Monday August 27 2018
Inter need an antidote

Inter don't lack quality, writes Richard Hall, but they must overcome the mental block which saw them collapse against Torino.

It wasn’t meant to be like this for Inter.

The squad had been much improved over the summer and the media had dubbed them the ‘anti-Juventus’. Luciano Spalletti scoffed at this is his Press conference after the draw against Torino, claiming that they are not the ‘anti anyone’. A defeat against Sassuolo was followed up by throwing away a two-goal lead to Torino, and the Nerazzurri have been their own worst enemy so far this season. They need to find their antidote quickly.

Spalletti said it was “hard to explain” how his team surrendered a two-goal lead to allow he away side back into the game. His men had played well early in the game, and seemed to have put the opening day defeat to Sassuolo to one side. There was pace, purpose and quality exhibited; as Ivan Perisic and Stefan de Vrij looked to have put the game beyond the Granata. Sime Vrsaljko and Kwadwo Asamoah playing as wing backs in a 3-4-3 looked solid, and Milan Skriniar’s return gave the back line more stability.

The Nerazzurri fell apart due to their inability to deal with individual errors. It’s not just the errors themselves that need eradicating, but also the way the team responds to pressure. This goes further than just these two games, as last season could be used as a case study of how Inter continually had to climb out of holes they had dug themselves. Spalletti referred directly to the mistake from Samir Handanovic and how this then dictated the rest of the game.

The former Zenit Coach had a point. Whether it was Dalbert’s poor positioning in the first game or Handanovic’s bizarre misjudgement of a long ball down his throat, these are scenes that are all too frequent. The frustration for the fans who packed San Siro was that their team looked like they had adjusted from that first tepid display at the Mapei Stadium. The Curva Nord’s banner before the match asked the players to ‘run and fight’, and for most of the game they did. Matteo Politano and Ivan Perisic looked efficient and creative either side of Mauro Icardi, and the full-backs looked better than in many a year.

The simple facts were that Inter looked much improved in the first 45 minutes. They had outplayed Torino only to suffer an unexpected collapse in the second half.

Already Inter have had to look deeply at themselves in a campaign which is still so young. Today’s day off has been cancelled, as the squad looks to get to the bottom of why one mistake can rock them to their core.

Perhaps reason Spalletti is scratching his head is that this mental block seems to be continuing with a new set of players. There is no blaming Jeison Murillo, Davide Santon and Yuto Nagatomo now. As Gazzetta dello Sport put it this morning: Inter are the anti Inter.

Despite that there is no cause for too much alarm. If the Nerazzurri can replicate their first half display and do it consistently they could still gather momentum. After all, for most of the first half it was hard to fault them and new players like Politano were extremely impressive. The team under Spalletti will improve and the games against Bologna, Parma and Sampdoria next will give them a chance to do this. There will be no overreaction to this in Milan. There will be exasperation and irritation, but Inter have the players to still have a strong campaign.

Perhaps the expectation will lift from this squad after only one point from of six, and that lack of pressure could help them rally. The Beneamata will certainly be challenging for the top four this season, and a much-awaited return to the Champions League will also lift the mood. Are Inter still dragging their fans on an emotional roller coaster? Of course they are. Are they equally capable of achieving something special with this squad? Again, yes. That is why the frustration is as great as it is for Spalletti - because he knows that when they get it right they will be dangerous.

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Have your say...
Inter and Milan have been TOTAL embarrassments of Calcio for Italy past 5+ years... they aren’t even worthy of ICC tour. Next summer invite Juve Roma Napoli Lazio, and idk maybe Parma. even in sponsoring Adidas dropped Milan after a long inseparable relationship, I’m waiting for Pirelli and Nike to stop wasting money and dump Inter.
on the 29th August, 2018 at 1:44am
I've never liked Spaletti. I think if Inter want to move to the next level, they need a better coach. Conte is the name that springs to mind. Spaletti should be coaching a team like fiorentina/Atalanta. He is not and will never be of the Inter/juve/Milan calibre.
on the 29th August, 2018 at 12:13am
Hypocrite you still after all these years of being beaten, by sassuolo hahhahahahah hahahhahaha ? Still talking about ffp. You even know how it works ? Hahahaha either way, hire proper management. If they cant, then its best ppl like you with weird conspiracy theories dont make yourself look so sad and stupid by saying the same irrelevant crap for 8 yrs. I repeat. 8 long yearrrrrrrssss hahhahahhahahahhaha losers.
on the 28th August, 2018 at 8:49pm
Let's keep in mind folks only 2 serie a games were played. I would like to take u back to 2015-2016. Juve record in the first 10 games 3 wins, 3 draws, and 4 losses and the first win came in their 4th game and we all know what happened after.Not saying Inter will win the scudetto,just saying the opening 2 games give no indication for the rest of the season.That year Inter were in 1st place heading to the xmas break and then finished 4th place. So yeah,lots of ppl are jumping the gun here
on the 28th August, 2018 at 2:45pm
Now now ppl,way too early to throw Inter under the bus.August is a strange month and lot will change including Inter performance.All the Spalletti naysayers relax.U blame formations etc but the let down was due to mental lapses which i am confident this coach will fix.For those calling him to be fired,pls remember that firing a coach during the season basically rights off your season.Let all be cool like fonz and be cool!bash Inter all u want but wait till May b 4 u get carried away! Bring it!
on the 28th August, 2018 at 2:34pm
@Pord *Re-hire. And at this point you have to wonder why a team that changes so many players + coaches over the years can't find a winning combination.

Still pretty early in the season, and we don't know how they'll mark their CL return. OTOH, 3 teams overturning a 2 goal deficit on the same week is amazing. Plus, it will change quickly but joint for top now is SPAL! A lot of teams have stepped up their games and it looks like a promising season.
on the 28th August, 2018 at 1:06pm
all of pre-season it was "anti-Juve". Every year its the same hype.
on the 28th August, 2018 at 11:31am
Maybe they should hire Gasperini
on the 28th August, 2018 at 10:32am
@ Hypocrisy - Politics & Football. LOL, well you must be the brains then. Typical inter attitude, blame it all on someone else. Referees, Platini, a staged moon landing,... You really think a player like Vidal, when given the choice, would've chosen Inter over Barca?
on the 28th August, 2018 at 10:27am
Asamoah is a jack of all trades, master of none type of player. Doesn't disappoint, but doesn't excel either, like most of their other signings. Problem is, when a team signs a lot of new players and most of them are less mediocre than what they had, fans get way too enthusiastic. I remember getting excited by signings like Diego, Pepe, Sissoko, and Tiago back in the day too.
on the 28th August, 2018 at 8:29am
Inters midfield is a bad joke.

Playing in 3 competitions with only 4 and a half midfielders (Valero only counts for a half since has the body of a dinosaur and can't run more than 5 minutes per match), is simple poor judgement from the management.

Meanwhile gagliardini is very average, vecino is a bad player, brozovic very inconsistent and nainggolan not getting younger.

A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link and inter midfield is extremely weak.
on the 28th August, 2018 at 7:30am
I watched Chelsea v Newcastle on sunday. kovacic done well. He would still be at Inter, so would Coutiniho only for corrupt Platinis Farcical Fair Play. Not to mention all the others that wanted to join but could not be signed.
on the 28th August, 2018 at 5:50am
Not enought antidote in the world to save this poisonous snake
on the 28th August, 2018 at 2:42am
The thing is that no-one is talking about is... The problem is not the team, but the coach. Spaletti is not a world class coach. He just stood there yesterday while his team is picked apart by smaller team. He watched and watched and watched until the game was 2-2. That is when he made his first move. He went with 5 defenders against Torino and abandoned the midfield. Vecino and Brozovic shouldn't be playing together. Lautaro should have been brought in the second half, not the last 2 mins.
on the 28th August, 2018 at 1:24am
I really don't rate Vecino and don't know why he is starting ahead of Borja Valero. I would also go for D'Ambrosio as LB with Vrsaljko RB. With Perisic and Politano on the wings and Martinez behind Icardi, we'd be much more attacking. We shouldn't be so defensive against teams we expect to beat. Not convinced that Asamoah should be playing so high up either - isn't he a LB?
on the 27th August, 2018 at 9:54pm
I am an Inter fan but any preseason enthusiasm I had for Inter have all but gone.Never thought scudetto was ever a possibility but 2nd place I was confident was achievable now I am hoping for 4th place and soon that will be lost if this continues.Yes it is early in the season but beyond results it is the performances and the poor quality in midfield that are worrisome. 1st game they looked awful, yesterday total mental breakdown.These are bad signs that I am afraid point to a huge disappointment
on the 27th August, 2018 at 7:30pm
Okay it has been just 2 games so passing judgment on transfers makes no sense. Having said that I find it very odd that anyone would have a midfield of Vecino, Brozovic & Asamoah at the same time. According to most, Martinez has started very well so why bring him on in the 92nd minute? Its as if Inter enjoy torturing their fans. I thought their transfer was very good but that is pointless if the manager makes a mess of things. At no point in a season is it a good idea to be 5 points behind Juve
on the 27th August, 2018 at 7:12pm
No, they need a calciopoli. losers...
on the 27th August, 2018 at 6:57pm
I forgot Lautaro. He seems to be low risk too, and looks like a good player. But my point is Inter takes far too many risks in the transfer market, and their record for hitting the jackpot is abysmal at best. They also have to bring down the expectations very firmly at the start of the season. It appears that they did not exactly hate the idea of being pictured as anti-Juve. That can put a huge burden on the players.
on the 27th August, 2018 at 5:04pm
Inter transfers are overrated. Except De Vrij, they all come with an asterisk: Naiggollan is a party animal and by his own admission might retire in 3-4 years. Asamoah was always a backup and just had one good season after being injured on and off for 3 years. Keita didn't make it in Monaco where young players usually blossom. Vrsaljko was signed for his world cup form, which may or may not carry over to his club and Politano really had one good season. So far Politano is the only one paid off.
on the 27th August, 2018 at 4:27pm
Belotti's goal was pure class. 
on the 27th August, 2018 at 4:25pm
The loss wasn't down to individual errors but a total lack of quality, creativity and grit in midfield, added to Inter's clear numerical disadvantage in the centre of the park, where 2 substandard players (Brozovic-Vecino) were outnumbered time and again by 3 Torino players. It took Torino 45 minutes to figure this out, but once they did they ran riot, as will other teams going forward.

Bad tactics + average midfield players = trainwreck of a season
on the 27th August, 2018 at 3:17pm
LOL Antidote? Don't you get it???? What they badly need is A NEW CALCIOPOLI!
on the 27th August, 2018 at 2:48pm
on the 27th August, 2018 at 1:50pm
As a Juve fan, I still consider the main challenge (if you can call it that) for the title to come from Inter. So as far as I'm concerned, happy to see them drop points. Not too worried about Napoli. They dug themselves out these last two weeks, but it won't happen every week and I actually see them missing out on the top 4 to Inter, Milan and Roma. If Milan can sack Gattuso by Oct, they have a good chance to finish 3rd. Roma/Lazio/Napoli will be close for 4/5/6.
on the 27th August, 2018 at 1:33pm
It looks like qualifying for the CL is going to be a once every 7 years deal for Inter. The good thing is that Juventus has done so much work for Serie A in Europe in the last 5 seasons and it looks like they'll continue doing good work in the future so no matter how bad Inter does in Europe every 7 yeas it won't hurt the league that much, Juventus will clean up after them. They only qualified thanks to us getting that 4th spot back and we'll clean up after them when they embarrass themselves
on the 27th August, 2018 at 12:37pm

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