BLOG ITALIA
Thursday February 7 2019
Now is the Inter of our discontent

The now-traditional winter slump has arrived, but Football Italia chief correspondent Richard Hall thinks Inter are making the situation look worse.

Now, once again, is the winter of Inter’s discontent and the clouds are certainly louring on the Nerazzurri house. As was exhibited a year earlier, when the snow falls on the city, the Milanese certainly freeze. The ‘pazza’ characteristics of the team are now as noticeable as the grey winding staircases of the Meazza and inevitably they find themselves under pressure. None more so than Coach Luciano Spalletti, who after three straight defeats and elimination from the Champions League, is shouldering the blame for his underperforming team. Whilst he is no immediate danger, the crows will be circling at the end of the campaign.

Those heady days in Rome at the end of last season all seem so far away now. That warm evening when 6,000 Inter fans packed Roma’s Curva Sud to witness Matias Vecino’s last gasp goal is but a memory. The ecstasy was real, the atmosphere indescribable to those who were not there, but the worst thing was that it gave hope. This hope was one of a good summer transfer window and a campaign that would see Inter be pushing for continued Champions League qualification as they moved into 2019.

Now, as the Nerazzurri lick their wounds after a defeat to Bologna, where in truth they were diabolical in all aspects, the annual crisis has returned to the blue and black half of Milan, the fans are in revolutionary ferment. It is a mood that seems strange however when you look at the table, as they are third. Admittedly, they are a staggering 20 points behind Juventus and 11 behind Napoli, but did anyone expect this squad to win Serie A? It’s unlikely.

They are four points ahead of Milan in fourth and when all said and done, can quickly turn this ‘crisis’ around. Parma are next and then Sampdoria and Fiorentina follow, it’s not an easy run but all these teams are beatable. They also face Rapid Vienna in the Europa League, another tie that is winnable and another tournament they could go deep into.

This is not covering up the obvious deficiencies in the team and the tactics. Every Coach since Roberto Mancini has struggled to find a creative midfield structure that can unleash Mauro Icardi. The wide men have never managed to be potent in the goals department, the build-up play is slow and too often the teams relies on moments of individual genius rather than comprehensive team play. Is this all Spalletti’s fault? No, of course not. Other Coaches have struggled with this group and with Inter’s structure. Spalletti also has exhibited traits at Roma, when he did get Edin Dzeko scoring, he did see goals from the wide men and his wingers did score goals.

Even so, it wouldn’t be Inter if they didn’t add to their internal problems by airing their dirty laundry in public. This is a habit that seems to transcend owner, Coaches and Sporting Directors. Icardi’s contract has been a soap opera of monumental proportions, Spalletti himself complained of the public nature and admission of Ivan Perisic’s transfer request and even the professional and shrewd Beppe Marotta has seemingly been ‘Interised’ as he has publicly criticised the tactician, albeit in an indirect way. “I have never sacked a Coach in my 22 years,” but also indicated the Champions League is decisive for Spalletti.

This approach may be fantastic for the Italian media, but it does make it look as if the club is in more turmoil than it actually is. Of course, Spalletti is under pressure if he doesn’t reach the Champions League, just like Eusebio Di Francesco or Gennaro Gattuso, but that is obvious, even before the issues. The simple fact of the matter is that whilst things are far from perfect, the Nerazzurri’s incredibly naïve understanding of PR is hurting them.

Is Spalletti as risk? Yes, if these results continue. The real question is, should he be the focal point when the problem was evident before he even arrived?

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Have your say...
3 things are a certainty in this life :
... Death

...Taxes

.... Inter falling apart in winter,and throwing away the season. ...FACT.
on the 9th February, 2019 at 2:54pm
Next season we should look like this:
Handanovic
Hatebor De Vrij Skriniar Biraghi
Barella Brozovic Benassi
Politano Timo Werner Lautaro

Backups:
Padelli
De Ambrosio Ranocchia Bastoni Asamoah
Nainggolan Borja Vecino
Candreva Pinamonti Keita Balde

Not the best, but certainly not the worse either.
on the 9th February, 2019 at 4:21am
There is a simple fix for this slump, play Vecino and Naingollan next to each other and Brozovic ahead of them for his creativity. Keep Politano on the right and send Perisic to the bench for Lautaro. For next season get rid of Icardi and his circus while his value is still high. Forget about Modric and Rakitic and get Barella and Benassi for the midfield. Hatebor at RB and Biraghi at LB. Finally, bring back Mourinho, no Conte.
on the 9th February, 2019 at 4:08am
i can name few name inter have that can flood away smaller teams with goals. first name is lautaro and much to chagrin that we didnt find a way to added this value to the team function. and second is ninja; a tiger is always a tiger. if we found them deadly perisic and icardi will find breathing space and vecino can unleash himself; i know he can. . . .
on the 8th February, 2019 at 2:19pm
Parma has matched Inter head to head the last 5 or 6 years. Hope Ranocchia practiced his shooting. He might be more likely to score than Icardi.
on the 8th February, 2019 at 5:59am
Very clever play on words in title. My props. I'll be reading the article later.
on the 8th February, 2019 at 5:58am
Mourinho is available. Please please sign him.
on the 8th February, 2019 at 5:49am
If there are Juve fan that are glory hunters then that is because Juve are hogging the glory. In the past when Milan were on top those glory hunters went to Milan. If Milan don't have a buisness plan to increase international appeal and business the that one area your "Milanese" owners are going wrong.
on the 8th February, 2019 at 5:43am
Spalleti favoured Radja than Rafinha although Rafinha is injury-prone he always deliver on the pitch and adds creativity. If Rafinha stayed with the addition of another quality mildfilder these problems in January could’ve not happened.Now he’s forced to play underperforming and predictable wingers making it so easy to defend against.No matter how many crosses they deliver oppositions are just instructed to tightly mark the only target (Icardi). But by the time he sub Lautaro it’s just too late
on the 8th February, 2019 at 1:45am
Anonymous: Inter was not dead but Mourinho killed them when he immediatelly joined Real Madrid.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 11:49pm
As RED mentioned- Inter is missing midfield players with brain to create deadly pass to strikers, that is why icardi is cut off. Frankly speaking i must laugh at inter’s strategy on the market when further players for defence are demanded when the defence is not an issue at all. Inter had one very good player- rafinha who wanted to stay and was exactly the player with whom the inter was more dangerous but let him go and bought blind ninja??
on the 7th February, 2019 at 11:21pm
@ Annonymous the problem with Serie A is that Asamoah and Cancelo play better for Juve than for Inter. Just like Bonucci and Higuain played better for Juve than Milan. If Alex Sandro signed for one of the Milan teams he’d probably see his career nosedive. How do you fix that?

PS I’m going to ask Juve fans to clarify what their connection to the city of Turin is. It’s be terrible if they were just glory supporters.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 10:56pm
The structure at inter is opaque with a 26 year old son of the Chinese owner as president. Joint CEOs in Antonello and Marotta. Then under Marotta you have Ausilio and Gardini all somehow involved in player recruitment. When you add in the cats cradle of FFP regulations it all adds up to a complete mess. Nobody wants final responsibility. Everybody is leaking to the media, run by Juve and Milan and anti Inter anyway. No wonder they are known as Pazza Inter.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 9:16pm
According to deluded Inter fans, Asamoah is better than Alex Sandro and Sime Vrsaljko is better than João Cancelo.

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... LOSER!
on the 7th February, 2019 at 6:29pm
Spalletti is a big part of the problem. 1 dimensional tactically. Inter never look cohesive on the pitch, no idea what he does in training. Relegation teams outplay Inter often. He waits too long to make substitutions. He's too loyal to out of form players. He settled for the draw against PSV in the CL. Worst of all he always looks nervous on the touchline like he's awaiting the next disaster. This negativity filters through to the players and they play without confidence.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 6:17pm
it serves Inter right for firing Branca! after watching Ausilio get Dodo, Medel, Mvilla and Osvaldo in a summer mercato don't complain at all about player acquisitions! It's January and no coach can prevent the annual january collapse of Inter - it is now an unstoppable tradition so just embrace it - i know i do :) i know it's sad and pathetic but that is Inter !
on the 7th February, 2019 at 5:22pm
The treble was their super nova. Their finest moment but also the moment that they died.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 3:41pm
It is the fault of Ausilio and Spaletti for totally misjudging the transfer market and prioritizing the wrong types of player. Once Asamoah (who admittedly has been terrible) and De Vrij were secured ALL focus should have been on securing 2 first-team midfielders that would guarantee a step up in quality. Many of us called this and were amazed when Keita was signed instead of Vidal or some other midfield solution. The problem with the team is the midfield, where Brozovic is the only good player.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 1:52pm
The attacking half of the team have lost their focus and this has made the team disfunctional. Perisic craves EPL every once in a while! Icardi is dealing with family issues, we all know what's going on with Nainggolan and Martinez needs time to adapt to European level of football.
Evaluations should be made at the end of the season and for now team needs peace of mind
on the 7th February, 2019 at 1:16pm
Except for a few summers Inters existence has been a Siberian winter.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 11:12am
i want to put two clear lines of success and failure for us. no we are not in january slump because we are going to finish third, if not that is serious failure. and success is having a beutiful ending and that will be finishing second or atleast scoffing fumes at napolis shoulder. i am sure conte will love our defenders and simeone loves to join us and mourinho loves us even though he is too demanding but love is to be unconditional.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 10:46am
i think our environment is one which have to deal with numerous calamity. in the past we were culprits; in future there is a dark tunnel waiting for us cause we are pazza waiting to choke again. but in truth we are too bigger club than these issues. we have an ambitous owner and he is in charge of right club to do so. we believed in spalletti so much so that we hand him new contract even in turmoil. but ambition must be on show in our perfomance either stances must be taken to the fore....
on the 7th February, 2019 at 10:25am
The biggest problem with Inter (and Milan too) is they just can't move on from their past glories. They, especially their fans, just love bragging about them and this won't get them anywhere.
Just leave the past, live the present & plan the future.

And yes, I'm Juventino & surely will get hate-replies from their fans.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 9:44am
This club can't be saved by anyone.
on the 7th February, 2019 at 9:22am

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