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Wednesday April 18 2018
Inter potential proves infuriating

Inter destroyed Cagliari to show again just what they are capable of, but Richard Hall knows we've been here before and will be again

The rhetoric before Inter faced Cagliari had the same repetitive and dull ring to it. Like a small Milanese church, hidden between the modern structures of the city, people acknowledged it but thought nothing more. Before they hosted the Sardinians, they had not scored in the last three, a rather dismal and insipid display, when one considers they are vying for the Champions League. Still Luciano Spalletti had to rally his troops and his frustrated fans, but the message, whilst heartfelt, had been all been heard before.

“All games are difficult. This will take character and technical quality.”  These comments are certainly true for this Inter squad as they have made many games against ‘lesser’ opposition look hard work, laboured and more difficult than they needed to be. In these performances they have lacked technical quality, they haven’t had character.

The comments were no different from any that would be heard in any changing room in South America, Europe or Africa. “We must fight for every ball” and “We need to improve”. It is easy to have sympathy with the Nerazzurri Coach, as every fan, writer and anyone associated with the club must be infuriated by the same errors that happen, technically and as Luciano said, in character.

All talk after the Derby Della Madonnina was about Icardi and missed chances, but it threw up a bigger debate. The Nerazzurri have been too reliant on their captain’s goals and need to look to the collective to help out in sharing the responsibility. Part of this is the lack of creativity. Rafinha shows promise, and Marcelo Brozovic has been good in recent games, yet he has been anonymous in too many this season.

Not all is doom and gloom. After all, the Nerazzurri responded to all the above comments and destroyed Cagliari 4-0. They played with intensity and Inter can still qualify for the Champions League. Mauro Icardi scored his 25th of the campaign, a personal best, and Yann Karamoh looked a direct, energetic and creative breath of fresh air, despite some missed chances. He is raw and unpolished, but his calm demeanour and general love for the game shines bright. Joao Cancelo, Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic also shared the goals, so surely things are good? Have Inter turned another corner?

The issue is that throughout this season, the Nerazzurri have had poor periods (December – January), came back and filled many with hope, only for the same issues to plague them. Inter’s problems seem like a stubborn stain that despite all the will in the world cannot be shifted. In all fairness, the result was almost irrelevant, as we know by now it’s only a matter of time before Pazza Inter return.

Inter will and should enjoy the result and there was no doubt that their pace, intensity and attitude answered all of their critics, for this game at least. Now they have to step up again and try and build on this once more. When the end of the season comes around, a team who did not reach the Coppa Italia final, had no European adventures and were for the most part, looking good for Champions League spot, should look refreshed and have something to show for it. They have exhibited against Cagliari that they are not jaded and can perform, so the criticism of recent weeks lays solely with the players.

Wherever Inter end up this season, there will be a feeling of fatigue, of repetitiveness and a monumental desire to change the mentality that has seen the club only being consistent in its mistakes. Frustration and negativity are dancing in step with Inter simply because they have the potential to be so much more. They have proved again how good they can be, now it’s time to be consistent.

Have your say...
Good article except two things: 1) It says after this victory its only a matter of time before "Pazza Inter" returns, making it sound like Pazza Inter is negative thing, well it's not. Pazza Inter is just being unpredictable is being capable of great feats or beating any rival. Playing like rebels. It's the DNA of our team, Forza Inter!
2) You also mention that these results is only on the players, well it's not. Its on Spalletti stubborness by insisting with the likes of Candreva & not Karamoh!
on the 20th April, 2018 at 12:29pm
Talk of becoming true contenders is premature.
Inter's squad is NOWHERE near the sheer quality of the one at Juventus.

Confirm the "titolari" plus 3 very good signings and it'd be another step forward.
on the 20th April, 2018 at 6:20am
....streak every 3 games. He was on pace to break Higuains scoring record with 40 goals. He’s right behind Immobile. If Inter get a few good signings and he stays they could challenge for scudetto next year. + let’s not get crazy they played Cagliari after all. Not like they comfortably beat Man U,or Bayern 4-2. Maybe Spaletti and emulate Pep at Man City in second season...get team right,and stay focused after good start.
on the 19th April, 2018 at 10:26am
Inter is a total anomaly....some times they’re on Juves level and other times they’re on Beneventos level. There’s a fine line...and inter are right there at top but but fail to show up.Spaletti is a proven coach,maybe not at Mourinho, or Ancelotti level,but could certainly stare Inter back to powerhouse status. Granted this isn’t all star roster like the pasts.amazing how Candreva stock has dropped.Icardi is the star of squad. He’s got 25 goals ! Amazing when he’s gone on 4 game scoreless .....
on the 19th April, 2018 at 6:11am
Re Ferban,

Assuming CL qualification, I think your transfer suggestions are spot on. Barella ( Inter fan ) and Torreira both young with serie A experience. Bernard and Ferreya have CL experience, can play well together ( as shown at Shaktar ) and most importantly free with good potential resale values if things don't go to plan.

My dream signing/s if youll amuse me is Rabiot who will only have 1 yr on his contract..40m? and would love to see kovacic back.. 2yr loan 35m option?
on the 19th April, 2018 at 1:47am
Couldn't agree more with Paolo. While it's true there's been some blips in form, the bottom line is that 85% of the season they have been extremely promising. 2-4 years ago we would have double the amount of goals conceded and have gone through our 2nd coach by now. Stability is present and Spalletti has gotten the back line solid for the first time in ages.
on the 18th April, 2018 at 10:14pm
Anybody would agree even the mighty juventas that last few years inter seemed the force to be reckoning. Because bar inter even napoli looks smaller club to juventas, you got to admit?. So, bring mourinho back or simeone to make this inter reach last few steps to be a real giant club. Spalletti is right fit only to some stages. Now its time to be step up. If they qualify for cl, honesty they just need de vriz, pastore, martial and A JUGGENAUT COACH. honenstly spalletti absoluty dont know how to rotate squad because he changed his left back three times finally with right back when dalbert is on ur book, he used even a unfit miranda when he easily thrust a robust lopez to shackle ur deence yet all the time he destroying attacking fluency for defensive solidity and its naive cause without it u cant be juventas or any giant club.
on the 18th April, 2018 at 8:42pm
The objective is the Champions League which Inter are still on course for.

Third place, very few goals conceded, very few defeats, highest ave attendance.

A couple of hiccups that could have been avoided, but overall, as an Inter fan, very happy with the current progress.

I think the club could do without Icardi moving into next year. He's good, but he reminds me of Vieri, loads of goals but the team is suffering from it building everything around him and bowing to all his wants and needs.
on the 18th April, 2018 at 3:52pm
I see Inter mount a real challenge at the beginning of every season only to crumble around December. 2015-16 they conceded only one goal in the first few rounds while Juve had their worst start in years. But Inter yet again did an Inter and imploded. The writer correctly points out the problem seems to be psychological. That's the only plausible explanation for their win-less streak in December and January and their (kind of) revival after Spalleti's rant.
on the 18th April, 2018 at 3:08pm
Inter's best policy must be to confirm ALL of the 13/15 first teamers, whilst bringing in 3 very good players who can go straight in the first 11.

De Vrji and Asamoah are of course 2 such players of high standards, but the third needs to be a big name, and PASTORE would fit the bill.
on the 18th April, 2018 at 1:29pm
Lastly everyone that understands pro football knows that to build a winning team for real, you start at the back, and secure a good defensive unit, then move forward.

In Spallettis first year Inter have let in 22 goals in 33 matches, last year they let in 49 in 38 matches.

Massive improvement. Thats why Inter fans, opposite to what you wrote are positive, we see a plan and a project we believe in.

If Inter make CL the season has been a succes, simple as that!
on the 18th April, 2018 at 11:58am
The problem vs the smaller opponents that sit back is tactical. Inters 4-3-2-1 is too defensive vs these teams and for a long time the only threat was coming through the flanks, Perisic and Candreva.

Other problem is the lack of depht on the bench but thats understandable considering Inter is not allowed to spend a lot cause of FFP.

If Inter make the CL, with 30-40 million guaranteed, combined with the highest attendance in A for 5 years straight now, you will see a real challenge to Juve!
on the 18th April, 2018 at 11:44am
Nice try Richard!

"Wherever Inter end up this season, there will be a feeling of fatigue, of repetitiveness and a monumental desire to change the mentality that has seen the club only being consistent in its mistakes."

Not a single word true. 48000 in the stadium Tuesday night, great atmosphere and backing of the team.

Objective is CL and its very possible to reach still.
Not a single defeat vs top 9, and 4 in total in Serie A is quite good consistency dont you think?
Roma and Lazio lost 7.
on the 18th April, 2018 at 11:21am
For their own sake it's better they qualify for the CL, because Icardi will be off elsewhere if they go another season without it.

Martinez might be good, but without Icardi Inter are toothless up front. He'd make a great signing for many big clubs, including Juve, who could do with looking for a Higuain replacement.

De Vrij, Barella, Torreira, and the Bosman duo of Bernard and Ferreyra could add depth to a pretty shallow squad.

Hopefully West Ham are silly enough to pay 30-40m for J Mario
on the 18th April, 2018 at 11:21am

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