Tuesday January 14 2014
All in the head for Inter?

A 1-1 draw at San Siro against Chievo means Inter are still winless in 2014, leading Varun Mathure to ask - where has it all gone wrong?

For a season that started off so brightly, Inter are in the midst of a crisis as January draws to an end and have only one victory to show for in their last seven League games.  A solitary win that being over Milan in the Derby since early November has ramped up the pressure on Coach Walter Mazzarri.

But, Inter fans and those close to the club have become all too familiar with things taking a turn for the worse in the second-half of the season over the course of the last three years. And one has to wonder the reason behind that.

One of the first things Mazzarri said when he took over at the club was that he’d ‘like to evaluate the players who are already here’. The former Napoli tactician insisted that in his opinion the players were better than the results they produced in the 2012-13 season.

However, now it may be that he is beginning to realise that there are certain limitations to the squad that he has available. After being ousted out of the Coppa Italia by Udinese, Mazzarri went on the defensive and maintained that ‘there was a lot of work to be done’.

But perhaps what Inter need most than anything else is a change in mentality. The players seem to lose all confidence and belief the moment things start going awry, and this has been a common theme for the past few seasons.

In fact, Mazzarri knows this and highlighted the issue at the very start of the season. He talked of how the team’s confidence was quite low after the disastrous end to the previous campaign, and that ‘every time the team went forward, they were afraid of letting in goals on the counter’.

Now, his fears are being realised. Over the last three seasons, Inter have managed to string together a series of positive results before being sent into a negative spiral after a couple of poor showings. The team seems to be struggling to recover from a bad patch.

Under Claudio Ranieri, the Nerazzurri won seven League games in a row between December and January – a run which saw them pull within six points of the top at the half-way stages despite a horrid start under Gian Piero Gasperini.

However, a loss to Lecce saw all the hard work get undone and a run of just one victory in 10 League games and elimination from the Champions League at the hands of unfancied Marseille saw the Tinkerman exit and be replaced by Andrea Stramaccioni.

Strama too managed to get the best out of his players in the first-half of the next season as Inter set a club record for successive away wins and even brought an end to Juventus’ unbeaten run in Serie A. But, a combination of injuries and losses saw the team once again struggle to reproduce that sort of form again during the latter half of the campaign.

Mazzarri is now faced with the same problem as his predecessors. The squad morale is once again taking a hit, and the same tactics and players that did very well at the start of the season are beginning to struggle and look distinctly average.

Possibly, one of the reasons for this is the lack of a personality in the Inter dressing room. Under Jose Mourinho, each player felt that every game they played no matter whom they were up against was winnable. The Portuguese Coach is of course a mastermind when it comes to player management.

Prior to the Special One’s arrival, Inter had Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with the ability to single-handedly carry a team on his shoulders. He might not have delivered European success, but Inter’s three Serie A titles from 2006-07 to 2008-09 were in large part due to his contributions.

Ibra even talks about the mentality inside the Inter dressing room being an issue in his autobiography. While, all quotes in a player’s own account have to be taken with a pinch of salt, one feels that there was a certain grain of truth when he said ‘the players were not fully charged up’.

At the start of last year, we saw what impact a decisive signing can have as Milan turned around their season with the arrival of Mario Balotelli. The players around him also picked up their game following the mercurial Italian’s arrival and the team managed to accumulate more points than every other side bar Juventus in the second-half of the season.

These are the things that Inter will have to work on if they are to attempt to turn around their fortunes. New President Erick Thohir has reiterated his belief in Mazzarri, but also indicated that he will wait till the summer to make real changes within the club.

A big signing next summer will probably be needed to reinforce the belief that Inter intend to challenge the big guns for the entirety of the season, and not just when they are getting the results. Until then, Mazzarri will perhaps rightly feel that his hands are tied when it comes to delivering on objectives.

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Have your say...
vucinic for guarin awesome trade, inter need a striker with the caliber and experience too. and for juventus, well they can use an effective attacking midfielder Guarin who can shoot and play effectively in an advanced role as a support striker and not to mention loads of talent,great for europa league and champions league next year.
on the 21st January, 2014 at 4:54pm
I can't blame Mazzari and players for this downhill situation. Mazzari placed players better than other coach after Mourinho and use formation i like too. We just lack backup players to compete with teams above us.

I'm Indonesian and I blame this situation to Thohir. He doesn't do anything to help Inter. The transfer market almost over and we don't even buy a single player!
on the 20th January, 2014 at 5:16am
I agree with gasperini.
They count on their superstars too much.
I stil remember, since I watch football early in 98, inter has always been "great buyer". They always buy star players.
The phenomenon Ronaldo, roberto Bagio, vieri, cannavaro,u name them. So much star player.
They were bought when they2re on top performance,which I believe put them on top price.
See how juve does it: sell baggio,ravaneli,vialli, and hunt for young italian. Later,They get delpiero-inzaghi super duet.
on the 20th January, 2014 at 12:20am
Inter milan will soon see a 14 or 15th spot on seria a 2014 . And for years to come will be a below average team. Erick Thohir did the same to DC united and 76ers in usa. He wil take this team downhill
on the 18th January, 2014 at 10:29pm
Truth be told, Mazzarri js a good coach and i think he can bring some success to Inter. However this squad needs to be rejuvenated with younger and better players, hopefully Italians. (one can hope).
on the 17th January, 2014 at 11:19am
For the past 25 years i have followed the top 5 European Leagues and countless minor leagues all over the world. Never have i seen anyone complain about referees as much as Inter does. Whats intriguing about Inters blame everyone and everything but us philosophy is that they actually believe this nonsense. The simple truth is that Inter has had a great team under Mourinho everything before and after can be considered a little above average.
on the 17th January, 2014 at 11:15am
@ serieAstar : whether you finish 4th or 14th you don't qualify for Champion's league anyways so who cares? look at it this way. After he left Foggia they went to serie B, when he left Lazio, the next coach won the scudetto. When he left Roma in 1999 rthe next coach won the scudetto. When he was fired last year, the current coach is on pace to make 88 points (second place) since inter is years away from being a winner why not give it a try ?
on the 16th January, 2014 at 2:57pm
this is a rough patch and inter are in dire need of some luck to get confidence up. i still dont feel its all gloom and doom as an inter fan i feel much better in games this year as opposed to last when as soon as we went down it felt like it was over.the truest statement said so far is we need a new defense mid cambiasso aint going to cut it hes part of the reason why we cant play ricky and kova at the same time because cambiasso needs cover and can someone please beg chelsea to buy guarin
on the 15th January, 2014 at 8:54pm
First off. I am a Juve fan so you would think that seeing Inter an Milan in tatters would make me smile, but not like this... we got relegated by politics and were forced to reinvent ourselves befor the economics took their toll, Inter need to buy Italian (youth) build something new and be patient with Mazza. Just think back to the beginning of the season as they gave away Donati... why? I hope they get better soon for the good of Serie A. Stop being the unlucky loosers and sort it out!!!!
on the 15th January, 2014 at 8:16pm
they need players on the wings,and inter needs a star dmf cz cambiasso cant do that job any more,and alvarez should play as an attacking midfielder or second striker thats how inter made a strong run in the start of the season,but no 1 can deny that they are unlucky and very bad decisions from the refrees in every game there is an incident,and thats very bad for serie A when refs ruin games ,and it happens very often lately and not just in inter games ,ths yr in general the refs are terible!
on the 15th January, 2014 at 7:50am
Inter should go for Diamanti and Cerci. They need some Italian players out there. Those two players would also add some creativity to the team which Inter really needs.
on the 15th January, 2014 at 5:52am
If Inter are awarded as many penalties as Milan were in the second half of 2012/13 they can do the same thing. Mazzari is the wrong man for inter. His counter attack style is no good when the opposition do not attack you. It is only sport but 12 months of dodgy referee decisions have lowered confidence. Opposing players know a penalty will not be given so they are free to foul as they please. Still they should make the Euro League and that is progress. ....and give youth a chance.
on the 15th January, 2014 at 5:25am
this is a sad tale of late regarding inter's mentality. hopefully mazzarri can turn things around like he did with a budget team like napoli but what he need is TIME. he has to have his own team assemble and rightly so when the other predecessors because what they have in hand was a beat up team that has lose all its steam under the Great Mou. so i say stick with mazzarri he is definately a good and perhaps can be a great if all the things he needs is in his hand. forza inter!
on the 15th January, 2014 at 4:00am
I am not a big fan of Mazzarri, but something tells me he will come to understand that coming to this team will be his biggest regret in his coaching career as there needs to be an investment in talent and youth before Inter can begin to move forward again, like Milan the economic factors in Italy for these owners have taken their toll on these teams, new stadiums and stadium ownership needs to be taken seriously in Italy for Italian football to flourish again
on the 15th January, 2014 at 2:45am
Nothing personal but for the love of seria A get some more Italians in there isn't this calcio come on inter.........
on the 15th January, 2014 at 2:44am
on the 14th January, 2014 at 11:26pm
Granted having 70% possession against Chievo should have resulted in victory but lets not forget the ridiculous amount of bad refereeing Inter has to put up with, in nearly every game since Dec Inter has suffered goal scoring or conceding bad decisions. One pen has been awarded to Inter since Jan last year!!! Clear legitimate goals against Roma, Chievo dissalowed, all this mounts up to many points lost, happens year in year out to Inter. Fortunately Inter are beginning to complain. #Forza Inter
on the 14th January, 2014 at 9:31pm
As an Inter fan, I just want to take a moment and thank Milan for providing me and Inter fans everywhere with some great news that they signed Seedorf, a man with 0 managerial experience, to bring them back up the table. Thank you so much, you have given us the happiness that Inter has not been able to give us since beating you in the Derby. I'm just a little disappointed there won't be a Milan Derby next year.
on the 14th January, 2014 at 8:30pm
I'm sure I am biased towards Mazzarri but I think if you remove 1 player from his starting 11 that team could be sitting in 10th next to Milan. I am borderline impressed with how Inter are doing because they don't exactly have more than 3 players that you could put above the label of "decent".
on the 14th January, 2014 at 7:19pm
In truth Inter average right around the same number of shot and shots on target per game as Roma, Napoli, or Fiorentina. I believe they are second to only Juventus when it comes to goals created from open play. Considering the squad, 5th place is right around what you could expect. Was Mazzarris Napoli boring when it defeated Chelsea 2-0 in the Champions league a couple years ago, the same year Chelsea won it all by playing defensive and "boring".
on the 14th January, 2014 at 7:12pm
You might find Inter boring but in truth they average right around the same number of shots and shots on target per game as Roma, Napoli, or Fiorentina. They currently have 1 more goal from open play than Napoli, 5 more than Fiorentina and nearly twice as many as Roma. Was Mazzarri's Napoli boring when it beat Chealse 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions league a couple a years ago, the same year Chelsea went on to win it all by later playing closed up and boring under DiMatteo
on the 14th January, 2014 at 6:43pm
where has it all gone wrong? referees maybe?
on the 14th January, 2014 at 6:39pm
@forza juve

Yes please bring in Zeman. Do you forget what happened to him 12 months ago at Roma? All out attack in Serie A is an epic failure!
on the 14th January, 2014 at 5:48pm
Inter need quality players, it's simple. It's just like Milan. Both teams will not win without top players in them. I'm not saying that they should have 11 top players, but 2-3 will be enough. I mean players like Kaka before Madrid, Ibra, Eto'o before Russia. Other way is to find some brilliant coach like Juve's Conte who will change everything from day one, but it's far more difficult, once in decade.
on the 14th January, 2014 at 4:57pm
Inter needs to eliminate all the dead wood - bring all the youth players up and Hire Zeman to bring this team to a new level. let's face it - Inter is nowhere close to Juve-Roma-Napoli quality and Mazzarri soccer is VERY BORING so at least entertain the fans - Inter fans understand that this team sucks so let them enjoy Zemanlandia !
on the 14th January, 2014 at 3:41pm
Inter are worse than us! I heard today that they will sign Hernanes for 18 million euros if they sell some can have him for that no doubt the guy is a weirdo who has a week mentality up and down hot and cold.
on the 14th January, 2014 at 2:38pm

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