Wednesday February 21 2018
Inter believe their own luck

While Luciano Spalletti hits out at those who said they were fortunate, Richard Hall notes Inter are playing like a side who believed they were riding their luck

Andrea Ranocchia may have been unlucky for his part in the bizarre own goal he scored against Genoa, but the whole incident was symbolic of Inter in recent weeks. After the game, the defender insisted that they would start afresh against Benevento, but it has all been said before.

Luciano Spalletti also cut a frustrated figure, claiming his team are following his instructions, yet he still seem hapless. The comments are fundamentally bizarre considering the Nerazzurri started the season so well, yet the excuses are becoming repetitive.

Eder came deeper than Mauro Icardi normally does. This has worked in recent games and allowed the wide men to be more direct and cut inside. Inter in turn dictated play, but a lack of creativity or a player willing to take control and try and make a difference, saw them instead pass the ball around the opposition box with no penetration.

Both Samir Handanovic and Spalletti pointed to a lack of self-esteem. They have been working on the little, intricate elements to their play that can give them marginal gains, yet nobody seemed willing to take the risk, almost too scared of making a mistake. Perhaps this also explains what happened in the second part of the game especially when Inter were a goal down. Now the fear of making a mistake morphed into fear of defeat and the team seemed to play even more within themselves.

Spalletti was so agitated when Inter were flying high and people said they were just lucky, so determined to prove them wrong. The fact they have lost confidence so rapidly and so comprehensively suggests the players believed they were riding their luck too.

Once they imploded, they just couldn’t recover and now they are at the end of their ‘easy run’ where they have picked up five points out of a possible 12 against Crotone, SPAL, Bologna and Genoa.

Perhaps the last thing Inter and their Coach need now is a game against a Benevento side who just overcame fellow relegation strugglers Crotone in dramatic fashion. This was supposed to be the perfect lift before the team face Milan in the Derby Della Madonnina, but the mood is bleak.

The problem is about application on the pitch and it is time that every player takes collective responsibility for having courage to share the goals and take chances. Spalletti said before the Genoa game that his team were growing and that they had simply hit a bump in the road that had been eradicated, hopefully, by scraping past nine-man Bologna. Whilst the Genoa defeat does make this hard to see, as the performance was so tepid, they are not in a bad position.

The aim for Inter over the last few seasons has always been the Champions League and they are now in fifth place, but only two points off Roma in third. They are lucky to be in a race with the two Capital clubs, who also have psychological implosions at times. A win against Benevento and in the Derby would see them still looking strong for the pre-season ambitions.

Maybe Inter’s level is neither what it is now, nor what it was in December, and with another change in fortune then they could be back performing at a high level? One thing is for certain, there is nowhere left to hide for the players, they have no excuses now and how they deal with the next two games will be their toughest test of character yet.

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Have your say...
The players need to believe in themselves until the final whistle. Its a morale crisis.
They need never say die attitude now more than ever. Its okay to lose but play well and keep their heads high.
I think they put pressure on themselves unnecessarily and its getting heavier. They should not look at the table and treat it game by game.
The coach have not doing his job in protecting the players morale and confidence.
on the 27th February, 2018 at 6:35pm
Sure thing the next two matches would be defining moments for the Inter season.
Inter shall beat Benevento recover a minimum self-esteem and soon after go the Derby against the overrated Bilan who are just leaving a hype Rhino era just because they have beaten a few low or mid table opponents. Wait to you'll see how Arsenal kicks their butts and soon they will be right where they belong.

The Derby will dictate which team goes higher and who will stay higher in the table
on the 23rd February, 2018 at 11:36pm
Not an Inter fan but was thrilling to see them open up season so strong like a dark horse for scudetto. Now they have crumbled down to 5th spot. Had they stayed on course just somewhat they’d still be in title race. No one has said anything yet but any other coach by now would be on the chopping block. Spaletti got a pass but how many more ?
on the 23rd February, 2018 at 7:43am
SPALLETTI can turn Inter in a contender, maybe not a winner that's also true, but he can improve things.
To do so he must be able to have a big say in the players that the Club signs.
For instance, top of his list was a schemer, a "trequartista", a footballer like Pastore or similar and Inter didn't sign one.

Some goalkeepers have bad spells........
on the 22nd February, 2018 at 1:52am
Inter did ride their luck the first half of the season. And now that the luck is over and with the slowest and clumsiest midfield in the league, I don't see how we're gonna get out of this mess. Spalletti definitely doesn't have the solution.
on the 21st February, 2018 at 10:11pm
Inter have made an amazing amount of bad signings in the last two years where they could actually spend a bit of money.

Inter don't have a single midfielder (not counting rafinha who is on loan and not 100% anyways) who would be anywhere near a starting role for Rube, Napoli, roma or Lazio.

When your midfield consist of low quality players as grandpa Valero, brozovic who barely have over an IQ of 50 and skill less boneheads like vecino and fagliardini in particular, then top 4 isnt realistic.
on the 21st February, 2018 at 8:40pm
Inter have regressed to the mean and are now playing at their level. The league table in the end will reflect accurately where each time lies.
on the 21st February, 2018 at 3:41pm
There no coincidence that inter bad run started after playing Juve. Juve doping labs engineered a extra virulent strain of the pazza inter virus and infected the inter players. The previous strain was weakening and that just can't be allowed to happen.
on the 21st February, 2018 at 2:10pm
They are missing João Mário.
on the 21st February, 2018 at 12:39pm
It is all about mentality since 3 decades ago. Players, Coaches, even Bosses have changed...... maybe try to leave the Stadio.
on the 21st February, 2018 at 11:44am
Inter needed a Conte and not a Spalletti... now we have Spalletti he better sort thing about because it's not the league position I care about but if I am going to watch my team I want to see desire and entertainment or else it's a waste of a couple of hours... as it has been for weeks now...
on the 21st February, 2018 at 10:41am
When people talk about entire Inter players not doing well right now, they should not fail to make mention the role our goalkeeper plays now. He is as good as he's bad. His inability to come out for crosses greatly hampers hurts the team's success most of the time. Once the defense is beaten, it is always a goal. His reactions are not as they used to be some 5 years back. Most of the goals that beat are so cheap, he can't stop them. In fact, the following goalkeepers: Allison of Roma, Perin of
on the 21st February, 2018 at 4:00am

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