-- Icardi is scheduled to be in Milan right now as I am writing this. He is scheduled to undergo a medical to make sure that all his parts are working before the transfer goes live at the beginning of next month. Mazzarri has had a lot of success over the years working with players who can be considered a lone striker. I m just hoping that his luck didn't run out with his work on Cavani. If you can remember back far enough, Cavani was a player who either played out wide or in support of Miccoli. His transformation into what he is has got to be a feather in Mazzarri's cap, even if I doubt that Mazzarri actually spent much of his time with the player. It was the environment that he fostered, his tactical consistency that allowed Cavani to really instinctively know his role and the overall strategy that he devised that the club employed. Cavani, at the time was a great prospect and he was always going to be a very good player, but he went to the perfect environment for his further development. I know that I am hoping that lightning strikes twice, but we really need a young guy to step up here.
-- Walter Mazzarri will publically take control of Inter tomorrow. The press conference is around noon local time where the presentation officially takes place. There was a worry recently that Aurelio De Laurentiis was going to somehow stop the presentation as Mazzarri's contract doesn't officially end until the last day of this month, I am still not entirely sure what was going on, but apparently Moratti and he had a talk and if Aurelio isn't completely happy, he's no longer angry enough to cause an issue. Obviously De Laurentiis is still bitter that Mazzarri decided not to renew his contract with Napoli, but I am at a bit of a loss to understand Aurelio's anger, or more likely spite. Mazzarri more than fulfilled his contract with Napoli but his unwillingness to sign an extension for two years was probably a sign he wasn't going to come back. Most coaches are unwilling to let their contracts get down to a year left without a renewal as some players often take that as a sign that their fate is no longer in the hands of the current coach and slack off. This didn't happen in Napoli by my reckoning. I mean, I understand that Aurelio is acting a bit petulant here, because Mazzarri didn't do what everyone else usually does - let Aurelio have his way. And I get that he's angry at Inter for luring his coach away. But Mazzarri isn't exactly the kind of guy to get his head turned by whimsy. The man has his faults but wishy-washyness isn't one of them. I have no doubt that Mazzarri and De Laurentiis had several conversations about his leaving. I guess only one of them was actually listening to that conversation. My gut tells me that Rafa has once again stepped into the Rebound Role and this won't end pretty, Hey, I could be completely wrong about this, but I just don't see a happy ending for Rafa here...
But leaving off De Laurentiis' feelings of rejection for just a minute - no, it's not you, Aurelio, it's him. I have no doubt that Mazzarri is working hard behind the scenes. As much as I don't have a great read on him personally, I have no doubt to his professionalism. He worked hard at just about every job he's every had as a coach and it seems like he's punched above his weight at all of them as well. To me, that means that he's not letting many opportunities to make points on the field slip away. We at Inter all too often last season saw games that were ended by halftime, or leads evaporate. We kept hoping that Stama would be able to get his groove and make a full 90 minutes of solid football. But there were too many of these opportunities lost. Mazzarri's teams are well coached - which in this case I will further clarify as well drilled, the importance of which I think Strama had early on, but lost as his first full season wore on. The teams that he worked on promoting from Serie B were not pushovers. His Samp team was extremely tenacious and opportunistic, if you remember. I saw his Napoli team as very good from the midfield up to the forwards and decent enough in the defense and goalkeeping. All of these teams were well drilled and all had fighting chances to win on any given day. As I was saying about the importance of drills, despite minor changes of formation from team to team, his players never seemed like they were lost in the changes he was making. I think that Strama lost some stubbornness about making the players drill and be prepared as he was making his changes.Of course there could have been just too many changes. Either way, I don't see those mistakes done again with Mazzarri. His team might lose, but it won't be because they didn't work hard enough in training. That's just my early impression. I will have more, if possible, on this tomorrow.
--Walter Samuel has signed a one year extension. There was some talk about Walter moving on this summer to Argentina or the USA. I don't know the particulars of why he's back, but I don't have any problems with his return. I suspect that he'e playing for the same reduced salary that he agreed to a year ago, which is €2 million, plus or minus €500,000. As I say, I don't have a strong feeling against this move but I continue to hope that he makes a bigger and bigger move towards the bench. Last season, when available, he played well in the early parts of the season. His body definitely wore down and then out. Coming off the bench, or playing in spot duty against big, strong forwards I think would be fine for him. Considering our injury situation last season, having him around is probably more of a precaution... I hope.