I've been trying to think through why this team is so poor defensively. These are my working theories.
- Dimarco is a regular starter. This guy is an outright terrible defender, regardless of whether he's playing CB or LWB. At LWB he doesn't have the speed, stamina, or defensive ability to mark his man and he routinely gets beaten 1 v 1. As a LCB he gets outmuscled by stronger players (all players) and is often caught out of position. However, we've been forced to play Dimarco because he's one of the few players offering anything in attack. This puts a greater burden on both Bastoni and de Vrij, and neither of them have been able to cope with it. It's a lot easier to hide poor individual defenders in the midfield (Calhanoglu) than it is on the wings.
- The loss of Perisic. Perisic was an elite defensive wingback. He made multiple goal line clearances, could put strong wingers in his pocket, and could run relentlessly for 90 minutes. We've lost him, which might be the best explanation for why Bastoni can't seem to do anything right.
- The high line. Our team is slow, and quite poor at controlling the ball. We haven't executed a successful counterattacking goal in what feels like six months. So unlike under Conte, we don't have the ability to sit back and quickly catch teams out using Hakimi, Lukaku, and Barella. We are pushing further up the pitch and routinely getting burned by teams beating our slow back line. The Udinese game is the obvious example of this, but Lazio and Lecce also created several opportunities this way.
- Morale? We tried our best to force both Bastoni and Skriniar out the door this summer. Skriniar and de Vrij are both playing on expiring contracts. I can't explain the multiple concentration lapses this team has had on set pieces, which makes me think maybe they're just checked out after a brutal summer.
I'm open to any other theories.
Spot on with everything, although I would just add for the fourth one, and I mentioned this before, there shouldn't be any excuses for bastoni and skriniar being this bad. If they are truly interistas like everyone think they are, those so-called obstacles should have been forgotten as soon as season started. That's just mine opinion, maybe it's too pragmatical, but if you really love the club then you should be able to differentiate club management wanting to sell because we are in debt and actually respecting the fans and giving your best for inter shirt when you actually end up staying. Having said all of this, I highly doubt that's the reason they play bad, the whole team for some reason regressed, and those two just followed imo.
Also, I would add a fifth reason why we are poor defensively, and it's really simple, complete lack of defensive organization and defensive tactics from inzaghi. You can play a high line, play on counterattacks etc... but you have to have some sort of organization back there, where you can see defensive players are looking where they are, where their defensive teammates are, hand gesturing to hold the line and gesturing this player is mine etc.. all those small things we saw with conte. I didn't see any of those things with inzaghi not only this year but even last year.
Our defensive stability last year if you could call it that, cos we had big problems even back then, was solely a product imo of high morale of players after winning a title and wanting to prove they can win it without conte, perisic contribution and inzaghi tactics being somewhat new and not read like a bad book like this year. Now that most of that is gone, and we actually have to rely on a real defensive system and tactics, we are in deep shit, cos there is nothing even remotely close to a defensive setup and system with inzaghi, at least not on any kind of serious level.