Motivations, errors, physical decline: confrontation between the technician and the management. Worries about repeating the same problems. And fourth place is vital
Almost cloying, these Inter day afters. Because by now there are eight defeats, not counting a couple of very disappointing draws like those with Monza and Sampdoria. And history repeats itself. Yesterday at lunch, the entire Nerazzurri management had the opportunity to examine the reasons for yet another misstep with Simone Inzaghi.
What changes, of these comparisons of the day after, is the shade of gray. More and more towards black, around the figure of the coach. That the match against Porto weighs heavily on his future is well known. But time has meant that doubts exist regardless of what happens in Portugal on Tuesday. And they are doubtful children of the results and of an Inter that is not improving. Which is equal to itself. Because, for better or for worse, even the coach has remained the same as he arrived at Pinetina in the summer of 2021. Meanwhile, concern is mounting: finishing in the first four places is vital for business continuity and, consequently, also for the sports one of the club. Downsizing would be an obligatory step. Concern is at all levels, starting with the presidency, which has always supported the coach. But the reason for the abysmal distance between Inter’s performance in the cup and in the league is something the coach has to answer for. Even today, even in the face of this Napoli, the club is convinced that it has set up the strongest squad in Serie A, which should at least have had to fight for the Scudetto until the last day. Potential also demonstrated on several occasions in the big games.
Having said that, at this time of the season, compacting is the watchword, there are four question marks surrounding Inter’s performance that can be highlighted. And that society itself, at all levels, cannot fail to have noticed. The first, and most important, involves motivations. Two points won between Monza, Sampdoria, Empoli, Bologna and Spezia are worth much of the distance there is today with Spalletti’s team. Inter can’t win when they should. Because it loses in malice, because the intensity that is put on the field is not enough. And the intensity is the daughter of the work leading up to the match, of the week.
The away performance is disastrous: only Salernitana and Cremonese have conceded more than Inter’s 24 goals. And many of these networks are copycat, with a team with an often unbalanced tactical attitude. There was a moment, in the first half on Friday in La Spezia, in which Acerbi found himself dangerously one-on-one and scolded Darmian, guilty of having lost his position. It was almost an omen, because then the thing was repeated in the second half, leading to Maldini’s goal. Why don’t these difficulties emerge at San Siro? Because it probably changes the attitude of the opponents, who are less inclined to offend. And so the “defect” is less noticeable.
Last year Inter paid dearly for the decline between February and March, which cost a good share of the Scudetto. The hope of the Nerazzurri club is that the points lost in recent weeks will not cost Champions qualification. The management of forces has led to squeezing some protagonists, other choices may have followed logics that keep the locker room balance inside. Then there are players who have never reached their peak of performance, Brozovic and Lukaku above all. Of course, the coach isn’t even helped by various open, unresolved contractual situations. But why insist on some solutions and not try others? Why not Asllani in midfield, if this is Brozovic? Or Bellanova himself in the wing, if Dumfries plays like this?
The point, the last one, is that Inter is always the same. Something changed in La Spezia, with the switch first to a 3-4-1-2 and then to a 4-3-1-2. But they seemed to be more dictated by the moment than by anything else. There was no upgrade, a real update of the app that Inzaghi himself had launched last season. The risk, in cases like these, is that the players always sit around the same concepts. It is the bitter aftertaste of yet another day after. In which things are explained, but also weighed. And Porto is not the heart of the problem. The problem is the side dish that eventually becomes the first course.
March 12, 2023 (change March 12, 2023 | 00:34)
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