Sep 19, 2010

Palermo vs Inter: Before, During & After....

By Gautam Sharma

A preview & analysis of the line-ups before the game, half-time thoughts, and post game reflections...

Before the Game:

Its wierd.

Thats the only way I can describe Benitez's squad and team selections. Its a tough road game, at a time when Inter haven't really got off the blocks. Sneijder & Motta are out. Stankovic, Chivu, & Pandev are not in the best of fitness. And yet:

1. Biabiany & Obi are not in the squad... We have not taken any back up striker, and are now short in midfield

2. Still no sign of Suazo & Mancini. Sure they may not be good enough. But if we are paying their multi-million salaries, whats the point if they can't even be back ups during an injury crisis?

And then the line up, its weird.

Maicon - Samuel - Lucio - Chivu
------- Cambiasso - Zanetti
Pandev - Stankovic --------
Milito - Eto'o

I like Deki. I am a fan. But we all know that he does not work well as a trequatista anymore. We saw that under Mancio, and under Mou. So why is Benitez playing him in Sneijder's position?? Coutinho should have had a start as a trequartista.... Stank should be in midfield, and Zanetti at LB. Coz now we have 3 players starting with fitness issues, and potentialy may have our attack cut off from our defence.

This is wrong, just wrong. Plus there is no striker on the bench... I hope, and I pray, that Milito is wearing his scoring shoes today!!!!

During the Game:

HT: Palermo 1-0 Inter
The team still looks a bit rusty, Milito is still asleep, only Stankovic is playing well. That was some shot he hit the post with!!

This is a game we have to win, and like I thought before the game, benitez's line up does not inspire confidence. Inter have played well in part during the first half, but something is missing. Hunger? Getting the tactics right? Creativity? Or perhaps a combination of the three.

We need to see some positive changes in the 2nd half, perhaps a few attacking subs from Benitez... oh yeah, I forgot... Benitez did not get any striker for the bench!!

55mins: Palermo 1-0 Inter
I feel like crying. Benitez has made noi changes. Inter look even more lethargic. Palermo have already missed 3 sitters in the last 10 minutes. The writing is on the wall.

We need a goal so badly.

After the game:

Palermo 1-2 Inter
An excellent result, even though I cannot say the same of our performance - defensively or offensively. We won because Palermo did not take their many chances. We were lucky.

However, I will (albeit grudgingly) take back some of my earlier criticism of Benitez. Arguably, it was some of Benitez's changes/formation which won us this game in key moments. Playing Eto'o in a 442 with Pandev as a winger paid dividends, specially as Milito is so fuckin off-colour. And Stankovic as a trequartista did work out, Deki had a very good game. That winning goal made both these points very clear - amazing playmaking by Deki and finish by an in-position Eto'o.

I will stick with my long term view tho - Stank is not the best Sneijder back up, we must groom Coutinho to do that. Stank is these days a better option in the middle of the park, but he just does not have the overall playmaking skills anymore.

Other Results:
FT Bari 0 - 0 Cagliari
FT AS Roma 2 - 2 Bologna
FT Cesena 1 - 0 Lecce
FT Chievo 0 - 1 Brescia
FT Parma 1 - 1 Genoa
FT Udinese 0 - 4 Juventus
FT Palermo 1 - 2 Inter Milan

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