Wednesday December 2 2020
Inter serving truffles at a cheap price

Richard Hall analyses Inter's highs and lows so far this season and highlights which problems Antonio Conte needs to solve as soon as possible.

Crazy Inter were fantastic but defensively atrocious. That sums it all up. In Germany, Inter showed signs of individual brilliance, signs of comprehensive team movement and signs of commitment.

They served all this with a huge side of defensive frailty, more than one mental switch off and a huge bit of luck. This was ‘Pazza’ Inter, unashamed and in full view, they were perhaps so crazy that it defied all logic and at the end of all this, Borussia Monchengladbach will have been scratching their heads just as much. Even so, Inter are still in the Champions League, just.

This was not a night for the analysts. There were so many different ways this group could have turned out, that after all the theories had been hashed out, one thing remained the same. Inter could not lose. Antonio Conte had said at the beginning of his tenure that he wanted to rid Inter of their Pazza nature, the truth is, they have been more crazy in this second season with him than ever before.

It is impossible to know what you are going to get. Before the game, I was speaking with Football Italia’s Giancarlo Rinaldi. Our explanation of Inter was this. They are like a restaurant serving truffles at a very cheap price. Sometimes you go in and the price has gone up, sometimes you go in and they are out of stock but every so often you get them, so you keep going back.

As soon as the news filtered through that Real Madrid has lost to Shakhtar Donetsk, Beppe Marotta said he would have to go and work out all the various permutations. Knowing they had a slender chance, seemed to have been enough, as Inter came out and controlled the first 30 minutes of the game.

Matteo Darmian got on the score sheet and continued his good form; he is arguably Conte’s best signing of the last window. Then it just all got out of hand. Inter conceded a goal in stoppage time of the first half, defensively it was a disaster as Alassane Plea was unmarked. The second half saw a majestic Romelu Lukaku take Inter to three goals up before Plea struck again.

The game was so back and forth that it felt as though the Nerazzurri were capitulating and when Plea’s equaliser was ruled out for offside by VAR. All hearts stopped.

Conte spoke after the game and tried to focus on the positives. Lukaku certainly had a performance that warranted the praise. The ‘mister’ said that the team were all taking more collective responsibility and none more than the Belgian forward who dragged Inter to this win. Marcelo Brozovic and Darmian also came in for praise and both were impressive whilst Nicolo Barella continued to be ‘’Mr consistent’.

This united front, that Conte spoke of does have some merit, there was a never say die attitude in the squad and they certainly fought for each other but they certainly cannot go on like this.

At the moment, Inter seem to be working on a policy of outscoring the opposition. Even now, with the first choice defence of Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan De Vrij, set up in front of Samir Handanovic, they are still leaking goals.

Conte must now move to fix this issue as so far he has seemingly only tried to sure up the midfield. His preference for midfielders with a defensive aspect to their game like Brozovic and Barella is understandable but it is not enough. Stefano Sensi and Christian Eriksen have been sacrificed for this but the problem clearly sits elsewhere.

Last night, Conte went to the restaurant and they served the truffle, however, next time it may not be on the menu. This game of chance he is playing is not a long-term solution and Inter cannot and will not be successful with a stratagem that feels like Zdenek Zeman has created it after a few glasses of wine.

Lukaku may be in the form of his life but Inter have already seen what happens when he is absent. This was a night for drama and it was a night that produced entertainment but not in the right way for Inter. Conte needs to find a solution and quickly because whilst this side of Pazza tastes good, the other does not.


Have your say...
@Sk R9 Haha yes, Giroud was a scorer tonight but he's 34 now so like a slot machine who only pays off once every thousand attempts. Milik would be better. Problem with old players like Alexis, Vidal, Kolarov is their bodies are worn out so they get tired & injured easily. That's why big clubs don't want them.
on the 4th December, 2020 at 9:47pm
And I have read commnts about money spent - but people forget just after our treble, the reason we were so bad was because we had no money and couldn’t buy anyone good. Remember players like Kuznanovic? Suning have done an amazing job of building the finances so much that we can spend without worrying about FFP. This is where Milan won’t keep up, they have a poor business structure, lack of sponsors and will need to make money to spend money hence the loans. Was a few tough years but worth it no
on the 4th December, 2020 at 3:39am
End of the day qualification is out of our hands. Would be nice to be through but it is what it is. What we can control is winning vs shakhtar and if we are meant to progress we will. If not we can take our form into the league. With Jan coming, we will get a chance to strengthen further (eriksen out - someone of use to conte in) will help, management will likely throw more money at the project if we can finish 2020 strongly and look to fund a possible scudetto run.
on the 4th December, 2020 at 3:35am
Inter has had a tough year with the injuries of Sensi, Vecino, Nainggolan out of shape, players like Brozo and Bastoni with Covid and Kolarov & Dambrosio been a big disaster as substitutes. The good news has been Darmian. Despite all that, Inter is 2nd in Serie A and on its way to make it to next round in Champions League.
Pazza? maybe....but it cannot get more Pazza than 2020.
Regarding Conte, yes he is working to give this team balance but just look at how his players praise him.
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 5:20pm
I don't agree that, if you remove Ibra & Kjaer, Milan would be 22nd...
--There are only 20 teams in Serie A!
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 4:26pm
What about Lautaro hitting the post? That was also inches away too. Football is a game of inches. Fact is inter was the better team and deservedly won. Inter has dropped a lot of points this season in games they deserved to win. About time luck goes our way.
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 12:46pm
It’s nice having good young players but not all of them will make it and you need experience on the field too. Take out ibra and Kjaer and I don’t think your results would continue.. inter have one of the best youth academies in the world - very few young guns transition to world class players unfortunately!!
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 12:40pm
@viktor - sure it could have been, but same I guess for the goal they did score, which was given onside by an inch too. And if we were tallying up for or against, wev certainly had a lot more go against us than the other way. Yes you guys are doing well and it reminds me of us a few years ago under Mancini, we were top towards Christmas, lots of unconvincing wins and in the end we just missed out on CL. Icardi carried us that year like ibra for you.
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 12:37pm

The fact that the ref blew offside on Borussias last goal was INCHES from being accepted.. and you would have been out. Surprised no-one mentioned that

How it will end? Will see.. clearly Milan and Inter is doing best at the moment. Im happy if Milan reaches top 4 which would be an achievement considering the age of our team.. youngest in Europe in top divison.. Remove Ibra and Kjaer and we would be down to like 22 in average..
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 11:14am
@viktor - inches and immense luck if we qualify? Could say tha about a number of games, if it was down to inches inter could have qualified already. Have hit the post on quite a few times including what would have been the winner against shakhtar the first time. For the record we were pushed the most this season by BM, the game against Milan was easy compared to this one. I understand you’re happy you guys are on top atm, but we all know how it a gonna end.
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 9:21am
I'm glad to see Skriniar seems to have nailed down a starting position finally. Now they need to make sure they get a good fee for Eriksen and replace him with either a top class attacking mid that Conte trusts, or keep the midfield as it is and buy a top class lwb who can offer more going forward
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 9:19am
People bash Hakimi but so far he has 4 assists and a goal which isn't a bad output at all. You'll say that as a RWB he should concentrate on defence first but how many defensive players do you want. 3cbs, 3 defensive midfielders and 2 wing backs that sit back? As good as Lukaku has been he needs support. No other player in the Inter team would've made that assist for the 3rd goal because none of them have that searing pace that frightens defenders like Hakimi does.
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 9:17am
@Sk R9

Tired Ibra
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 7:15am
"the truth is, they have been more crazy in this second season with him than ever before." this sums it all, and cranked me so hard i RLOL
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 6:02am
conte is no fault, while marrota selling godin and failed to get kumbulla as replacement more to blamed. they selling the most in form defender after covid break and failed to replaced him. we all know how bad skiniar played as right cb. skiniar is talented but sometimes even talented defender struggling to coach demand.
if they get rid eriksen on jan, i hope they buy defender not another midfielder who fit on conte want.
on the 3rd December, 2020 at 3:31am
@Furbo Furbone:
Giroud put in 4 against Sevilla tonight. Just sayin... ;)
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 11:28pm
@milan fan about time a Milan fan that talks sense and not biased. I’m actually glad Milan are now challenging this season again, just need some back up for those tired Ibra legs. As for Juve, well I hope they get demoted again!
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 11:22pm
@furbo furbone you obviously didn’t see the Chelsea result tonight! I’d take Giroud all day long as a back up striker, would prefer Milik though. Kolarov yes is bad. Naing was one of serie A’s best players last season though and Alexis has been great this season too. But agreed the rest are crusty. Think Vidal is very over rated.
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 11:20pm
Kolarov, Nainngolan, Vidal, Peresic, Alexis, Ranocchia, Young... all players no other team in Europe would buy. And they're looking at Giroud?? Conte serves leftover table scraps from last week and wonders why nobody's eating.
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 10:25pm
Inter deservedly won yesterday. Second in the league (favs to win), as much as I love watching this team get ripped, I think we are taking it a bit far. If they lose to Shakhtar then fair enough, but I know that I speak for most Milan fans that we would kill for a manager of contes caliber or a squad as good as theirs. As an azzurri fan, I hope sensi can get back on the field and develop a partnership with barella. Would be devastating in the league unfortunately but Italy would win trophies!!
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 10:19pm
It's easy to analyse this performance from a myopic viewpoint because of Inter's defensive woes this season. This wasn't Torino. Inter played away to a team that, coming into this game, had outscored every team in the UCL except Bayern, had scored at least twice in every game and were undefeated in arguably the toughest group in the competition. They put pressure on the opposition and force these defensive errors. Why not just give credit to Conte where it is due.
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 10:17pm
@Sk R9

Huge potential... if you qualify from the group its with inches and immense luck. The amount you spent and the results you get is shameful. Thankfully its going well for Curve Sud. Stick to conte, he will do miracles..
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 9:52pm
Load of rubbish. Conte has set this team up for success. Luck is finally going our way for once. I think it was a def offside but the ref could have allowed the goal and knocked us out. Just like last week, it was a def pen and instead Vidal gets sent off ruining the match. Decisions and luck have been going against us all season, we constantly create a ton of chances about time more go in!! We just need to learn to stop switching off before the end of the first half!!
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 8:58pm
Also inter will beat shakhtar at home. We destroyed them last time just couldn’t score, we won’t make that mistake again, they can’t sit back and play for a draw like they did last time either. Real doesn’t want the embarrassment of finishing second let alone being knocked out of group, they will respond. If we go through, we are in knock outs, in front of juve in the league and on track for silverware. Everyone forgets how many players we have had out this season. Need some luck to go our way
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 8:51pm
Inter need to be more clinical. Game would have been over a lot earlier if inter scored a couple more from their multitude of chances. Do you forget lautaro post, or basic one on one with keeper, young’s unlucky miss (deflection did take it away from him slightly) also BM have been great form at home, plea scored with almost all of his chances, very clinical. Yes the free header was poor but the other goal was class. Sensi will come in when he’s fit and ready. Eriksen isn’t suited to our team.
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 8:47pm
Conte this conte that, shut up will you!! Responsibility has to be with the players, individual mistakes are often whats caused inter problems. Yes the formation hasn’t helped and we need to see more of Darmain as his a more rounded player. Hakimi is good but weak and positioning isn’t great. If inter get a quality versatile CB, a better replacement for Erikson and a back up striker in Jan, I think they have huge potential. It’s contes 2ND season and already made huge improvements.
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 6:29pm
Mr Conte, overrated and useless. Spalleti left the team for someone to build on and take to the next level.

Skiniar,brozovic, Martinez, you had a spine. Conte spent millions, exception of lukakau, barella,all old players, no long term plan but failing in the short term as well.

Sidelining, Erikson, sensi, skiniar and leaving the team with no creativity,down the wing and cross it in.

not fun to watch and inter is not winning. Next guy has a rebuild job and set suning back years. Allegri now
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 5:59pm
When you go 370 days in between wins in Champion's League do you think that conte can win 2 champions league games in a row? that remains to be seen. But In the end, inter put themselves in a must win position with the hope that the other match goes in their favor.....i would hardly call Conte's 11 mill a year salary a reflection of his quality but rather a mistake by Marotta
on the 2nd December, 2020 at 5:32pm

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