Inter Jections: An Inter Podcast

Ethor

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Nice episode. Still some concern going away at Udinese though. Interested to see how demonstrative the crowd is following the Acerbi incident. They are still in a regulation fight and what's with all their draws, 16 of them, maybe a tougher nut to crack than expected. Time for Lautaro, Thuram and Hakan to start returning to form.
 

Ethor

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Nice episode. Think the Caligari match will be tougher than we expect, due in part to out of form with some key players and the lackadaisical passing all around the pitch. Agree with Sanchez and Bisseck starting, but can see Darmian ahead of Dumfries in this one.
 

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Only about 10-15 minutes through so far, but as far as the question of "fatigue vs. disinterest" goes (and avoiding the token "it's a combination of both" answer), I definitely lean towards the second. It's understandable. The Scudetto race has been over for quite some time now. I understand that, as professionals, they still need to put in a proper effort each week in league play to keep that the case, to prevent any kind of creep from Milan that would make the race interesting, but otherwise it's been apparent for a long time that they've done what they need to do and that there's nothing left to doubt there. They clinch the Scudetto just as long as they win their remaining home games, and they don't play a team ranked above 9th the rest of the way at home.

Combine that with the dispiriting exit we had to the Champions League, and how that has left us with only this one front to compete on the rest of the way. I've written about FIF needing the CL to keep things spicy, that applies to the players as well. The challenge, the marquee of playing midweek Champions League games broadcast internationally, the attention that brings to the club. And in the space of five minutes late in normal time, we squandered that opportunity by failing to put away either of two counter-attack opportunities, and then conceding in the 86th minute when our signature stat all season up until then had been 0 goals allowed 75-90'. We had a marquee European scalp in our hands and let it slip. There's no way anything other than a letdown can emerge from that. These guys played in the fucking CL Final last season and looked much better this season afterwards; a R16 exit by comparison is a massive failure for the group.

My feeling is that we would've looked better in our last three games, going back to the Napoli game, if we were still kicking on in the CL. There haven't been any CL games played since we exited the competition (up until today), so the fatigue argument for the last three games is irrelevant; we aren't any more tired in those games than we otherwise would've been had we progressed.

Not writing this to relive terrible memories of a month ago, I'd like to think I've gotten past that a bit by now, I'm writing this as my two cents on that particular talking point. If they still had two fronts to fight on, and had at least two more marquee games to look forward to (because, other than the derby, our remaining schedule is plain fucking boring), I think we'd see more focus and desire from the group. And I think we will see that in the derby if we have a chance to win the Scudetto that night. Otherwise, we're just playing out the string at this point, and that's generally not something that gets anybody excited.
 

CafeCordoba

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Like I said in the episode, fatique doesn't come only from playing a lot of games over a short period but it adds up throughout the season and my thesis is that this has happened now, at least some of our players like the two starting strikers. Disinterest doesn't cut it for me one bit when the main objective of this season is the Scudetto and the players know that no matter how big the gap is they still need to win these games. And it's not 4-0 smooth sailing games anymore. All those required points need to be gathered by playing and winning games and this team knows it.
 

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We had a marquee European scalp in our hands and let it slip. There's no way anything other than a letdown can emerge from that. These guys played in the fucking CL Final last season and looked much better this season afterwards; a R16 exit by comparison is a massive failure for the group.
Agreed 100%. Getting knocked out in the R16 after being a finalist last season is one thing. Getting knocked out in the pathetically banterish way we did - proving that old habits die hard - squandering chance after chance after chance, bottling a 2 goal lead, and then mentally crumbling under the pressure of penalties - is another.

Considering the great potential, the super favorable draw (again) and the opportunity cost, this CL campaign was a solid 5/10. Deeply disappointing - in isolation. Only the massive point gap in the league makes it somewhat acceptable. Speaking of though..

The Scudetto race has been over for quite some time now. I understand that, as professionals, they still need to put in a proper effort each week in league play to keep that the case
Yes, and I'm not downplaying the excellent work put in to even reach such a lofty place where we are 14 points ahead. But the recent downturn in form in the league (results thankfully have not taken much of a hit, but visibly apparent since at least the Atalanta game in Feb) is somewhat disappointing.

These guys are not some serial league winners like Bayern (prior to this season) or PSG where dominating your shit league is so taken for granted that it's become boring and the only excitement of the season is the CL. They haven't yet earned that right or status. I wanted anger and a release of frustration after the CL exit instead what I got was an extremely reluctant, half-hearted return to the office after the Christmas holidays.
 

Ethor

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Good episode, agree that Buchanan needs more playing time to evaluate. Unfortunately, Buchanan will have to wait, don't see Inter winning this one, hard pressed to see a draw too. You just can't flip a switch when you've been coasting mentally and physically for dang near a month. It will be a wake up call though and the second star will be secured eventually. Hope I'm wrong.
 
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