It’s shaping up to be another disappointing season for Inter Milan following their 2-0 away loss to defending champions, Juventus.
Almost two months ago, on January 6th, Inter Milan were on top of the table and were considered one of the favourites to break the Old Lady’s title reign and win the Scudetto for the first time since 2010.
Thanks to their solid defence and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, the Nerazzurri managed to earn consecutive 1-0 victories at the beginning of the season, which helped them retain the first place in the standings, although they were not enough to lead them all the way to the end.
In the last 10 league games, Roberto Mancini’s team has been in free fall. Apart from its decent performances against Chievo and Napoli (in the Italian Cup), the squad has failed to remain competitive and, consequently, the return to Europe (either in the Champions League or the Europa League) is in serious jeopardy.
Inter have only collected eleven points in their last ten league games, having won just three times (against Sampdoria, Empoli and Chievo).
As a result, they have earned 17 points fewer than league leaders Juventus and 12 fewer than second-placed Napoli. The currently sit fifth in the table, only a point ahead of rivals Milan, who are also struggling to show consistent form this term.
However, what is the main reason for Inter’s downfall that prevents the club from fighting for the coveted Scudetto?
Firstly, their effectiveness in front of goal is so poor that it’s not likely things will soon change for the better.
In addition, most of the side’s midfielders are mediocre offensively and cannot offer good ball movement and dish out assists. The departures of Mateo Kovacic, Fredy Guarin and Hernanes have affected the side as none were replaced and there is nobody that can act as a playmaker and improve the team’s playing style. Ever Banega is linked to a summer transfer to Inter, with his contract at Sevilla expiring in July. If Inter keep up the paces in the league and manage to qualify for Europe, he could be persuaded to move to Serie A.
Above all, though, the midfield line’s ineffectiveness has created a serious disconnection between their attack and defence. And, certainly, coach Mancini is to blame for that situation, as his effort to adapt to their opponents’ tactics has destroyed the squad’s chemistry, as the Italian manager is constantly making changes to the starting eleven.
For his part, Inter’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, said the team’s performance against the Bianconeri was “unacceptable”, especially in the second half, adding that he was “furious, as it’s not normal to enter these matches without the appropriate fighting spirit, personality and quality, although Juventus is, without a doubt, an excellent team.”
Moreover, he mentioned that what Inter has to acquire is “players, who have a strong character, and not a deep-lying playmaker,” as this seems to be the only way for the club to return to the winning track.
All in all, it seems that Inter Milan are heading to another disappointing season, since the club’s big target, which is to win the title, is realistically out of reach.
However, the team should continue to fight, because if they fail to claim one of the Champions League (or Europa League) qualification spots, then the club will certainly face negative consequences, both financially and in the roster.