well in Europe - they get told to ignore it and concentrate on the league.

It's a good job for the Serie A co-efficient that Inter are performing in Europe as the others all seem to be struggling!

Don't know where Football Italia unearth these so called writers from...probably the Moggi School of Learning!

How difficult is it to find a site that writes from an unbiased perspective? Might just setup my own...
on the 9th November, 2012 at 4:32pm
The reason Inter has a big squad with many options is so they can compete on the 2 fronts.

This mentality has to stop or else Italy will drop even further down the coefficient.

Thumbs down to this entry and anybody agreeing with it.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 4:22pm
I echo what (almost) everyone else is saying. We need the points in Europe or we run the risk of losing places. What chance will Serie A have of attracting top players if playing in European competitions is a dwindling prospect if you play in Italy. This whole situation hacks me off. You are killing your own league you muppets! We lost one important place because of this, soon we will lose another. The embarassing losses to teams that should be beaten is just unforgivable.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 4:04pm
Lol is this guy for real? ...... I bet you anything that Alex Mott is an EPL fan and wants to see nothing else but Italian teams doing badly in Europe. what a joke of an article. If anything Italian clubs should be pushing to win both Europa and the CL in get that forth spot again. Honestly I love football Italia but evey now and then they get some real ignorant and unqualified people writing articles on here.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 4:00pm

i think you misunderstood me. i ment that they should play EL to win it, for the greater good, the league, for our ranking in europe etc.
on the 9th November, 2012 at 3:40pm

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