Season Analysis & Objectives
The season is 7 matchdays old, but it has given a good glimpse of what to expect from the 7 big teams. I will quickly analyse the performance of the other 6, before going a bit deeper into Inter's season objectives. In no particular order:
IN: Chalobah, Chiriches, Hysaj, Allan, Gabriel, Reina, Valdifiori
OUT: Vargas, Inler, Zapata, Britos, Gargano, Michu, Mesto
Net impact this summer = €15m income - €33m spend = -€18m
They have impressed me the most. Sarri seems a much better suited tactician than Rafa for the Partenopei, and he is developing the structure and grit which Napoli has missed for a while now. They bought cleverly this summer - Allan & Reina give them quality and experience, while Chiriches, Hysaj & Valdifiori look like decent economical additions. The early indications are that this could be their season. I expect the Partenopei to fight for the title this season, and I wouldn't be surprised if they retain their top 3 spot.
IN: Vainqueur, Dinge, Gyomber, Rudiger, Dzeko, Salah, Szczesny, Ibarbo, Falque
OUT: Ljajic, Paredes, Marquinho, Cole, Yanga-Mbiwa, Doumbia, Romagnoli, Destro, Holebas, Bertolacci, Balzaretti, Curci.
Net impact this summer = €70m income - €39m spend = +€31m
Most people expected a title challenge from Roma after a big summer - Dzeko, Szczesny, Salah, Falque, & Dinge. That is quite a list. And so far they have started on expected terms... the performances are improving and the big players are settling in. I think we can expect more from Roma this season. With the poor start Juve have had, perhaps Roma will join Napoli as the favourites for the title. Worst case, I can't see them finishing below the top 3.
IN: Kucka, Balotelli, Romagnoli, Adriano, J Mauri, Bertolacci, Bacca, Ely, Niang, Nocerino.
OUT: Zaccardo, El Sharaawy, Rami, Bonera, Muntari, Pazzini, Essien, Bocchetti, Armero, Destro, Van Ginkel, Birsa.
Net impact this summer = €10m income - €91m spend = -€81m
The hopes were as high as they were on the other end of the city. Milan brought in some big and some expensive players - Kucka, Balotelli, Romagnoli, Adriano, Bertolacci, Bacca. The 3 strikers have all made an immediate impact, as has Kucka. The jury is still out on expensive signings of Bertolacci & Romagnoli, but they were always meant to be investments for the future. Milan look imbalanced, the defence is weak, the midfield still has to get their act together. I think they lack some personality in those areas, still a top midfielder and defender away from challenging for the title. I will be very surprised if Milan make the top 3, though top 5 looks possible for them.
IN: Hernanes, Lemina, Cuadrado, Sandro, Zaza, Neto, Dybala, Mandzukic, Khedira, Isla, Rugani.
OUT: Isla, De Ceglie, Coman, Llorente, Vidal, Ogbonna, Pirlo, Storari, Matri, Rubinho, Pepe, Tevez.
Net impact this summer = €74m income - €127m spend = -€53m
They were always going to miss big players like Vidal, Pirlo, & Tevez, even after spending 130 million. However their poor start is misleading - Juve are playing much better than what the table suggests, as City found out in the CL. A confidence booming run of games is all that separates them from a title challenge. I reckon they will get that sooner than later, the way they are playing now. They may or may not retain their title this season because of this start, but they will definitely make the top 3.
IN: Blaszczykowski, Kalinic, Astori, Gilberto, Suarez, Verdu, Vecino
OUT: Basanta, Joaquin, Gomez, Savic, Pizarro, Salah, Aquilani, Neto, Lazzari, Vargas
Net impact this summer = €27m income - €26m spend = +€1m
Wow, what a start - the best football in Serie A so far. No one expected such a great start, even after the great friendly performances in the summer. Kalinic has formed a great attacking partnership with Ilicic, on top of their always awesome midfield and now the best defence in the league. And Rossi and Mario Suarez still to come. Can they carry this on? I think they still lack depth, and EL will take its toll. I expect (or hope) Fiorentina to start falling by the 2nd half, similar to Roma last season. But what a start!
IN: Matri, Milinkovic-Savic, Kishna, Patric, Hoedt, Morrison, Gabarron, González.
OUT: González, Freitas, Ederson, Cavanda, Ledesma, Sculli, Ciani.
Net impact this summer = €3m income - €21m spend = -€18m
A strangely understated summer, where Lazio focused on retaining all their stars and adding a few prospects for the future. Their biggest advantage is just that - consistency. After a stutter in the beginning, they have recovered well to go 3rd on the table. But can they maintain it? I don't think they have enough to compete with the likes of Juve, Roma and Napoli over the season, unless Anderson & Co can repeat their sensational form near the end of last season. Still a team to keep an eye out for... they may develop the kind of teamwork that causes everyone problems.
IN: Ljajic, Telles, Melo, Perisic, Jovetic, Biabiany, Montoya, Kondogbia, Murillo, Miranda.
OUT: Hernanes, Kovacic, Shaqiri, Botta, Obi, Kuzmanovic, Benassi, Campagnero, MBaye, Jonathan.
**Net impact this summer = €90m income - €96m spend =-€6m
A great start which caught most of us by surprise, even though not overly impressed with the performances. I will not go into details of how we have done, but more about what we need. Inter's target this season is to finish in the top 3, get a taste of those CL revenues. Even though we are 2nd in the table, this looks very difficult when you look at the performances of Juventus, Roma and Napoli. Those 3 teams were a cut above the rest this season. Juve and Roma were last season as well, so that was expected. Napoli have thrown our plans into a bit of a disarray. And maybe Fiorentina, if they can keep it up. But some of these teams will face period of poor form, specially with the Europe commitments, and therein lies our hope.
FLAT TRACK BULLY
So what do we need to finish in the top 3? Looking at the last 11 seasons (since the league had 20 teams) the 3rd position needed between 64 to 78 points, average of 71 points. However, a team with 74 points would finish in the top 3 10 times out of last 11 season. It will probably take less than 74 points this season as the league is looking very competitive, but lets assume 74 points for now as our objective.
74 points means just below 2 points per game. So that is our short term target, get 2 points per game every month. So far, we have 16 points from 7 games, so we have gained a buffer of 2 points. I guess those are the "nuts for the winter" that Mancini was referring to (at that time, we had 5 points in the buffer). Another way to look at this is, we can afford to lose 1 more game, and still be on track.
We have 6 top opponents (as above). If I add Sampdoria and Torino, that makes 8 tough opponents. 11 not so tough. So our season will be defined by how well we do against the 11 (22 games). So far:
Against tough opponents: Games 3, points 4. Points per game = 1.33
Against other opponents: Games 4, points 12. Points per game = 3
Overall: Games 7, points 16. Points per game = 2.3
More of the same, thats what we need. It does not matter what happens against Juventus, as long as Inter beat Palermo the following week. We need a strategy which helps us dominate smaller teams and get those points, even if it doesn't work that well against bigger teams (or we change our approach against the bigger ones). The key to success this season is our strategy against the smaller teams.
The obvious style of play that comes to mind (thanks to the perpetual "flat track bullies" like Arsenal) is to play a possession based game with a high line of defence. Which interestingly is exactly what Mancini is trying to do. Maybe its not a coincidence. We finally have CBs who can work well in such a defence. We have physical enforcers who can dominate possession and play. We cannot afford the possession players of the quality that play for Barcelona or Arsenal, but we have replaced that lack of quality by more physicality and personality, Mancio-style. This could work, at least theoretically.
And so far it is working. However, where this might fail is the lack of coordination and creativity upfront. Soon the smaller teams will get a good idea of our game plan, and will become less adventurous against us. We only have Jovetic so far who can break a stubborn defence, we need more. The improving form of Perisic is critical here, he can help stretch a defence from the wing as well as provide quality crosses. Maybe we need Ljajic to start playing (and performing) soon as well, for this to work.
So far, Mancini's answer to this problem is to throw a few more attacking players into the mix in the 2nd half. WE have got lucky, it has worked more often than not. But this is not going to get us to 74 points. But if we can get Jovetic, Perisic and Ljajic in form, the CL spot could be ours.
Last edited by Bluenine; 05 Oct 15 at 21:09.
Cole and Zuniga are still at Roma and Napoli. Mauri has also returned to Lazio. Also, dodnt Roncaglia play against us for Fiorentina?
Good catch. I copied the transfers from my old tracker, when these were expected moves. Except for Cole, who did terminate his contract.
Originally Posted by thatdude
Interesting, his officials Twitter still has him as an AS Roma player.