BLOG ITALIA
Tuesday August 27 2019
Project Conte has lift-off

Inter's debut was a real statement of intent and Football Italia Chief Correspondent Richard Hall wonders if they can go all the way with Antonio Conte.

‘Inter crush Lecce’ was plastered over the front of the Corriere Dello Sport and it was an apt headline. Antonio Conte’s new look Nerazzurri decimated the team from Puglia, as fans at San Siro purred over the display. For the naysayers, this was only Lecce and it was only game one of a long season, but for the black and blue half of Milan, it felt like new dawn. It is true that there will be many more and much harder tasks ahead, but if one is to draw any conclusions from Monday night, it is that Inter will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

The 4-0 scoreline felt like it could have been more. It also has to be said that when Antonio Candreva’s long range shot slammed into the back of the net, the ecstatic fans could not believe what they were seeing. It is true that the new boys impressed, especially Romelu Lukaku and Stefano Sensi, but it was the effect the new Coach had on some of the old guard that really caught the eye.

Candreva put in a man of the match display and his goal was certainly the icing on the cake. Ever self-critical, the former Lazio man confessed after the game that he had a lot to make up for and that he felt he had lost a year last season. Inter fans had booed him off the pitch more than once last campaign, as his end product had been consistently poor. Life under Conte is certainly working for him, as his energy and effort saw him look five years younger and his confidence in executing the final product was evident.

The difference in the winger was so great from last term, that it will bring hope within the Inter ranks. The energy, persistence and passion showed by the team in all areas was refreshing and even at the start when the passing wasn’t crisp, they didn’t panic. Marcelo Brozovic, who also put in a stellar display, was perhaps the most cautious when talking about title ambitions after the game, but even he found it hard to deny that they should be in the mix.

Quite simply Inter need to win games like this one against Lecce, they did this with gusto, but in many years gone by, the ‘Pazza’ side has crept in later. This result will only matter if they repeat this performance away at Cagliari and then at home against Udinese and arguably real title credentials will not be known until late September when they have played the Derby Della Madonnina and the following tie against Lazio.

The early signs are promising and those who predicted a strong Inter this season have been proven right on the opening week. Whilst it cannot be reiterated enough that it is too early to pass real judgment, one thing is certainly possible to see. There is no doubt that the energy levels and work rate of this team will not be allowed to drop, and this in itself will take this team to a level they were not on last term. For some time there has been no question about the talent the Nerazzurri have assembled, but after this summer the message is clear. Inter is a train driven by Conte, he knows the destination and if you want to get on get on but don’t like his methods, then you can get off.

The message was made clear again to Mauro Icardi, whose wife and agent Wanda Nara had publicly announced the day before that her husband plans to stay in Milan. Beppe Marotta replied after the game insisting that he would not and calling the comments an irritation. This once again was the unified voice of a club that last season conducted a PR disaster.

The future looks bright for Inter as they embark on ‘project Conte’, both on and off the field. There is no guarantee that this will bring instant success, but the early signs are promising. The players are unified, the effort is evident, and the improvement of the team and the individuals is impressive. This in turn has united the fans and for once it feels like the whole Inter machine is going in the same direction. It’s only Lecce, but Inter don’t care, they have been waiting too long.

Have your say...
i'm happy with this situation, I mean Conte's Inter looks much better than inter last year. I'm so excited to watch Serie A this season, for years only Juve and Napoli race for title and finally we have another strong one who can challenge them.
on the 31st August, 2019 at 6:06am
We improved on a already improved team this year. Yes a new coach and perisic has left off and icardi was never there. So an attacking midfielder needed again either we will get caught a bit. SO WHO WILL BE OUR NEXT SNEIJDER?? much depend on it. Times ticking; needs to feel in quick. Ericsen wont come coutinho gone then GET david silva juan mata i dont care do it urgent. Its often the case INTER get caught off because WE LACK A MR. GENIUS.....
on the 30th August, 2019 at 6:13pm
@Urban Sombrero No, you actually needed a vulcane to errupt so that the opposite team couldn't take a plane to milan.
on the 29th August, 2019 at 11:55am
Gotta admit I had doubt when Inter toss away their 3 star players from last year. I still don't like how Marotta handled their sales to be honest. Radja could've been used to lower barella's cost.
Anyway, in terms of play, I jump straight to conte's bandwagon. He transforms his players into 2-3 levels higher. And Sensi really looks like a potential world class midfielder. Good thing we managed to steal him from Milan. The next Xavi? but I might just be over-excited now, we'll see after 2-3 years
on the 29th August, 2019 at 11:51am
It may have been one game but it showed us a great deal. The team already has a clear gameplan, the players are motivated, there is an intensity and willingness attack from the first to last minute, and they are well organized. Milan's performance against Udinese was the polar opposite on every level. Right now, I'd tip them for a top 2 finish because Napoli, Atalanta, and Roma are tactically naive and loose at the back. Lazio could also be a dark horse.
on the 29th August, 2019 at 9:33am
@ Jve4Ever. Was the CL in 2010 cardboard? Won in normal time. To win CLs Inter do not need penalties for dives outside the D or drag the game to penalties to try and win. BTW well done Liverpool and Tottenham last season.
on the 29th August, 2019 at 6:12am
@ I miss MARCO BRANCA. Fair enough. Now contact Marco Branca and say you want to have his babies.
on the 29th August, 2019 at 6:09am
@I MIIS MARCO BRANCA who cares, Inter fans are enjoying things right now, anything you say really does not matter. Get a life, following Inter forums repeating the same nonsense for a decade seems to be all that you do with your life.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 4:42pm
It is obviously too early to know if Inter are contenders or not but what is clear is that this team worked hard right until the final whistle. They pressed in the opponents half when not in possession for the entire match even though the game was won. It is the attitude and determination that has me excited for Inter this season. I have not seen such energy and determination since 2009-2010. This team has been built in Conte's image. This is a start of a new dawn for Inter.

Forza Inter!
on the 28th August, 2019 at 4:18pm
@Urban Sombrero: Inter fans bash Marco Branca but at least he's not Ausilio spending 30 mill for Gabigol, 40 mill for Kondogbia, 45 mill for Joao Mario, 20 mill for Dilbert and 24 mill + 40 million rated Zaniolo for a 30 year old smoker....Only a moron would still employ him after those blunders but that's right, he works for Inter !
on the 28th August, 2019 at 3:01pm
Inter, just remember that you didn't want Conte because he was a Juventino who won scudetti that you think he stole. The hypocrisy is amazing. I think any Juve fan would happily let others win the league if we focused more on bringing home the CL. We've got enough scudetti to give away (like we did). It wouldn't be bad if Inter had some real ones instead of cardboard ones for a change.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 2:11pm
@ Zambrotta - It is Juve fans who talk Inters chances up in August, just so they can say exactly what you are saying later. All any Inter fan on this forum have said is that they are happy the side is improving and put greater pressure on Juve and Napoli in the future. It is YOU (as always) that is saying that Inter fans are saying Inter will win Seria A.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 10:32am
@Anonymous That's not what I said. Please try to understand people's statements. I never said that no inter player is better than any juve player. Of course Skrinear is better than Rugani. Still he'd have a hard to getting in the juve line up.

Funny to see that Inter fans always have a big mouth in August, but come March they've resorted to blaming the referee.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 8:31am
Juve fan. And I'm scared with Inter this season. What is the shame about being scared btw? We all know with Marotta and Conte Inter can challenge for the title.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 7:08am
@ I MISS MARCO BRANCA. I admire your bravery at coming out of the closet on such a form as FI. I hope he feels the same way and you will both be very happy.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 6:22am
Also just a reminder for all you juventini - you wanted Lukaku agreed a deal and it fell through and you had to watch your first choice striker come to us!! GOod luck with Piguain!!
on the 28th August, 2019 at 12:42am
Can only beat who is in front of us. And it was a great performance with huge room for improvement. Lukaku created chances, bullied defenders, showed his pace, all in his first game of serie a!! This inter team would beat last year's team 5-0. We finally have a great system and you can see exactly what the team is trying to do and it is only going to get better! With Sanchez rotating in with hopefully 1 other big name midfielder, inter are finally set to challenge.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 12:39am
Omg I smell fear from Juve as if the article said Inter won the league. Calm down it’s only the first match Inter will get to you guys soon enough be patient.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 12:39am
@zambrotta84 Yes, SCARED! S-C-A-R-E-D, if not then maybe you feel the heat? BTW, If you can't name one Inter player better than a single player in your scum team then feel free to live in your ignorance... Well, who I i am kidding, I forgot that most of Jube fans are Ignorant!Feel free live with that we are totally fine.
on the 27th August, 2019 at 11:44pm
We've won 8 in a row, why would we scared? lmao, KingKong don't scared to Elephant
on the 27th August, 2019 at 10:52pm
Absolute farce. They beat Lecce and are being hyped up like they've already won the title. It's disgusting.
on the 27th August, 2019 at 10:05pm
Lukaku played well? He had a lousy 1st touch and lost the ball often. He just ran fast and physically bullied defenders. There was nothing stand out about him.
on the 27th August, 2019 at 9:57pm
@zambrotta84

Juve will be glad to have Handa, Skriniar, Brozo
on the 27th August, 2019 at 9:50pm
It's Lecce. I agree though that Conte will improve Inter because he'll teach them the Juve DNA. Then instead of seeing him as a Juve thief, he'll be paraded as a saint and the true Inter jealously will be revealed. Forza Inter...Juventus B.
on the 27th August, 2019 at 9:03pm
The great thing about inter is that they didn't lose concentration after they went ahead (except the start of the second half!) as they did in the past seasons, they were still attacking in an organised way and the players knew what they were doing! Lokaku showed that he can create for his teammates which Iccardi lacked! Remember that the players still need to gel, and the Sanchez, Biraghi and hopefully SMS or Dybala will come once Iccardi is sold!
on the 27th August, 2019 at 8:44pm
Look there's 2 factors that everyone is overlooking here:
#1 - The Annual January Collapse of Inter (This is Inter Culture ) #2 - Conte can't play good on 3 fronts (this is expected with Conte) so when I hear comments like "look at Jube trolls in an Inter article, are you guys scared" I respond with "haven't Inter fans been saying that for 8 years now?" but let's summarize the last 8 years of Inter shall we? 6th 9th 5th 8th 4th 7th 4th 4th ... aim lower Interisti, aim for 3rd place instead!
on the 27th August, 2019 at 7:48pm
@Anonymous Scared? Name one inter player that would make the Juventus line-up?

@RED You just proved my point. There are some decent players there mixed with very average ones. Politano, D'Ambrosini, Vecino, Gagliardini and Ranochia are very poor. The rest are either old (Asamoah, Godin) average (De Vrij, Sensi, Candreva, Biraghi) or unproven at the highest level like Barella.

Same story as last year. Massive squad overhaul and half the players bought will disappoint (keita, naingolan,...)
on the 27th August, 2019 at 7:40pm
Very jealous of what the cousins have right now. A world class coach with a proven system the board backed. Sensi was a real coup and I wish we had been able to get him. This season is the best opportunity theres been for a team to end the Juve reign, as they are currently the weakest theyve been for the past 8 years. Hopefully Inter and moreso Napoli find the consistency needed to sustain a challenge and take the scudetto from Turin, as im sick and tired of seeing that scum win it every year.
on the 27th August, 2019 at 7:09pm
This performance reminded us that football is not just about results. It is meant to be fun, joyful, entertaining and enjoyable. As supporters, I would like to think that the football we are watching is worth our time and dedication. All of which has been horribly missing at Inter for close to a decade. Conte motivates, inspires and is never satisfied. And that is exactly what our Inter needs. Hope has been restored. FORZA INTER PER SEMPRE!
on the 27th August, 2019 at 6:49pm
Hahahahhaa... look at Jube trolls in an Inter article, are you guys scared?
on the 27th August, 2019 at 5:47pm

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