Not all plain sailing on the good ship Mourinho

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What is it with Inter and central defenders? They can’t seem to keep them on the pitch.

Last season, Walter Samuel snapped knee ligaments in the Milan derby in December and then Ivan Cordoba’s season was ended in similar fashion against Liverpool in the Champions League in February.

Added to that, Nelson Rivas and Cristian Chivu were also sidelined at various stages in the campaign.

The latest to fall to the curse at the back has been Marco Materazzi who lasted all of seven minutes of Tuesday’s TIM Trophy encounter with Juventus, before limping off with what seems to be a recurrence of his long-standing knee problem.

Cordoba's season ends early at Anfield in the Champions League 

Looking along the bench, Jose Mourinho only had 17-year-old youth player Davide Santon available to fill the position.

However, the boss switched Esteban Cambiasso to partner Nicolas Burdisso – a player touted to leave in the next few weeks – and subsequently chaos ensued as the pair allowed Vincenzo Iaquinta to avoid their attempts at playing the offside trap, to score the only goal of the game.

For the record, AC Milan drew first blood between the frontrunners for the Serie A title as they defeated both Juve and Inter on penalties in the 45-minute-per-game triangular tournament.

Of course, the season is still a month away but Mourinho may well have to revise his mission statement that he wants to reduce the size of the squad rather than make further signings.

It now seems a very distant memory of all the names banded around as arrivals when the Portuguese was unveiled as the new boss.

For a while, a mass exodus at Chelsea looked on the cards: Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Ricardo Carvalho, Michael Essien et al.

Instead, the Nerazzurri have been treated to an over-rated and over-priced Amantino Mancini who had been in Roberto Mancini’s sights for the last two seasons.

It’s a strange move to say the least as Mourinho has stated on numerous occasions that he wants another winger in Ricardo Quaresma in the his ranks.

New Inter signings have failed to get fans' hearts racing 

Then, there is Sulley Muntari who may have looked good at Portsmouth but during his last sortie in Italy, at Udinese, received 39 yellow cards and five reds.

In fact, the midfielder’s first tackle on Tuesday would have made Paul Scholes proud, such was the mistiming and lateness of his effort to make an early impact.

With 29million euro splashed out on the pair it’s no wonder the legendary Arrigo Sacchi has been questioning the transfer policy at the club.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the former Milan and Italy coach said: “Inter’s summer purchases have not been that exciting, neither Mancini or Muntari stir the imagination.”

Then again, when did Mourinho stir the imagination at Chelsea? Inter fans you have had an early warning of what lies ahead.