Max De Luca – Five Things We Learned From Inter In The Last 10 Days

September 30, 2016 12:28
( 27 ) Comment

mauro icardi

It was a predominantly positive week-and-a-half for Inter as they gained seven points from a possible nine in Serie A. The Nerazzurri came from behind to beat Juventus 2-1 on Sept. 18 for their first win over their bitter rivals in league play since 2012 before notching a comfortable 2-0 victory against Empoli three days later.

Inter looked the part of legitimate title contenders but the parade route plans were put on hold after the Nerazzurri needed a volley from Ivan Perisic to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Bologna on Sept. 25. However, Inter’s poor performances in Europe continued with a heavy 3-1 defeat against Sparta Prague yesterday in the Europa League.

Icardi rightfully deserves most of the plaudits for his part in the two victories but his supporting cast, especially the summer signings, showed that there are indeed brighter days on the horizon. Here’s what we learned from the Nerazzurri in the last 10 days:

1. His Name Is Capitano

Legend has it that Torino great Valentino Mazzola would roll up his sleeves and scream “Go!” whenever he wanted to inspire his team during big matches and Icardi showed the same sense of urgency by playing the leading role in the 90-minute drama against Juve.

Inter were a goal down when Icardi took matters into his own hands. He met Ever Banega’s delivery from a corner and expertly guided his header past Gigi Buffon corner to even the score in the 68th minute before lofting a perfectly weighted cross with the outside of his boot to Perisic to head home the winner 10 minutes later.

The ‘Juve Killer’ was in a predatory mood from the opening whistle against the defending champions and the Argentine seems poised to take another step forward in his young career.

Icardi didn’t let up against Empoli as he opened the scoring with a diving header from Antonio Candreva’s excellent delivery and then coolly slotted the ball past Lukasz Skorupski to secure the points before 20 minutes had gone by at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.

Icardi showed he wasn’t Superman by missing a couple of chances that really should’ve ended up in the back of the net against Bologna but we’re not going to give a guy who has scored six goals in six Serie A games too much grief.

2. Poor Damn Ranocchia

The much-maligned Italian defender channeled his inner-Giuseppe Bergomi for most of the match against Bologna only to see him squander a chance to be the hero in the waning seconds and earn the wrath of Inter supporters around the globe.

Ranocchia could’ve started the healing process with Nerazzurri Nation by scoring the winner but instead the wounds only deepened when he sent his header wide of the post.

Frank de Boer’s reaction to the defender’s miss deep in injury time said it all. Ranocchia is who he is at this point and won’t turn into a quality defender until Inter sells him of course.

3. Joao Mario Looks Like Money Well Spent

I initially scoffed at the steep price tag for the Euro 2016 winner even though I realized Inter would probably have to overpay for top-class players due to their failure to reach the Champions League but Joao Mario has looked the part so far.

He’s as cool as a cucumber on the ball and thrived under the bright lights of his first Derby d’Italia. The moment was definitely not too big for him and he followed up his stellar display by flexing his muscles against Empoli.

The Portuguese international expertly won back possession in midfield before delivering a scintillating through-ball to set up Icardi’s second goal and in the blink of an eye it was game, set, match for Inter.

Inter weren’t the same when Joao Mario left the Bologna game with a calf injury and his presence will be sorely missed against Roma.

4. Banega Is Finding His Feet

I don’t recall a previous instance of a player receiving a standing ovation after being sent off with his team clinging to a one-goal lead over their bitter rivals. But that just showed Banega’s impact on the game against Juve.

The Argentine was spraying accurate passes all over the pitch, including the pin-point delivery for Icardi’s goal, and is quickly turning into one of the shrewdest signing of the summer.

Banega can be a game-changer in midfield on his day and you can see him getting more comfortable with each passing week, which can be only good news for the Nerazzurri.

5. So Long Kondogbia

Geoffrey Kondogbia’s days at Appiano Gentile seem numbered after the Frenchman was yanked after just 28 minutes of action in an error-riddled display against Bologna.

De Boer later revealed that the 23-year-old failed to carry out the instructions laid out to him and has been relegated to the fringes of the first team. “I talked to him about playing simple balls especially in dangerous areas but he doesn’t want to listen,” the Inter manager said in a press conference. “If he doesn’t want to listen then what can I do.”

Kondogbia looks set to join a long line of major busts at Inter and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him offloaded sooner rather than later. My heart is telling me that he is a young, talented midfielder who just needs some more time to come good but my head knows different.

Max De Luca is a journalist based in Toronto, Canada and has been published on Reuters, CBC, Yahoo, Goal, USA Today and many more. Every week, Max will pen a column exclusively for listing the most pressing topics of the week.

Do you agree with Max? Discuss below in the comments and follow him on Twitter.

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  • I miss Marco Branca

    FINALLY AN ARTICLE THAT ADMITS THAT KOON-DOG-BEE-YATCH IS AN UTTER AND COMPLETE FLOP !! Good Work Ausilio, at least when Marco Branca signed Mudinguay it was on a free transfer while MUdinguay 2.0 cost 30 friggin million euros + bonus but let’s face it he will never meet the bonus requirements. Sign 10 more KOON-DOG-BEE-YATCH’s so that you can make this team bankrupt !

  • Seiya20n

    great article Max, it hasn’t been easy for FDB- there are too many things going on within our team, some players definitely don’t have a good attitude we need to get rid of them, Joao + Banega both were the best signings that we have since long time ago and I know some guys won’t like my comment, but whenever Medel is not playing we kind of suffer….

    • 1nteristi

      Your comment was quite perfect brother

  • Fallen

    We’re in for a victory with Roma.

    • 1nteristi

      Ameennnnnnnn brother

  • Amin Sadrnejad

    1. Looks like JM will be able for Roma clash.
    2. Banega was awful against Bologna and Sparta.
    3. For god’s sake, stop bullshitting Kondo and let the guy find his grip.

  • Andre Sciberras

    I would get rid of Melo, Rannochia, nagatomo and d’ambrosio because they are not inter worthy and piss me off. (Maybe we can get around 15 million from the 4 players) Then I would get rid of Brozo, Kondo and Jovetic for around 60 million. 30 for brozo, 15 for kondo and 15 for jovetic. With the new money I would buy a QUALITY fb, young or quality cb, Young promising cm (bazoer), a cam who would be Banega’s sub and maybe another attacker.

    • Interfan99

      and a good CDM, needed when medel tired or injured

      • J.Z4

        Daley blind !

        • Interfan99

          He’s good, but man U won’t sell him for cheap

          • J.Z4

            Just like we brought Joao Mario for that costy price I believe that if we really want him then we will bring him !
            Also as I read , Valencia seems really intersted in Jovetic and Melo,,beside suning group said that they will send Biabiany to China ! And I think these deals will bring minimum 35 Mil to us !
            Also dont forget that some EPL clubs are intersting to take Brozo from us ( who I think will bring another 20/25 Mil to us!)

    • igo

      easy to talk, because that’s really i want to do. but here we are the most stupid club all the time, while the buyers already know the quality of them all. That’s one reason those woods still playing for us though. So we’re still stuck

  • inter_island
  • Khazam

    Can i add one?
    6. Inter starting 11 is very good but their bench players only deserve serie c1 competition

    • Abdi

      7. Inter with Miranda, J. Mario and Icardi scudetto contenders. Inter without them serie C team. I guess those three are the spine of the team. The rest just lack that winning mentality.

      • Khazam

        Nah, i dont blame some players for lack of winning mentality. Imo it is because of donkey effect. When you put donkeys in the field, suddenly all players become donkey. Lollll

        • Abdi

          D’Ambrosio, Ranocchia, Melo and Nagatomo are the donkeys affecting everybody else performances. They should never again wear the Inter shirt.

        • igo

          so it’s called ‘the donkey effect’… and who’s the lucky candidate for the donkey? LOL

    • harendro

      and that first 11 is should be handa-ansaldi-miranda-murillo-santon-medel-mario-banega-candreva-perisic-icardi. Looking at this 11, Gabigol money should have been used for LB, but maybe Gabigol will prove decisive latter on the season.