Monday June 22 2020
Nerazzurri need to be ruthless

Inter always like to make things difficult for themselves, as Richard Hall shares Antonio Conte’s call for them to be more merciless.

“I repeat, this is not a fitness issue.” A lack of match fitness would have been the perfect excuse, not only for his team’s second half dip against Sampdoria, but also for the slip against Napoli in the Coppa Italia semi-final. Instead, Antonio Conte was insistent that Inter need to kill of games if they are to be a special team, as they had nearly let Sampdoria back into a match they were never really involved in. This was taking full responsibility and in turn, putting it back on his players.

There seems to be something in Inter’s DNA that always means that they endeavour to make their supporters’ hearts go a little bit faster. The game against Sampdoria was no different. The Blucerchiati arrived in Milan without veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella, who missed the game due to injury. This was good news for the Nerazzurri, as despite his age, Quagliagol is certainly the difference maker for the Ligurian side.

The first half went exactly as Conte would have hoped. The complete domination of the ball, a high press, hunger, attitude and technical proficiency saw Inter take a 2-0 lead just after the half hour mark thanks to goals from the ever-blossoming partnership of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku.

Right here, at this moment, the game was or should have been over. The Nerazzurri were in the ascendency but then the inevitable happened. Inter failed to make the most of their chances, they came out after the break looking a little sluggish and Sampdoria capitalised on one of their few chances from a dead-ball situation. A game that should have been clinically dispatched onto the annuls of history, instead walked its way to a jittery conclusion.

It seems inevitable that any team after this enforced break will struggle to be back at full force, yet Conte was having none of it in his post-match press conference. Add to this the fact that, before the pandemic, Inter were limping to the finish line, putting in abject performances against fellow title contenders, Lazio and Juventus. Whilst Inter were not ‘Bielsa-esque’, they were tired and it still seems prudent to allocate some fatigue issues when looking at how Conte wants to play.

Despite this however, his comments rang true. Inter have the ability to kill off games and they must be more ruthless. Lukaku and Martinez arguably are the best front two partnership in Europe. Admittedly, there are not many teams that play with a front two, but their relationship is rare.

Add to this the extra emphasis Christian Eriksen has given Inter in the midfield and the creativity argument also goes out of the window. Against Sampdoria, his languid but efficient approach was almost contradictory, it reminded one of a trequartista of old, but it had the necessary speed and intelligence for the modern game that allowed his passing to offer an abundance of riches to the front two. Conte is right, there is no excuse. The team at the moment, are a little bit too Shelley or Byron, they need to be more Stephen King.

Whilst this might at the moment sound like a game of Mortal Kombat with the words ‘Finish him’ ringing out, it does seem like Inter have to take this advice on board. Look at Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan, they were ruthless and didn’t stop at 2-0 (just ask Fiorentina). They finished the job. Inter need to be selfish, they need to act like venture capitalists and not poets, they need to understand that to be serial winners they have to be serial killers of games. Dare I say it, look at Juventus. How many times have people said that Juventus just find a way to win no matter what? That is a mind-set and it needs to be embedded.

Inter can even look to their past. When were they at their best? Helenio Herrera and the Grande Inter, ruthless. Giovanni Trapattoni and the German-based side, ruthless. Jose Mourinho’s Treble winners, ruthless. Was it the best football you ever saw? No, but did they give you an inch? Conte has the players, they have the momentum, they have the plan. It is time for Inter to understand what it takes to be winners, or they will forever be just libertines with occasional success.

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Have your say...
Fix the line-up lock for rest of the season. As it should be- handano godin de vriz skrinier moses(fresh legs) biraghi(first choice player) barella(righteously positioned for rcm role). When brozo not in we can up tile the middle for eriksen avoiding using stamina less players valero instead of brooding youth agiuame to get the extra run enthu and vitality through 90min and sensi can show his charisma in the left side(obvious this guy is high talent). lautaro needs to rest a bit this year.
on the 2nd July, 2020 at 6:55am
We need the ecstasy back in our camp. That will be vital beating juve next. Sensi needed to be charged up again to hit in the turbo mood again. Defence need to be constant i repeat. We will not be leaking goals. I promise..
on the 1st July, 2020 at 3:34pm
Talking about getting team in the shape other than at the start of the season with pre-season the belt is bit pathless and ignoble. You got your team running out fuel all the time in the midst of a season. So may suggest conte to use same nine out of eleven congestively to get atleast connectivity between them. Why sub a defender?? Candreva instead of moses?? Candreva be a better 69 rather! And switch players like for like and there ain't anybody like eriksen... Use him well..
on the 29th June, 2020 at 4:37pm
@I miss Luciano Moggi: care to tell me how your CL experience against Athletico Madrid was ? hahahahahahahahaha
on the 25th June, 2020 at 7:18pm
Sassuolo says hi! Hgahahahhahahahah
on the 24th June, 2020 at 8:52pm
@ Marco Branca - Dont forget your diapers in case you see a 5 year old girl in a Liverpool kit. PLLLOOOP! European Champions x 6.
on the 24th June, 2020 at 11:00am
Inter fans shouldn't be complaining - they had a 2 goal half-time lead and won 2-1. I mean if they had a 2-0 half time lead in Champions League and lost 3-2 then yeah i would complain but Conte would probably end up saying "other than Godin, this team has won nothing" as his excuse (just like he did) - no wonder only inter wanted him as coach !
on the 23rd June, 2020 at 7:19pm
Inter continue to run out of energy (or quality in second half). I feel like if Brozovic and Sensi were fit and on the bench, we would have definitely stepped up and finished the game strongly. I think everyone is going to struggle with injuries (at home then light training for how long - now expected to be 100% fit and firing). Happy to get the win, show some real quality - the goals were amazing team goals. Yes there should have been more, but scoring twice should generally be enough!
on the 23rd June, 2020 at 2:32am
The first half was very positive for Inter and especially the front trio of Lu-La & Eriksen. The signs are there that they're starting to click which would be a very potent front line. With 2 of Barella/Brozo/Tonali forming the double pivot behind Eriksen Inters spine is starting to look very strong. The wide areas still concern me though and need to be addressed, there aren't many top class full-backs around at the moment that would be available to Inter so Conte may have to get creative
on the 22nd June, 2020 at 4:42pm
Conte is just flogging a dead horse at this stage.
on the 22nd June, 2020 at 3:26pm
My kind suggestion to Conte is to use the subs quicker, especially now that 5 are allowed. While I agree with the rest of the article, comparing Inter and juBentus might be dangerous, as there is a huge difference in mentality between the two clubs and its fans. While Piemonte Calcio goes by "just find a way to win no matter what", Inter wants to win while respecting the regulations, in fair-play spirit. For us interisti certain values like honesty and integrity are still valid.
on the 22nd June, 2020 at 11:59am
Hi Richard, while you mention lack of match fitness, tiredness and fatigue, I wonder if you are aware of the latest development inside Inter staff: Inter athletic trainer Julio Tous left the Nerazzurri a few weeks ago due to disagreements with coach Antonio Conte, according to a report from paper edition of the Rome based newspaper Corriere dello Sport. This game sums up Lukaku so well. He will miss sitters but he will score goals and win games (against weak teams). Needs to improve his focus.
on the 22nd June, 2020 at 11:52am

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