San Siro’s Fall
Between Internazionale and AC Milan there are amassed, 18 Serie A titles, 12 Coppa Italia’s, 10 European Cups/Champions League, 2 Club World Cups, 10 million fans inside Italy and a long list of legends such as Giuseppe Meazza, Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Javier Zanetti, just to name a few. Inter even won 5 titles in a row between 2006 and 2010. But ever since AC Milan’s last title in 2011 things have gone downhill for both northern giants.
You could argue this decline is the result of Juve’s resurgence and consequent dominance in Serie A, but certainly 2 teams as huge as Inter and Milan would still be able to at least keep up with the “Old Lady”. That said Inter sit in 7th place while Milan sit in 10th, while in the Champions League neither of them have been able to go beyond the quarterfinals since Inter’s win in 2010. Certainly quite far from where history(even relatively recent one) suggests they should be.
Moreover, it is not their position in the table that is most worrying, but the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any kind of reaction inside the pitch(Milan’s game at Fiorentina this weekend a perfect example). Plenty of fingers have been pointed at the clubs’ recent managers, yet Massimiliano Allegri won 2 trophies with Milan in his first 2 years, and this season he was signed by Juventus, so it is easy to question his responsibility in Milan’s debacle.
Also, it seems clear that the decision to appoint inexperienced managers like Seedorf and Inzaghi was not the smartest , with their limitations preventing them from lifting the team outside their current state. The Neroazurri, on the other hand have had 5 managers since late 2010, a fact that would make it easier to assign blame to the managers. I have a different opinion.
The reason the Milan teams have fallen from their thrones is the fact that their squads lack world class players. Think about it, you can’t name a single world class player from either of their squads. Yes, Inter have Kovacic, Icardi and Shaqiri, but they’re more young promises(very promising indeed) than established players, and they’re still too young to carry a team by themselves. Over at AC Milan you have Destro, El Shaarawy, van Ginkel and Di Sciglio. Again, young promises but nothing concrete and consistent.
I’m not saying players like Medel, Guarín, Palacio, Hernanes, De Jong, Ménez, Honda, etc. are bad, but when you compare them to previous Inter or Milan players they fall short, really short. And without proper players there is only so much a manager can do.
Finally, it is true that Inter is still alive in the Europa League and now with Mancini there’s a possibility of a recovery, but it will all depend on this next Summer and the signings the club is able to secure. For Milan the landscape is not as promising, things on and off the pitch seem troubled and stability is key to a club’s success. Maybe when they move to their new stadium they can accompany it with players that are compatible with the club’s history. But as of today, the days of fighting for titles and playing finals seem far away.