Italian journalist Matteo Marani feels that the Inter team that won the Serie A title under Antonio Conte hasn’t been totally taken apart, nor is Simone Inzaghi, but that replicating the chemistry that the team had under Conte is still difficult.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, Marani suggested that the particular qualities that the Nerazzurri’s old coach had are never going to be ones that are easy to replace once he’s gone, and that it would be unrealistic to expect them to keep hitting the same heights.
Inter have now lost a few of the players who had been in the squad when they won the Scudetto under Conte, including Achraf Hakimi, Christian Eriksen, and Ivan Perisic, whilst Romelu Lukaku is back after a season at Chelsea although he’s mostly been injured so far this season.
Much of the spine of Conte’s team still remains, with Inzaghi now forming the team in his own image, and Marani feels that they still are what they are even if they struggle to be what they were a couple of seasons ago.
“The impression I get looking at Inter, is that there’s a leadership void,” he argued. “This team, which in Conte’s time had something special that allowed them to overcome adversity, and which also last season had awareness and self-belief, now look more nervous.”
“I was struck, for example, by Barella on the third goal, his attitude,” he continued. “Brozovic as well, not to mention the defense.”
“Apart from the goals conceded, the 77 shots they’ve conceded are truly worrying,” he suggested.
“Out of the players from Conte’s Inter they’ve lost Hakimi, Perisic, and Eriksen,” he continued, “it’s not as though it’s a team that’s been dismantled, Lukaku is back as well.”
“The question is whether the locker room has turned its back on Inzaghi,” he went on. “I’d say at the moment there are a lot of factors for Inter to consider, including financial ones. If anything has to change it could be on the bench.”
“Tuchel, Zidane are free, but they’d have to adapt to Italy, among other things,” he argued. “Inzaghi he is an excellent coach, but Conte is still the one who opened the cycle up. And Conte is Conte.”