Thursday January 3 2013
Reservations about Rocchi

Inter have acted decisively in the January window, but is Tommaso Rocchi what their ailing attack needs? Scott Fleming doubts it.

Inter’s need of a vice-Diego Milito has been abundantly clear from the moment the last transfer window closed, till the moment this one opened.

El Principe is the only Nerazzurri player to have started every Serie A game this season. On those rare occasions when he has been unavailable or rested, Andrea Stramaccioni has been forced to shove second striker Rodrigo Palacio into an unfamiliar centre-forward role, or call upon the promising but raw Marko Livaja – the 19-year-old who underlined the need for reinforcement up front with a staggering open goal miss against Genoa just before Christmas.

Their decisiveness in identifying and recruiting their target, just a few days into 2013, therefore has to be commended.  But is the new man the right man?

The Gazzetta dello Sport’s Luca Calamai certainly seems to think so. “Tommaso Rocchi is 35 but physically intact. He knows how to live as a luxury reserve in a great team. He knows the art of counter attack, the weapon most welcome at Inter. And he will cost a little more than €1m between fee and wages.”

Buying a back-up striker is a tricky business. You want someone good, but not too good. Someone who can be relied upon to make an impact off the bench or in the event of injury, but who won’t rock the boat and demand a transfer elsewhere during long spells of inactivity.

Rocchi ticks most of the boxes, but there is nonetheless a sense that Inter have set their sights a little too low with his purchase.

“The call from Inter has arrived at the right moment for him to finish his playing days in the right manner,” said the player’s agent Oscar Damiani yesterday, and few could begrudge him his wish for a swansong. A loyal servant to Lazio for eight years, Rocchi’s commitment and attitude have never been in question. But the days when he could be expected to ripple the net with any regularity are long gone.

Not since 2007-08, when his partnership with ex-Nerazzurro Goran Pandev at Lazio was in its pomp, has the Venetian hit double figures in Serie A. His cumulative total for the last three and half top flight campaigns stands at 14.

Before bringing Juventus’ 49 game unbeaten run to an end in November, Inter averaged two goals a game. Since then, the figure is 1.14.

Milito, Palacio and Antonio Cassano – more often than not Strama’s first choice attack – haven’t scored in the League since early December, mid-November and late October respectively.

These statistics suggest that rather than someone who can offer Milito a little respite from time to time, the Serpenti require someone who can offer the current front three some competition, some incentive to buck up.

Rocchi is not the man to provide it. 

Have your say...
Scott, youre missing the point. You work for so its understandable.

A team is very unlikely to get a solid striker, willing to play backup, in January, plus they dont have the funds.

Rocchi can still score goals when called on, fit despite his years, and doesnt mind being sub.

He is exactly what Inter need, and can afford at this time.

In summer he will retire or leave, and Inter will look to rebuild, but for this 6 months, he is what they need.
on the 6th January, 2013 at 3:13pm
I still remember when Rocchi's hat trick against Juve, 3-3, when Trezeguet also did hat trick saying "I've never failed to win a match with hat trick." It was my first and last to see double-hat-trick 3-3. He is another man born CF.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 1:54pm
Hopefully the young brigade at Inter go on loan and start playing good football, especially if they face their owners. It would be perfect karma!
on the 4th January, 2013 at 11:25am
In my books, any cover is welcome at Inter and if money is tight, then Rocchi will have to do. In an ideal world I'd have liked to have seen another defender so we never have to use Cambiasso back in defence again and a good central midfielder - also please can we not sign Frank Lampard. He may be dubbed as World Class in the EPL but he's not of Inter nor Serie A top flight standard.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 10:46am
You really have to laugh at Inter
on the 4th January, 2013 at 10:07am
I think Rocchi just a stop gap solution for Inter.We don't have to expect to much from him.Inter should aim for bigger names in transfer windows.A deadly finisher and a real poacher.Lewandowski and Damiao suit that but I think we don't have enough maoney to take them.Take a look at Pierre Erick Aubameyang.He's quite worthy..
on the 4th January, 2013 at 7:49am
It's clearly a short-term transfer to add a bit of depth. No, he won't be a regular, but he is a proven goalscorer and will do in till the summer. Hopefully, Inter get a young player like Leandro Damaio in the summer. And hopefully they get a decent fee for Sneijder, too, to help fund it.
As for the criticism of Livaja's miss, that's a bit harsh! The ball came at him quickly from a short way out. Any top striker could have missed it.
on the 3rd January, 2013 at 10:14pm
Anonymous so what your saying is we're better off wasting 1 million (300k + 700k wages). We need champs lge do you really think Rocchi will improve our squad and give us that extra push for the champs lge places, even Lazio fans would find it hard to believe that, I think if there was no one available i.e Llorente or G Rossi then we're better off saving the cash we have for next season, quality is needed in January. I wish Rocchi luck none the less.
on the 3rd January, 2013 at 9:25pm
It is just a temporary measure until seasons end, a very good piece of business IF Inter sign a top player for mid which I think is the reason they did not invest up front as the idea is to bring in a top class striker in summer who Milito will be vice to.
on the 3rd January, 2013 at 7:33pm
@ Wasim + Scott Fleming.

Inter doesn't have the fund to compete with other clubs for a youth striking option. Not even close, and although they will in the future, the current youthful striking options are either too expensive or seriously underwhelming atm.

Rocchi is a stop-gap till the guard needs to be permanently changed.

Inter has a clear strategy, to build the midfield first, to set the defense for the future, and to get strikers as they need them since they are dependent on form.
on the 3rd January, 2013 at 5:25pm
Being a Inter fan, I'm staggered to see why we haven't invested in a younger more energetic player- yes we need champions league for next season and Milito does not guarantee goals but Rocchi at 35yo does not guarantee goals with his strike rate. If we could do with someone to be sold this January please let it be Branca! Only he knows what he's doing...Can't I file a petition against this guy.
on the 3rd January, 2013 at 4:26pm
From Lazio sub to Inter sub!!!
on the 3rd January, 2013 at 4:02pm
hope lazio's new vice klose will not be like inter's vice milito
on the 3rd January, 2013 at 2:11pm

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