Inter 0 – Hajduk 2; OMG Time to Panic/Buy/Spend!@$%#*()%&%^)

Yet another close call for Coutinho who gave Hajduk fits all night, only to leave the contest without a goal to show for his hard work.

Yeah… not quite. I’m the one person on these boards that isn’t going to panic or get angry about all this. Am I concerned? Yeah, but I was concerned the season after we won The Treble because I thought that might have been a good time to start phasing in new, younger blood so that we wouldn’t have to start games with 6 players that spent part or all of last season not working together on this team – like we did yesterday. So while I read a lot of capital letters, exclamation points and calls for Moratti to Buy! Buy! Buy! yesterday after the game, I am just not going to do that. Actually, at this point, I’m almost happy not getting 1 or 2 more players and letting whose here achieve some sort of peace of mind or settled soul about themselves so that they can concentrate on playing the game. The last thing I want is for Moratti et al. to panic themselves into buying another Forlan or Zarate.

I finally have the club renewing itself as I hoped it would have almost 2 years ago when we looked old for that fat waiter of a coach. Having finally gotten my way, sort of, I’m not going to complain about it now.

So, having said all that, I can’t say that I am terribly happy about the game yesterday – although my issues are more with cohesiveness and less with individual performances but there were problems there too – in my opinion mostly with the older guys like Samuel, Milito and Cambiasso. Are they just taking a long time to get up to speed or are we at the point that we were last season with Lucio, where everyone could see that he was past it in game after game. Cambiasso left last season on a down note and Milito took 6 months before the oven got hot. And frankly, I don’t think the high line and high mobility that Strama demands of his defenders suits the tank-like Samuel at all.

But I am not pitching any fits either. On the contrary, I thought that the younger players performed quite well when given a chance – I especially liked Ranocchia, who I don’t think let a high ball get past him but was perhaps too aggressive at times; Coutinho gave the other team fits and only lacked finishing; and Mbaye played massively well in his first European game/first ever start for the senior group but he made some mistakes. But the reason that young players are shunned in Italy is that they don’t have that certainty of experience that brings consistent play and that showed here. Overall I thought these guys were good, but I can probably name moments here and there where they struggled.

Stramaccioni is calling for a stronger midfield and he’s got a point. We need players who can run and have strength in the middle. I think that some of that be solved when we get Obi back, but I wouldn’t say no to another guy that can pass out of the midfield and help us keep possession, which I think is something of a failing of ours. What we lacked last night as far as I am concerned was a presence in the middle behind Sneijder and Coutinho to set possession and keep the ball moving so the other team can’t just sit back in their defense and wait, but have to adjust and create seams in the zones… kind of like Motta would be doing if he had wanted to stay.

But at some point all the new signings reaches a point of diminishing returns, doesn’t it? How many new players can one team introduce in a season and realistically expect them to mesh in the given time of a 38 game season? Last night there were 6 players in the starting line up that did not spend 38 games with this team last year and the product on the field looked it. So I can see us getting another midfielder, we really need a wide player and as far as I am concerned, that’s it. If Milito doesn’t come through early enough then Livaja and Longo get their wish, it looks like.

So yeah, the club looks incomplete and it looks a little disjointed, but this is the price that needs to be paid at some point. Unlike a video game, new players – especially young ones – need time to mesh and gel... to get to know each other and figure out where and how everyone likes to play. But the players can’t do that when the club is constantly in flux. Mancini and Mourinho brought an order and stability to the club that it hasn’t seen since. If Moratti and Branca – and especially the fan base – can be patient and let the guys grow together a bit the base of a great team is there, just below the surface. You can almost see it at times…

But who am I kidding? This is Italy, where the long term success and sensible finances of a team are routinely sacrificed for the pride and the immediate but often futile goals of the fanatics.

I can only hope that Moratti and Co. will, for once, ignore the mob and refuse to spend another 40 million on another 8 ultimately unneeded players for huge salary before 11:59 pm on August 31.

What was it that Einstein said about the definition of insanity again?

In other news the Europa League has had its draw for the next round and Inter goes to Romania to play Vaslui on August 23rd, three days before the first game of the season which is away to Pescara.

FORZA INTER

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