Wednesday July 17 2013
Inter-esting times ahead

Inter endured a season to forget in 2012-13 and will be aiming to improve under the guidance of Walter Mazzarri and with their exciting talents. Luca Cetta writes.

A ninth placed finish and no European football wasn’t what the Nerazzurri doctor ordered. Inter’s lacklustre season and subsequent decision to sack Andrea Stramaccioni means they start again. They are preparing for a voyage into the unknown at Alpine resort Pinzolo, with questions – and perhaps a quiet degree of optimism – surrounding their playing stocks and new Coach Walter Mazzarri.

As per the last few transfer campaigns, Inter are looking long-term while departing from the high-earners. Gone are Antonio Cassano and Dejan Stankovic, while Walter Gargano returns to Napoli. Although intriguingly the Beneamata also parted with two budding talents in Giulio Donati and Luca Caldirola, who move to German pair Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen respectively.

Inter’s two major summer signings confirm the renewal process. Mauro Icardi was the subject of interest from a number of clubs following his breakthrough at Sampdoria. Only 20, the Argentine ended last term with 10 goals, enough to convince the Nerazzurri into a co-ownership agreement.

Despite just 31 Serie A games under his belt, Icardi is not overawed.“Mazzarri promised me I’ll be important for Inter and I hope that I don’t let him down. Taking on the No 9 is an important challenge at a side like Inter, but I am not afraid. I want to score many goals and help fight for the Scudetto.”

Another attacking acquisition is Ishak Belfodil, also on a co-ownership basis, from Parma. He’s only scored eight goals in his career, but all came at the Stadio Ennio Tardini last term. The signings do raise the question of what to immediately expect from the pair, but aiding their development will be experienced pair Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio. Ruben Botta will have to wait a little longer to debut following a serious knee injury in March, but the 23-year-old former Tigre man comes with a reputation for being a highly skilled attacking player.

The Mazzarri impact will be something to keenly gauge. The tactician felt his cycle at Napoli – he twice led the club to the Champions League, plus their first trophy since 1990 – was over. Known for his high discipline and affinity for a defensive trio, his immediate concern is to gel the system and squad.

It may not suit somebody like Andrea Ranocchia, but does the engines of likely wingbacks Yuto Nagatomo and Jonathan. Assisting Mazzarri in making the transition smoother is another new face, Hugo Campagnaro. The Argentine has been led by Mazzarri since 2007 at Sampdoria. “I know Mazzarri perfectly by now, as this is my seventh pre-season training camp with him,” said Campagnaro at his Press Conference. “I must try to help the others who have never had to assimilate those details before, as they are crucial.”

On Sunday he further commented on Mazzarri’s pre-season programme. “We are doing all we can on strength and tactics. Mazzarri has got results with a three-man defence for a long time, so I hope we continue with it.”

The tactician’s early work has impressed the squad. Fredy Guarin, Belfodil and Samir Handanovic offered words of praise. The Colombian believes results will come with Mazzarri at the helm: “We need to make the most of the fact we’re lucky enough to work with him, and if we all do so, results will no doubt follow.”

Mazzarri is not immediately targeting the Scudetto, but hopes for patience. “A fan asked me to win the Scudetto and I said ‘give me time and I’ll get there.’ I want to be a point of reference and do things seriously, not someone who spins a line.”

They may have finished ninth, but there’s talent in the squad. Handanovic was superb last season. Guarin impressed in a variety of midfield positions. Meanwhile, youngster Mateo Kovacic integrated seamlessly into the team. The No 10 is still a teenager but has already displayed his burgeoning ability.

So what can Inter realistically target this term? For President Massimo Moratti and the supporters, European qualification will be a sign of progression. Handanovic stresses that no continental football this season could prove a blessing in disguise as they aim to improve. Reaching the Champions League would confirm that. Inter are not finished on the transfer front, with Hernanes and Mauricio Isla further targets. Fans will be hoping they can add to the squad so as to give Mazzarri the best possible chance of taking Inter back to Europe.

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Have your say...
viktoria, yes milan are so consistent, one trophy since 2007 lol. Milan are consistent...consistently bad.

You seriously think your team are not mediocre. You have won nothing for a while now. Your best players jump as soon as they find something better a bit like an unwanted girlfriend that you date to pass time until you find someone better.

The fact you actually think milan have a good team shows just how low your standards are. Support Juve son
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 1:13pm
arash and ferban, you two clowns should learn to read properly or perhaps i shoudl simplify my comments for you. I meant inter will finish in some EL spot and get punished by Tottenham the following season. And Arash, never call me darling again you creep.
on the 23rd July, 2013 at 12:36pm
Please Moratti sign Branca to a 20 year contract Extension! Please make it happen. With Branca as GM we will ensure that Inter sucks for the next 20 years and as Inter sucks Serie A gets better. Hopefully we can win back the 4th CL spot and Inter never gets close to 4th place AGAIN. Spend your $$ by overpaying for guys like SILVESTRE&SCHELOTTO who by the way cost more than Llorente-tevez-Pirlo COMBINED! Mou is no longer there to do your job & now U SUCK AT IT!!!
on the 22nd July, 2013 at 1:50pm
Also, this team doesn't need any more CM's. They have a million, even if Kuzmanovic does leave. Cambiasso, Guarin, Kovavic are 3 first choice guys for 3 spots. Add Mudingayi (backup), Botta (tho he can play SS), the young guys, Duncan and Laxalt and even Mbaye. Plus Obi and Alvarez are currently still there. I don't know if you need another first choice. At least get someone different than the guys you currently have. Plus, Zanetti will come back...tho he can play 5 positions.
on the 21st July, 2013 at 7:11pm
I do not understand why Mazzari is not targeting Christian Maggio. There isn't a truer winback in all of football. Isla is a box-to-box midfielder who can play as a wingback (not ideal as a RB tho). Maggio was also at Sampdoria with Mazzari. I don't know if Napoli just won't sell, but Maggio could have issues playing as a true RB in Benitez's system, especially opposite Pablo Armero. Zungia is a better choice there. God forbid Benitez tries to use Maggio or Zuniga as the winger.
on the 21st July, 2013 at 7:03pm
@7Stelle d'Oro wrote:

@chalon: Fully agree, Inter is finally moving in the right direction - Triple Winners in 2010, 2nd Place in 2011, 6th in 2012 and 9th in 2013. Please keep on moving for Serie A's sake ;o))

on the 21st July, 2013 at 5:01am
chalon please be quiet as you do not know what you are talking about .juve made the champions league final 3 years in a row in the 90s . quess they cheated there also . jeez u are not very smart . inter did cheat and the court was made up of ex inter officials so obviously they would hold info back but thats all done now . inter fans just need to know their place which is usually 3rd on the table or lower lol . their rightful place and come on you guys know it . back to nothing 4 u as usual lol.
on the 20th July, 2013 at 9:29pm

Listen son. Let me enlighten you because clearly you a massive drop out. Consistency is what counts. Milan has consistency. Mediocre team? Ha! Just cause we don't have psg or real or barca roster doesn't make a team mediocre. The mix of experience, urge to succeed from youngsters, and unique players such as balotelli( who clearly is better then you think) make a good team. Italian league has always been competitive. Pathetic try dominator. "Try" read a book for once?
on the 20th July, 2013 at 7:40am

Darling you cannot be for real. So much garbage....Inter are not in Europe!! Where do you get your info....your rear end?? If you want to troll sweety you must do better!!
on the 19th July, 2013 at 6:52pm
@chalon: Fully agree, Inter is finally moving in the right direction - Triple Winners in 2010, 2nd Place in 2011, 6th in 2012 and 9th in 2013. Please keep on moving for Serie A's sake ;o))
on the 19th July, 2013 at 5:05pm
Juve fans are pathetic.
Here os the Truth... while Moggi was actually CHEATING, getting refs to help them, what Inter did wrong was Facjetti calling the designator and complaining or bringing up what was happening... he shouldn't have done that, but to say Inter also cheated is a pathetic way for Juve fans to try an bring Inter down to their level. Each case was completely different. Your club was the real dirty one. Hell, all it takes is watching matches in the 90s to know.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 4:33pm
Every team has a cycle & inter seems to look into's time for inter to change & give young talent to shine for approximately long time.inter has choice to use oldguards but what moratti sees in a long run to improve because not many italians youngsters want to improve with inter as they sees inter not an italian club. But for inter this not an issue & that's why they're spending on foreign youngsters. So cut off the italian blood & u'll see how inter progress as an worldwide club.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 4:23pm

You do realise Inter can't get "punished" (4-4, it was. Hardly punished) by Spurs in the Europa League again this season, don't you?

They're not in it.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 3:16pm
@ kristian Let me ask you a simple question..what's harder to do: A-Beat a last place team or B-Qualify for Champion's league ? Obviously B is harder to do but if you can't do A what makes you think you can accomplish B ? Strama was a great coach, the management is defective. Inter sold Thiago Motta 2 years ago and they crumbled, last year they sold Sneijder and they crumbled. Who will it be this year ?
on the 19th July, 2013 at 3:15pm
I never shy away from calling myself a fan of a club because they are losing, either. If I were an Inter supporter I would say so. But, my team is doing very well, thanks for your concern. That you attack me personally instead of bringing an actual argument is very pathetic. Sad when all you can bring to the table is name calling and dishonest arguments - like how angry I am supposed to be, yet of the two of us only I seem to be able to calmly hit the space bar with regularity.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 2:40pm
"Inter were found to have cheated the most during Calciopoli"

This is untrue and part of the inherent delusion of RuBe supporters. RuBe's own lawyers admitted that everything RuBe was accused of was true.
There were no charges made against Inter even though there was an attempt to being charges during the statute of limitations. Nothing could be officially found by the prosecutor, which was why he left the parting shot only a week after those limitations were up.
Unlike some other club...
on the 19th July, 2013 at 2:31pm
All this haters, especially Juve fans, was to be expected. They are on a high right now and they are horrible winner, no respect, pathetic fans.
Fact is, Inter is moving in the right direction finally. And we should do better this year. The mercato is not over and we are still planning on getting another 3 players at least.
And Inter fans don't count out a Scudetto bidding.
Let the haters talk, the reality happens on the pitch, and I feel confident this year we'll be able to enjoy.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 2:13pm
badmus, anonymous, abullah, you three should huddle together and comfort eachother at the end of the season when inter once again finish somewhere near mid table getting punished by teams like tottenham in the europa league.

I can sense the tone in your comments that you don't even mean your fighting words, you know you are going to lose to the mighty juventus. You should all be thanking juve, if it wasnt for them serie a would be even more boring then it already is.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 12:28pm
viktoria, have you ever heard the saying, if you're not first you're last. So the last twocampaigns for you have been a failure. Also, what have milan won since 2007? a scudetto with no rivals?

As for "this team has potential" i see that your god galliani's words have penetrated your thick skull. The players you listed are mediocre. Even balo, his personality is why he is known.

Now cue your hissy fit
on the 19th July, 2013 at 12:23pm
dont know what makes you think mazarri is a good coach . only people who are true inter fans know what they are in for . inter was and will always be inferior to juve and milan . inter is not winning anything this season or next . that guy from indonesia or wherever is not coming to inter anymore .inter has no hope and they are exactly where the world is used to seeing them . nowhere near juventus .
on the 19th July, 2013 at 11:20am
@Anonymous...By the way I would never shy away from calling myself a fan of a club just because their losing.U conveniently did that by saying "if I were an Inter fan"....So Pathetic.It's also satisfying to feel the anger and frustration let out by you.Just goes to show how Juve are doing such a great job.Hahaha I can't believe you mentioned salary cap..well that goes to show how confused you are.By the way Juve dropped points against Inter due to complacency and nothing else.With their minds on Bayern Munich,they still beat you up.Only Milan didn't beat you.Sarcasm seems not to be your area of expertise else u would've known "17 years" actually means eternity.Please the next time Inter are mentioned,don't associate them with the word talent(they can't co-exist).Mazzari is busy showing u the reality of the situation yet U choose to be stubborn.Goodluck with that.Its a shame u don't have a name.Would've loved to remind u at the end of the season how right I was.Juve's class is permanent..Get that into your empty brain
on the 19th July, 2013 at 11:20am

" Inter will win another 5 Scudetti, a Treble, and the Champions League AGAIN? "

how would u supposed to do this if the law are fair and square? you did worse than juve milan and others during calciopoli... and yet you glorified your team as they did nothing wrong.

your fake treble , fake scudetti, in-chea-ter should go to lega pro for violating sporting fraud!

ignorance at its best lol
on the 19th July, 2013 at 11:17am

The fact that you think "Milan supporter should jump over to the other ship, and join juve" proves how disloyal you are as a supporter. I'm 100% sure Milan will win CL before Juve do. CL progress has allows been Milan's strength.

Curva Sud for life.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 11:16am

Keep dreaming bro... thanks to statutory limitations without it you all In-chea-ter fans would play in Lega Pro by now
on the 19th July, 2013 at 11:11am
All Interisti should listen to Alex Brutsche, being realistic wont hurt your already inexistent dignity and pride.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 11:08am
For all you inter haters just wait, watch and see how we destroy juventus and win de scudeto comeay 2014
on the 19th July, 2013 at 6:39am
enemies of inter will fail at last. If nt for d injury woes that we had last season, who is juve and napoli? Signing mazzari, icardi and belfodil shows that we are ready for this season.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 1:02am
@ lugullo enterprise - yeah we have lost 4 games to bottom team in the last three years. But I can point out all embarrassing losses for the big teams. Last season after the injuries we struggled to beat anyone, then 2 years ago, was a year after we won the treble and was european champion. Saying a last place is stronger then the euro champion? Thats old history. Wev cut down our salaries, wev got new and important blood, and a great manager, something we havent had since mourinho.
on the 19th July, 2013 at 12:08am
Milan are no longer the team they were and, unless hell freezes over, they won't revert to winning ways anytime soon. Can someone tell me when inter were actually good bar calciopoli and the jomo years? It's a shame that juve is the only contemporary team in serie a and is the only team keeping fans of other leagues paying attention to serie a. The only other team that looks progressive is Napoli. Milan and inter supporters, jump tothe juve ship. Grass is greener over here
on the 18th July, 2013 at 5:31pm
Also I think Juve have done great transfer business as have Fiorentina, Roma, and I still believe Milan will be very competitive with the team they have. Italian league is not that far behind other leagues, and I believe the premier league is overblown, which reflects on the national team that can't pass the ball against big sides. Spain has only 2 teams, Germany also 2 teams. Serie A is not what it was, and I'm proud they have not sold out like most premier teams and now Psg and Monaco.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 5:12pm

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