Saturday, 21 July 2012

What we learned from the TIM Cup

Today's post was originally going to happen before the TIM cup actually started, but I changed my mind due to time constraints and wanting to see some of the action before writing about it.

Since 2001 this midsummer classic has had the three 'giants' in Italy face-off against each other. In one day each team plays each other once in 45 minute mini games. The team with the most points wins the tourney. Tiebreakers are determined by goal differential. Juve has won it only once, that came in 2009, while Inter have enjoyed the most success in the tournament winning it seven times. Milan has won it three times. Winning the tournament is irrelevant really but it does give us a chance to see where each team is at, as the season draws closer. Inter won the tournament for the eighth time winning both of their games today. Here is what I took out of the tournament.

Inter Now Have 8

  1. Stadiums in Italy Need Upgrading.
Even before Vucinic, Pepe and Caceres went off with injuries at the San Nicola Stadium in Bari, it was clear the grass was not in good shape. Chunks of grass flew as players tried to dig their cleets in for traction. It has become widely known that Italy's stadiums need upgrading and this is yet another example. Post game reports have Juventus worrying that Caceres may have ligament damage in his knee.

   2.   Palacio Ready to Shine.

With Inter winning the tournament it was easy to pick out a few players that looked good for the Nerazzurri, and Palacio was one of them. Nineteen goals in the league last season finally netted hima move to a big club and he showed why in the Trofeo TIM today with a goal and assist in the derby match. Phillippe Coutinho gets an honourable mention here also.

Rodrigo Palacio

   3. Lucio is Past His Prime.

Lucio didn't have any glaring mistakes in the 1-0 Juve win over Milan, but the Coutinho goal in the first match was all on him. That makes for two Lucio blunders in this early preseason. The 34-year-old was brought in for depth, but he needs to shape up.


   4. Juventus Need a Top Class Finisher

The Bianconeri's only goal came off a Vucinic penatly, and it was a very soft penalty at that. However, it was not because of a lack of chances. Juve created a lot vs Inter but lacked finishing as we saw in so many of those draws they posted in their undefeated season. Quagliarella was the biggest culprit as he was unable to finish a few chances from point-blank range. Unless a top quality finisher is brought in, this will be one of the storylines throughout the 2012-13 Serie A campaign.

Fabio Quagliarella

  5. Milan Need Re-inforcements

It was obvious before the game, but became even more apparent during the games that the sales of Ibrahimovic and Silva have really hurt the Rossoneri. If they are to compete in Serie A re-inforcements are needed. True Vucinic was awarded a soft penalty which was the decider in the Juventus game, but they were severely outclassed against Inter.

Milan Squad

  6. Coutinho Learned a lot During his Loan Spell at Espanyol

The Inter preseason has had one main storyline: Coutinho is ready. The young Brazilian has been all the talk of the Nerazzurri preseason, and today he showed us why. Yes, Lucio gave him a gift on his goal in the first match, but for a 20-year-old he showed great composure in front of goal something we could not say about Juventus striker Fabio Quagliarella on the other end of the pitch.

Coutinho with Espanyol

  7. Mirko Vucinic has a Great Mustache.

Mirko Vucinic Mustache

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