Back to winning ways! After an unjust draw against Fiorentina and the horrid loss against Cagliari, the Nerazzurri bounced back and got the much needed three points beating SPAL at San Siro. Inter’s opponents had only won twice in the previous 22 league games, yet nonetheless still made Inter work hard to get what they wanted. It reminds us that we’re so insecure right now, that every opponent seems fearsome and unbeatable when it comes to play against us…
1. VAR is back
Stop celebrating whenever the ball enters the net. You have to wait five long minutes before the VAR certifies there’s no ridiculous reason to annul an Inter goal. This is the impression I had after Inter-SPAL. On Sunday the VAR was attentive enough to see the ball shifting 2.55cm from Lautaro’s chest to his upper right hand and disallow a goal, but on Saturday it mysteriously failed to note Milan’s Piatek hitting the opponent instead of the ball, a split second before he scored Milan’s winner. The way VAR is being used to manipulate games is getting more ridiculous as time passes by.
2. More misfortune
Just when you think that things cannot get worse, Marcelo Brozovic and Joao Miranda walked off the pitch with different injuries. They join Radja Nainggolan, Ivan Perisic and Keita Balde at the nursing ward, even though the latter two seem to be on their way to recovery. Oh and of course Mauro Icardi, who is fighting against a cruel injury caused by the removal of a captain’s armband…
3. Roberto Gagliardini
But not all must be doom and gloom, after all we got the win we needed. I was happy to see Roberto Gagliardini get on the score sheet, with the hope it regenerates him to his initial performances when he first joined Inter. The goal may hide away his dismal game against SPAL, but I’m one of those who believe Gagliardini is not the failing player we’ve been seeing for a while now.
The Italian has a high work rate and defensively reads the game well, while he’s often dangerous on the attack if he’s near the opponent’s goal. The thing is, he didn’t have much time to show what he’s capable of, and in the little time he had he made some wrong choices. This led to disapproving whistles from the Inter public and eventually a loss of confidence in his own qualities. Come on Roberto show us what you know, you’re better than this!
4. Mental strength
This brings me to the fourth point: I believe the majority of Inter’s problems can be solved if the players regain confidence and play in a confident manner. Coach Luciano Spalletti rightly pointed out how after Inter’s second goal against SPAL, players like Gagliardini and Dalbert interpreted the game much better than they did in the previous 75 minutes. It’s a known fact that if a player is playing with the constant fear of making an error, he will not perform as he should. This is clearly affecting the games of some of our players, Candreva in primis.
5. Who’s that wing-back?
Let’s take a minute to discuss Cedric, Inter’s latest signing who arrived in January instead of the injured Vrsaljko. Just a couple of days ago, reports surfaced that Inter were not willing to confirm the Portuguese right-back for the agreed sum of 11 million.
Yet the display against Spal made me hope that Inter don’t rush to pass a judgement on Cedric straightaway, after all he wasn’t given much time till now. Defensively he’s very good, while going forward his crossing is much better than most of his Inter colleagues. Indeed, in the first half he delivered two precise crosses in which Lautaro went close to target. In the second half it was the Portuguese who provided the assist to Gagliardini’s goal.
Are we sure we don’t need Cedric next season, especially for a sum which by today’s market values is not that expensive? What I’m saying is that Cedric, even with his international experience with Portugal, may be a good buy for Inter. He can be an excellent substitute for a stronger right-back, and by that I’m obviously referring to someone else than the modest D’Ambrosio.
What are your thoughts on the above?
James J Piscopo is a journalist based in Malta. At 27 years old, he has been following Inter for more than two decades. He writes a weekly editorial exclusively for SempreInter.com.