Last year when Conte and Inter Milan failed to make it out of the group stages it was completely understandable.
Inter were in what was widely considered the Group of Death and they managed to finish third. Could they have advanced at that time? Sure. But considering the relative lack of squad depth and that the players were still adjusting to Conte it was a fine performance that provided hope.
Yesterday’s last placed finish in a group they were widely expected to get at least second place is nothing short of an abject failure.
While Borussia Monchengladbach is a fine squad with quality players, Inter should never have been in the position they were in.
The club was already mostly adjusted to Conte’s management style and tactics. They were supposed to be deeper. They went out and got the experience Conte so desperately wanted over young budding superstars like Sandro Tonali and Marash Kumbulla. But in spite of all of that they still blew it.
And this is in no small part to Conte. When he signed on, he said all the right things about being adaptable and adjusting to the players at his disposal.
But since those words that gave the supporters hope he’s remained stubborn as he sticks with the same players and same tactics until it’s too late.
And it was on full display again yesterday. Despite knowing Inter had 45 minutes to get a goal and win or be knocked out of Europe he waited until it was desperation time to put on more attacking minded players. But it was too late.
Inter are now out of Europe completely which, if you’re a glass half-full person, means they can focus solely on winning the league while all their direct competitors are still playing European competitions.
So the season continues and we here at SempreInter continue our coverage. And that includes continuing analysis of the squad’s health status, even if it does seem pointless to do so at time with Conte stubbornly sticking to whatever he has in his mind.
Cagliari Calcio vs Inter, Sunday December 13th, Sardegna Arena, kickoff 12:30 CET
Inter vs SSC Napoli, Wednesday December 16th, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, kickoff 19:45 CET
First Team Fitness:
Arturo Vidal: As it stands the Chilean international is the only player in the major rotation currently out. After serving his Champions League suspension last week against Real Madrid, he returned to the starting lineup against Sassuolo over the weekend.
He managed to make it 70 minutes but shortly after providing the assist for the third goal he requested to come off the pitch. After the MRI the club announced he has a right thigh strain.
The club did not provide much more information beyond saying he’ll be assessed daily but, as we all saw, he did miss yesterday’s Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk as he was still deemed to be unfit.
Various Italian media outlets have claimed that Vidal is set to miss the weekend’s match against Cagliari and the club’s plan, as things stand, is to potentially have him back for the midweek fixture against Napoli.
Regardless of your feelings about him, Conte views Vidal as crucial to his plans so if the upcoming assessments say he’s healthy enough to play, expect him to be on the pitch.