Wednesday October 28 2015
Mancini’s Inter must take more risks

Despite returning to winning ways against Bologna, Varun Mathure feels that Roberto Mancini needs to gamble more with his Inter side.

It isn’t often that you find a team that has scored an average of one goal per game occupying top spot in their League. However, that’s exactly where Inter find themselves, after grinding out their fifth 1-0 win of the campaign, despite being reduced to 10 men.

Felipe Melo’s sending off meant it was the second successive game that the Nerazzurri had to contend with a numerical inferiority following the dismissal of Jeison Murillo last weekend against Palermo. But, Mauro Icardi’s welcome strike saw them pick up the three points for the first time in five games.

While, the team may be celebrating returning to the top of the table, at least until this evening, the narrative would have been a lot different was it not for Samir Handanovic’s super save on Mattia Destro deep into injury time. This is where Coach Roberto Mancini has a problem on his hands – the team’s inability to secure a bigger lead in games means they risk dropping points at any time.

This was evident in Sicily last weekend when Ivan Perišić’s goal was cancelled out minutes later by Alberto Gilardino, with Inter eventually dropping valuable points against a team they would have expected to beat. If the Nerazzurri are to achieve their objective of securing a top three finish and qualifying for the Champions League, Mancini will know they need more of an attacking punch.

After the game last night, he even admitted that the team seems to play better football when down to 10 men. “We were too limp in the first half. We were too slow in building play from the back, we lacked intensity and showed little movement. We did much better after the break, even after going down to ten men. But we need more consistency to our play.”

Such displays have become the norm for this Inter side as they only seem to play to their full potential for one half or about 60 minutes. The game against Juventus was another instance of this where the first half saw the Biscione fire on all cylinders, before a tepid performance in the second. Add to that their inability to create many chances, and it becomes clear that the current results aren’t sustainable.

After 10 games, Inter have created the least amount of chances among the top five teams in Serie A. Their midfield hasn’t been effective going forward and as a result the supply to Mauro Icardi has been limited. He admitted has been left frustrated on a few occasions. “It’s a shame, I am a striker and I can only score if the ball gets to me. In 10 games, I have received four decent passes and scored three times.”

Inter have managed to keep seven clean-sheets to start the season, and he will now want to balance this newfound security at the back with an equally effective attack too. Adem Ljajic started only his second game for the club against Bologna, and he provided the assist for Icardi’s goal. The Serbian has been fleetingly used by Mancini this season, and the fans will hope they see more of him on the pitch.

The much-discussed 4-2-3-1 hasn’t been used by the former Manchester City manager. 10 goals in 10 games have proved sufficient for now. But, sooner or later, he will have to have to give this team more of an attacking outlet and it might be the right time to let loose against Roma. The current approach is safety first, but perhaps it makes sense to switch this over and see what the team is actually capable of with the shackles removed.

Have your say...
Well if Mancini wanted to take risks he would not have sold both of his AMs in one transfer window and not replaced them. Llajic is as close as there is but Mancini does not seem to care for him.
As for the Fiorentina game- Mancini tried to go for 3 man defense for the first time this season and of course it failed. You need well practiced rhythm/moves not something new in a game like that - it is understandable if Hando was anxious and error prone - he had to think too much
on the 30th October, 2015 at 6:15am
This shouldn't be a surprise. It's the same as what happened in Mancini's first season at City. It was all about safety first, aim to win but don't lose. It's boring but effective. People might not like it but As Interista said, all history remembers is who won the league.
on the 29th October, 2015 at 5:21pm
The game against Fiorentina was strange, Handanovic was having one of those days that he had so much of last season. Three of the goals were 100% his fault. I wouldn't blame Mancini's set up and tactics on that loss. Nothing anyone could do about Handanovic's massive mistakes. This is Handanovic's problem, he can be one of the best keepers one game, and lose a game for you another game.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 8:01pm
I admire Medel for his work rate and defensive skills but he must be the slowest player in moving the ball up,he loves to go backwards (that drives me nuts!) Mancini needs more guts, put his ego aside and realize that his formation is not working. His tactics against Palermo was as if it's Inter that was scared of Palermo and not the other way around!It's important to win but we also want to be entertained. If Inter wants to increase their revenue stream, don't count on tickets sales w/this play
on the 28th October, 2015 at 5:40pm
Great article. As many Inter fans, I've been very frustrated with Inter's display for much of the season. seems like we got new players, a "new" coach but the same attitude persists. We can not keep wasting keep wasting 1 half every match. We can't continue having a sense of urgency only once we're behind in the score or if we're a man less.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 5:30pm
on the 28th October, 2015 at 5:24pm
I agree Mancini needs to play Ljajic & Perisic on the wings with Icardi & Jovetic central but the last time he changed from our grinder set up we lost 1-4. Are our attackers ready to allow us to play 4-2-3-1? Tactically & physically speaking. Maybe.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 4:40pm
It's time to take some risks and play Perisic-Ljajic-Jovetic-Icardi together in front of the 2 holding mids. Ljajic did just fine covering his side defensively against Bologna and we know Perisic does the defensive phase well.

This would give Inter more creativity since our midfielders are not especially creative and so playing with a midfield of 3 with those characteristics is affecting out attacking play negatively.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 2:54pm
As for the game against Roma, we absolutely MUST play 4231 with Perisic and Ljajic on the wings, and Jovetic behind Icardi. if anything, the wingers can help the fullbacks in stopping Roma's fast wingers.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 2:49pm
the Great Inter of the 60's is back, grinding out wins :)

All history remembers is who won the league, not which teams played "attractive" football but lost, like Roma, Fiorentina,and Napoli the past few seasons. Our problem isn't exactly creativity, we have Ljajic and Jovetic and even Brozovic to a degree. The problem is those guys have only played together for a few games, it'll take some time to form a good understanding.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 2:46pm
Truth has been told, thanks Varun Mathure. I heard peoples criticising mancini before. This is where mancini lacks; switching things, bold decision, showing new tricks. Saying things the way icardi did a bit harsh but what he said is not total craps. This inter lacks service in final third. They were obsessed by defensive midfielder last summer. After having medel, guarin, kondogbia, finally melo you would wonder how came they even got romoured to being interested in lucas leiva who is another dm!. So, now they have hard hip(dm), hands(wingers) but where's the head??(creative midfielders). Mancini, why dont you play brozivic, ljajic, gnoukori on regular basis. 4 dm in one line up!, craazyy!!!
on the 28th October, 2015 at 2:40pm
Another boring game by Inter. Thank you Handa. If it was not for that Bologna defensive mistake, it looked like we would not have scored for another 180 minutes. Very slow buildup to attack and an obsession with returning the ball backwards. Ljajic deserves more playing time for sure. I hope they go full force against Roma. I would rather us losing an attacking match against them than win an extremely boring 1-0.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 2:36pm
As I suspected at the end of the transfer market Inter would struggle to score because their midfield has zero creativity. They sold their two creative mids in Kovavic and Hernanes. They will continue to struggle unless they address this issue in Janauary.
on the 28th October, 2015 at 2:00pm

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