Former Juventus and Inter midfielder and former Inter coach Marco Tardelli believes that the Nerazzurri are currently some way at the top of teams in Serie A.
Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Tardelli outlined some of the reasons why he believes that Inter are currently the strongest team in the Italian top flight.
Inter enjoyed a reasonably strong start to the campaign but found themselves trailing AC Milan and Napoli who had enjoyed nearly perfect starts to the campaign.
Over the past several weeks, however, the Nerazzurri’s strength has really begun to show through and now they have established themselves at the top of the table, mathematically guaranteed the status of “winter champions.”
Tardelli believes that this is a fair reflection of their quality in relation to their rivals, and he also feels that they have a good chance against Champions League round of sixteen opponents Liverpool.
“They are the strongest team by some margin,” he said of the Nerazzurri. “And not just because the table says so.”
“I see them as a very calm team,” he went on, “with players who do not show any signs of stress. Inzaghi has done well in changing the style of play, in managing the dressing room. He was perfect choice.”
“The reasons for this go well beyond the fact that he has continued with the 3-5-2 system,” he added.
Tardelli went on that “It was not easy to go again without Lukaku, Hakimi, Eriksen, as well as Conte after all that the team had done with him. Of course, Antonio showed more stress.”
“Inzaghi, however, had to face the challenge of establishing his credibility immediately,” he added. “I would say that he has done it very well.”
He explained that “At the moment their numbers are impressive. They scorey more than anyone else and they haven’t conceded a goal in five games.”
“But the games are always decided in midfield, unless you have a Maradona who goes and decides them all on his own,” he went on.
“The midfield is what protects the defense and sets up the attack,” he continued. “Just look at how Brozovic and Perisic are playing. Marcelo has never been decisive, he runs the whole team, takes chances and yet doesn’t lose bad balls outside his area.”
“Ivan is devastating, much more consistent than even last season,” he added. “Inzaghi gave him new lease on life.”
Of midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu’s form this campaign Tardelli stated that “His quality was always there, but I think he benefits from being part of a team who play a good style of football.”
He also looked ahead to the Champions League tie against Liverpool, stating that “I hear that Liverpool are unplayable. But no team is, especially for this Inter, who can do anything.”
“The important thing is that they go out on the pitch and enjoy their football,” he continued. “Against an opponent like Liverpool, however, you must have a different attitude, in terms of intensity and relationship with the referees.”
“The fouls committed in yesterday’s match between Liverpool Tottenham would have led to ten-day suspensions in Italy,” he added.
“Liverpool are also almost arrogant, all too aware of their strength,” Tardelli suggested.