Inter’s attitude and tactics have improved but their issues go deeper

Nerazzurri fans finally caught a break over the weekend when a reinvigorated Inter beat Lazio 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico under the tutelage of caretaker Stefano Vecchi. Unfortunately, there were plenty of reasons to worry, reasons that go beyond the fact that Lazio were coming off a Coppa Italia final loss to Juventus or Inter’s quest for Europe already being over.

Read the rest of the column on ESPN

Could Diego Simeone or Antonio Conte have success with Inter Milan?

With Inter earning a mere point in a month and being completely schooled by Napoli at the weekend, the talk of the Nerazzurri hiring Diego Simeone or Antonio Conte has intensified once again.

Read the rest of the article here on ESPN. 

Allegri the Underdog

Forced to give a straight answer, many Calcio fans would admit that they still don’t have a very positive opinion of Max Allegri.

Lurking in the back of their minds, Maxskepticism has many thinking that the former Rossoneri Coach is one mistake away from reverting to the blundering mess Silvio Berlusconi used to rail against, the Cavaliere once claiming at a political rally that Allegri “didn’t understand [expletive] all” about football.

Read more on Football Italia 

Whatever happened to Nicola Ventola?

It is a well-known fact that many talented prospects don’t turn out, with the mental and tactical rigours of modern football often too heavy a load to carry. It hurts far more, however, when a player has the brains, the technique and the guts to go far, only for it to become clear that his body – and his luck – were never cut out for a career in the pros.

Read the rest here

Ratings: Inter catch Lazio with their pants down, Di Bello has a shocker

Inter put an end to their four-game Serie A losing streak with a hard-fought 3-1 win against Lazio.

The hosts didn’t waste any time as Keita Balde was brought down in the box by Jeison Murillo and converted the resulting penalty inside 19 minutes.

Continue reading on ESPN here 

 

Five things Inter need in a new manager to accelerate rebuild

With Inter sacking Stefano Pioli ten days ago, fans of the Nerazzurri can expect another summer rife with rumours and speculation.

While it may be too early to talk about the numerous candidates set to replace him, it isn’t premature to discuss what Inter’s future manager will need to do to keep both the club (and his own reputation) afloat.

Here are five key issues that have to be addressed if the blue side of Milan is to have anything to celebrate next season.

Read them here on ESPN

Is mentality really the problem with Inter?

Inter are coming off a nightmare run of games ahead of Sunday’s clash with Napoli, failing to win in over a month and somehow allowing half-time leads of 2-0 and 2-1 to turn into a 2-2 draw against AC Milan and a 5-4 defeat to Fiorentina.

In the endless post-mortems which followed the collapse in Florence, Inter were accused of lacking grit and a united mentality, but the squad is full of grinders. Gary Medel isn’t called The Pitbull for nothing, Danilo D’Ambrosio delivered an impassioned speech earlier in the season when things were going wrong, and even substitute Eder is a presence in the changing room.

Read more on my ESPN blog here: 

Roberto Mancini still the right man to lead Inter Milan

While Juventus fans got an early Christmas present in July with the arrival of striker Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli, the Inter faithful have been treated to a somewhat different summer. It began with a series of clever signings, but has since been spoiled by Napoli’s pursuit of Mauro Icardi, whose agent (and wife) Wanda Nara has rankled Inter supporters with recent comments via social media.

Things have arguably got worse since then, with speculation that coach Roberto Mancini would leave the San Siro if ownership didn’t satisfy his transfer requests, not to mention renew his existing deal, which expires next year.

Read the rest on ESPNFC HERE http://www.espnfc.co.uk/club/internazionale/110/blog/post/2920176/roberto-mancini-still-the-right-man-to-lead-inter-milan

Lotito: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It has not been a relaxing summer for Lazio fans. Fresh off a disappointing eighth place finish, their two big stars – Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia – reportedly want to leave, whilst flashy Coach Marcelo Bielsa jilted the club a mere 48 hours into the wedding.

The 5,000 fans who showed up to recent demonstrations against owner Claudio Lotito were proof that last season’s problems – when the Aquile went down against Roma in front of two empty ends – have only gotten worse, with a mere 11 supporters signing up for season tickets within 24 hours of their being made available.

Read the rest on http://www.football-italia.net/87683/lotito-good-bad-ugly

ESPN BLOG: Ever Banega is the perfect piece to Inter Milan’s midfield puzzle

An oft-repeated complaint from Inter Milan’s 2015-16 season reads as follows: coach Roberto Mancini will be unable to achieve his tactical dreams if the club fails to add another skillful player to the midfield mix.

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Lazio’s Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia have all been linked to the Nerazzurri in recent weeks, but Mancini may have already found the player he so desires in Argentine midfielder Ever Banega, who joined the club this summer on a free transfer.

Banega isn’t just a capable playmaker, he may well be the signing that makes the team gel and takes Inter’s ailing attack (the club only managed only 50 goals last season, seventh in Serie A) to the next level.

Read the rest of the article on ESPN at
http://www.espnfc.com/club/internazionale/110/blog/post/2896218/ever-banega-is-the-perfect-piece-to-inter-milans-midfield-puzzle

Tactical Preview: Chelsea v QPR

QPR head to Stamford Bridge a clear favourite to lose- and possibly bag a huge shellacking in the process. Though Harry Redknapp’s men are coming off a two-game winning run, they are still second from bottom in the Premier League table- not to mention weak on a number of levels, and this is the wrong time to be visiting a Chelsea side that won’t be in a very forgiving mood.

Last Sunday’s disappointing draw aside, the Blues will remember how threatening QPR can be in the Derby, the Rs winning both in their last visit here two seasons ago and at home in a game more remembered for what horrible things John Terry yelled at Anton Ferdinand. The resulting furore made everyone forget just how poor Chelsea had looked that day, going down to nine men before the half and losing to a Heidar Helguson penalty.Heidar Helguson!

QPR don’t have a high-variance option

One of the more damning indictments of QPR’s football this season is their inability to combine defence and attack. Which is just as good, because a good calculated risk against a team like Chelsea would be to avoid sitting back, and try something that the opposition isn’t expecting. A perfect example was when Everton visited the Bridge a few seasons ago, coming away with a 4-4 draw. It’s certainly a bigger risk, but adds a surprise factor and does give the minnow a bigger window of success, and QPR do happen to boast a fearsome attacking duo in Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora. One came up with the goods against Villa, the latter has the grit and athleticism to bring Eduardo Vargas into play.

Trouble is, QPR have tried this before, as the ludicrous 3-2 home defeat to Liverpool proved. What’s worrying is that Harry Redknapp’s choice to throw caution to the wind and press Liverpool all over the park still ended up backfiring. His team should have won, but Leroy Fer (usually one of their best players) hit the woodwork twice in the first half alone, and QPR shipped in two goals after the 90th minute to come away with nothing. The Rs only opted for all-out aggression against Liverpool because they didn’t respect their passing game anyway, and may not dare be so brave this time round, especially as…

The Diego Costa party bus is back in town, and Richard Dunne and Steven Caulker are terrified

Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas’ arrival in the summer has given Chelsea a whole new attacking dimension. Gone is the team that struggled down the stretch last season against packed defences, not now that Fabregas can pick defences apart with his vertical passing, one-twos and neat interplay with the fullbacks, and Costa… well…

Caulker and Dunne need help, as they aren’t exactly the speediest defensive pairing on the circuit. Picking up from the previous point, Burnley tried aggressive tactics against Chelsea, and paid the price despite taking an early lead at Turf Moor. All it took was a neat pass from Cesc Fabregas to Branislav Ivanovic… and a finish from Diego Costa.

QPR aren’t built for the counter

Trouble is, even a more cautious QPR could fail to make the grade, having been very average when adopting a more defensive approach, even against teams who struggle to build from the back. QPR looked awkward against both Aston Villa and West Ham, and can count themselves lucky to have pulled away against the Villains just as their opponents were looking to take control.

With two midfielders (Henry and Sandro, for example) sitting in front of their frail back four, only Leroy Fer is left as an attacking outlet in the middle. Redknapp may not have the stones to deploy attacking players like Vargas on the wing, or two strikers up front- a setup that has allowed them to win their last two games. When one thinks of Stamford Bridge upsets, QPR are unlikely to emulate Sunderland’s impressive effort from last season: they haven’t got the defensive mettle and the Blue are much improved. In most things anyway…

Chelsea need a wake up call on set pieces

50% of QPR’s goals in the league this season have come from set pieces, a worrying trend for a team like Chelsea that still has its work cut out ironing out that very weakness. Against Manchester United, it cost Chelsea two deserved points. Now that Manchester City look weak, it would be the wrong time to start dropping points. Manchester United certainly rue the chances they didn’t put away to keep the Citizens at a distance three seasons ago.

Eduardo Vargas v Gary Cahill

A final point concerns last week’s GOAT, Gary Cahill, who for all his talent does occasionally have games where he makes multiple- and often costly- mistakes. He will need to keep a careful eye on Eduardo Vargas who- if Redkapp starts him, and that’s quite an if- will be a major pain in the neck, cutting inside to create one-two scenarios and look for the chink in Chelsea’s armour. The former Universidad de Chile man was woefully misused in Italy, and is slowly putting together a campaign that will justify all the hype we read about him two years ago.

Brésil CM 2014 : organisation chaotique, conséquences graves ? (Partie 2/2)

Dans cette deuxième partie, j’analyse les conséquences à long terme de l’organisation défaillante de la Fédération brésilienne, notamment sur le plan de l’infrastructure…