With the past few weeks being extremely eventful, some good and some bad, there wasn’t enough time to write the third part of the series. Now, with 2018 drawing to a close and a little more than two-week gap before the next league game, I decided to write this small article which has four talking points.
Are Inter Milan set for the future?
This might seem like a silly question at first glance considering our team is pretty young, but it is a question that needs to be addressed if we are to stand a chance to compete for success in Italy in Europe within the next 3-4 seasons.
Players like Milan Skriniar, Mauro Icardi and Matteo Politano are already clocking heavy minutes for the club and have just entered their peaks, they can be starters for years to come. The real challenge with these players is keeping them at the club. Wages can only help to a certain extent, and the trophies need to start coming into the club in order to keep these players motivated.
On the other hand, there are talented players like Keita Balde and Lautaro Martinez who yet to hit their peak are being rotated. Luciano Spalletti has to figure out a way to integrate them into the first team as soon as possible.
While this chart has a lot of positives, it also has some negatives. While I won’t go as far as the Twitter fans and claim that “Radja might become the worst signing Inter ever made” or “Perisic must have been sold last summer,” I will say that for two players who are just past their peak or in the last few years of it, we need to see better performances. If not, we need to start seeing stern action from Spalletti.
A major issue is Samir Handanovic, he plays the most minutes for the team while being one of the oldest players. While keepers do peak in their early 30’s, my only concern is that Handanovic biggest assets are his strength and reflexes, both physical traits which wane with age. Keepers like Hando and Iker Casillas tend to age faster than keepers like Buffon, who relies on his positioning. Am I saying we need to panic? No, but I do believe it’s time we start scouting the market for replacements.
How have Inter fared since 2000?
Inter aren’t the club they were in the late 2000’s when I first started watching them but we have definitely come a long way since the past few years.
You might need to click on the picture to see it clearly. Orange lines represents goals/90 while blue line represents goals conceded/90. Blue bars symbolise ranks.
Inter did not have great seasons in the early 2000’s, bar one season under Hector Cuper. However, the next two managers, Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho together combined to account for five back-to-back titles. For all the talk on these two managers being defensive minded, Inter were great offensively during this period.
However, Inter soon went through their roughest phase in years with their GD/90 dropping to shambolic negative rates in the 2012/13 season. Walter Mazzarri, Mancini and Vecchi all helped Inter come out of the big pit they dug themselves into before LucSpal got them into the CL last season. Here’s to the future! Here’s to Spalletti, Marotta, the board, the president, the players and the fans!
Where does Icardi usually shoot from?
I made this graphic to show you the places Icardi is shooting from. The first observation is that Icardi is shooting more from the right, this is partly due to Inter bringing in Kwadwo Asamoah which allows Ivan Perisic to move in closer as a secondary striker from his original left forward position which forces Icardi to move right. This might be an issue in the future, as right footed forwards should roam closer to the left side of the pitch, but as of right now, there is nothing that needs to be changed.
Icardi is also shooting from deeper areas, this not only shows how Icardi is adapting his role as the team’s striker by playing a bit deeper and linking up more but he has also showed us how effective his strikes from just outside the box can be this season.
When do Inter score and concede the most?
I finish off with an interactive graphic that shows when Inter score and concede shots as well as goals. The number of shots conceded and taken are consistent throughout all the six 15-minute intervals. However, when we compare goals conceded and scored, it is shocking! Inter score 35 percent of their goals in the last 15 minutes while they concede 86 percent of their goals in the second half.
Inter have had very close games this season and in my opinion, must finish strong, they must exert more effort on defence in the second half while being more clinical in front of goal at all times.
What do you think? Post your comments below! Forza Inter!