repost from here
We witnessed something pretty special today with Inter, a huge leap forward for Inter.
Bearing in mind a vastly poorer defense than normal (with Campagnaro, Vidic and Andreolli all starting), and only one change from Walter Mazzarri’s starting line up (in Podolski), we saw an Inter that we arguably haven’t seen since Mourinho. We played attractive dominant football, with the players being given enough creative freedom to try some brave passes, and encouraged to play balanced football. Of course not the whole game was like this – and the ability to change tempo and attitude is absolutely crucial – and we also played the possession-retaining defensive phase well.
Roberto Mancini, responsible for a great leap forward for Inter today
Whilst not everything worked perfectly – a lot of the fluid attacking passes were intercepted – this is a gigantic step leap from the Mazzarri era where our sole plan was to create space on the wings and let full-backs (who were generally poor at crossing) cross the balls in, with typically a 1 in 5 chance of finding a friendly shirt.
On top of the football, there’s been a huge improvement in mentality too, starting with the second half of the Juventus game. We show a lot of fight, and against Genoa, we really showed this from the start. The team against Genoa was far from perfect – we are missing arguably 6 starters from Mancini’s favoured XI (Ranocchia, JJ, Nagatomo, CM, Shaqiri, Kovacic) – but we still put in a really good showing. No longer did we need to concede first to get ourselves into a semi-reasonable gear, and no longer are we retaining a lot of possession behind the half-way line creating nothing. We had a huge number of shots in this game, and with them, we had reasonable chances with most of them.
Mauro Icardi, another leap forward under Roberto Mancini
One thing worth noting as well as Mauro Icardi’s performance. Roberto Mancini has groomed a lot of good strikers in his time – look at Ibrahimovic, Aguero, etc as players who have all played under him. I think Icardi put in a really impressive game today, and if he can continue to develop this way we can be really pleased with what we have our hands on here. The development of Mauro Icardi should give him further incentive to stay at Inter for time-being, too, which will help us keep the team together for longer to develop.
Croatia vs. Portugal, 10th June 2013. Matteo Kovacic, another young player to leap forward under Roberto Mancini's short tenure
Attacking football, young players developing well, what more do you need out of a manager? Once the results align with the project direction, and we can really build momentum, this is an Inter that we can all see making the Champions League next season. I still am of the opinion that it isn’t something we can reasonably attain this year (though there’s always a small part of me that holds out hope), but that doesn’t matter. Given the current pace of team development, no one will feel slighted by that, with Walter Mazzarri responsible for some dreadful performances.