Sunday April 28 2019
Are Inter successful, really?

Football Italia’s Chief Correspondent Richard Hall looks at Inter’s progress this season and asks, just what qualifies as success for the Nerazzurri?

‘Quando finisce la partita, il re ed il pedone finiscono nella stessa scatola.’

Is an Italian proverb that translates in English as, ‘when you finish the game, the king and pawn end up in the same box’ In other words: we all meet the same end. This is Inter right now.

As the Derby D’Italia ended, the Milanese club look like they will qualify for the Champions League finishing third, their star striker looks set to stay and their Coach seemed deliriously happy, assuring he would stay indefinitely. The fact is however, that this swan is kicking harder that it should under the water.

When we assess Inter, we should perhaps first accept the club for what it is. Maybe the word ‘project’ should be banned, as there isn’t one. Perhaps we should talk about coping and improving by experience. The Nerazzurri have everything they need to challenge Juventus, they soon will be free from the shackles of Financial Fair Play, they have good ownership, they have history and they have a brand. They do not however, know how to connect the dots.

After the Derby D’Italia, the charismatic and slightly crazy version of Spalletti was in full voice. “I will stay at Inter for the next 100 years because it’s a beautiful club,” came the cry. The statement itself was fanciful, impossible and emotional, once again representing everything that the Milanese club is. The fact that Spalletti is often driven to hyperbole, or in fact freely offers it up, suits the club known as ‘Pazza’. Is Spalletti simply a crazy man in charge of an asylum? Well if he is, they are deliriously happy to be in the Champions League again.

So how do Inter judge success? They played well against a Juventus team who, although they had started to switch off and haven’t played well in some time, still knew this was The Derby D’Italia. Finishing third whilst having a world class player on strike, his wife creating an award-winning soap opera and players like Ivan Perisic playing a leading role is bizarrely something to be proud of. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot and completing the London Marathon: why would you do it, but if you did, hats off, I guess?

So once again, how did Inter judge success? There is no Ajax-like culture here, there is no Atalanta like unity, instead this is painting that has simply had paint thrown against the canvas. A child could do it, yet somehow it’s seen as Avant Garde. As the season draws to a close there are still so many questions. The fact that the Coach of Inter said “we are not the kind of team that knows how to manage games” is shocking. The fact that Inter will finish third in fact seems to chastise the rest of the division.

To be clear, Inter have a talented squad and the frustration for their fans should be that they are not performing better. There is a unique opportunity for them to make themselves to be the clear third best team in Italy and potentially the second. The irony is that by finishing in this manner, they are almost condoning the fact that the lack of strategy and the inability to plan actually works. It once again seems to justify the folly that has surrounded the season.

Patrick Vieira has experience of both Juventus and Inter and was speaking before the Derby. He spoke about how Italian Football was too focused on short-term thinking and he was right. The only club who has had a long-term strategy is Juventus and no matter how many people can argue that this has stalled this season, they cannot deny the success of the Old Lady. Inter fit into this bracket perfectly and whilst they have all the tools in the tool box, they have no master craftsman to create the art.

Inter have achieved some good things this season, but it does have a bitter taste. The fact that they are the main club (other than Milan, but we won’t go there) that have the ability to topple the Juventus monopoly can’t be ignored. Spalletti may want to be there for another 100 years, but even if this was possible, would the Milanese want another 100 years of crazy?

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Have your say...
Some good points in there, Inter do need a long term plan, I'm worried with these words from Spalletti that he's not the right man fot the long term future of the club.
on the 2nd May, 2019 at 12:42pm
If this team had truly progressed, then it would have beaten Lazio, Atalanta and Roma at home instead of doing the absolute bare minimum of 1 goal and 2 points from 3 crucial home games. Weak.
on the 2nd May, 2019 at 11:38am
@ inter. Napoli away is a fixture Inter simply do not win. Skriniar was in diapers the last time we won there (98 AFAIK) Expecting 3 points from that game is just not sensible.

Your point about this team "clearly being better" is based on no empirical evidence whatsover. It has less points in a league with weaker Roman teams (who have less points than last season). Disregard the 2018 team's first 10 games? OK, then let's disregard this teams unbeaten autumn run... totally arbitrary thinking.
on the 2nd May, 2019 at 11:34am
Change Spalletti? How come you expect a club to have a long term view but then change the coach every 2 years??

Keep Spalletti, keep Icardi, keep everyone unless someone wants to go..! Then think about the future..
on the 2nd May, 2019 at 10:59am
This is the stupidest article i’ve ever read on this site
on the 30th April, 2019 at 3:37am
Godin may arrive.

Barella, Ziyech(tough to get now), Lozano, and a few top full-backs and a creative midfielder should be the main targets.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 3:11am
@red - last year's team started on fire. If you discount the first 10 rounds, this year's team has won many more games. However not just that, this year's team has played much better football. Unfortunately results haven't always gone our way with a number of draws, but this year would have beaten last year's team easily. Inter play Udinese, empoli and chievo, 3 of the bottom 4 teams. We already beat Napoli this year, no reason we can't again. both Atalanta and roma have far tougher runs home
on the 30th April, 2019 at 12:31am
@Inter : Inter are 4 points above Roma, will likely be 3 points above Atalanta by Monday night, and have away games at Udinese and Napoli to come. Absolutely no one in their right mind thinks Inter will make up an 8-point gap to finish above Napoli, especially since Inter haven't won in the San Paolo in Serie A for over a decade. The team also has less points after 34 rounds than last season, despite Roma and Lazio being far weaker. There's not much about that that suggests improvement....
on the 29th April, 2019 at 4:43pm
The author is an inter hater...jealous and envious of a feat they accomplished a few years ago...keep rooting for the all time best losing finals team..richard
on the 29th April, 2019 at 2:53pm
The author is an inter hater...jealous and envious of a feat they accomplished a few years ago...keep rooting for the all time best losing finals team..richard
on the 29th April, 2019 at 2:49pm
Inter will perpetually fail because of their DNA - looking at their teams before and after their triumphs of the Treble (which WAS epic, all due respect there) seems to be an anomaly more than any signal of anything lasting. The only lasting and enduring contribution of Inter (since the Massimo Moratti era started, to current date), has been that of being the perpetual dud. Its really been the only consistent thing in the last 20 years - apart from that wonderful blip in the timeline in 2010!
on the 29th April, 2019 at 1:49pm
Also losing first semi difficult game in EL - spalletti gave 2 debuts, one to a 16 year old and the team never played to win. Going out and focussing on the league to get top4 was always the priority.
on the 29th April, 2019 at 9:27am
@red - scraping a place? The team could still finish second. Scraping in was last year, inter have definitely improved. Yes they got knocked out in possibly toughest group in CL (both opponents in semi final) and only got beaten on goal difference in the end. Obviously need to finish the season but with no ffp, a couple of big signings, the team is only going to get better. Definitely not a failure
on the 29th April, 2019 at 9:24am
I don't think anyone calls scraping a CL place (this hasn't even happened yet - they could still finish 7th) getting knocked out in the CL group stage and losing the first semi-difficult EL game a "success", especially when you've signed 140 million euros worth of players. If anything the season is a failure.
on the 29th April, 2019 at 7:37am
First things first: long term strategy is only possible when the foundation of owners + organization + finances stay consistent (as with Juve). In the 8+ years since their historic 2010 Treble, Inter changed owners 3 times, coaches 6, plus Sporting Director. Finally they have a stable & financially strong owner, made CL 2 consecutive years AND will be free of FFP handcuffs. Moving in the right direction.
on the 29th April, 2019 at 12:57am
While there have been many low points this season, we did beat Tottenham, drew with Barca and look likely of finishing top 3 this season after barely scraping in last year. Need to get rid of some trash and bring in a couple of high class signings (as is being suggested will happen) and inter will continue to improve
on the 29th April, 2019 at 12:39am
I cross my fingers and wish that Mourinho will come back and replace Spaletti next season. Unlike the Italian, Mou knows the most out of his players, protect and defend them in public views. With Spaletti, Inter is more or less a headless chicken. I want my good old Pazza Inter back.
on the 28th April, 2019 at 10:41pm
its been a year for inter , we are back Chl and try fight for Chl Place , so we are much bitter to Last year , and Spaletti doing great jobs like our manager, even he get so pres from INTER FANS and from pres , we need some AMF/ CDM , and new wingers boas Defenders and Midfielders and one good forward to help our team to soccer if we loose former captain , so marotta need time to build our team to summer , so we have to respect that

on the 28th April, 2019 at 10:27pm
@ inter is whatever.If you are not hating then tell us something we dont know lol haters gonna hate
on the 28th April, 2019 at 9:38pm
Juve didn't win the Treble so of course Inter's season is successful. What other goals do they have?
on the 28th April, 2019 at 9:14pm
Does anyone really think that this season was a success?Really?100 more years with Spalletti, he should nowhere near inter in 100 days.And it would already be 2 years late.It hurts watching the team play in 80% of the games.We had about 2 or 3 good games this season.We need almost a whole new team.I would keep no more than 5 players of the current squad.It will take years to build a team that will compete even only in Italy.But we have to forget about signing players of 30+.
on the 28th April, 2019 at 7:39pm
Their target was never going to be more than top 4and latter stages of CL/EL

They don't have the squad to compete with Juve, despite having some very good players

Keita,Nainggolan, Candreva, Ranocchia, Mario,Valero, Perisic, Gabriel could all leave, and Icardi will probably have to go too. Too many flaming bridges behind him at this point

Get Conte in before he's snapped up and give him players he wants. He may not make them champs, but he'd light a fire beneath them and make them competitive
on the 28th April, 2019 at 4:17pm
Juventus have dominated the league for several years now but have still not won the UCL. Not trying to hate on them, just facts. Inter is the last italian team to win the UCL and for all our faults that remains a fact. Inter is growing and instead of insulting a rising team, perhaps it should be recognized that this new ownership has made all the right steps to grow the club in a modern way.We are growing and trying to erase the bad decisions of the past.Inter is Coming.
on the 28th April, 2019 at 4:10pm
Inter is and has been a work in progress since our last cycle ended in 2011.There have been multiple owners, managers and projects in place since then.Now however we are on course to qualify for the champions league for the second time in a row, also the second time since 2012.There is a path here, especially when we are done with the FFP settlement agreement that has ben restricting us. We are making progress and should thank our new owners for staying strong and improving the club. Be patient
on the 28th April, 2019 at 4:04pm
No more BERLUSCONI, no more Sacchi, no more grand Milan, no more MORATTI no more Mancini/Mourinho more inter forever, No more SENSI, no more Capello, no more Roma likewise no more AGNELLI snr, no more LIPPI, no more JUVE...... But now we have GATTUSSO, ALLEGRI, SPALLETTI....What! What are they doing? Managing a team or lecturing players with playstation and football Manager fantasy! Can they even get a job in the English Championship much more the PREMIER LEAGUE!...these guyz are simply passing out their time with a regressing club in a retrogressing league.....Nonpareil indeed
on the 28th April, 2019 at 2:38pm
"Juve is not better than Inter!" Mwahahahaha... @Ade You make my day. You still have the clown in you. GJ! XD
on the 28th April, 2019 at 2:37pm
Part 3-its inside you. First if he were to leave lukaku or zapata is no less a giant. Second chiesa 22 and perisic 30 and genes of us, would you swap?. We need leaders now if ninja feel tired he can go to china next season. Here my shopping list for only midfield- alcantra brothers- thiago and rafinha, de paul or pastore or mata. Is sadio mane is possible? If not then why would you sell perisic. Need guranteed performer in this position. Do have an eye in serie a - praet, papu gomez or ben nacer
on the 28th April, 2019 at 2:12pm
Part2-us brave and flexible and most of all a winner as writer himself agreed that inter is lacking nothing to be at the top but spalletti would not agree. Make believe buy one or two very good player and on the field play with euphoria like of leichester that made the miracle or roma and napoli in recent years coming almost close to catch juve. Next year, we will know if its with or without icardi but captaincy is lost now so if icardi to continue he has to live with that. No can take you pride
on the 28th April, 2019 at 1:52pm
on the 28th April, 2019 at 1:30pm
I hereby feel it crystally clear how richard the chef cooking miscreants for the people to detaste INTER. We forget one thing when comparing juventas to inter that inter is where once juventas was in conte's first year at helm. Conspiracy been creating to hault this rise with loads of pessimism talk,trash and lies. I said before if spalletti cant kick our butt to make us steady as king he must leave. His style is too sterile to shake off our mental blocks unlike simeone or allegri who would make
on the 28th April, 2019 at 1:28pm

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