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Thursday April 8 2021
Inter win in nostalgic style

Inter proved that dominating possession is not the only way to win and Richard Hall argues Antonio Conte is following in Giovanni Trapattoni’s footsteps.

Back in January, Gazzetta Dello Sport commented that Antonio Conte’s tenure at Inter was reminiscent of the great Giovanni Trapattoni. This was due to the pragmatic way in which he approaches games and how there is a common purpose amongst the players, to win at all costs.

As Inter saw off Sassuolo on Wednesday, there was a feeling that the team had a sense of belonging, and even though it was nervy towards the end, the defensive structure, reliance on wingbacks and the formidable midfield, gave the whole game a nostalgic feel.

“Aesthetics are fine, but the Scudetto is too important,” Conte claimed after the victory against the Neroverdi. It could have been “Trap” himself talking. The coach went on to say that he had asked his team to step up and become more focused and determined if they were to claim the Scudetto.

Inter were clinical and showed that with just 30 per cent of the possession, they could still pull themselves to victory against a very well-organised Sassuolo.

Former Inter president and owner Ernesto Pellegrini has not been the only man to compare Conte and Trapattoni and it is not simply because of the Inter-Juventus link. In an interview with TMW Radio back in March, he spoke about how defensively and in the midfield, he could see how the teams were similar.

Tuttosport also wrote about the comparison comparing Nicola Berti to Nicolo Barella and commenting on how the partnership between Aldo Serena and Ramon Diaz has a similar understanding of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.

Inter certainly have become more defiant and more together under Conte than any team since 2010, and the difference with the current stock of players, is that they have greater longevity than the heroes of Madrid.

That team was at the end of a cycle not the beginning, whilst this team could be at the start of creating something very special. There are players like Samir Handanovic who will need to be carefully replaced, and there is certainly an old guard but the basis of the team is at a good age and if recruitment is wise, then the future is bright.

Inter now go 11 points clear at the top of the Serie A table, with a 10thconsecutive victory. It is a remarkable achievement and one that is not lost on the ‘mister’. He complimented the growth and maturity of many of his players after the game.

Lautaro, he said, had improved since their ‘talk’, Christian Eriksen had grown and signed out the offensive threat Achraf Hakimi provides on the counter. Finally, he backed up his comments after Lukaku arrived and said that. “You can see the work Romelu has done, and I don’t forget when people said he was over-rated.”

Inter and Conte are aware that this title is not over despite what the media say. Conte is experienced in winning titles and acknowledged the pressure and expectation that is now on the Nerazzurri. He is asking his players to embrace the tension and fight for every point, as, he said, every three will feel like six.

Inter face Cagliari next before coming up against Napoli. That is a crunch game because if they can get six points in the next two games, it then changes the landscape again. After Napoli, Spezia, Verona, Crotone and Sampdoria are to be faced before they finish off the season in tough style against Juventus, Roma and then play afinal game against Udinese.

There is no doubt that the focus will be to win the title before they face Juventus and Roma. This looks possible on paper, but Conte knows that they have to be clinical and ruthless, just like they were against Sassuolo.

Napoli, Verona, anyone can still cause problems and Inter cannot play well every game. They will have to defend, they will need to grit their teeth and they will have to show determination and togetherness.

Conte has brought all these things, just like Trapattoni did in the late ‘80s. That’s why many Nerazzurri (and of a certain vintage) are feeling excitable pangs of nostalgia.

@RichHall80

Have your say...
@ Branca, you are wrong: Pot 1 contains the CL and EL title holders, and the champions of the top six associations based on their 2020 UEFA COUNTRY coefficient. Pots 2, 3 and 4 contains the remaining teams, seeded based on their 2020 UEFA CLUB coefficients. So your logic applies on pots 2, 3 and 4, but not on pot 1... 
on the 14th April, 2021 at 6:43am
Taken from the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League page on Wikipedia:
Pot 1 contained the Champions League and Europa League title holders, and the champions of the top six associations based on their 2019 UEFA country coefficients. As the Champions League title holder, Bayern Munich, were also their national champions, the champions of the association ranked seventh, Porto, was also seeded in pot 1.
Pot 2, 3 and 4 contained the remaining teams, seeded based on their 2020 UEFA club coefficients
on the 14th April, 2021 at 4:03am
@I MISS MARCO BRANCA For someone that speaks so loud about UCL you know so little about it. Hahahaha. Maybe before commenting on a topic, take a look on some football websites to verify what you're about to say is correct.
on the 14th April, 2021 at 3:59am
@Geedup: Winning the scudetto does not put Inter in Pot A, it's based on coefficient points !! if youi wanted Inter to be in Pot A they should have won the Europa league last year !!
on the 13th April, 2021 at 5:38pm
Couldn't agree more with @halfbillionstarting11,
how can juve fans talk big about CL. If it's milan fan, then I'd suck it up a bit and maybe point out that their glory day is in the past. But juve has always been the ultimate choker in CL. Only got their 1st cup in 1985, and hasn't won any european trophy for 25 years. Even in present time, they're not that much better than inter, got knocked out early 3 times in a row by not so 'elite' clubs.
History only mentions the winner, not the loser.
on the 13th April, 2021 at 2:01pm
@ JJ10B: Yet, based on the rules Inter will be in pot 1 next year together with the champions of ES, EN, DE, FR, PT, plus the CL and EL champions for 2021
on the 13th April, 2021 at 1:54pm
@Nick, Branca: for someone supporting the biggest underachievers in CL history, you talk awfully lot about CL. You couldn't win it for 25 years now, you couldn't win it in the 9 years where you practically had no competition in serie A (so focus was on CL). You couldn't pass through Ajax, Lyon and Porto FFS! If passing the group stage is success for you, than ok. Last time we dominated Serie A, we won CL also. Next year it's the first time in years we'll really focus on CL, from pot 1, let's see
on the 13th April, 2021 at 12:18pm
UEFA COEFFICIENT 20/21:

1st Bayern Munchen 132.000
2nd Real Madrid 124.000
3rd Barcelona 122.000
4th Juventus 120.000

26th Inter 53.000
on the 13th April, 2021 at 12:18pm
@nick - I'll highlight this response from Anonymous and answer to your question YES because once Inter win the league, they will be one of the top 8 clubs in Europe having finished dead last in the CL group stage.

** they will definitely be classified in that category being amongst the 8 top seeded clubs in the UCL - UCL winner, UEL winner and league winners in the top 6 leagues. Whether they finished last in their group or failed to qualify for the last 16 would be irrelevant. **
on the 13th April, 2021 at 9:06am
Half a billion euros worth starting 11: Don't talk payroll because if I recollect correctly, Sevilla went to a 100 euro restaurant with 50 euros and had a buffet of a meal in Europa League ! And with half Inter's payroll they passed the CL group stage .....how did inter do again with double their payroll ? PISS LAST IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE! LOL
on the 12th April, 2021 at 6:36pm
@ Half a billion euros worth starting 11 : I still do not see a YES or NO reply so I will ask again: can i ask you a simple "yes or no" question....... do top 8 in Europe at the moment finish dead last in the CL group stage ? And by the way, this is the present - it's hard to have high expectations for a team that hasn't passed the CL group stage in 10 years !
on the 12th April, 2021 at 6:34pm
@Nick: you talk about what suits you: our past. I agree with you, we underperformed. Now I am talking about next season and beyond. Odds for 2022 CL winner will come up soon and I guarantee Inter will be in the top 8 favorites. And with the talent and grit we have, we'll get there at least. Something you couldn't do even with CL competition's GOAT on your payroll. You are out of CL and contention for scudetto already in March, having twice our payroll. Of course you'll talk about our past:)
on the 12th April, 2021 at 11:22am
I guess my last posts got lost somewhere so I'll repeat it.

@Anonymous - But you bypassed the answers from Inter and (I'm assuming its a different) Anonymous. I guess it's easier to just highlight responses that you can attack and avoid the posts that are pretty hard to dispute.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 9:17am
I MISS MARCO BRANCA/NICK FROM TORONTO/ Anonymous

Nick from Toronto is you. Ha ha ha ha this is sad.

11th straght victory. Enjoy. Conte says hello.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 8:26am
@ JUVE PAYED 40 MILLION FOR BERNARDESCHI: Nick from Toronto must have made his point since he was right when he says " i will probably get a response that does not have an answer in it - too embarrassed to look stupid to defend your team OR too proud to tell the truth ? :) " if it's wrong you will answer but you have not so Nick is right !
on the 10th April, 2021 at 6:00pm
It's funny that you blame Platini & FFP when the fact is clubs earn less money now because of Moratti & Facchetti. Prior to 2006 Juventus was the team in the world that earned most from sponsorship beating the likes of Man U & Real with teams like Milan & Inter not far behind. That all changed after 2006 because of Inter & not FFP
on the 10th April, 2021 at 10:12am
NICK/I MISS MARCO BRANCA.

"do top 8 in Europe at the moment not play a single round of 16 game in the last decade"

Imagine writing this and thinking it makes any sense. Ha ha ha.
on the 10th April, 2021 at 9:00am
@nick - that’s an easy one. We missed out on knockout stages but inches literally in the last game. But with eriksen and perisic on song the team fills 2 giants holes. This inter would comfortably beat the inter from start of season. Plus our younger players are only getting better. With one or two more additions our team should do Italy proud and hopefully bring home another CL soon.
on the 10th April, 2021 at 6:25am
@NICK FROM TORONTO Inter may not be in the top 8 in Europe at the moment but seeing as they're likely to win the Scudetto, they will definitely be classified in that category being amongst the 8 top seeded clubs in the UCL - UCL winner, UEL winner and league winners in the top 6 leagues. Whether they finished last in their group or failed to qualify for the last 16 would be irrelevant.
on the 10th April, 2021 at 3:34am
@ Half a billion euros worth starting 11 : can i ask you a simple "yes or no" question....... do top 8 in Europe at the moment finish dead last in the CL group stage ? can i ask you another simple "yes or no" question....... do top 8 in Europe at the moment not play a single round of 16 game in the last decade ? you tell me ! but i will probably get a response that does not have an answer in it - too embarrassed to look stupid to defend your team OR too proud to tell the truth ? :)
on the 9th April, 2021 at 5:31pm
@Moggi, pffftt.. you're such a cute fan. I think you should blame Morratti for that. He spent all Inter's money for Calciopoli and for the famous cardboard Scudetto.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 5:18pm
@ Pirlo
If you are embarrassed dont read!All I want is Seria A to be top league in the world again, and point out who is the cause of it being so poor. The Milan clubs hamstrung for a decade by corrupt Platini's FFP.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 3:01pm
@ MG - If you dont understand the issues it is best not to show your ignorance.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 2:58pm
The psychology of winning is why Conte makes the big bucks and is a success.
He instills in his team the belief the if they follow his lead and his program they will win and in doing so instill even more confidence in their abilities. He has transformed Lukaku and Lautaro into dynamic attackers, helped develope young players and most important made the defence one of the best in Europe. His decision to bring in experienced older players has also given the team depth and confidence.
Job well done
on the 9th April, 2021 at 2:26pm
This team is extremely difficult to beat and now with that scudetto chip off their shoulders, will do very well in CL next year. They are the last Italian team to win CL and odds are they'll be the next one, too. They are definitely top 8 in Europe at the moment. The players are at their peak, but far from being old. On 8 or 9 of the 11 positions they have top, top players and they are very tight. Winning the league will do miracles for their confidence and take nothing away from their hunger
on the 9th April, 2021 at 11:32am
@Moggi, Dude, You should relax and enjoy the moment of Inter on top. Stop being a tacky person. It's embarrassing.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 10:14am
Another good and thorough article from RH. Always spot on not just when IM play good but also during their darker periods. IM only fault is if they failed to continue this great improvement. I hope Suning will keep to their words to bring IM to greater heights, and keep hold on to Conte and the star players for many years to come. European glory will come eventually, this is IM.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 8:44am
Last time Inter dropped any points in Serie A was 2,5 months ago,

22 wins, 5 draws, 2 loses for the season.

Dropped points every 4th match.
Scores 2,3 goal every game.

30 for 30 in last 10 matches.
Let in 4 goals the last 10 matches.

Its the dominance in all categories for me.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 7:14am
@ I miss Luciano Moggi @ Juventus

I think you’re smoking too much of the good stuff.

You’re all over the lace from inter, to FFP, platini.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 2:23am
Inter is on pace to win the league, who cares! They finished last place in their group in Champions. They got schooled by the worst Real Madrid team in like a 100 years. Juve got ousted as well in shambolic fashion. Lazio were destroyed by Bayern and Atalanta for all that talk about attack/ tactics they too were embarrassed and have no business playing in Champions. Seria A needs to adapt to the changing times as they don't win anything on the continent anymore. The league is living in the past.
on the 9th April, 2021 at 12:32am

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