Friday February 12 2021
Scudetto or bust for Inter

Inter have been eliminated from two competitions out of three and Richard Hall believes Antonio Conte now has the obligation to win the Serie A title.

Forget the Coppa Italia; forget the squabbles, that for Inter is in the past. For Antonio Conte the next few weeks are critical, firstly for his Scudetto hopes and secondly for the safety of his job.

The next two Sunday’s could very bloody, as the fixtures have a make or break feel to them. First, it is Lazio, who one can never underestimated, before the Derby Della Madonnina offers up an early Scudetto show down.

There have been positives and negatives in recent weeks, but the coach will need his team to fire on all cylinders if he is to confirm his future in Milan.

The problem with Inter, is that even when they are good, they are only one game away from a crisis.

Exit from the Champions League this season was met with huge disappointment but it was soon glossed over and perhaps rightly so. After all, Conte was the master of domestic success and the Coppa Italia and Scudetto seemed like very acceptable targets.

The loss in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia was a bitter pill to swallow. Firstly, it was against Juventus and secondly, because it had come from mistakes and the fact that once again they were not clinical up front.

Surely though, this should not derail ‘project Inter’, even if Conte was creating headlines after arguing with Andrea Angelli, they are still second in the table, two points off Milan and they have to play each other. So why the issue?

This relates to the ownership problem, this throws everything in the air, win or bust. The Suning Group are still looking at options when it comes to the possible sale of Inter. The Chinese government’s decision on where the conglomerate can invest has meant they have had to enter conversations with potential suitors for the club.

BC Partners are still in conversation with them, but they are also listening in a potential investment from American group, Fortress. Il Giorno report that there are four other groups interested but these discussions need to move quickly.

This is because Suning need approximately €200m between now and the end of the campaign to finance the expense of Inter. This may have to be a loan from somewhere as the aforementioned Chinese government, have restricted foreign investment.

Imagine this scenario, Inter lose to Lazio and Milan and ultimately throw away any chance of realistically winning the Scudetto. It is hypothetical that is true but it still stands true.

Conte would be under an immense amount of pressure as he is a divisive character at best. What do Suning do? Do they sack him? Perhaps they would in normal circumstances but the lack of investment (if the ownership issue is not resolved) makes that very difficult.

Inter let us not forget, are still paying Luciano Spalletti €4m a year to sit at home. He may not be able to move to another club but luck Luciano will not mind. Luckily for the Nerazzurri, his contract expires this coming June.

Evidently, the perfect scenario for Inter is to get the investment needed and to finally win the Scudetto as then the hiring of Conte would seemingly be justified.

They will have to cut out the individual errors and become more clinical in front of goal in big games. Yes, they are the leaders to scorers, but they still miss so many chances.

This is why with Inter, the future looks so uncertain right now, it feels like, a Scudetto win could even attract investment from an outside partner but there are so many permutations between now and the end of the campaign.

Even if they get a company to come and stabilise the club, Conte not winning Serie A will be seen as a failure. After all, he was the man who wanted to be backed in the summer; he always knew he would fall on his sword.

If this summary was about other clubs it could be accused of being dramatic, however, this is Inter and for them it is just another day.

They live life like a stunt pilot, hurtling to the ground not sure if they can pull up, when they do, the crowd are amazed but it always feels like an inevitable crash is due. One thing is for sure, if Inter can deliver two wins against Lazio and Milan, the crowd will certainly applaud the pilot.



Have your say...

THat's why I miss Marco Branca - at least he wouldn't be dumb enough to spend 115 mill for Joao Mario, Kondogbia and Gabi-one-gol !
on the 18th February, 2021 at 8:05pm
Conte the disrupter, a controversial coach and man who have literally given the finger to giants, with apologies. This coach is one of the 4 (Ranieri, Mancini, Ancelotti) who have gone to the EPL and won the league, no easy task. He must be included in Europe's best coaches: Guardiola, Mourinho,Wenger,Ferguson, Klopp etc.
Games are won on the pitch by great players and confident teams led by men who can instill the belief that team success is a result of desire, mental toughness and character.
on the 17th February, 2021 at 2:46pm
Just wanted to stop by and drop some facts.

Allegri, Paratici, Marotta, Nedved and Andrea Agnelli combined: 0 CL´s won.

Marco Branca:1 CL.
on the 17th February, 2021 at 12:02pm
@i miss Marco branca conte doesn’t have a good champions league record it’s not easy to win the champions league just ask Man City,and PSG.they have spent over a billion pound each to win it and so far they haven’t won for allegri conte build the team for him but he also was very successful because juve were changing every year and he still kept being successful.He would have won the champions league as well..but real and Barcelona were unbeatable during them years.
on the 17th February, 2021 at 1:21am
Beside regular whiners which they want everything without giving any contribution (begging for free streams everyday) large majority of Inter fans agree that Conte has done a great a job so far, and a Scudetto would be a great satisfaction. Since August Inter struggle with finances but sitting at top 4 at least, without splashing money like Milan; don't mean to criticize others though. Not playing other competitions helps but doesn't guarantee anything. STOP this non sense already 2/2.
on the 16th February, 2021 at 8:50pm
I just have one question. Why nobody was expecting Milan wins the Scudetto in 19-20 when they spent as much as others, if not more, while they were excluded from Europen cups from BEGINNING and just came as close as Inter in Coppa this year? This media pressure non sense needs to STOP. Not winning would be a disappointment of course but not a failure! Conte has built a solid team and improved Inter mentality a big deal. He has three year contract so give it to him 1/2
on the 16th February, 2021 at 8:49pm
@ JUVE PAYED 40 MILLION FOR BERNARDESCHI - I don't know what Marotta's obsession with overpaying for wingers like Bernadeschi and Costa .....but then again, what's his obsession with injury prone players like Costa and Sensi!
Good Thing for Paratici :)
on the 16th February, 2021 at 8:23pm
@Kledi: Conte lost to Porto in the EL Semis and Juve Hired Allegri and took that exact same team + Lemina and Perreyra to the Champions League Final and he cannot stand Allegri because he was jelous that Allegri was able to do that when he could not even pass the group stage....a top coach can play on 3 fronts, conte is a good coach but if you are dependent on CL revenue then Conte is the last coach you want to hire cuz he will drive you bankrupt !
on the 16th February, 2021 at 8:21pm
Conte is no doubt a top manager, he proved that in winning the Prem first time of asking with an average Chelsea team. But this Inter side is a top class lwb away from being a champs league contender and so should be breezing Serie A. They have by far the most valuable squad in the league now that Barella, Lukaku, Hakimi, Martinez, Bastoni, Skriniar, De Vrij have all kicked on. No other team in Serie A has so many players in, or about to come into their prime.
on the 16th February, 2021 at 11:23am
There's still time for this to happen but in my opinion Inter should be clear at the top with the team they have. The first 11 is by far the most balanced/best in Serie A so really Conte for me is only doing what is expected (I'm an Inter fan btw). We don't need to talk about how useless he was in the Champs League so I agree with the title of this article, Scudetto or bust. Next season Juve will be better, and Milan may well strengthen if they are in the champs league.
on the 16th February, 2021 at 11:18am
Next 2 weeks is vital. If you can beat us/roma, definitely good for top 4 aspirations. Lose both and you equal with roma with juve/Napoli breathing down your neck with Atalanta and Lazio only a game or so behind. Shows how quickly fortunes can change. For inter, finally looking more complete, let’s see if conte can maintain. Players like bastoni,lautaro and barella all joined with conte, but being young he’s no doubt helped. But anyone who watched barella at Cagliari knew he was going places
on the 15th February, 2021 at 10:28pm
Yep going to be an exciting end to the season. Milan have done really well with the team they have, you are right nobody expected them to be at the top, not sure if it’s lack of experience with ibra and Mandi, plenty of older players, I think meite is not up to standard and players are getting tired/losing a bit of form that they maintained for long period. As I said earlier it’s not your best players who have got you to this position anyways. Always was gonna be a drop, how far is the question
on the 15th February, 2021 at 10:22pm
In other words you sobered up Kledi.
on the 15th February, 2021 at 9:20pm
He took over at inter....lets be honest no one was mentioning inter to win the league or anything...he came to inter and he improved the inter player so much....just looked at Bastoni,Barrella,lukaku,Lautaro,devrij...they all look different class.

I was wind up some inter fans at liveblog last night just to make it a bit fun...but for me inter has been the best team in the league they have created and out scored every team so far....they deserve to be top.

Milan will fight them so will juve.
on the 15th February, 2021 at 2:49pm
Everyone were complaining about conte getting paid too much even when inter were struggling I always backed conte....conte is not a diplomat he chats crap sometimes but when it comes to coaching he is up there with the best in the world....he took an average juve side and made them amazing he is the one that build juve...he took the worst Italy team and made them perform like world beaters...he took over at Chelsea when they finished the previous season 8 to the premier league title...cont
on the 15th February, 2021 at 2:36pm

As it stands,Inter deservedly leads the race, Milan has lost somewhat that last gear they had during 2020. Doesnt meant they have played bad. Its individual performances thats been sub par. I think lack experience is missing, which leads to less focused group. The Derby is going be a deal breaker. You are right that Inter been building a team for a longer period, Milan has done way beyond anyones expectations and just to be fighting for top 1 is an achievement let alone reaching top 4
on the 15th February, 2021 at 7:47am
Just wanted to stop by and congratulate Juve and Milan on this weekends performances.

Here are my favourite moments:

1. Ronaldo missing that chance vs Napoli, 1 meter from goal, ball goes direct in the keepers hands lol.

2. Theo Hernandez defensive run vs Spezia, losing the ball going forward, not getting back as usual, 1-0 Spezia lol.

3. Everything Bernardeschi.

4. Milan 0 shots on goal vs Spezia.

5. Chiellini complaining hes not allowed to hit opponents in the face anymore.
on the 15th February, 2021 at 6:14am
You lost 3-0 but claim it’s not a bad game because that’s what Atalanta can do? Lol according to you then inter haven’t played bad in over a year as we are usually still decent and creating even when dropping points. Milan have had plenty of poor performances as have we. Stop being so biased. Inter are a stronger team because we have been building for longer there’s no shame in that. Also def top 4? Lose next week and you are only a game clear of juve/Napoli, 1/2 season left.
on the 14th February, 2021 at 10:19pm

Milan had ONE bad game... don't give me that bs handful of game because that completely wrong. If Ibra wouldn't have gone sent off who knows what would have happened against Inter.

Juve wasn't a bad game..Atalanta won 3-0 but on other hands they can do that to any team in the league in a good day. So no, one really bad game for sure.
on the 14th February, 2021 at 3:11pm
Just stopped by to say that Romagnoli is the best captain ever for Milan. Amazing defender!!
on the 14th February, 2021 at 3:10pm
Been many more than 1 bad game, I can think of a handful including the recent game against inter or jive game, or the Atalanta game just to name a few recently. Yes I watched the game, Kessie was poor but so was bennacer who was either invisible or giving it away when he wasn’t. You compared him to Barella, who hasn’t had a single match like that even when we’ve been bad he’s still one of our better players. That’s why he’s on another level. Also Lazio v different to spezia.
on the 14th February, 2021 at 11:03am

"Forms gonna disappear and your players will go back to their level, which is mid table quality."

ROFL, yeah... mid table can only wish right

Saying it again.. ONE really bad game in over a year, clearly a really bad one, but that's In more than a year. Calm down, well see what happens. ut 5th or 5th, forget it, def top 4
on the 14th February, 2021 at 8:27am
@Inter fan

One really bad game and they will finish 5th or 6th. Get a hold of your self, no team goes all the way or rarely without having a bad game or two.. We had ours now, rather that then against Inter next week. If you saw the game it was Kessie who was horrendous
on the 14th February, 2021 at 8:25am

You just focus on beating Lazio ok?
on the 14th February, 2021 at 8:23am
Bust for the cheating losers.
on the 14th February, 2021 at 12:18am
Lol no need to rub it in inter fan, think next weekend will be bad enough for them. Milan have done welll so far this year nobody not even Milan fans believe they would maintain a scudetto fight the team isn’t built for that, the focus will be on top 4. Think they may just make it but will be tough, 5-6 teams with stronger overall squads than Milan at the moment
on the 13th February, 2021 at 10:01pm
Wins against spezia? Tried to imagine but didn’t happen. Your fav son Bennacer was terrible tonight too, yet you will still say he’s a top player haha Milan to finish 5th or 6th. Forms gonna disappear and your players will go back to their level, which is mid table quality.
on the 13th February, 2021 at 9:55pm
Yes there's no denying the fact that Conte has improved Inter to become title contenders (he deserved credit for that) but all that will turned to a failure if he fails to win the scudetto. Firstly, because inter are the only scudetto contenders without any European commitments and secondly being the highest paid coach and his domestic record makes it more difficult not to accept it as a failure.
on the 13th February, 2021 at 7:35pm
Imagine if Milan wins....
on the 13th February, 2021 at 7:50am
Yes, it will be considered failure if Inter fail to win scudetto this season, as Juve are still in transition. However, it'd be unfair to say the whole conte's era is failure. Imo, the guy at least managed to transform Inter from top 4 contender into scudetto contender. After 6-7 seasons of mediocrity, that's quite something.
But yes, the result in europe has been disappointing, no excuse for that.
I'd say let him finish his contract, then we can consider someone else to carry the torch.
on the 13th February, 2021 at 3:42am

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