The incredible high that Inter fans were feeling Monday (and today and probably until Wednesday when the club takes on Empoli) was dampened by only one situation. No not the fact that the fullbacks are a walking pair of liabilities, we’ve just accepted that fact until either Cristian Ansaldi starts playing or when the January checks start getting sent out. I’m talking about Marcelo Brozovic.
It wasn’t long ago that Epic Brozo was one of the key men in this Inter side. He appeared in 32 of Inter’s Serie A matches last season and ended up becoming the main creative force in the midfield, a duty he was not entirely suited to but one he tried to perform to the best of his abilities. His goals were celebrated in his trademark fashion, and the fans really loved him. His decision to turn down Chelsea at the last minute in the transfer market and stay at Inter (even though the Premier League side was offering more money) only made fans more enamored by the 23 year old.
But Brozovic’s place in the side was never guaranteed. The triple arrivals of Ever Banega, Joao Mario, and Frank De Boer meant that Brozovic found more (and better) competition for his place in the first team, plus a manager that did not want or have to make the 23 year old the key midfielder at Inter. Brozovic came on in the 69th minute of the opening Serie A match against Chievo Verona, then started in the horror show opening Europa League match on Thursday. That’s where the problems reportedly began.
According to Javier Zanetti, De Boer decided to replace Brozovic with Ever Banega at halftime in order to help improve the team’s creativity. The young midfielder did not take this well and reportedly asked to leave the stadium. The Inter legend stated that Brozovic showed a lack of respect towards both the club and his teammates. As a result of his disruptive behavior, Brozovic was excluded from the squad to take on Juventus and also could be out of the squad facing Empoli as well. There’s also a very good chance he will face a hefty fine from the club.
For what it’s worth, I’m very happy with De Boer for his handling of the situation. A young coach at a new club can sometimes be pushed around a little by the players if the coach doesn’t stamp his authority quickly. After the Derby D’Italia victory De Boer reminded the players that nobody is bigger than Inter, and that the players need to understand that fact if they expect to have a place in his side.
What happens next is all up to Brozovic. Zanetti and De Boer made it clear that he has a place in the side if he shows the right attitude, but right now things have been silent on Brozovic’s end outside of an ill-advised Instagram post earlier stating he had been excluded from the side after doing nothing wrong. I’m pretty disappointed in his actions thus far. He showed a real desire to stick with Inter when he turned down Chelsea’s offer but now he’s throwing a temper tantrum because he isn’t playing as much? He had to know this was expected with the big-name players that were being signed this summer.
If Brozovic wants his place back in the side he has to fix his attitude and start working hard in training to show De Boer that he is deserving of a starting spot. Inter is fighting in three competitions this season, a player of Brozovic’s talents will be needed. Let’s hope he comes back into the side humble and hungry to fight, otherwise we might see the midfielder leave in January in less than positive circumstances.