Terzo Tempo – Live By Felipe Melo, Die By Felipe Melo

December 18, 2016 18:20
( 24 ) Comment


After an unnecessarily close and hard fought fixture away against Sassuolo at the Stadio Mapei, Stefano Pioli and his men managed to secure all 3 points to set up a cup-like end-of-year match-up against Lazio this Wednesday night at the San Siro. There and then the fate of Inter’s season moving forward could very well be decided, or at the very least, a strong indication as to the character of the remaining season would be given. This is a fixture which Joao Mario will sit out due to being suspended after reaching too many yellow cards, as will Felipe Melo after being sent off, yet again.

If there ever was a fixture to sum up Felipe Melo’s career as a footballer, it would be this performance in the early kick-off away against Sassuolo. After giving a performance in the first half, where he demonstrated with accute accuracy his ability to be tactically, technically and physically disciplined, the Brazilian midfielder followed it up with a second half performance where he displayed precisely the polar opposite after being sent off due to 2 incredibly unnecessary and careless tackles resulting in being shown 2 clear cut bookings.

Journalist David Amoyal hit the hammer on the nail when he accutely described Felipe Melo’s strengths and weaknesses after the pre-Christmas fixture against Lazio last year where the Brazilian was sent off for one of the most reckless challenges ever seen on a football pitch, with the words: live by Felipe Melo, die by Felipe Melo. Technically the Brazilian midfielder possesses everything a deep-lying defensive midfield playmaker needs at the highest level, whilst at the same time lacking the most fundamental aspect almost all professional footballers possess, namely discipline.

Anyone who has followed Turkish and more specifically, Italian football closely over the past decade, has witnessed first hand how aggressively Felipe Melo has defended his team’s defence with incredible timing and intelligence, all whilst dictating the tempo of his team’s midfield in the build-up phase. During his breakthrough debut season in the Serie A with Fiorentina, Felipe Melo demonstrated his brilliant Dr Jekyll side, leading to Juventus activating the minimum release-fee clause of € 25 million in his contract with Viola, only to discover that they had in fact, acquired Mr Hyde. Granted, Melo gave several great performances for the Bianconeri during his 4 seasons with the Bianconeri, however it was his lack of discipline tactically and physically on a consistent basis  which made him an unpredictable loose cannon on the deck of the black and white ship.

Today at the Stadio Mapei, that blatant inconsistency was painfully on display for everyone to see. Melo’s silly challenges did not end up costing Inter points today, however given that he was shown his second yellow card AFTER Joao Mario had received his booking meaning that he would miss the cup-like rubber on Wednesday night against Lazio, is nothing short of lack of discipline and experience, 2 traits you’d expect a 33-year old to possess without much drama. This is a flaw that has stalked Melo throughout his entire career and prevented him from becoming a legendary regista worthy of being named in the same breath as Paul Scholes or Andrea Pirlo.

Last season, Inter were leading the Serie A until the untimely defeat against Lazio at the San Siro just before the Christmas break. A defeat caused in large parts by a savage tackle by Melo leading to his expulsion which precipitated Inter’s and Mancini’s demise figuratively and literally from that moment and onwards. This took place after nothing short of a brilliant start to the season by Melo, a start so good it had fans and pundits alike discussing whether or not the Brazilian midfielder had finally matured enough to become the worldclass player he could, and as some argue, already should have been. It is nothing more than an ironic twist of fate that his sending off today means that he will miss the replay of last years fixture against Lazio at the San Siro weirdly scheduled to be played yet again just before the Christmas break.

Given his shortcomings characterwise, it remains to be seen whether or not Melo’s suspension is a blessing in disguise for Inter and in fact depends entirely on the result of the clash on Wedneday night. However, until then we’re all left with yet another almost schizophrenic performance by a player who is an enigma for the broader audience but who also now once again has become a nuissance to his current employer, who in turn has to come to terms with the fact that if you live by Felipe Melo, you die by Felipe Melo.

Nima Tavallaey Roodsari
By Nima Tavallaey Roodsari
  • Diri D

    hope we get rid of him as soon as possible the best

  • Søren

    Melo is a disgrace. You always sit with the feeling, that his next move will cost a red card and cost Inter the game. He is a liability we can not afford.
    No doubt he has some skills, but he will always be a reckless teenage meathead in an adult persons body.

  • boln

    Eder icardi gabigol(not gonna happen though)
    Mianngue brozovic(ansaldi) banega candreva
    Murillo miranda dambro

    • Alex

      Jao Mario?!!

      • Amala

        suspended for next match against lazio

  • A. Zanetti

    Melo is pretty good. But crazy as fuk just like a ticking bomb, he could explode within minutes and hurt his own team. C’mon… comparing him to legends like Scholes and Pirlo is too exaggerating as they live at different planets. And don’t forget, Melo will be 34 years old next year. Scholes and Pirlo had already won everything at that age.

    • frigo

      Compering Melo to Pirlo and Scholes is not a little bit exaggerated! Compering Melo to them is sacrilege! I respect Nima a lot, but this looks like bad joke, I’m sure even Melo’s family or closest relatives wouldn’t date to compare him to Pirlo out Scholes!

  • postal

    If we play in the same formation against Lazio, why not use Candreva as a deep-lying mid instead of Melo, Banega instead of Mario and Gabigol as a starter on the right. Candreva has the positioning, work rate and defensive abilities to boss the midfield.

    • Ahmed Haider Sultan

      i hope pioli does what you said, but he will probably just start kondogbia

      • postal

        I’m guessing Gabi doesn’t get a chance cause in Brazil noone bothers to defend, and both Candreva and Perisic are heavily involved in defense and both are good at it, better than our FB’s in fact. So unless Gabi learns to help back, he ain’t gettin chances. But I’d still prefer Candreva in the middle than Kondogbia…

    • Amin Sadrnejad

      I’m totally with u. Candy could be a giant box-to-box and though tackler CM.

      • Edwin

        lol is Candy his stripper name? XD

        • Amin Sadrnejad

          TotoCandyXXX LOL

  • Alex

    Good article about Melo. I clearly remember people calling Melo our savior and superior to Medel when he joined us. But now everyone missed Gary Medel. Melo might be a good tackler at times but his workrate (that is mostly due to his age), as well as his lack of pace, discipline, and character make him suspect. He doesn’t deserve a spot in our squad nor the hefty $3+m/ year earning he gets. I truly rather see Gnoukori play than Melo in any given situation.

    • Amin Sadrnejad

      Today he did great. The second yellow was unjust.

    • A. Zanetti

      Agreed! Some fans kept chanting Franck Kessie name but forgetting our own jewel: Gnoukouri. Give enough time and chances for Gnou to develop and he will easily surpass Kessie within months. I’m afraid we could repeat another Coutinho’s story with Gnou.

      • Edwin

        I think they both are a different type of player. one is a regista, one is a deep lying playmaker. one is better at dribbling, the other is better at running at opposition. so…yeah…

        • A. Zanetti

          Errr… dude, regista is actually another name of deep-lying playmaker LOL

        • ezekiel

          gnou is a box to box player, regista is deep-lying playmaker..LOL

        • Edwin

          in theory yes, i guess. but I think they both work at different way.. I dunno, but yes, Gnou is more of a box to box on hindsight. not that it matter anymore, Gnou is gone XD

      • Inter1998

        Gnou is Inter Primavera. He’s best shot to develop is go on loan. Just wait until become ready, Benassi is a good example. He’s always play as starter. When he ready, we just only buy back again. Duncan stil struggle, DiMarco still long way to go.

  • chffo

    Melo had a good game and i think the second yellow was a bit harsh. The ref decided to send him off and only waiting for a chance to do it.

    • Amin Sadrnejad

      100% agree.

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