First of all, I have to apologize to my dear Inter buddies on the blog for my absence in these recent days of our qualifying round in the Europa League, and most importantly; these crucial last two weeks of the summer mercato. Aside from being sick for a couple of days, there were no major events in my personal life, but there has been a major change of mentality when it comes to our fans interaction.
I intentionally decided not to participate in any of the discussions regarding Inter here until the transfer window closes. Apparently, I'm a bit superstitious…
You see, for months I have been surfing through the Inter fan-base in English, Arabic, Malaysian, Macedonian, and Chinese (These guys have the best Primavera personal pictures stash ever!) between forums, blogs, and online communities. I came to the conclusion that the domino effect may have indeed made its impact, the negative one in this case; pessimism.
It has been quite hard lately for our supporting base to have a reasonable discussion about the squad, players, youth academy, Primavera team, coaches, management, forms, injuries and what not, without someone waiting in the corner just to paint the scene in full doom and gloom. It's been irritating to say the least.
I don't know why, maybe it’s the new multimedia effect that sends those negative feedbacks like an arrow through the Interisti's hearts world wide. Or it could be the stubbornness in the hollow online debates that shift into personal warfare.
There are many reasons for this atmosphere.
A couple of moths ago, a new member at an Inter Forum decided to enter in a debate with some of the veterans on that community. Now, from what you just read, I presume you all know what kind of an outcome that participation had. Those simple and honest observations about the Inter squad were dismantled with comedic replies that targeted the individual, and not his logic. Those simple face-palms or casual memes can provoke a hostility that is unneeded towards a new member whose sincere desire is to belong with a group that shares the same passion. Reconfirming your obvious affiliation with your old buddies when taunting a youngster with a reply is not a good indication on how things are heading for the old and the new supporters and their beneficial relationship. For an example a supporter with the name of p-ram was greeting recklessly by a certain someone… I'm looking at you, yes YOU! Bwahaha! Psychic powers, baby!
That same criticism should be directed at those who bring up that unnecessary and idiotic classification of the supporters. You know, like those who label themselves "true" vs. "new" fans.
If my memory services me right, I remember a discussion about the favorite Inter wingers of all time. This acquaintance of mine, who had a liking to Sheva before I turned him, decided to go with Eto'o as memorable winger for Inter. His logic of course was that the Cameroonian was one of the most productive and discipline players tactically in that position. Now, for me that was a great point for a long and a healthy debate, for some of the other guys on the other hand it wasn't. As a result, one of them dropped the "You started supporting Inter after the Treble" bomb. I didn't care about it back then, but once I got home and had my ever so loved cup of coco as I listened to the eternal duel between Cesare Maldini and Alessandro Altobelli, I couldn't help but wonder: what is wrong with the post treble fans?
No, seriously? Why is it that some of us taunt newer fans with that? Isn't the whole continental experience in the Champions League and Europa League is to discover unknown traditions and communities among football fans? Isn't fame one of the main goals for the teams in these competitions? I presume no one here can forget the guy who was crying at the finale when we won? Wasn't his authentic passion a reason for people to get attached to what he loves so dearly?
So, to some of us; stop insulting yourselves. I swear, when you hear some of them you'd imagine they've attended Facchetti's debut…
As you can see, I'm genuinely bothered with the hostility some members are subjected to between now and then, just like with that kid I mentioned earlier. Anyway, that is not the atmosphere we really need around these parts at all. Our direction should be that of welcoming and encouragement to share the different views and criticism of the ideas and posts with respect.
A couple of weeks ago, MAD posted a poll that I believe should have been left for the end of the mercato: the season's expectations poll. My logic was that once we knew the full squad and the capabilities of the available personnel; we can give a close verdict on what to expect from Inter. Regardless of that, the result of the votes oh dear supporters showed that we have a nice optimistic but shy bunch of 80+ people between us. A portion of those Inter loyalists believed we can grab that Champions League ticket come May of next year, and this was before the squad additions late in the transfer window. At that time, I was a realistic voter and had a belief that we can challenge for something if we had a better depth in our ranks, little did I know a week later Branca would pull that kind of magic.
From the quality that we acquired late in the window, and based on the fact this team and the new guys still have the Champions mentality from their past experiences; I'll go with the Champions League Race as a certainty, and the Title Race as a strong possibility at one point, IF we are spared from long injuries and suspensions.
I have to say, when your friends get louder when talking about the starting sheet, then it's a good indication for your team. It's good because talking about expectations of an offensive or a countering squad, or Player A ahead of Player B, brings the good side of the supporters instead of playing the blame game we've seen ourselves do in these last two years.
Granted, we aren't out of the woods yet, but I can see the dimming light from afar.