Former Lazio and Torino goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani feels that the two first-half substitutions made by Inter coach Simone Inzaghi in yesterday’s Serie A loss to Udinese were patently unnecessary.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, Marchegiani gave the view that the kinds of dramatic changes that the coach made by taking off Alessandro Bastoni and Henrikh Mkhitaryan should be reserved for when the team is in desperate circumstances and not when the match is in the balance.
If Inzaghi has long had a reputation for being proactive with his substitutions during his time as Inter coach, the decision to remove Bastoni and Mkhitaryan after barely half an hour played seemed almost parodical from the coach.
The team was not exactly improved by switching out the pair for Federico Dimarco and Roberto Gagliardini, whilst Marchegiani notes that the extreme action will have sent a negative message that reverberated through the squad.
“I believe that the yellow cards are only one component of the double substitution,” he said. “It’s difficult to comment from the outside, but a change like that in the thirtieth minute is only justified when you’re 4-0 down and you want to give the team a jolt.”
“As much as you want to shake up the team, it was better to wait until halftime,” he argued. “Bastoni had had a great chance just before then, he could have improved if not for the substitution.”
“The defeat wasn’t only because of that, but it sent a negative message, and in my view it was a mistake,” he concluded.