What We Learned From Inter This Week: “What’s The Point In Playing Christian Eriksen 5 Mins If He’s Leaving?”
Inter saw their Champions League knockout stage hopes dashed severely with a defeat at home to Real Madrid, leaving the future of Antonio Conte in question.
Inter’s response to the setback was an excellent win over pace setters Sassuolo. He is what we have learned in a topsy turvy week for the Nerazzuri.
Arturo Vidal Is Finished
A poor lack of discipline from Arturo Vidal in getting sent off in midweek cost his side dearly.
Two quick fire yellow cards for dissent saw the Chilean cripple Conte’s midfield and leave them with a mountain to climb against the Spanish giants.
Inexplicably he was picked for the win over Sassuolo but he was barely a passenger in what was a really strong team performance.
So far Conte’s experienced purchases are looking very questionable.
Alexis Sanchez Looks Sharp
A good performance from Inter in the early stages at the Mapei Stadium on Saturday was largely down to a sublime piece of skill from Alexis Sanchez.
The ex-Udinese man played through Lautaro Martinez before delicately putting past Andrea Consigli for his second Serie A goal in two games.
Sanchez looks to have been an astute purchase on a free via Piero Ausillo. His ability to play a number of positions makes him a useful squad member and adds depth to a squad that needs rotating every few days given the schedule.
His current form is very encouraging for the Inter faithful.
Matteo Darmian Looking Solid
Matteo Darmian returned to the starting XI in the game at Sassuolo and he impressed hugely.
His stamina and defensive output meant he kept Sassuolo’s Ivorian trickster Jeremie Boga quiet which was a key battle in shutting the Neroverdi’s attacking output down.
Despite his attacking deficiencies, the former Parma defender looks solid in defence and can certainly be called upon and trusted to play a key role in the starting lineup when needed.
He gets in that role ahead of Danilo D’Ambrosio on current form.
What’s The Point In Playing Christian Eriksen At All If He’s Being Sold?
Christian Eriksen played a combined nine minutes this week in Inter’s two fixtures, begging the question of whether there’s even any point in him playing some sort of part if he’s clearly on his way.
Beppe Marotta was very outspoken regarding the Dane on Friday after the shareholder’s meeting claiming that he doesn’t fit the system and will be leaving in t he window.
So why play him at all?
Eriksen came on at the Mapei on Saturday and looked frighteningly lost, misplacing a number of passes and looking totally devoid of any confidence.
With him seemingly having no future at San Siro, the best shout would surely be to freeze him out and focus on building a consistent lineup that involves players who will be long term fixtures in the plans of the manager.
It’s a shame it has come to this but both parties must look to the future.
Antonio Conte Looking To Increase The Tempo
Saturday saw a succinct increase in tempo.
A flying start was akin to some of last season’s stronger performances and looked like Inter at their best under Conte.
Sure they then changed their shape and went more defensive to shut out their high intensity visitors but the encouraging signs where there.
The win at the Mapei looked to be Inter’s most convincing performance in weeks and proved to fans and manager alike that a change in tempo makes them a much stronger proposition.
The higher tempo gave an impression that the player’s knew what they were doing and created more of a threat going fiesta which is something that must take to Germany in the must win Champion’s League game next week.
Inter started the week in tatters but a tactical tweak from an under pressure manager gives hope going into the coming week.
By no means is the pressure lifted on Conte completely but a more encouraging performance against a previously unbeaten Sassuolo deserves credit and gives us a glimpse that the side is learning.