Terzo Tempo – A Festival Of Technical Errors

January 22, 2018 12:30
( 12 ) Comment

Luciano Spalletti and his Inter maintain their 3 point lead over AS Roma, who have a game in hand, after Uruguayan international midfielder Matias Vecino got on the end of a brilliant Marcelo Brozovic cross to equalise the lead gifted to Stephan El Shaarawy and his Giallorossi via Davide Santon.

With Lazio, who also have a game in hand, having demolished Chievo Verona at home at the Stadio Olimpico earlier in the day, the Nerazzurri could not afford to lose against a Roma side who match Inter with regards to poor form, led by former Sassuolo coach Eusebio Di Francesco dubbed by many in Italy to be a coaching dead man walking.

Luciano Spalletti’s men looked much better in terms of attitude and energy than they had for the entire month of December up until before the 2 week break when the team drew away against Fiorentina, but they were severely lacking in technical quality. Granted, the Giallorossi matched Inter in terms of the sheer volume of poor passes and simple mistakes, yet the Nerazzurri’s ability to take on and overcome the high press put in by Roma only to inexplicably give the ball away back to Roma was mind boggling. Not to mention infuriating.

Roma on the other hand barely created anything worthy of being called a chance and their only shot on target came when Stephan El Shaarawy got on the end of a harakiri attempt of a headed pass back to goalkeeper Handanovic by Italian full-back Davide Santon. Having watched it at all again x number of times, it is impossible to understand or remotely comprehend what on earth the former Newcastle full-back is trying to do. In the summer €20 million was spent on a full-back from Ligue 1 who Spalletti doesn’t feel he can play due not trusting him enough, named Dalbert. It is quite remarkable how Inter seem unable to resolve the left-back slot although it must be said Nagatomo and Santon have been much better than they have ever been during their careers at Inter.

On the right hand side of defence however the Nerazzurri have resolved their issues as Joao Cancelo must now be regarded as a starting player thanks to yet another impressive performance. The Portuguese international is quick, fast, technical and a great crosser of the ball. His improving read of the Serie A coupled with his positioning makes him indispensable and if he continues down this path, it is unimaginable that Inter wont activate his redemption clause before June.

His compatriot Joao Mario spent the entire match on the bench and it is looking more and more like the former Sporting player has played his last match in an Inter shirt. Rumors suggest that Italian international attacker Eder is also on his way out and he hardly convinced anyone not to let him go when absolutely squandering two great chances. The former Sampdoria attacker is a good player but if he wants Spalletti to play him more often then he has to take advantage of the chances he is given, something he did not do against Roma.

Antonio Candreva’s and Ivan Perisic’s form is on the rise, there’s no doubt about that after both players looked physically and mentally fresh with the Croatian almost giving Inter the lead twice in the first half. One of Perisic’s chances came from a brilliant Candreva cross whose partnership with Cancelo is looking better and better by the minute. Up front Mauro Icardi had a night where the ball did not bounce his way but his intelligent movement and 7th sense for sniffing goalscoring opportunities should have rewarded him with two goals. However, after the post denied him once, Roma’s Man of the Match Alisson came up with saves that Julio Cesar would have been proud of.

Right now it is looking like a three horse race between Inter, Lazio and Roma for two spots in next seasons Champions League which was and still is the Nerazzurri’s objective for the season. A loss last night would have jeopardized that given the gave in hand both Rome clubs have. Vecino’s goal just made the race tighter and closer. Starting from next Sunday, Inter have to start winning again if the Nerazzurri are to stand with a chance of completing the season’s objective, when Spalletti and his men travel to Ferrara to take on SPAL. No more excuses or leverage left. The serious part of the season begins now.

Andrew Di Franco
By Andrew Di Franco
  • eermat

    I think that the Perisic chance that came from Candreva’s “brilliant” cross was more like a lucky bounce. The cross attempt seemed failed and went through a bunch of players. Candreva slows the game way too much down on his flank. The only quality crosses that came from that side were from Cancelo. He actually has that explosive acceleration and a great right foot to deliver the ball to box.

    And I think that after this Roma game we should just start Dalbert. I mean the only way we can see if he is the real deal is to give him some starts. + On the Vecinos goal assisted by Brozovic DALBERT was the one to make a movement and drag a Roma player away from Brozo. When he did that, he created time and space for Brozo to take his cross. My point here is that Dalbert actually shows some quality sometimes on the flank. Unlike Santon, who didn’t even push forward pretty much at all. Perisic was showing him even few times to go forward.. And if Dalbert makes mistakes on the defence like Santon did, he would have had a chance to catch up with El Shaarawy, because atleast he can run.

  • macanoo muriidi

    4 players should be sold asap candreva santon gagliardini nagatomo no more time wasting

  • Evangelos Boultoukas

    Dalbert needs to be a regular starter. He has ability, its obvious he lacks playing time but always looks hungry and tries to press. He will make mistakes if he doesn’t play much, thats certain, but he has a great future and if we manage to waste him like we did with….. ….Gabigol,Kovacic,Coutihno,R.Carlos,Recoba etc we are to blame. In midfield things are dramatic. If Valero is your best midfielder that says it all. If we go with this midfield in the CL, we will be crucified. The guys cannot change a safe pass in 3 distance, needless to say they can’t create shit….And Perisic needs to stop playing like a fuckin’ primadona.

    • Wasim

      I agree I think Dalbert needs more starts to see if he is any good. The thing which is really irritating about our three CM’s is the amount of passbacks they do. Watching Valero/Gagli/Vecino constantly take the safest option is boring and that’s why they don’t score or create chances. Brozovic even though he is really lazy always tries to play a forward pass hence is passing accuracy not being that high, if he worked harder off the ball he would get in the first 11. I wish J Mario could get his head straight because for his dynamism J Mario Rafinha Valero/Vecino/Gagli is not too bad a midfield, with the pace we have upfront it’s a pretty decent 11. Last thing we have to purchase Cancelo who is going to turn into a top RB.

      • Evangelos Boultoukas

        Yeah I agree. Cancelo needs to be signed. And whats with all those short passes to the other teams attackers as well? I think neither Valero, Veccino or Gagliardini can create in midfield. Brozo seems to have the talent, but if he is a starter he ALWAYS somehow disappoints. I don’t know whats going on with J.Mario. He looks so relaxed and comfortable and creative in the National team, then with us he is unwatchable. Then we got Karammoh…..who is half a Gabigol. If you want to invest in talents, you should just give them the chance. If not…grasp some proper money and get 1 top player. Rafihna is a question. Will his legs stand Serie A???? We will see….Also, will we actually LET HIM play? Is he actually a BETTER player than Gabigol? I think Gabi would do well as a second attacker/creative midfielder. And why oh why did we sell Banega??? Maybe we can rescue Kondogbia in the end….lol!!!

        • Wasim

          All fantastic points. 100% agree. Banega was sold for FFP. The one big point I think as you mentioned is when we sign a young player why is no manager brave enough to play them. We’ve all seen Candreva & Perisic way out of form, change the team, play Karamoh otherwise why sign him, playing the same out of form players is foolish and what does it say to the rest of the squad? Also I think the best coaches are not rigid with formation they adapt to the match. Spalletti needs to become more adaptable to become a big team coach otherwise he will end up in the scrap heap with the rest of them. I’m intrigued to see Rafinha as he offers something none of the other midfielders have. A winning mentality having played for a big club.

          • Evangelos Boultoukas

            Yes hopefully! I am amazed that people who come to Inter from other big clubs seems to “fail” though no matter what… I would invest in Gabigol, Kondogbia, Rafihna and Cancelo personally. We already failed Gabigol last year when frankly Candreva was unwatchable and we weren’t playing for anything anyway 🙁 And apparently K-dog is not good only for Inter as well…. We need to pass a real message to the fans as well. Either you built a team with young talents and create in 3-5 years time OR you become a huge club by spending 1/2 a billion to buy 3-4 amazing players. If we don’t like Gabigol or Kondogbia maybe we need to pay for Pastore, Neymar and Mbappe :))

          • Wasim

            I agree with all your points. I don’t think Gabigol is a bad player, but all our managers want a quick fix ‘proven player’ in which case why do we buy players on potential alone? That’s also the reason our academy fails as well, no patience. Then you get moments in the season like Candreva when he just keeps getting picked again and again and it makes you wonder, how much patience the coach has got? In order to get this team to a good level we need to invest in some top players, that have a winning mentality and have played for top teams, so instead of buying potential aka Dalbert we should buy ready made players as this is unfortunately the only strategy at Inter as the fans want results instantly.

          • Evangelos Boultoukas

            Exactly. And getting ready made players is costly, but it actually might be better given the fact that 40mil (Mario) + 35mil (Gabigol) + 20mil excess(K-dog) gone wasted already. Thats Pastore money and then some…..

          • Herak Bhowmik

            to be fair, Gabigol did not do well in benefica too and now on his way out. but signing of Dalbert and Karahoah perplexes me. why sign them if we are not sure to play them?

          • Evangelos Boultoukas

            I agree that he flopped in Benfica, although he did no actually played there either. I think he forced the signing to them when they did not actually wanted him as well (coach wise). The Kid has potential for sure, you could see that even during the small periods in Inter , now whether there is a character issue…who knows. No issues back in Santos and he played there forever. Neither with the National team as well…..

  • Bella Soraya

    Santon was hot prospect in Mou’s era. Tragic he ended like mediocre player.