While Inter Milan's 0-0 tie at Fiorentina Wednesday was hardly a disaster, writes Richard Aikman, Inter coach Jose Mourinho faces a problem after his team's second successive goalless draw because "over the last three years Inter supporters have got used to winning. Mourinho's arrival was expected to hail a new all-conquering era in which a fourth consecutive league title would be a cakewalk, and the Champions League the cherry on top."
The first 0-0 tie was against a Genoa team reduced to 10 men. Fiorentina, though on a four-game winning streak, was missing first-choice strikers Alberto Gilardino and Adrian Mutu, and Aikman says that Inter President Massimo Moratti "didn't part with £48m [$79m] on Ricardo Quaresma, Sulley Muntari and Mancini, not to mention £7m a year [$11.5m] on Mourinho" to see such "flat displays."
"The league standings in October don't interest me," said Mourinho after the game, but Italian soccer journalists are bemoaning Inter's tactical confusion and a lack of character.
True, the team has suffered a lot of injuries to key midfield players, while striker Adriano has been suspended for partying, but Aikman writes that "the lack of creativity and spark is more symptomatic of Mourinho's cautious approach than any missing personnel."