Inter Milan fans make a genuine statement by leaving San Siro
Inter Milan's nose-dive continued on Sunday with their fourth consecutive defeat, a 2-1 home setback against Sassuolo. They've taken two of a possible 24 points in their last eight games and you have to go all the way back to the 1981-82 season to find the last time they went eight games without a win. Stefano Pioli is now gone, with Stefano Vecchi back for his second stint as caretaker, and the owners are entertaining fantasies of bringing Antonio Conte or Diego Simeone to the San Siro. (When they wake up, they'll no doubt scramble and make a last-ditch hire on the eve of the season.)
A word about the Inter fans. The fact that they've recorded the highest average attendance in Serie A this season (47,172) is a testament to their endless patience with the cluster-mess that has unfolded at the San Siro over the past 12 months. On Sunday, many (especially the Ultras) showed they'd had enough. And they did it in the most visually striking way.
Beginning early in a game that kicked off at 12.30 p.m. local time, they began unfurling banners. "Mister Zhang, when the cat's away, the mice will play," a reference to the Chinese owner whom they feel ought to show more oversight over his employees, was followed by "Thank you Pioli: at least you were an actor, unlike the players who are dilettantes and the club officials who are extras."
And then it continued -- "If you're going to waste millions upon millions, why not play the youth team instead of these buffoons?" Right down to: "You've got a problem when you can spend tons of cash and still look like s---".
Finally, just before 1 o'clock, the final banner: "You don't deserve our support. We're saying good-bye and we're going to lunch." And, with that, the Ultras removed their flags and insignias and walked out of the San Siro.
Visually and emotionally, it was a striking sight. Far more impactful than paying some dolt to fly an airplane with a banner over the ground.
To read more of Marcotti's thoughts on what happened over the previous week, click here.