The Inter Milan Way: Their best eras follow the same pattern

It was a point made by The Gentleman Ultra's Richard Hall on this week's Team 33

BY Raf Diallo 15:12 Thursday 2 March 2017, 15:12 2 Mar 2017

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho holds up the trophy surrounded by his team after winning the Champions League final soccer match between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Saturday May 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

In May, the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions ' famous victory over Inter Milan will be celebrated.

Winning the 1967 European Cup is Celtic's greatest achievement and will probably remain so for time immemorial as clubs from smaller leagues become more and more peripheral in the Champions League era.

While we remember the winners, the Inter Milan side which lost the final in Lisbon were coming towards one of their great eras.

The club had won the European Cup in 1964 and 1965 in the midst of the Grande Inter era under the management of Argentinean coach and arch pragmatist Helenio Herrera. 

The Nerazzuri would not bring the European Cup trophy back to the blue and black half of the San Siro until 2010 when another pragmatist in Jose Mourinho led them to a treble.

In between then they had occasional successes like Giovanni Trapattoni guiding them to Serie A glory in 1989 but as we looked back on with Richard Hall of The Gentleman Ultra on this week's Team 33, they also had some farcical seasons like 1993-94 when they signed Dennis Bergkamp and almost contrived to get themselves relegated for the first time in their history.

In a footballing landscape where many clubs have a "way" (the Manchester United way, West Ham way, the Barcelona way etc) which are often based on an attacking or possession based philosophy, Richard made an insightful point about Inter's own distinct foundations in successful years.

"If you look at Inter's biggest mistakes throughout their history, it's always been trying to buy players in, big money signings, throwing them in and trying to just sellotape them all together and hoping that they turn into a cohesive unit," said Richard on Team 33.

"The biggest times in their history when they worked have been when they have been horrendously defensive and held back and you could argue that's Helenio Herrera all the way through to Trapattoni and then Mourinho.

"The biggest problem with Inter and what makes them the club they are, when you go there, what surrounds them on every wall of the changing room and dressing rooms are these icons like Mourinho and Herrera, but yet they want to be something else." 

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