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Thread: A New Hope or A False Dawn?

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    A New Hope or A False Dawn?

    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).

    Walter Mazzarri

    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…

    Roberto Mancini

    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.


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    I'm leaning more toward the new hope side of things as well. I think we have enough Quality to finish in the top 3 spots, my only question as ever with Inter is our mentality. Will we capitulate at any point during the season? That remains to be seen, there may be a point where Juve or another team overtakes us again, how do we react?

    As far as actual talent on paper I think we are one of the strongest squads in the league, however in terms of play on the field I still think Juventus and Napoli are better teams. That can obviously change though because 1) we're still a new team and 2) there is a window approaching. I think our goal of CL football is realistic and attainable, so IMO we have new hope.

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    I strongly suspect that Juve will overtake us. We arent going to win this league, and I think top 3 is a little risky because of the competition level at the moment. If we reinforce well in Jan, we might be okay.

    I'm actually not going to really judge on us being top 3 as success or failure, but rather, whether we look like a cohesive team or not at the end of the season

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    Yeah I've also heard Blueine say that but to be honest if we don't finish top 3 I think it hurts us tremendously. I mean we are the only team competing for the top spots without European competition. If we can't make top 3 this year I will personally consider it a failure because that was our stated objective from the president down. We made moves in the off season to achieve that target and pay Mancini well.

    With that being said if we are competive until the end and we look like a team I won't be calling for Mancini's head or anything like that. I want to see Mancini stay here through at least next season unless there is a total collapse. I think we need the stability to build a team in a coaches image for once.

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    Sorry to pick up on something of a side-point of the piece (nice job btw, good subject matter well examined), but is anyone else slightly hesitant to label Miranda a total success of a signing already? Absolutely no doubting his performances thus far, he's been superb. But that wasn't the doubt around his signing, the majority accepted he was a good player but some suggested that the deal was too big an investment in an ageing player whose recent injury record suggested could be about to fall apart physically. There's still every chance he could get a serious injury that his age will make it a challenge to recover from, and if that happens soon then the deal would retrospectively be a mistake.

    Obviously, getting a serious injury is a risk for any player, and I'm certainly not saying it looks anything other than a good signing at this stage (I wasn't even a particular doubter of the transfer at the time, as we were obviously lacking class in defence)...but I don't really see how half a season of great performances has dispelled the concerns that were expressed when he was bought. Like with other conclusions regarding the current inter team, both negative and positive, they should probably be made at the end of the season.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatdude View Post
    Yeah I've also heard Blueine say that but to be honest if we don't finish top 3 I think it hurts us tremendously. I mean we are the only team competing for the top spots without European competition. If we can't make top 3 this year I will personally consider it a failure because that was our stated objective from the president down. We made moves in the off season to achieve that target and pay Mancini well.

    With that being said if we are competive until the end and we look like a team I won't be calling for Mancini's head or anything like that. I want to see Mancini stay here through at least next season unless there is a total collapse. I think we need the stability to build a team in a coaches image for once.
    Oh finishing outside the top 3 will hurt us TREMEDOUSLY, no doubt whatsoever, but depending on circumstances in itself isnt worth firing Mancini IMHO. The biggest mistake we could do is just miss out on 3rd plaec, but develop a great team, and fire Mancini only to rebuild.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by TGDella View Post
    Sorry to pick up on something of a side-point of the piece (nice job btw, good subject matter well examined), but is anyone else slightly hesitant to label Miranda a total success of a signing already? Absolutely no doubting his performances thus far, he's been superb. But that wasn't the doubt around his signing, the majority accepted he was a good player but some suggested that the deal was too big an investment in an ageing player whose recent injury record suggested could be about to fall apart physically. There's still every chance he could get a serious injury that his age will make it a challenge to recover from, and if that happens soon then the deal would retrospectively be a mistake.

    Obviously, getting a serious injury is a risk for any player, and I'm certainly not saying it looks anything other than a good signing at this stage (I wasn't even a particular doubter of the transfer at the time, as we were obviously lacking class in defence)...but I don't really see how half a season of great performances has dispelled the concerns that were expressed when he was bought. Like with other conclusions regarding the current inter team, both negative and positive, they should probably be made at the end of the season.
    Actually, I wasnt sure if he was going to be a good signing or not. May just be speaking for myself here, btw.

    Yes, and its a valid point, we shouldnt label him a total success so far, but definitely he has been successful SO FAR, and I hope given his changed role as a CB he is less susceptible to the declines of age as other CBs might be. Thats why I do believe he will be overall successful for the whole time we have him - though we may see an even greater shift to him relying on the other CB to offer pace and physicality. Which is fine, really, his leadership qualities to date more than make up for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by browha View Post
    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.
    What we need is a solid central midfielder with the ability to make the difficult passes as our more forward going players (wingers and attacking midfielders) as it is now have to come back way too often to Medel/Kondogbia/Melo as these three players are too limited when it comes to passing the ball. This means we are not making use of the primary skills that you find in the traditional wingers like Perisic and Biabiany as their speed and ability to be at the right place in the open field is pretty limited. I think this is the main reason to why Icardi has been left this much alone as his surrounding players (Ljajic, Jovetic, Perisic) rather have to work as more defensive based players. I also think this is why Perisic hasn't looked too great for us as he is much more a forward type of player than a midfielder. Wera has posted a great article in the Bundesliga thread in which Henry talks about the tactics Guardiola used in Barcelona and where you will understand the role Henry had in this team. The formation they used in Barcelona was in someway the same as we have used in most of our matches as it was a 4-2-3-1 with Henry out on the left wing. The reason to why Henry did well was because Guardiola wanted him to stay out wide all the time and by that be able to receive the ball in a more open field and with that use his speed later on to get around his opponent and hopefully then be able to use his abilities as a forward. We don't have great "ball-moving" players like Iniesta and Xavi which means our left winger which often has been Perisic probably never will receive the ball if he did stay out wide as Henry did simply because Melo, Kondogbia and Medel aren't good enough at making the difficult forward going passes. We praised Perisic when he was in Wolfsburg as he played well which probably was because he exactly was used much more as Henry was used in Barcelona than what we use him as here. I don't expect us to sign a worldclass player like Iniesta or Xavi but at least a better ballhandling player than Guarin which I guess was the one Mancini trusted this exact task.

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    I guess my answer to the question is what constitutes a "new hope"?

    I think if it's a side which can regularly compete for the top spots then the answer to your question is that this side is definitely a "new hope", but at the same time what thatdude said is very true, and more importantly will decide whether we can afford to keep this "new hope". Without CL qualification we would be in a right pickle given that with have a multitude of obligations, or options to buy at season end. Without it we would be forced to probably sell Icardi, or at least raise 30-50m some other way, and more most importantly without having the ability to replace adequately.

    I think we're one of, if not the strongest side in the league from strength of will/mental strength perspective (Melo aside clearly). I think this league is full of certified chokers and I can already predict if Juventus hasn't run away with the title before the last rounds that you'll find a bunch of incredibly nervy sides playing who can choke more in the last few games of the season, which I think would benefit us greatly given we're definitely the best side at grinding our victories as the other sides aren't nearly as good at picking up points while playing badly. I think as far as which sides look the best on the pitch I think I agree with thatdude again. I think Napoli and Juventus look like better teams, I think Roma before they collapsed looked like a better team usually as well, but I can't imagine Garcia having the ability to put the pieces back together again. I think Fiorentina are the wildcard. They're fantastic at keeping possession, and are maybe the best coached side in the league, but whether they have enough "star quality" to pull out those tough games is very questionable. Whereas the other big sides all have game changers. They've supposedly signed Lisando Lopez which should theoretically help them as I think their central defence is their weakest area. Especially from a depth perspective.

    Anyway, I digress. No, this side isn't a flash in the pan. Clearly the spine of the side is quite strong from a defensive perspective. I think bandiera's point from a month or so ago about us not being nearly as defensively organised as most FIFers think is valid. However, I think given the quality of our central defenders, and Mancini's preference of two defensive midfielders should mean we won't concede that often. This isn't going to change going forward which is a big part of the reason why I think that this side is unlikely to fall apart in a strama style fasion. In saying that I think this recent trend of playing just the two midfielders needs to stop, and if it doesn't we'll become far more inconsistent and concede far more goals. I think the fact that we've not seen the best of Kondogbia, Perisic, Icardi, or Jovetic this season is worrying, but should also give people hope given that there is a good chance that at least one of them should be able to change that fact. Although, I think if history teaches us anything it's that Ljajic's recent form is not likely to continue. I also think we would be lucky if Handanovic can keep up his current form the entire season. He has been BY FAR the best keeper in the league so far this season. I think we've been more fortunate with injuries than the other top sides this season too. Whether this continues will be a big factor. Although, I think we have the depth to get away with longterm injuries in most positions with the exception of Miranda and Handanovic. I think going forward if we want to be a more complete side we'll need a more settled side as I think the excessive rotation is starting to hurt our performances. I think some extra dimension in the midfield is clearly needed too. This is painfully apparent to everyone on the forum, so I'm sure Mancini can see it as well.

    Personally I think our final finishing position will be greatly affected by how well the Serie A sides do in Europe. I think if/when Bayern knocks out Juventus that they'll go on to win the league. Although, I think if they have a Roma style implosion and get thrashed by Bayern it could potentially hurt their confidence in the league. I think Fiorentina and Napoli could potentially go far in the EL which will have league consequences. I think how badly Roma get spanked by Real will determine what Roma side we see in the league going forward. I think they more than most sides rely on confidence. If they lose in two close games against Real they'll take a huge amount of confidence out of that. If they get hammered by 8 goals on aggregate or something they'll finish in a EL spot.

    Whereas Mancini just needs to get back to playing three midfielders which is what helped bring us to first place. That along with some improved cohesiveness with our attack, and Melo not losing his mind on the regular should give us a decent chance of finishing in a CL spot. At the end of the day though I think the difference between the top 5 sides is fairly minimal. Small episodes in games, luck, referee decisions etc will all be equally important in the final standings.
    Last edited by Shaun; 28 Dec 15 at 22:56.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    At the end of the day though I think the difference between the top 5 sides is fairly minimal. Small episodes in games, luck, referee decisions etc will all be equally important in the final standings.

    thats what worries me most. It could be a minor difference between top 3 and top 5, but top 3 is success and top 5 is probably judged as failure. We shouldnt sack Mancini if we make top 5 and look like a good team.

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    It may be a New Hope but the Empire will Strike back for sure(Rube) however I think the Jedi can return...if not this season maybe the next.

    still didn't see the new movie tbh...

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    What do you mean by new hope? Do you mean no longer finishing 8th or 9th? I think by sheer quality of players and Mancini's ability, those days are mostly gone. There have been some real finds in terms of players – Miranda has far exceeded my expectations, Kondogbia looks promising, Brozovic has reached another level (although to be seen whether he keeps it up), even Biabiany has shone at times. The squad is a big improvement over what we had with Mazzarri or Stramaccioni.

    Taking the long view, the relative quality of the squad means we should be challenging for top three or maybe even scudetto regularly. Maybe that's a success. After the years of struggle, simply being competitive for CL would be a relief. But I'm not convinced we have as much potential for growth compared to other sides. That worries me. How did we make such a big leap in the first place? As I said above, and I think most of you agree, we signed better players. We got a big marginal return by upgrading from Ranocchia to Miranda. But can we make a similar-sized leap again? To do so, we would have to sign a new player who is better than Miranda by the same amount that Miranda is better than Ranocchia. It is easy to improve on a bad player. It is harder to improve on a good player. To improve further, we will have to make large gains not only on the transfer market, but from the existing squad. (And I don't mean the current squad is perfect – as Jrgnsn gives an example of, our squad could still be improved. But I don't think we will see the team improve by same margin as it did in the summer, as we run out of truly mediocre players to get rid of).

    I don't think we've learned anything new about Mancini. I see the same strengths and the same weaknesses I saw in his previous spell at Inter and at Manchester City. The attack has still not clicked consistently. We've seen glimmers, but as someone else mentioned in another thread, I see individual players who have risen and then fallen, rather than growing familiarity. Defense has been our strong suit, but our organization has still proved very wanting when faced with some of the better sides in the league. And I still fail to see how Handanovic's amazing performances vindicate the defense. Handanovic's best performances have been correlated with the worst showings by our defense. Overall, cohesion in all areas of the pitch, with maybe the exception of the center-back pairing, has been lacking.

    Maybe improvement isn't necessary. After all, getting back into CL was our goal – I can already hear some of you saying we should worry about that first, worry about team play later. I don't think that's the right way to think about it. Other sides are improving currently, not just with new players, but with a new foundation as well. And I think we are lagging in that regard. So the immediate goal for the season is to get back into CL. But to me, the longer-term indicator of success will be the cohesion of the team.

    To summarize, I think we have found stability. But I think we are approaching a glass ceiling, and it will take a new strategy to break it.


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    Cool, we're more and less reviewing the first half of the season and anticipating the 2nd/future. Glad you posted this browha. (trying to be less sassy eh)

    We're on top but do we deserve to be? We have a good defensive record but are we really solid there? We are frustrating going forward, what are we missing? Of course we could assess how our new transfers have been so far but I feel that's still too early so I won't go through it.

    Judging from the performance of the other teams at the top, I'd say we deserve to be on top. That's not saying much since Juve have had a horrendous start to the season, Roma suffering as is customary with them and Napoli/Fiorentina showcasing that playing to the best of your abilities does not always guarantee points (bloody football huh). Why should we give a fuck how well have they been doing? I'd always prefer to focus on our team rather than on others even though because of their performances we have been on top.

    Yes, they could improve, Juve is already on the up and Roma might start breathing instead of chocking for once, but the other two I could confidently say that they are at their peak, I sincerely doubt that things could get better for the blue and purple sides or that they be able to maintain this for the whole of the season. That's 2 out of the 4 who will most likely be still challenging for the top spots come May. At the same time we could easily improve too, this might have been said too often but I'd rather choose to believe in our squad than worry that our displays have been the sole beneficiary of other teams' incompetence.

    We have better defenders than in previous years, of that we could all agree on. Players cover for each other more frequently and that is a good sign, our organization as a defensive unit have been improved but that is to be expected when putting 9 players behind the halfway line. It is still worrying that whenever we attempt to put players forward things become unbalanced and we need to ride our luck/pray that Handa keeps his sublime form to not concede.

    Finding the right balance is Mancini's primary objective in my opinion. How do we become more threatening yet not lose our shape and become vulnerable at the back? I feel the answer to this is less rotating from the handsome gaffer and more focus on making forwards be on the same wave length as midfielders. I don't necessarily believe that a creative midfielder is the seldom solution for this (I am for it though because it seems like the easiest fix), if that is indeed the case then wouldn't it be easier for opponents to counter us and mark the fuck out of him? In our big squad I think we have many options to trouble other teams, the key is in getting them to be efficient, Mancini's record is honestly worrying in that regard because he has mostly let attackers do their own thing going forward and instruct them to track back whenever possible and I don't think that is enough for our team. That's all on Mancini as he is the one who overlooks the players and have all the figures to identify the best method for us to become a more fluid side.

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    to be honest, I dont think we're on top because of our own merits, but rather, because other teams have failed to perform.

    Not that it really matters, I dont care much about top (Juve will win the league), its more about building the team/etc.

    To Wings - Sort of. We dont need a Miranda over Ranocchia again in CB, we need it in other places, so the question isnt if we can find another CB who is as good as Miranda was relative to Ranocchia, but rather, if we can fulfill our needs in other positions.

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    Yeah I know, that does seem more valid. I'd still rather look at the cup half full instead of half empty. We definitely have been less convincing than we initially want to think otherwise but I feel the belief, momentum and what it could potentially mean for our mentality will go a long way into getting back to the CL next season. This is certainly the fan talking within me.

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    Yeah. I think this window will be crucial, and making the right moves. It really comes down to whether Mancini is satisfied with a Melo Medel midfield or if he actually has a desire to improve it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by browha View Post
    Yeah. I think this window will be crucial, and making the right moves. It really comes down to whether Mancini is satisfied with a Melo Medel midfield or if he actually has a desire to improve it.
    I think Mancini clearly likes those two a lot, and it's not like we don't already have alternatives. Surely Kondogbia and Brozovic are probably more capable than most anyone we could get for those positions in January? What moves do you think we would/could make? Bring back Crisetig? Although, I wouldn't mind us going after Samp's Fernando, or Verona's Viviani
    Quote Originally Posted by DM_ View Post
    Then we'll just buy the federation and create our own rules.
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    I dont think juventus are willing to sell

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    Honestly, I dont know, and that's one of the problems. For me, I'd love to have a Vieira-style DM next to a K-dog, and ideally with Brozovic in there as well. But who is realistic for that mould? No idea.

    Even if Mancini is against that idea of the DM, I'd still like to get an upgrade on Melo.

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    It's not if Mancini likes those two together but if he insists on playing two DMs together. What's wrong with Kondogbia, Brozovic and one of Medel/Melo? They need to play more together to improve.

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    Kdog Broz and Medel I'd love to see, but Mancini seems more committed to using that AMC position on a more attacking player than Brozo. Which is stupid. Plus, Brozo imho is better playing frmo a bit deeper with his drive and energy

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    Quote Originally Posted by browha View Post
    Kdog Broz and Medel I'd love to see, but Mancini seems more committed to using that AMC position on a more attacking player than Brozo. Which is stupid. Plus, Brozo imho is better playing frmo a bit deeper with his drive and energy
    I think he is experimenting with Jovetic as an AM in order have Ljajic, Icardi and Jovetic all on the park. The problem is that Jovetic isn't suited to that position, nor should he play as a winger.

    I think Mancini would prefer to play 433
    Quote Originally Posted by DM_ View Post
    Then we'll just buy the federation and create our own rules.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pimpin View Post
    I dont think juventus are willing to sell

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