His opinions are always sharp, just as his pen. In this editorial Hussen Marhoon gives his thoughts about the recent happenings at Inter. Enjoy the read and stay in touch with Hussein on Twitter @HusseinMarhoon

This might sound… brutal, but nothing makes any sense about Inter these days. We’re in Mr. Eick Thohir’s early days as club President but as things stand it seems that he won’t even be allowed to enjoy a ‘honeymoon’ period as the pressure mounts with every passing day.

Inter have only managed to win two of the their last 11 matches in both domestic competitions (against lowly Tapani in Coppa Italia and the Milano derby in the league) since the Indonesian tycoon took over in mid-November of last year. It’s an abysmal record for a club with a big stature like Inter to say the least but in Mr. Thohir’s defense, it’s not all his fault. The 43-year old Indonesian businessman bought a club that is burdened with huge debts (estimated at €220m as at 30 June 2013, source: La Gazzetta dello Sport), shackled by deteriorating revenue streams, brimming with veteran ‘heroes’ who are way past it and mediocre players who are not worthy of representing the Nerazzurri colors and last but not least, a management team that can do anything but run a football club.

Only a fool can think that Inter’s chronic problems can be fixed overnight, but that’s not the real issue. The real issue is Mr. Thohir’s approach so far. The new Patron started his reign bullishly when the takeover was announced. That’s what he said on 18 November 2013: “We’ve already laid good foundations for the next two to three years, but Inter have got to be prepared for 2016 when the Champions League final will be in Milano. I have faith in [coach Walter] Mazzarri and I thank Moratti for choosing him. We’re building a system and will choose the players the coach believes fit best in this squad, players who can delight the fans because it’s important that we play attractive football.”

Then when the going got tough, Mr. Thohir changed his idea as this is what he said on 14 January 2014: “Inter are going through a transition period. Ideally, the average age of the team should be 26. That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate or recognize the worth of the Treble-winning heroes of 2010, but we do need to increase the number of young players in the squad. I’ve seen what we have in our team. We want to strengthen the squad and make sure it’s well balanced in all positions. The next two or three years certainly aren’t going to be easy, but we need to make the club healthier. Look at all the big clubs, the English clubs: they managed to boost their earnings and have been able to sign more quality players as a result.”

In two months the team went from having laid good foundations for the next two to three years to going through a transitional period… from targeting the Champions League final to saying the next two or three years certainly aren’t going to be easy… from bringing players who can delight the fans to considering increasing the number of young players without any mention of quality or the word… delight.

Mr. Thohir’s contradictions are the least concerning issue though. In fact, the miserable failure of the Guarín-Vučinić swap with Juventus was the straw that broke the camel’s back as the Curva Nord put in their statement condemning the piece of business among other things and famously or infamously stopping it altogether by protesting in front of Inter’s headquarters. Angered by Inter’s reaction, arch rivals and the ‘eternal enemy’ Juventus called a press conference in which they explained how the move fell through with details and evidence that embraced the Inter hierarchy in the process. Juventus’ director general Giuseppe Marotta gave the following details: “Inter asked us for permission to speak to Vučinić back in mid-December – that’s when negotiations started. Once it became clear there was to be no money exchanged, we considered the option of a player swap. The Vučinić-Guarín deal was verbally agreed by both parties. [Juventus chairman Andrea] Agnelli received a text from Thohir at 10:48 [on Monday 20 January 2014] confirming the deal. The main reason we called this press conference was the lack of respect shown towards two serious, professional footballers. My being here is a necessary act to protect Juventus and the professionals who have been treated unfairly.”

Marotta made serious accusations towards Inter as a club and towards Mr. Thohir as a President of the club, so what was Inter’s President’s response on this? Well it was the following: “During the January transfer window, Inter has taken part in numerous private discussions to improve our club both on and off the pitch. Conducted in a professional manner these discussions should remain private, making public comment before the negotiations are final only hurts the process. I cannot allow anyone outside our organization to publicly critique our internal processes, and will defend Inter and what we stand for with everything I have.”

One can acknowledge the need of responding to serious accusations like the ones Inter received from Marotta but the response didn’t confirm nor it rejected Juve’s director general’s claims that Mr. Thohir had personally approved the deal through an SMS sent to Andrea Agnelli and it only quelled the matter by stating that the discussions were held in a ‘private’ manner. Moreover, Interisti were told that Mr. Thohir himself intervened to stop the swap as if it was conducted by directors behind his back…

It’s all too confusing, to say the least. In the end, the move didn’t materialized and Inter ended up keeping a demotivated player who was upset that the club gone back on its promise to renew his contract and were telling the whole world that they want to sell him for the past month or so because they believe that he’s their ‘prized asset’. Moreover, they didn’t get the striker they badly need, the player they were chasing since… mid-December. The 30-year old that would ideally reduce the average age of the squad to 26… oh wait!

Another ‘minor’ issue is the whole ‘we must sell before we buy concept’. The main purpose of going to the transfer market is usually to strengthen the squad, expect with this new Inter. Interisti have been told for months (and years for this matter) that the club must comply with the new UEFA FFP regulations going forward. Of course, financial sanity is key for the club’s stability and future but it should be achieved with the right balance. In the end, Inter is not small club like Málaga or Blackburn Rovers (with all due respect to those clubs and their fans) where you can come and start from scratch since you don’t have much pressure or sky high demands. The January transfer window is usually tricky as you don’t usually get the best deals possible, but when you have not less than 8 players running out of contract at the end of the season and most of those players are still key or play in key positions you really need to worry, especially if you haven’t yet found any adequate replacements for them yet.

Finally, the new regime advocates are stressing on the fact that Mr. Thohir will manage to turn things around from the financial perspective especially by opening new market opportunities mainly in Asia. Unfortunately, In today’s football, money rules. The teams that spend more win more and make more money and get more fans. That’s how football is these days, unfortunately. If Inter are targeting to become an ‘entertaining’ team at least, they need to sign players with flair and hire a coach who we’ll be able to blend them into a working unit because Mazzarri is certainly not the right man for that. The likes of Álvarez, Taïder, Kuzmanović and Icardi are average players that don’t usually get fans of their feet nor they generate much interest among existing Inter fans, let alone creating new ones.

Today, Inter is a club without ideas and without identity, and I’m afraid that the future isn’t looking very bright. My personal hope is to see Mr. Thohir stop relying on the same management team that led Inter into this dramatic fall from grace. He also needs to talk less and do more to grow Inter and respect the club’s history and status both in Italy and in the world. The life of an Interista is always a non stop rollercoaster ride, but this one seems very bumpy…