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Inter - Opposition Views


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Mike Whittaker, one of the founders of Nerazzurri World, has been kind enough to answer a few questions ahead of our clash with Inter in the Guinness International Champions Cup. Here is what he had to say:

-First, how long have you been an Inter fan? And why did you choose the Nerazzurri?
I've been an Interisti since 1995. I've loved Italian football since the early 90's but it was always the team in black and blue that caught my attention. My Dad is a devoted Man Utd fan (Sorry CFC fans for mentioning that team) and when he told me Paul Ince (Probably the only Utd player i ever liked) had moved to Inter I started to take more notice of the Nerazzurri and have been addicted to them ever since.
-It is always tough going into the season with a new manager, but what do you make of Mazzari? Was he your first choice for the job or did you rather someone else took the reins at Inter?
Honestly I believe Mazzarri could be a good thing for Inter. His experience, charisma and tactical knowledge will be an important factor for this new Inter to fight back towards the top of Serie A. I really wanted Diego Simeone or Walter Zenga originally as they are both Inter fans but I think Mazzarri was the right choice from an experience point of view.
-Coming off the back of Inter’s worst season, in terms of final league position, since 1994, how high are your hopes for next season and what are your expectations of the team?
Obviously I'm not expecting Inter to knock Juve off their perch this season but I am expecting them to fight for a top 3 position. Given how strong the top teams of Serie A are looking this season, this may also prove to be difficult but a return to at least the Europa league is a must.
-Obviously the transfer market takes center stage at this time of the year, what is your opinion on the signings your team has already made and who would you like to see come in before September 3rd?
So far I'm very happy with the signings made so far, even though it looks like some are going straight back out on loan (Diego Laxalt and Ruben Botta for example) In my opinion the main spots that need strengthening are the right wing-back spot and a solid defensive midfielder. I'm interested to see what Chelsea's youngster Wallace can do for us on the right (if the rumours of a loan are true). The one player I really want to see however is a forward - Lavezzi from PSG, he is a player I've wanted at Inter for a long long time.
-Speaking of transfers, there seems to be a general sense of frustration from Inter fans by the club’s transfer policy and lack of spending. Would you like your club to make more ‘ambitious’ signings or do you think that Moratti is doing the best he can with the funds available?
Like all Interisti I would love to see the big spending of the past return, but as a businessman myself I understand that creating financial stability for the club is far more important for the future of Inter than buying superstar players that they can't afford to pay or keep.
-This is the second time Inter participate in the Guinness ICC after 2009 (it was still called Football World Challenge back then). How serious do you think the club will be about the competition? Will the focus be on the result or merely on improving match fitness?
After seeing how Mazzarri has approached the pre-season so far I'm expecting the competition to be a mixture of improving match fitness and also perfecting the tactics he wants the team to play.
-Last time we met, Jose was your manager (and you knocked us out of the CL on your way to the famous Treble!). What’s your opinion on Jose in general and on his ‘dramatic’ return to Chelsea in particular?
I'm a huge fan of Mourinho, when he joined Inter I knew he'd be the man to win us the treble. There is no manager that comes close to him tactically in my opinion. That being said though I'm one of the few Inter fans that doesn't want him to return to Inter, I believe the expectation placed on him following the treble would be so high that even he could never live up to them. For Chelsea however, I think he will take your squad to the next level. I don't know too much about your team because I don't really follow EPL but I do know players like Hazard and Mata will become even better under Jose's guidance.
-A lot has been said about Wallace’s proposed loan move to Inter. Do you want this move to happen? Do you think the young Brazilian can fit well there?
As I said in an earlier question I'm interested to see what he'll be able to do for Inter, but until the other day I hadn't even heard of him so I can't really judge whether he'll be a good signing for us.
-Obviously Kovacic and “Capitano” will be huge misses for you guys in this tournament, but who do you think is your most important player at the moment and who should we look out for on Friday?
I'm expecting big things from Mauro Icardi this season so I think he'll be one Mourinho will be watching for in the game, but also Fredy Guarin has the ability to cause Chelsea many problems from the midfield.
-Mazzari is known to be a ‘3-5-2 man’ through and through, so there’s little doubt about what formation he’s going to use, but what lineup do you think he will put out against Chelsea?
I'm expecting- Handanovic in goal. Campagnaro, Ranocchia and Juan Jesus in defence. Jonathan and Nagatomo on the wings, with Cambiasso in the centre of midfield and Guarin and Kuzmanovic on either side. Up front I expect to see Palacio as second striker just behind Icardi at the front. (3-5-1-1)
-Finally, please predict the result.
I'm expecting Chelsea to win if I'm completely honest, but I would like to see a 2-1 win for Inter to set up a pre-season Milan derby in the next round.
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