Needless to say, their performance was less-than-stellar.
A late goal from Sergio Pellissier erased an earlier strike from Ivan Perisic to send Inter Milan to a 1-1 draw with Chievo Verona Saturday.
After the match, Inter boss Luciano Spalletti said the reason for the loss was not physical, but more psychological.
“It’s not a physical issue of slowing down towards the end, it’s purely a psychological one, knowing how to evaluate the various situations,” Spalletti told Sky Sport Italia. “Every now and then we make decisions that are counter to what we ought to.
“We still can’t manage to be determined enough, but we’ve got quality and when we have the advantage in a match, we need to use it to bring home the result.”
The Nerazzurri had chance after chance with just about every member of the club getting a shot near the goal. The problem was few of them were on target and, following Perisic’s strike, Inter played like a time not wanting lose and less like a team wanting to win.
“We must work better on these situations because we had a number of chances to kill the game off,” Spalletti said. “There were many chances to scores, situations where we had a numerical advantage but couldn’t finish.”
It’s one thing to let a one-goal lead slip away in the waning minutes of a match on the road. It’s another to do it against the worst team in the league.
Spalletti is right that the psychology of the team right now is weak, but who or what is to blame for that?
Let downs in the Champions League. Let downs at Roma. Barely squeaking by at home with Udinese. It all seems systemic of a problem at the top.
It is the coach’s responsibility to motivate the team. Whether it be playing for the badge, the fans or the money, the manager is the one who has to find those pressure points and drive them home to players. Just sitting back and hoping for the best doesn’t really cut it.
On Saturday (and even against Chievo, Juventus and PSV Eindhoven before that), the team seemed out of sync. But, with all the pieces Inter has at its disposal, you wouldn’t think that was should be a problem.
One of the best scorers in the league backed up by one of the best defenses in the league and a midfield — with Radja Nainggolan and the resurgence of Joao Mario — all in place, there seems little other excuse for the play we have seen.
I’m not necessarily advocating for a change in management, but something has to give. Spalletti needs to have a better understanding of what makes this team tick and use that.
We aren’t even half way through the season and we can ill afford another winter collapse like we saw last season. We got lucky last season, but we can’t keep testing that luck in hopes for stronger results.
The fault of this recent run of play lies squarely at Spalletti’s feet. With that, I do think some changes need to be made and they need to be made sooner rather than later.
But, of course, I could be wrong.
What do you think? Post your comments below!