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...
Inter were found to have cheated the most during calciopoli, but what saved them was that the idiots doing the trials were Inter fans. The statute of limitations having passed means Inter cannot be prosecuted now. So to say Inter never cheated is wrong. They did it big time. Also Moratti defending Facchetti because he had passed away so we should forget the whole episode is laughable.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 5:02pm
"Strengthen all you want,Inter won't be in next year's top three"

Said with the certainty of someone who is used to buying reliable results.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 4:22pm
"...the cycle that will only happen in 17 years time."

You mean that Inter will win 3 European Cups (out from the glare of RuBe owned referees) and at the end of those 17 years RuBE will cripple themselves AGAIN with their own dishonest dealings, get sent down AGAIN to Serie B (Salary cap now, dude :D!), Inter will win another 5 Scudetti, a Treble, and the Champions League AGAIN?

If I were an Inter supporter I might take that cycle. After 3 turns RuBentus might be the 3 time Serie B champion.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 4:20pm
@Uss - happy to help you "get" my point. I make it even simpler...
-Article above questions the talent at Inter
-Marcello says that there is talent at Inter because they can take points from many at the top of the table. It's a valid and on topic point.
-RuBe fan acts arrogant, especially considering RuBe has had "certain difficulties" in recent past :/. Then a dishonest straw man reply using untrue facts.

Arrogance, dishonesty and false facts. A RuBe fan response to a good point from rival.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 4:09pm
im sorry to say but you current crop of inter fans will be dead by the time inter is good again .
on the 18th July, 2013 at 3:55pm
@Kristian..Strengthen all you want,Inter won't be in next year's top three.
@Anonymous the saviour who is quick to point out they didn't lose to Catania.they lost to teams worse than Catania so I don't get ur point.
@Cradman..The only fool we all know is U.
@Anonymous who thinks Inter are untouchable when they perform.Wake up dude! U claim that Inter disposed of all those teams before they had injuries,yet they never topped the table.Your argument doesn't stand.What you ought to have said is Inter will be back when they buy all Juve players and Juve re-hire Ranieri.
@Anonymous1...Well dodgy is just another name for Inter and Moratti.Better work hard to maintain 9th place cause Parma have Cassano now.
@Marbh Fhaisc...The real question is what do you think of Juve's defence?Enjoy 9th place and the cycle that'll only happen in 17 years' time.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 2:48pm
@ kristian - May I remind you that for the Serie A team with such a high payroll you have not beaten a last place team in almost 3 years. You lost twice to Novarra 2 years ago with both Gasperini and Ranieri as coach then both times you faced Siena who was in last place both times you faced them and lost those 2 games. 0 points out of 12 against last place teams and you want to get higher than 7th place? dream on. you got better odds of an italian scoring a Hat Trick for inter than Europa League
on the 18th July, 2013 at 2:48pm
For all the haters using the economy as their only hope Inter will fail, a certain Indonesian is about to make you cry
on the 18th July, 2013 at 1:25pm
Inter at best will be a peripheral team. They're nowhere near the likes of Napoli, Milan and fiorentina and stratospheres from la Juve. Mazzarriperhaps will challenge for Europa but with guarin on that team they really need to re-think strategies because he's nothing short of a tragedy out there. He's painful to watch defensively and the braintrust should honestly think of playing him as a seconda punta because he has ZERO inclination to defend. Brutal. As for Gargano, he's gone?? They're worst
on the 18th July, 2013 at 1:24pm

Milan have ended top 3 last 3 seasons... You should do some research before you make stupid statement.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 1:10pm

Poor poor you. Ac Milan will never win anything? Educate yourself and you'll find your statement absurd. Clearly we sell players like Ibra, thiago and kaka for about 150 mill. We have a team based on youth and few stellar players.

Balotelli, ses, abate, montilivo, de scigilio, de young, niang.. List goes on.
That team has potential.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 1:09pm
Inter will be back to their they belong - middle of the table! As you see,nobody wants to go to Napoli,even Gomez preferred Fiorentina.But I strongly believe that Juve will be able to make it *** this season and stop all this bitching. FORZA JUVE!!!
on the 18th July, 2013 at 1:08pm
best thing that cxan happen this season is to make sure that youth is developed and i dnt think mazzari has a good reputation for that, inter have probably the best youth system in italy and nobody is progressing joel obi has not improved since his introduction, and many players have left, moratti needs to go becaue if you dnt want to develop youth then invest in a good squad, he is no longer in a position to do that.he has been great for inter but time to move on
on the 18th July, 2013 at 12:41pm
inter and AC are the type of teams to seel their best players for a bit of money because they are so poor they need it. Any ambitious player looking for a winning club is not goign to move to AC or inter because he knows the team will never become great because those clubs will sell the best players. If milan and inter are content to be mid tabel teams then so be it. Juve on the other hand, teams come for vidal, we say no because we want tevez and llorente to know were tryner win
on the 18th July, 2013 at 12:34pm
i would just like to open by saying i can promise you inter once again will have another poor season.

People are talking about these inter youth players becoming stars and that when they do apparently people like me will eat my words. Let me assure you, if any inter player becomes a star, the inevitable will happen, a big club will take him off inter. Inter are now a mid table team. If a team playing champions league footy comes in for those players, they will go.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 12:31pm
I am an Interista. Even with Mazzari and with some promising young signings Icardi,Belfodil etc, I think realistically 5th or 6th would be what we can aim for. Interisti need to be patient, we have old players in a number of positions and we can either start developing younger guys now(which we have kind of started already) or at the very least we finish in Europa League spots for a couple of years to make the club attractive again to prospective established players. Min. 2-3 years till Scudetto
on the 18th July, 2013 at 11:12am
It is all part of the rebuilding process, it will take a few years but it is going the right direction. Italian football is now a long way behind England, Spain and Germany, but everything goes in cycles. I wonder what Bayarn Munich thinks of Juventus's great defence. Glasgow Celtic think Juventus have a great defence..................for American football
on the 18th July, 2013 at 9:44am
Apparently playing to honor the shirt means nothing anymore. As a real inter fan, it pained me more to see HOW they lost as opposed to how many loses, or to whom. The history, silverware, and 105 years of top flight football speaks for its self. We simply must honor the shirt and all those who've worn it in the past, the results will follow. Patience with the youngsters, trust me, they WILL be household names in the near future. Forza Inter.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 4:09am
lol to all the inter haters. Just wait for next season, youl eat your words. Nobody seems to remember that inter were top 3 for half the season until january when the injuries destroyed our team. We had no strikers literally except for rocchi, and he was brought on just to help cover a few minutes here and there, not lead the attack. Our injury list was stronger than players available! With limited injuries, inter will finish top 3. and the buying isnt over, theres still a month to strengthen!
on the 18th July, 2013 at 3:51am
I like how a point that someone makes in this forum is judged just because of the team that someone supports, not the merit of the comment. An infant could see that Marcello has a point - Inter have talent to compete with the best of Serie A.

The Rude Rubentus is wrong on all points but one not surprising: 1. Inter didn't actually lose to Catania last season. 2. Samp and Inter had 2 completely different journeys last season, apples and oranges. 3. Inter need consistency.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 12:39am
Don't see anything to suggest Inter will get anywhere near CL this season. Strange decision by Mazzarri to leave Napoli for this job, he could easily be out by Christmas. Expectations greatly exceed the resources he has at his disposal.
on the 17th July, 2013 at 11:38pm
I know there is a lot of hate for inter but for the fans who support inter there is reason for optimism whether anyone wants to admit it or not inter were hit with an extreme case of the injury bug although I must say I would like to see the capture of at least one great defender and maybe a midfielder the possibility of ranocchia being sold wouldn't hurt my feelings I also believe that mazzari will add discipline to the defense which had lots of errors last season
on the 17th July, 2013 at 10:59pm
I am a milan fan, but I think it's sad to see both milan and inter doing so badly in the transfer market. Both milan clubs have stopped using money and unfortunately money really matters in football. You can't expect to win anything when you only sign mediocre players. Some years ago you could see the milan derby and watch 22 stars on the field, now the only stars out there is Balotelli and Zanetti.
on the 17th July, 2013 at 10:31pm
How about In-chea-ter Milan for violating sporting fraud?

Who the hell invent statutory limitations!
on the 17th July, 2013 at 8:45pm
as along as we win on pitch is what really counts id rather prefer winning with dignity and finish 9th than always being part of all the dodgy dealings and finishing 1st
on the 17th July, 2013 at 7:07pm
I'm an Inter fan, and sad to see and Inter without any Italians...
on the 17th July, 2013 at 6:28pm
@29 sul campo (those to were probably purchased) Yes we did dispose of Juve and in the sweetest fashion what was it 49 games you finished at on your own turf? Secondly we did not lose to Catania and 3rd if we had not had the amount of injuries we did we would have beaten you at home to although even there the ref handed you the win. You will never match Inters success of the quintuple never mind in Europe and World, Inter will be back and unlike AC when Inter perform they are untouchable.
on the 17th July, 2013 at 5:27pm
You are all fools... Inter will kill it like always and kill hub and ac off again
on the 17th July, 2013 at 5:07pm
The only good thing that happened to inter was mourinho. It wasnt just a coincidence that with him they won a treble and the minute he went inter suddenly made a sharp decline. Inter r not a top three team. Enjoy being battered again in the Europa league
on the 17th July, 2013 at 5:07pm
And continuing on from 31 sul campo, Samp beat Juve twice probably because Marotta wanted to do them a favour. Inter are a terrible club, no space for young players. Look at Santon and other kids they let go. I'm happy they are not representing Italy even in the Europa league. And Mazzarri will have a nervous breakdown midway through the season.
on the 17th July, 2013 at 3:56pm

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