Tuesday October 24 2017
Can Inter win the Scudetto?

Inter are further along in the Luciano Spalletti project than expected, but Richard Hall isn't sure they'll still be up there in May.

Luciano Spalletti has pulled off the best rear-guard action since Rorke’s Drift, as his Nerazzurri side managed to fend off the waves of Neapolitan attacks. His side dug deep and impressed, defensively they were excellent, and it is no surprise that they are drawing plaudits, but how far can they go? On the one hand, they have won seven and drawn two and have one of the most lethal forwards in the league. On the other, they are fighting stronger opposition who are further on in terms of Scudetto challengers, but does this rule them out completely?

With wins over Fiorentina, Roma, Milan and a draw against Napoli, nobody can say that the Nerazzurri are not taking on the best in the division and getting results. Only Bologna have managed to hold Spalletti’s men this term and this means that fans of Internazionale find themselves in an uncomfortable position. That’s because whilst they look defensively superb, Samir Handanovic is finding his best form again and Mauro Icardi is scoring for fun, it is hard to believe that they will still be there in May. Inter are at the beginning of a project that is going better than expected, but they are still fallible.

Inter’s squad is a strong one in comparison to most in Serie A, but it has some potentially glaring issues should the wrong men get injured. Firstly, few would deny they are reliant on Icardi, and to a point this is understandable, his strike rate and form easily allows him to be in the same breath when talking about Europe’s premier strikers. Should he get injured, especially long-term, then Spalletti will find himself with a huge problem. Nobody can criticise Eder for his industry, but can you lead a title challenge with him spearheading the line? Andrea Pinamonti has huge potential, but he has hardly featured and is too young. With the enigma Gabigol on loan at Benfica, there simply is no replacement.

The wide positions are also somewhat short. Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva have also been key this season, but whilst without Europe they may be able to play every minute in Serie A, the argument is again that there is no cover. Eder can fill in and Yann Karamoh looks promising, but they don’t have the offensive fire-power in reserve to help. The same point could also be made at centre-back, especially for those who have little confidence in Andrea Ranocchia. In comparison to the resources of Juventus and Napoli, they fall just short.

When looking at any Scudetto ambition, one must look at the challengers. Juventus are serial winners and whilst their main aim may now be the Champions League, any slip up is met the next week with considerable force. Just ask Udinese. Their ruthless pragmatism has been honed over several successful campaigns and it will be a test for Inter to overcome this professionalism.

Napoli have tried and failed, but this season under Maurizio Sarri they’ve seemingly turned a corner. Playing arguably the best football in Europe, they are swashbuckling their way towards the Scudetto with a utilitarian collective that has been in the plan since they lost Gonzalo Higuain. No longer do they rely on one man for goals, they have a plethora of stars who are focused on one thing this term, and that’s the league.

There is no question that Inter can mount a serious challenge, but it would rely on certain circumstances occurring. Firstly, they would have to stay injury free in specific positions at least until the January window. They would have to hope that Juventus continue to focus on the Champions League and take points off them (as well as hoping others do). Likewise, with Napoli, can they keep up this Harlem Globetrotter style approach all year? Can Inter’s solid and gritty interpretation take them further?

Whatever happens this season, Inter fans should be extremely motivated and proud of the steps their team has taken. They are further along the line in the ‘Spalletti project’ than they thought, they seemingly have changed their mentality and last season few would have even thought that they would be mentioned in the same sentence as ‘Scudetto challenge’.

No war has been won solely on rear-guard actions, but they have been integral whilst a plan is made for the next offensive.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Yes, Inter can win it, but not this year. wINTER is coming!

Historically speaking, Inter struggle after January, so let`s not get into this unnecessary topic yet. Nobody talks about the Scudetto in their camp, so why bother? Their objective is finishing top4 and it seems feasible with Spalletti. Given that VAR came into force, it will be difficult for juBentus to win again.
on the 26th October, 2017 at 4:16pm
Inter fan. I'm really happy with the way things are going, but We gotta be realistic. We might be able to have a shot to win the league IF we keep the pace until January. During the winter window We gotta buy superstar players that will take the team to the next level. Players that can be available like Vidal, J. Rodriguez, di María, Ozil, Alexis Sánchez. One key player gets injured and we are out. We need good back up Defenders and we might have a chance. If we stay the same we won't win.
on the 26th October, 2017 at 2:15am
@ Alex_t

"Can the author tell me, what depth Napoli has on the wing? Candreva-Perisic-Eder-Cancelo is as good as Cuadrado-Mandzukic-Costa-Pjaca on paper and Napoli doesn't even have a reliable third winger."

Are you on sauce? Eder,Perisic Cancelo and Candreva are not even close to as talented as Mandzukic, Costa, Bernardeschi, Pjaca and Cuadrado. What are you on about?
on the 25th October, 2017 at 4:45pm
There is a worrying lack of depth in major positions at Inter, a striker, centre back & goal keeper being the most alarming.

Saying that, Perisic & Candreva are providing a lot of supply for Icardi and any decent forward will get a percentage of the goals just on being in the right place.

There is always a worry if a keeper goes out, but I think it's the defence that concerns me most. A clear out & some new faces are required in January.
on the 25th October, 2017 at 10:49am
Inter will get europa league not the scudetto. Napoli, Juve, Lazio and Roma will all finish ahead of them. No Icardi means no goals and let's face it Handanovic is the best keeper in Serie A. He has been brilliant so farso if he misses a game or two! Napoli to win the scudetto and to say they have no depth is ridiculus. Only Mertens at the moment cannot be replaced. Ounas looks good as does Rog, Diawara, Zielinski, and let's not forget Giaccherini. They also have some decent backup at CB.
on the 25th October, 2017 at 9:16am
Everything said in this article can apply like a mold to Napoli. Besides, Spalletti is notorious for running his players into the ground and getting them injured. Roma has been performing very well and have a lot of quality depth. They are tied in first with Napoli for best defense in the league and for the past 10+ years, the team with best defense, wins the league, with exception to Milan’s most recent scudetto.Napoli admitting that they care more about the league is such a loser mentality.
on the 25th October, 2017 at 8:32am
Why do the journalists keep talking up Napoli? They also lack depth and have the extra pressure of the CL.

Look at Napoli's starters. How many would be in a top team's starting XI? Mertens and maybe Jorginho.

Sarri is working miracles. I hope the best for them but at this stage Roma and Inter are just as likely to win as Napoli. Their chances are a function of how much Juve under-perform, which team is luckier with injuries, and which team wants it more.
on the 25th October, 2017 at 4:38am
permit me to say it once:
you are perspiring in your underwear, tucked in your parent's basement afraid to see the light ever since the best thing that entered your life, that woman from bologna, broke it all off. turn things around man, you're capable
on the 25th October, 2017 at 12:01am
The league is dead and the winner will 7 repeat as the corpse and its crumbling stadiums simply are inferior, as is the quality of the league. Much sorrow will erupt from Milan and Naples unfortunately as Sarri a man of principle and decency will once again be hamstrung and humiliated by his idiot ciucc owner Aurelio into 2nd or 3rd.

My hope is that he leaves the corpse of the dead league known as Serie A behind and heads to Spain or England to do Italians proud as Ranieri did.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 10:28pm
Btw I couldn’t care less who won it after six yrs of dominance if Juve give it up it might actually mean some great signings next year. Personally I welcome back the competition. I believe this will be a close title race for some reason maybe even Roma is in with a shot. I think Milan and Lazio can scrap it out for a cl spot. Anyways let’s here your thoughts and I don’t feel like hearing all the cheating rubbish cuz let’s face it var is not kind to anyone so far . The league is doing well again
on the 24th October, 2017 at 9:45pm
Juve fan here. Yes I believe inter and Napoli have a chance. Inter have a decent coach in Spalletti and have no European commitments. I am usually the first one to say Juve will win but for the first time in 5 yrs I can admit there is hope for you guys to take the title this year even Roma had a shot. I said in 5 yrs because I did not believe conte was going to win it in his first year until he did. This is also another reason why I said inter can win it bec u really just never know.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 9:37pm
on the 24th October, 2017 at 6:48pm
Scoring late means you're lucky? Sorry, but the game lasts 90 minutes, not 60. If Inter can keep up for 90 minutes while the opponent can't, that's their problem. Inter hasn't been "outplayed" either, if anyone says that then they don't understand football.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 5:15pm
Coming from Spain and being a Barcelona fan, Inter Milan are my favorite Serie A team. I love them because they have little to NO ITALIANs on their team. Inter are clearly the best option for us predominately La Liga supporters .. who love a club from Italy whose Italian fan base support a team that generally employs little to no Italians. Hahaha ... honestly, what a perfectly stupid club to support (from outside of Italy) I think more Italian teams should adopt this principle, NO ITALIANS!
on the 24th October, 2017 at 5:06pm
All credit to inter. They've done well so far but there's no chance of winning the scudetto. There's no hiding the fact they've been really lucky in games and scoring late minute goals, even though that shows they never give up they have been outplayed in many and somehow get away with it, they will ride their luck for now but eventually it has to wear out. Against milan they were really lucky to get the win and if it wasn't for handanovic napoli would have been clear winners.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 2:56pm
Rubentus will obviously win in the end, ridiculous to even dream about anything else. Napoli has no chance either. With Milan being a complete joke then inter should finish top 4 though. Which would mean they can upgrade alot next summer.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 2:40pm
"Not a chance, they couldn't even win it when they were cheating."

Must be a Juve fan projecting.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 2:18pm
At fullback, I do think inter are the weakest, but have the necessary replacements to weather a season's worth of knocks. Centerback is a completely different story though. Inter has no depth and an injury would immediately stop a title challenge in its tracks.

I see the top three staying the same as last year, because even though all others are fighting on 2 fronts, Inter may not be capable of truly challenging on one, yet.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 1:53pm
With all due respect to Lazio, there are 4 with a realistic shot of a scudetto.

At striker, only Juve, with Dybala and Mandzukic could reasonably replace the production of their talisman going down injured. I have slightly more faith in Perotti/Schick/Defrel than the depth at Napoli or Inter.

On the wings I actually think all have enough firepower to weather the storm of one lost player, although a second may see Napoli woefully short.

Centrally, all teams has the squad players to cope.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 1:48pm
Inter will not win the Scudetto for the same reason Napoli won't; lack of depth. My assessment may change if/when Inter buy some proper reinforcements in January. Everyone knows Napoli won't spend a dime on reinforcements and will once again drop off the title challenge by March.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 12:31pm
One should take note that reinforcement is coming. and make no mistake it is spalletti at the helm, one of the finest tactician on the peninsular and even with a thin squad their are still on par with the rest of scudetto hopefulls - and yes, that means Juventus too.

With no Europe competition, Inter have only one sole objective: qualify for CL. that was the target all along..

But with all these factors combine, one could not dismiss Inter of going for the scudetto if given the chance to do so
on the 24th October, 2017 at 12:21pm
Not a chance, they couldn't even win it when they were cheating.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 12:01pm
on the 24th October, 2017 at 11:58am
Inter to win the Scudetto? Are you telling me that this is the conclusion you've come up with, after this weekend's match against Napoli? Yes, a draw is a nice result, but it was so obvious that Inter are fr away from Napoli's (and Juventus') level. Because of the stability and consistency they got after Spalletti was signed, they could end up 3rd (at best) - unless something truly awful happens to Napoli & Juve!
on the 24th October, 2017 at 10:41am
Let's wait until Feb to judge. But I'm very satisfied so far. Though if talking about depth, then Napoli are as much as vulnerable as Inter. Removing K2, Mertens, Insigne/Callejon is similar with losing Skriniar, Icardi, Perisic. Even worse for Napoli coz they also compete in UCL. Juve might be the only one with squad depth in the whole league. Still prefer Napoli to win though

The most urgent thing is defender. Mangala should be enough for this season, but I prefer Gimenez, DeVrij, or Manolas.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 9:46am
Injuries to Icardi, 2 CB's/keeper would cripple them. Hard to see a team with Nagatomo lasting the pace.

Leave Ramires where he is, they don't even need another CM. Gimenez is on a Bosman from A Madrid in the summer, so a January move for him will at least give them another decent CB option.

The squad's a bit thin, but if the top players stay fit and they sign a few proper players in January, then top 4 is very likely and top 2 not impossible.

I said 3rd at the start, I'll stick with that.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 8:35am
i'll suggest three name that inter have to bring in winter and by doing so little will be left to doubting this INTER-SIDE. 1. Javier pastore 2.mustafi/jimenze/garay. 3.texeira. There is no point bringing ramires as that would unsettle brozovic and joao mario plus team cohesion. Chiao!
on the 24th October, 2017 at 6:45am
Can the author tell me, what depth Napoli has on the wing? Candreva-Perisic-Eder-Cancelo is as good as Cuadrado-Mandzukic-Costa-Pjaca on paper and Napoli doesn't even have a reliable third winger.

The only place of concern for Inter would be center back as the have ZERO depth. If Miranda-Skriniar can stay injury free and relapse of concentration (typical of pazza Inter) doesn't happen, they will be serious title contenders.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 4:58am
Too much hype from you journalists. No one from the Inter camp said the team aims for Scudetto; and this is not because we are humble or wanted not to put pressure on our team, it is rather we fully know our shortcomings as compared to the two real title contenders in JuBe and Napoli. Our aim is simple, get to the UCL and build on the momentum that we are having to do even better in next season. Saying this, we are in no denial that our results have clearly exceeded our expectation! Sempre Inter
on the 24th October, 2017 at 4:17am

Juve will win again.
on the 24th October, 2017 at 2:54am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.