Reposted from here
I suppose, right now, there’s quite an interesting question for us as Inter fans to address. Is Inter just an average team in good form, or are we a decent team with some genuine class?
For too long we’ve been plagued with false dawns and temporary glimpses of quality – only to have it come crashing down and result in in starting over. From a four defender formation to a three defender formation, and flippantly transitioning between the two for the next few seasons, Inter fans everywhere are tired of seeing false hope (1st place under Stramaccioni, a sustained winning streak under Ranieri, the full backing we placed in Mazzari, etc).
The question we now face is whether or not Roberto Mancini’s inter is a real rejuvenation, or another one of these temporary spurts we see. In some ways, it’s actually very hard to distinguish these. We looked pretty good under Andrea Stramaccioni for a period, Guarin revitalised Inter under Mazzarri with one hell of a stellar spell…
Ultimately, and perhaps somewhat unsatisfactorily, we can only draw conclusions from opinion. Statistically, you’d somewhat struggle to separate the Inter we have now from some of the historic ones – sure, we have our individual attributes, and our own unique context (for example Juventus starting the season on such poor form) – but where we draw the extrapolation sensibly is simply a question of opinion.
Personally, and perhaps unsurprisingly, I think this Inter is the foundations of a real deal. Our spells with Stramaccioni and Ranieri were substantially shorter lived than what we see now, and whilst we still have our issues, we never had the blindingly obvious defensive frailties that Leonardo’s Inter, for example, had. In Joao Miranda, for the first time in a very long time, I feel we have a real leader, both literally and metaphorically – one only needs to look at the standard of Handanovic’s performances to appreciate the impact he has had on the team.
Jeison Murillo is the oft praised one of our defensive duo, having won a position in the Serie A XI of the season to date, but I am quietly confident that, infact, putting Juan Jesus next to Miranda would yield similar (though perhaps slightly lesser) results. This is a particularly important point as I was extremely skeptical of his signing (at such a high price, too) when he signed him, but now all doubts have been dispelled with self-disappointment.
Our midfield and attack are still lacking, there’s no denying that, but at least on paper with Jovetic and Ljajic we have a lot of quality and creativity that we haven’t seen for a while. Our midfield is still greatly lacking but by transfer rumours we’re looking to address that in the coming window – with names like Candreva linked.
I think we have the foundations for a real development spurt in the pipeline, but we still clearly have quite a long way to get there. Niggling at the back of our minds, especially given how competitive the top 3 will be this season, is the fact that we are still a loss making club. With no new main shirt sponsor next season, and Pirelli looking unlikely to extend, financial pressures in the summer, especially if we don’t make Champions League football, is the fact that we will need to sell players to raise our profit levels to be in line with European expectations for future qualification – for example the sale of Icardi, Murillo, etc – will be mandatory.