Former Inter midfielder Francesco Bolzoni believes the Nerazzurri are the best equipped team to win the Scudetto, whilst suggesting that Lautaro Martinez reminds him of Carlos Tevez.
In an interview with L’Interista.it, the Lugano U21 coach insisted that he was optimistic that the Nerazzurri could hold their nerve and retain the Scudetto in the final run-in of the season.
Bolzoni, who made a single appearance for Inter’s first team in Serie A after coming through the academy, also reflected on the midweek elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Liverpool, following a 2-1 aggregate defeat.
“The game at Anfield can be used to help the team grow, maybe even more than the first leg Inter played against the Reds, because then in the first match at the end they never shot on goal,” he claimed.
“If they hadn’t gone down to 10 men, I think they would have got through. (Liverpool coach Jurgen) Klopp didn’t expect that scenario.
“I do and don’t like Simone Inzaghi’s handling of big games, he got the starting line-up right, because with the physicality of the Liverpool defence he would have risked Edin Dzeko getting lost.
“But in the last 10 minutes with the team down to 10 I would have put him on,” Bolzoni continued.
“You look at Inzaghi, and the club, with those draws, and now so much rests on the game against Torino.
“I am calm, because we have two teams, if we go there with and think with our heads we will win.”
Bolzoni was confident that Inter had enough about them to see off the challenge of AC Milan and Juventus in order to win the Scudetto, and argued that it was the Nerazzurri’s to lose.
“I have seen many games that prove Inter have something more than the others, even if I’m biased,” he claimed.
“Milan are doing more than they thought, I don’t think anyone expected Olivier Giroud to keep them going as he is doing.
“Juve are doing less, even if they are up there and I’m optimistic, if Inter don’t win the title it’s because they lost it.”
The former Palermo midfielder offered his thoughts on Inter striker Martinez after he came in for criticism, and felt he needed more consistency, whilst crediting the importance of Marcelo Brozovic.
“He should work on being more continuous,” Bolzoni declared.
“Against Liverpool he had a great game beyond scoring, but at other times he was taken off by Inzaghi in games where he was invisible.
“He is a player who can do everything even without a goal and in some ways it reminds me a little of Tevez.
“It is never easy to play in stadiums like the San Siro and for me, the fact he did well immediately after Inter has added pressure, as he could have been set goals on a personal level that he now sees he is not achieving.
“But there are few forwards of that kind and if he scored a few more goals, he would be among the absolute elite,” Bolzini continued.
“Brozovic provides the balance of the team, he does a bit of everything, like when Bastoni goes forward then he covers him.
“If Vidal no longer the same as he was a few years ago, then he helps him to cover and it’s the same with Barella, who is doing well, but perhaps it is not at the very high levels of last season.”
Bolzoni came through at Inter under current Italy coach Roberto Mancini and memorably featured in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven in September 2007, as well as a Coppa Italia semi-final against Sampdoria.
“I owe my being a footballer to Mancini, in June I was a national student and in October of the same year I found myself on the bench at the Marassi with the first team, in the Coppa Italia.
“I have only wonderful memories, like my debut in the Champions League, in the same week they rejected my license exam, Mancio put me on in a decisive match three days later.
“Mancini is super optimistic (about Italy’s World Cup playoffs) and he is right to be.
“Italy has shown everyone that Italians have hearts as big as a house and that in important moments it is always there,” he concluded.