Friday March 28 2014
Nerazzurri down, but not out

Recent struggles at home have brought renewed doubt over Inter’s ability to challenge, but Jeremy Lim says it cannot detract from their recent growth.

‘Crisis’ may be a big word used to describe Inter’s latest slump. But reaction to Thursday’s draw with Udinese, leaving Walter Mazzarri’s men with a solitary point from two home games, certainly pronounced it as much. No sooner had the Inter faithful thought they had turned a corner, then they were down in the dumps again.

It began with Atalanta. The Nerazzurri had gathered a compelling 14 points out of a possible 18 before the date with their bogey team last Sunday. Compelling because, streaking back after a 3-1 Derby d’Italia mauling by Juventus, Inter embarked on a real ruthless streak that comprised the conquests of European qualification rivals Torino and Verona. Their season looked back on track, Erick Thohir’s regime in full effect. Yet all those semi-significant successes would set them up for a greater fall.

An incredulous San Siro looked on in disbelief as the side succumbed to Stefano Colantuono’s troops, an opportunistic Giacomo Bonaventura double giving the home side a lesson in clinical finishing. Inter trudged off after more than an hour of superiority, four woodworks and just Mauro Icardi’s consolation to show for it. The stalemate versus Udinese followed the exact same blueprint, Simone Scuffet’s physics-defying saves giving a strong notion the Meazza’s goalmouths were placed under a curse.

Of course the Inter contingent would hope to dismiss these two fixtures as mere flukes, just days that Lady Luck did not smile too kindly on them. Still, the dejection of witnessing their side go the month of January netting just once in the League is much too near. Alarming too has been Inter’s frequent propensity to soar high one day, but plough the troughs the next. Just when the subsequent match with Udinese should have produced a natural inclination to right the wrong, their soulless performance left behind many more questions than answers.

And yet, Mazzarri has not appeared unduly troubled by a lack of end-product. “The record of

hitting the frame of the goal shows that at least the team is playing well. As a Coach I evaluate, absurdly, that it’s positive we rattled the woodwork that many times because those are almost-goals,” the 52-year-old remarked offhand about the situation.

Some days, the ex-Napoli boss makes to look like a hopeless optimist, deluded in evaluating a failed performance, the biggest contradiction of an already-wayward campaign. This time though, he puts across a fine point. Yes, the Inter of this past week, possibly even this entire season save for a few bright spells, has lacked showmanship, precision, intent and punch till too late. But there are progressive signs arriving too, recent indications the Coach is willing to be more diverse and enterprising in approaching ties hence the ability to keep opponents under sustained pressure.

Frailty displayed in the final stretches against Atalanta aside, Inter have shown to be learning to keep opponents at arm’s length - a definite step in the right direction. They may not yet be commanding, but they have looked increasingly secure, an important trait to acquire in a fledgling project. Hernanes has hitherto not influenced games single-handedly as he was bestowed to do, but managing to always stay a step ahead of the action has nevertheless brought cohesion to the side’s engine room. Meanwhile, Andrea Ranocchia and Fredy Guarin, whose careers at La Pinetina many expected to be over before the winter transfer window shut, have been reborn into cornerstones. There is always room for improvement, but the duo have resembled infinitely more channelled, focused and composed outlets for their teammates.

Now Inter are only missing the clinical edge to be restored as giants of the game, but that can be honed in training. Every woodwork struck does signify one step closer to goal, and the way they have peppered opponent targets to no avail in a given match could well have lead to an avalanche of scorers in another clash. And after enduring so much misfortune, their luck is surely owed a swift upturn. “How many opportunities hit the woodwork, were saved or went close? All season we have had moments like this, so eventually we might have one shot on goal and score,” Mazzarri trusts. The lowest point touched, the only way left certainly is up.

Have your say...
I would like Walter to look outside the box, and try 4231 formation. However, we have no wingers in the squad, so must wait til next season.

The quality players in the current Inter team. Handanovic, Juan Jesus, Hernanes and Palacio. I know Handonovic has been inconsistent this season, but he is still a quality keeper.

In a 4231 next season, i would to let Kovacic play.


Zanetti - Vidic - Jesus - Mbaye

Cambiasso - Kovacic

New player - Hernanes - New player

on the 2nd April, 2014 at 4:00am
Can anyone tell me why Zanetti isn't playing? Jonathan isn't 10% of what Zanetti was before his injury. Surely i'll capitano could do better than Jonathan is doing.

For me, Inter needs to get rid of Nagatomo, Jonathan and Ranocchia(and prob many more).

Is it only me who is sick of watching Nagatoma playing all the time? He is a complete waste in possession, and opposit players are constantly skipping him. And for Ranocchia, he is just too slow, and is never getting any faster.
on the 2nd April, 2014 at 3:49am
We are nothing short of a disgrace. Most of the squad, individuals not talented nor together for the team. No team spirit, no real plan or tactics, no confidence, not enough good players, nothing. And yet we keep selling our talented youth, and purchase over-priced, old, mediocre players. It makes me sick. Everyone sees it, us Interisti, fans of all the other teams, directors surely too. But no, they'd rather do the opposite of what we need... I really hope it all changes soon.
on the 31st March, 2014 at 10:15pm


Nagatomo Vidic/Samuel to provide experience (need young CB to take over in future) Juan Mbaye

Cambiasso (or youngster to take over mantle)

Kovacic Hernanes Alvarez (not seen much of Botta or new creative player bought in)

Icardi Palacio (Dzeko or younger striker for future)
on the 30th March, 2014 at 5:37pm
Mazzari must start playing kovacic more, and alvarez should be sold he is not worth giving him space cz he is not gonna get any better than this ,taider should be given more playing time aswell,thohir should buy Alex song and Dzeko, bring back mbaye, I think those moves are necessary for inter to improve as a team and the quality of players on the field. Forza Inter!!!
on the 30th March, 2014 at 1:47pm
Be cool man. Jonathan deserves credit for what he's doing. Strama is not bad, but he should study more on tactical term, defensive side for particular. I love 4-1-4-1 system which will help to possess the game. however, it should come toghether with proper mastermind for the team. Point out our weakness-anyone can realize but not the guy who in charge now. Reinforce that places and utilize our good asset. I cannot see why we will not be back. Kovacic, he's the man we should think about
on the 30th March, 2014 at 12:53pm
As Inter supporter of 16 years. Mazzari should just politely go away, the point is Strama would have done better this year then this current tool with no game plan. Strama had no players to play in the second half of the season thanks to Branca. And we have an amazing right back by the name of Jonathan who should follow Mazzari and his 352. I want 4231 back!
on the 30th March, 2014 at 12:22pm
Inter's transfer policy continues to baffle me. First they let Coutinho go for relative peanuts. Then they let two promising youngsters-who were finalist's at last years Euro under 21's- leave for a pitiful amount. Now, I'm hearing that they're entertaining bids (of only €8-10 million Euro's) for one of the most promising youngsters in Europe: Kovacic. It defies belief! Do Inter like being mugged? If it was a choice between Mazzarri & Kovacic, I know who I'd let go.
on the 29th March, 2014 at 9:08pm
I do not think there are many teams in Serie A who can be competitive in a 433 or 4231(Napoli, maybe Roma,Juve, or Fiorentina). There is a genuine lack of width in the league and this directly relates to the three in the back formations. I don't understand how Kovacic is the best player on Inter or in the league as so many of you suggest. If Mazzarri gets into Europe with this squad beyond any doubt he should be given another season.
on the 29th March, 2014 at 7:16pm
3-5-2 system is suck in my opinion. Inter now does not know how to attack neither in mid or flank. Just simple it by switch back to 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Move ricky to flank, give kovacic to trequartista, add another fast player for the flank. Hernanes is great and will help to dictate the midfield, he should play as deep player maker. They definitely need 1 strong defensive midfield. After all, get 1 real poacher. Develop with proper mind of strategy please, We fan hurt enough
on the 29th March, 2014 at 2:32pm
Most of you are wrong to blame Mazzari... I am not a fan of his, but he has done great at Napoli and feel that Inter would be lucky to be sitting in the same position as Napoli did under Mazzari. he is the right guy to lead Inter. Many coaches have come and gone under Moratti and the fans seem to like the coaching changes every year or two. I say give the guy 3 seasons if he doesn't win then and only then sack the guy. By sides, Inter has no quality with which Mazzari can work with.
on the 29th March, 2014 at 1:57pm
Reports this morning saying Liverpool have offered £10m for Kovacic, no doubt Inter and their joke hierarchy will sell.

Add Kovacic to Pirlo/Coutinho- tremendous talents that Inter had but sold for pennies.
on the 29th March, 2014 at 12:46pm
Just simple, watch inter without kovacic and with the kid then there's no argue. I'm their fan for 15 years but for now, inter is suck. especially they try to weaken themselves by wasting talent like kovacic, coutinho, longo. Keep using guarin, cambiasso and cut the chances of its talent. I love to see it collapse again and again
on the 29th March, 2014 at 11:33am
@ Setters10. Inter boring from a a Milan fan?..."would some power the gift ta give us to see ourselves as others see us"
on the 29th March, 2014 at 10:26am
Everytime I see Inter play I feel there is a total lack of gameplan or tactics, followed by a press conference where crybaby Mazzari complains they have had bad luck and were not too bad....

How often have Inter truly dominated a match this season? Even in high scoring games like the one vs Verona at home it looked dreadfull and I truly think Inter have had more luck with points won than points lost.

Mazzari just doesn't cut it and him playing the frustrated child all the time doesn't help.
on the 29th March, 2014 at 10:09am
Ricky is a waste,Guarin thinks too much of himself
Both of them won't ever become worldclass. Sell is a good verb.
Kovacic is good and should be used as a right hand of Hernanes
Inter in last 1 games was horrible
Besides couple of woodworks, they had many many missplaced crosses, wrong passes and shots of target, and looked like no one knows who should organize the attack and gameplay. Players often stand in spot and wait for a player with a ball to do a singlefooted miracle. I miss Stramaccioni
on the 29th March, 2014 at 8:46am
This time I agree with what Viktor said. Other than that this topic isn't worth of discussion. LOL
on the 29th March, 2014 at 3:43am

I cant agree when you say Kovacic doesn't deserve to start, after all this kid will be starting for Croatia in the World Cup. How Guarin gets in ahead of him amazes me, take away the threat of Guarin's long range shot and you really are left with an average footballer.

As a Milan fan I enjoy nothing more than seeing Inter bore the world to sleep....but as a lover of Calcio I fear that a Dortmund/Arsenal/Atletico Madrid could steal Kovacic from our league in the summer.
on the 28th March, 2014 at 11:37pm
I reckon so, as much as Livorno are struggling collectively, from what Ive seen I'd say Bardi, Mbaye and maybe Benassi could walk into our team right now, or at least be regulars off the bench. Speaking of Bardi, cant believe how poor Handanovic has been this season, grrr frustrating!
on the 28th March, 2014 at 10:20pm
I say give mazzari one more year I myself can agree with him that inter have lacked some luck. But I also agree somewhat with interista23 the cross the ball and hope for the best tactic isn't working. I also would like to say I love kovacic as much as any other inter fan but he is not ready for a starting spot although he should have came on as a sub in the last two games instead of Ricky
on the 28th March, 2014 at 10:04pm
Has Soufflet the Udinese goalkeeper recovered from his life threatening injury
on the 28th March, 2014 at 8:58pm
Spot on Interista23 couldn't have said it better. Never realised how stubborn a coach could be with tactics before Mazzarri. To add one more thing you missed most of our young players are not playing now as well "in this year zero".
on the 28th March, 2014 at 8:16pm
Actually I said he should be sacked at the end of the season, clearly it'd be pointless to start again now when theres no one available to come in. Also, why don't you say something constructive if you know better, or why don't you try explaining to Interisti how/why Mazzarri is doing a stand up job, how bout that?
on the 28th March, 2014 at 7:14pm
This is all down to Mazzarri, the guy is one of the most one dimensional managers ive ever seen. This Inter side plays exactly the same as Mazzarri's Napoli side- only they are not as good at it.

And Inter not scoring goals wont change for as long as Kovacic is on the bench. He is their most creative player but never gets a can Mazzarri not see this? Surely the fact that Dortmund are interested should be screaming that point to Inter.

Play Kovacic, Play Kovacic....PLAY KOVACIC!!!!
on the 28th March, 2014 at 7:13pm
Yeah they should fire him and bring in the singer Shakira or something for the remaining 7 games. Maybe she can invent some new tactics and formation to suit the fans better.
on the 28th March, 2014 at 5:48pm
The ref didnt give two obvious handballs against udinese. Nothing new, thats life.
on the 28th March, 2014 at 5:07pm
...Second, having everyone try to put cross after cross on the head of a lone CF is a needle in a haystack kinda thing right? Thirdly, his subs are nonsensical, Alvarez? Realy? If walter is still here next season then that'll be another wasted year as far as Im concerned. However, I have every faith in president Thohir to deal with Walter the same way he dealt with Branca... Mazzarri OUT!!! FORZA INTER!!!
on the 28th March, 2014 at 2:52pm
Slight improvements have been made, but lets take this for what it is; an improvement on our worst performance over a 20team league season EVER! Surely it was impossible to not do better than that. As much as some of the players need to improve or leave ASAP, no one is more to blame here than Walter. Firstly, the system he insists on using is an absolute clusterf**k, our weakest players are the wide players, so he plays down the wings and refuses to let the team build through the middle... TBC
on the 28th March, 2014 at 2:42pm
Anyone ever watched a game where post game Mazzari didn't make a comment on they were unlucky, and deserved to win. That guy complains and have so many excuses its ridiculous.
on the 28th March, 2014 at 2:10pm

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