SempreInter.com’s Player of The Year For The 2017/2018 Season Is…
After a tumultuous transfer market last summer, Inter started the season firing on all cylinders. Inter made the best start in the club’s 110 year history as the Nerazzurri garnered 29 points in their first 11 Serie A games. At the end of October everything seemed in place for Inter to finally return to the Champions League, it almost seemed like a formality. If there’s one thing certain about Inter it is that Inter are Pazza and what followed over the winter was proof of just that. Inter got there in the end, but there were twists and turns all throughout.
There were some great individual performances, some bad. All throughout the season we at SempreInter.com compiled match reports and ratings at the end of each game. All of the ratings are averaged up at the end of the season and then ranked accordingly. For a player to have a chance to compete in this, he would have to appear in at least 60% of the matches over the entire season. Inter played a total of 40 games this season(38 in Serie A, 2 in the Coppa Italia) and only players who have been rated in 24 or more games have been considered.
Inter’s player of the season is none other than Milan Skriniar.
Last summer, when the news broke that Skriniar was dining with the movers and shakers at Inter along with his agent there were mixed reactions. Some rival fans thought it was too big a risk and Inter were making another suicidal move. Some Interisti pointed to the fact that a certain Diego Simeone would have signed him had Atleti not been banned from buying new players.
What nobody predicted is a birth of a defender that has both modern and classic defensive characteristics. Skriniar had a fantastic season and has certainly elevated his status over this year. The fact that teams like Manchester City and Barcelona are looking at him is testament to this. If he continues this superhuman run where he can stop ANY forward in his tracks and can even contribute a few goals at the other end, there is nothing to stop him from becoming one of the best in the world. He combined Walter Samuel-like defensive skills with the ball-moving abilities of a certain Lucio. Skriniar’s highest rated performances came against Chievo(8) where he scored a fantastic goal to cap off a move he started. He was also rated an 8 in the home draw versus Napoli. But that’s not where the player of the season was won. He won this through consistently good performances even when the team was in their weakest moments during the winter.
His lowest rating of 4.5 came towards the end of the season vs. Sassuolo. Imagine playing a part in 40 games out of 40 in a season and only being rated below 5, ONCE. Skriniar is a born leader and Interisti will look forward to more legendary performances from their defensive lynch pin.
Following our defensive leader in 2nd place is the leader of our attack, Mauro Icardi.
Another year, another Capocannoniere title. Yes he’s not perfect, he doesn’t create enough chances on his own and can seem to be wearing the invisibility cloak in some games. But he’s good at one thing and that is scoring goals. Mauro scored 44% of the goals we scored this season. Of the top 5 goalscorers in the league he had the least shots per game ratio. None of the top 5 won more aerial battles than him, only Napoli’s Dries Mertens played more minutes than him. A lot of Interisti including yours truly think that he didn’t end the season in fine form, but if you look at his last 10 games, he’s scored 7 and that is surely a more than decent record for any goalscorer in any era. Like Skriniar his worst performance came at home vs. Sassuolo where he was rated a 3.5 and should have scored at least a brace in the first half.
Mauro made 36 appearances and only missed 4 matches in February through injury. But this season had some special performances like the one in the Derby Della Madonnina in September which arguably his best in black and blue and certainly the best by any individual this season. That hat-trick will be etched in our memories for a long time to come and he became only the 2nd player to be rated 10/10 in Sempre Inter history. The fact that some media outlets think that we will trade him(plus some cash) for another Argentinian striker who scored about half the goals Mauro did is laughable. Icardi is very important to Inter, not just as primary goal-scorer but also as a captain. When him and Skriniar are on their game, Inter are difficult to stop. Lets hope we sort out the renewal soon and finally see him bullying the big boys in the Champions League at the San Siro.
Coming in 3rd is none other than Samir Handanovic
If there was a Euro given to Inter every time after someone yelled/tweeted Batmanovic after a unbelievable reflex save, Inter would never ever face a problem with FFP. Samir has been a fine servant to the club in his time here. Yes he’s made some shocking errors or mis-judgements but he’s also made some unbelievable saves to keep Inter alive in games where they should be well behind. At the ripe young age of 33 he’s also discovered through Spalletti that he can play a bit with the ball at his feet too. Its great that he will finally be able to play in the Champions League proper for the first time in his career.
Samir’s lowest rated performances came when Inter were struggling, away at Verona where we still managed to win and away to Genoa, which was arguably the poorest we have been this season with the ball. But his best performances came in the big games where we needed him the most, against Juventus at the Allianz Arena(8.5). He was also tremendous in the games vs Napoli and Lazio earlier in the season where the clean sheets proved vital towards the end.
Honorable mentions to Joao Miranda and Marcelo Brozovic who were not too far off from breaking into the top 3. Do you think any other players should have made it to this list?