A top four finish would be fine for Inter this season even if they are a team capable of winning the Serie A title, at least according to legendary Inter defender Beppe Bergomi.
Bergomi sparked controversy on Wednesday when he suggested there was too much unjustified pressure on the Nerazzurri to win the Scudetto, arguing their squad was no better than any of the other title contenders.
He has now revisited his comments in an interview with FCInterNews.it and insisted he stood by every word.
“I have no problems supporting my thesis, I’m not ashamed,” the 1982 World Cup winning defender said.
“It always seems that Inter must win and it doesn’t work like that, there are other teams equipped just as well as Inter.
“The Nerazzurri can win, they are an excellent squad, but it’s fine even if they finish in the top four.”
He then shared his dislike for the way that many evaluate Inter and explained where he thinks this all stems from.
“There is always a strange evaluation of Inter and I don’t like it,” he explained.
“In my opinion, the misunderstanding starts from wanting to look at Antonio Conte’s high salary, everything originates from there.
“Inter have important players in the squad, but some are not showing it.”
Bergomi then went on to highlight a player in the Inter squad that he thinks Conte should be looking to use more often.
“In my opinion Conte, in certain games, should use Aleksandar Kolarov more.
“For me he can play on the left and then he provides you with danger from set pieces.
“The Serbian has already been decisive against Borussia Monchengladbach and Parma, taking a corner and a free kick properly.
“So Kolarov should start at left wing-back? Exactly.
“You can always start with Ashley Young, but then Kolarov can come on during the match.
“I would try him in some situations because he is the only left footer in the team, but I see that he is only used centrally.”
Bergomi then went on to insist that he thinks Inter have a squad equal to that of others in Serie A and admitted he does not feel that Inter are obliged to win Serie A.
“For me they are a strong team.
“Maybe they don’t catch the eye like AC Milan, Roma or Juventus do and at times and they rely heavily on Romelu Lukaku but they understand that playing a certain type of football can pay off.
“I must insist that Conte has a squad equal to that of the competitors, Inter can win the Scudetto and they must think about doing it until the end, but I see no obligations to win.”
Bergomi proceeded to discuss whether being out of European competition is an advantage for Inter in the race for the Scudetto.
“Well, today this advantage does not exist yet and then in the future it remains to be seen how far the others will go.
“Furthermore I think that playing in European competition is good for a big team regardless.”
He then reflected on Christian Eriksen’s performance in the defeat at Sampdoria and denied having anything against the Dane, who he has often been quick to criticise.
“I see that he made himself available, trying to affect things.
“Our football is a very tactical football, now you see that he wants to force something to show himself, but unfortunately it doesn’t work.
“It is not a question of being for or against, I had only foreseen that there could have been difficulties.
“I’m sorry, but I have nothing against Eriksen.
“I know his worth well and if he is to prove me wrong at Inter, I will be happy but he’s a different player from what some fans thought he was.
“He would do well in a team like Barcelona or Real Madrid.
“In that area of the field, Conte would need a Rodrigo De Paul, a Hakan Calhanoglu or a Luis Alberto: people with quality but also with physicality.”
Bergomi then spoke on how Inter should handle the January transfer window.
“We talk about a physical Inter, but they are not like that. There is physicality in Romelu Lukaku and in the three central defenders and Roberto Gagliardini when he plays but it ends there.
“Inter seem physical, but then struggle and this is a gap in the team in my opinion.
“I would certainly go for a forward like Kevin Lasagna, someone who knows how to keep the ball but also attack deep and also because now the team defends deeper you need to stretch the play.”
He then came to the defence of Samir Handanovic, who has come in for a lot of criticism for mistakes made this season.
“For heaven’s sake, almost all goalkeepers make mistakes.
“I like him as a silent leader; of course we will have to think about the future of the goalkeeper position soon, but until that day I will stick by Handanovic.”
In conclusion he was asked whether this will be a decisive match for Inter and also touched upon this weekend’s Serie A match away to Roma.
“I agree. Against Roma it will be tough, with the Giallorossi confident.
“I want to understand how Lukaku is.
“With him at 100%, Inter can have a good match.”