Thursday October 22 2020
Inter remain predictable despite outstanding Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has become essential at Inter, but Richard Hall believes it makes the Nerazzurri too predictable.

‘Antonio Conte, there is an ill wind blowing’, these were the chilling words written in the Corriere Dello Sport this morning. They Roman paper were not shy in saying that, the 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach was doing nothing to help his reputation. Even the German players interviewed after the game looked perplexed about just how predictable the Nerazzurri were; meanwhile Romelu Lukaku angrily bemoaned his clubs soft under belly. After the Derby, Inter needed a response, what they got was more of the same, this in itself is worrying.


Antonio Conte understandably complained about the players still out due to Covid-19, loosing Achraf Hakimi only hours before the game was not ideal and it is true that the bench offered him fewer options than he would like but it was still a relatively strong line up that took to the field. What frustrated many fans of the Nerazzurri was that many of the same mistakes made in the Derby Della Madonnina were evident again against the Germans.


A point that shall not be laboured on, as it was documented after the Derby is the three-man defence. Aleksandar Kolarov was the weak link again, he added to his impressive number of mistakes, now he has made errors in five out of Inter’s last eight goals conceded. The line was too high and Conte once again refused to enter entertain a back four. Samir Handanovic, once again showed that he is incapable of playing short, quick and effect passes out from the back, something that will be punished against high pressing teams.


Being predictable is normally a conclusion journalists come to after watching teams for some time. It is rarely that two players from the opposition are so vocal about after the game. Monchengladbach’s Jonas Hoffman said after the game “Inter tried 99 per cent of the time to give Lukaku the ball, he brings it down and allows the team to get up the pitch.” He admitted how difficult he was to play against, but it highlighted how one-dimensional Conte’s side were. Defender Mattias Ginter said of the Belgian, “I don’t think you can take players like Lukaku out of the game completely. He had three chances and scored twice,” indicating that he had instructions to team up on Lukaku, as he was the main source of danger.


Lukaku certainly was the main threat, his brace was testament to his own endeavours, he dragged Inter over the line but it was not enough. The striker spoke of Inter’s weakness mentally and criticised the defensive errors made by his team. It is hard to argue with Romelu, the tactics and mentality are simply not good enough so where do Inter go from here?


The problem is, that these tactics are good enough to beat many of the teams in Serie A. Players like Lukaku and Martinez individually will always get you points. The smash and grab feel of Inter can work, often they will score more goals that the opposition. Take Genoa this weekend, one would not be surprised a 3-1 win and this would be enough to make things look positive but then what? Lazio saw a draw, Milan a defeat and Borussia a draw. Better opposition will work this system out and can also alter tactics to cope with it in game. Games against Genoa and Parma may see points gained in the coming weeks but it will be interesting to watch how games against Atalanta and Real Madrid come to pass?


Last season there was evidence that the team was starting to attack as a unit, they had different passages of play and this bore fruit as the Lautaro Martinez/Lukaku partnership blossomed. This season, Lukaku has become essential to the team but this is an issue. Being ‘Romelu-centric’ is something that Conte’s tem need to get away from, it develops a mentality were mistakes are made as it is just assumed that the star man will save the day. This has happened to many teams over the years, just look at Ronaldo and Real Madrid. Inter were on another direction but now they have changed lanes.


Teams like Atalanta are the benchmark, you can take any player out of the team and replace them with a squad player and the machine still moves in the same way. Conte has a reputation for not changing but unless he does, his tenure maybe short lived. The ill wind is building but the forecast suggests that this could quickly become gale force.



Have your say...
Conte has always been a defence first coach, he loves nothing more then winning games 1-0. He has rebuilt Inter offensively to be more attack minded and dangerous, Lukaku, Barella and Martinez can score and attack quickly. However his defense has been lagging with some aging but experienced back line and midfield players that often makes mistakes and leaves the team trailing in games.This causes the team to take more chances and open the field. Not Conte's game, defense will take time to rebuild
on the 23rd October, 2020 at 2:07pm
I could not stand Conte at juve, gained a bit of respect for him when he coached italy, but once again cannot stand him. Someone who makes 11 million a year only has one formation all his career? That's why he can never take teams to the next level. Inter have a great team that can adapt to any formation and then when he has players out he Still uses the same formation. He doesn't adapt to his players, his players have to adapt to him. Then when things go wrong he blames everyone buy himself.
on the 23rd October, 2020 at 1:54pm
Still nothing from FI about milan now gone 22 games without a loose. Interesting.
on the 23rd October, 2020 at 7:28am
The problem with Conte is that he's not flexible, apart from his rigidity in applying his 3-5-2 formation some of his players are not good enough for that formation. He has failed to agree that Kolarov is not suited to a LCB role while Perisic doesn't have the defensive qualities of a wing-back. His transfer strategy is not working at all how can you allow Godin to leave and bring in Kolarov and Biraghi for Darmian. The earlier the management step up to bring in Allegri the better.
on the 23rd October, 2020 at 5:27am
Frustrating result. However Hakimi pulling out hours before the game, Sensi getting injured, broz and Sanchez injured, Bastoni not fit, inter literally playing with half their squad out. Shouldnt be an excuse, but had the penalty been given (it hit his hand and has been given before), or the offside given (again marginally close, if it wasnt offside, de vrij keeping him onside with his arm) inter would have won the game. They were by far the better team.Desperately need players back!
on the 23rd October, 2020 at 1:26am
Looks like the annual January Collapse of Inter came early this year....that hasn't happened since De Boer was coach but now you can't even afford to fire your current coach !! Is it just me or is Inter really slow - they lost to the Pot D team AT HOME - those are the 3 points you have to take home. Can't you do what the rest of the Italian teams did - Juve Lazio and Atalanta won and of course Inter tied....get ready to defend that EL finals loss cuz you can kiss CL good bye YET AGAIN !
on the 22nd October, 2020 at 6:56pm
To me it's inexcusable to have 8 players who play in the central midfield area but only have 1 top class wing back in Hakimi. None of Kolarov, Darmian, Perisic or Young are good enough for the top top level as a wing back. All 4 of those players were discarded by huge clubs. Brozovic is a good player no doubt, but if he's not going to be a starter then cash in on him. You don't want £40million of talent sat on the bench in his prime years losing value
on the 22nd October, 2020 at 4:31pm
It's been questioned by everybody but the signings Conte demanded don't help at all. Darmian and D'ambrosio are essentially the same player, Radja and Vidal are very similar, Perisic is not a wing back and Kolarov doesn't have the legs to play that role but equally isn't good enough defensively to play the LCB role. Inter would've been better off bringing in someone who offers something different to what they have as a wildcard off the bench. It's all very samey.
on the 22nd October, 2020 at 4:25pm
Conte is cursed i n Europe nothing more ,each passing day it seems to become a thing of regret as to why he didn't step down .I wish Arturo Vidal will just sit out the team that guy cost us points yesterday
on the 22nd October, 2020 at 3:40pm

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