The story behind the ups at downs at ‘crazy’ Inter

March 15, 2013

“Andrea Stramaccioni’s phone is vibrating. The Inter coach fumbles around his pockets for it. Caller ID reveals that club president Massimo Moratti is on the line. You’d maybe expect there to be some trepidation. All week, Stramaccioni had read in the papers, seen on the TV and heard on the radio that Moratti was apparently considering sacking him if Inter didn’t improve in the second leg of their Europa League tie with Tottenham on Thursday and their trip to Sampdoria on Sunday.” ESPN (Video)

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Inter 1-1 Milan: Milan should have been out of sight by half-time

February 26, 2013

“Inter upped their performance after a terrible first-half display. Andrea Stramaccioni gave a rare start to Ricky Alvarez on the left, after his impressive performance against Cluj in midweek. Diego Milito is out for the season, so Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio started upfront together. Max Allegri made changes from the victory over Barcelona – Mario Balotelli, cup-tied in Europe, returned in place of Giampaolo Pazzini, while Riccardo Montolivo played in Massimo Ambrosini’s deep-lying role to allow Antonio Nocerino to play. Stramaccioni managed to alter things to get his side back into the game, but only Milan profligacy and another fine Samir Handanovic performance prevented the ‘away’ side from victory.” Zonal Markind


Why Serie A has fallen out of love with the number ten

January 23, 2013

“Sunday night’s meeting between Roma and Inter was an underwhelming match. Despite being the most enticing fixture on paper of the Serie A weekend, the match drifted away after an exciting first 20 minutes, and ended as a scrappy 1-1 draw. However, the pattern of the game was interesting — it was played at a relatively slow tempo, interrupted by the occasional burst of sudden, end-to-end attacking. As both sides attempted to bypass the opposition defence quickly after half-time, the linesmen played as crucial a role as some of the players — there were 11 second-half offsides.” ESPN – Michael Cox


How 2012’s flops can turn things around in 2013

December 21, 2012

“From astonishing last-gasp title victories to historic international success stories, 2012 has been a fascinating year of football — but not everyone has enjoyed it. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have taken their performances to another level, but others will be pleased to see the back of this year. Here are 10 players who have underperformed in 2012 — and how they might turn their form around for 2013.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Inter 2-1 Napoli: Cassano & Insigne the key men but Guarin provides the most important contributions

December 12, 2012

“Inter leapfrogged Napoli and into second place in Serie A. Andrea Stramaccioni was without Walter Samuel, so moved Esteban Cambiasso into the centre of defence. Walter Mazzarri brought Christian Maggio back into the starting line-up, but otherwise named an unchanged side. This was a good, open game of football – Inter stormed into a 2-0 lead and although Napoli fought back, they couldn’t quite find an equaliser, partly thanks to some fine Inter defending.” Zonal Marking


Milan clubs suffer, perfect starts ended

September 24, 2012

“The writing appears to be on the wall for AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri as his side suffered a third defeat in four Serie A games, a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Udinese. The beleaguered Rossoneri boss has spent the last fortnight deflecting speculation his job is under threat and will now face more tough questions should he remain in charge at the San Siro.” ESPN (Video)


Inter 1-3 Roma: Zeman collects the first win of his second spell at Roma

September 4, 2012

“An extremely open game finished with Roma on top. Andrea Stramaccioni surprisingly used new signing Alvaro Pereira on the left of his central midfield three in place of Esteban Cambiasso – otherwise, the XI was the same as in the 3-0 win over Pescara last week. Zdenek Zeman gave debuts to Panagiotis Tachtsidis, Alessandro Florenzi and Mattia Destro within his standard attack-minded 4-3-3 system. As with all games involving a Zeman side, this was very open with space all over the pitch, despite both sides trying to play with a high defensive line.” Zonal Marking