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Listless Loss To Lazio Leaves Inter on Life Support

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Another moribund season is on the cards for the Nerazzurri...

Paolo Bruno

The post-mortem from the Lazio loss makes for grim reading so l will spare you the gruesome details. All you need to know is that Inter could only muster one shot on target and it didn't come until after an hour played.

The Nerazzurri were impotent in every attacking facet and should be thoroughly embarrassed that they finished with more yellow cards than shots on goal at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Beneamata were as exciting to watch as a box of rocks. No movement, no creativity, no nothing. It was a tad bit depressing really. Lazio is not a world beater by any stretch of the imagination as they came into the encounter with just one win in its last eight Serie A games, but we couldn't open them up.

Maybe it's our fault for expecting the new year to start off with a bang following a 1-0 win over Milan prior to the Christmas break. We now understand that the victory had more to do with the ineptitude of our city rivals than the potency of our current squad.

Inter has recorded only four wins in its last 13 games and now sit eight points behind third-placed Napoli and an insurmountable 18 from Juventus at the top of the table.

Only the insane among us (and there are a few unfortunately) expected the Nerazzurri to challenge for the Scudetto but floundering in sixth spot in January wasn't what most of us envisioned either.

So, who is to blame? Some will point fingers at austerity measures or Walter Mazzarri or the talent level of the squad. And one could probably make a pretty valid argument for any of those reasons.

I think it's much too early and a bit unfair to implicate Mazzarri for the team's failings, although he hasn't helped his cause with his refusal to start Mateo Kovacic from the opening whistle.

I wouldn't mind at all though if he took the training wheels off in the coming weeks as his safety first approach hasn't exactly seen us ride off victoriously into the sunset.

Mazzarri doesn't have the horses yet to play the counterattacking brand of football he desperately wants. We'll wait until his preferred reinforcements arrive before handing down judgement on him.

I am hoping Marco Branca and company will conduct their business swiftly and skilfully instead of panic buying in the last few days of the window. The reported purchase of Danilo D'Ambrosio is certainly a stellar start to the mercato but the news of Radja Nainggolan's sale to to Roma does sting a little bit.

It should be noted that playing for Inter is a privilege not a right, something Fredy Guarin doesn't quite comprehend. Another act of petulance after he was substituted should all but confirm his departure from the club and good riddance I say.

The speculation linking Juan Mata, Edin Dzeko and Ezequiel Lavezzi to Inter is laughable although it would be nice to make a big splash in the transfer market since we have a new billionaire owner and all that.

And that's what makes all the talk of Inter needing to sell before it buys so unnerving. And Lord help us if Branca comes out and says that Diego Milito's return is like a new signing. Anyways, that's another editorial to be written with a glass of Camus and a piece of Belgian chocolate by the fire.

The main problem for me is the competitiveness of the squad. We're nowhere near good enough right now. Just take a long unbiased, truthful look at our roster. There are some good players no doubt but it's not brimming with world-class talent.

That's not to say we need a complete overhaul. This is a project and unfortunately it's going to take a little more time. I'm well aware that's not what Interisti want to hear but that's what the deal is right now.

Things might get worse before they get better, and I do think they'll get better, but right now we need to temper expectations and come to grips with the fact that unless a boatload of new recruits arrive in Appiano Gentile in the next three weeks it's going to be a long winter.