Tuesday, February 24 th, 2015
Mission  |   Team  |   Contact Us    
Inter lacks fighting spirit, this is what infuriate Nerazzurri fans
Coach Walter Mazzarri doesn't seem able give an offensive mark to his team, but the squad risk to lose something even more important than points: the fans
by Samuel Still
The draw at San Siro against Hellas Verona didn't mitigate the storm that's brewing around Walter Mazzarri. What happened one week ago was too bad. Last week, Inter traveled to the Stadio Ennio Tardini to face off against bottom-dwellers Parma. The match easily could, and should have, resulted in a Nerazzurri win and three points more to aid in the race for Champions League football.

However, hosts Parma had other ideas and two goals by Paolo De Ceglie saw Parma celebrate at the final whistle. The loss only adds to a string of bad results Mazzarri has produced over the last three weeks, after a 3-0 loss to Fiorentina, a narrow 1-0 win against Sampdoria, and two draws against Saint Etienne in the Europa League. At a club the size of Inter, these results certainly won’t do. A combination between the tactics of a stubborn coach and the removal of team identity has not lost Inter a Champions League spot yet, but it may lose them even the most patient of fans. Mazzarri has proven during his tenure at Inter just how tactically stubborn he is capable of being.

Every game is exactly like watching the last: win the ball, push it wide to the wingbacks, cross, repeat. The monotonous play of Inter has the potential for creating a lot of chances in the box, so why do they find it so hard to score? Unfortunately, Mazzarri’s tactics all hinge on the ability of his wide players to cross the ball. With infuriatingly substandard crosses being played on what seems like every attack, it’s no mystery why Inter are struggling to find the back of the net.

As it stands, Mazzarri should bear much of the blame for the so-called “crisis” at Inter. By sticking to tactics that concentrate on wing-play, a shortcoming in Inter’s current line-up, the Tuscan coach is stubbornly leading the team down the table. Unfortunately, even when the match turns sour and Inter fall behind, Mazzarri still appears unwilling to adjust his tactics to better suit his team and counter the opposition. While Mazzarri’s tactics may have worked for him in the past, the Inter team he currently has is not well suited to them and is struggling to make them work.

The second main problem with the current Inter team is the lack of a central identity. The Inter of Mourinho and Stramaccioni, known for their intense passion and unrelenting fighting spirit, are distant memories of the past for much of the Inter faithful. Toothless displays in recent weeks have seen cheers and chants turned to boos at the San Siro, most recently during Inter’s 2-2 draw with Hellas Verona on Sunday. Under Mazzarri, the team identity has crumbled. No more passion or drive, only crosses that never reach the net and disappointing displays. Mazzarri’s tactics and management seem to have sucked the creativity and freedom out of the squad, leaving Interisti everywhere left to tune in for an uneventful, mediocre performance each and every Sunday. The team looks uninterested and disengaged too often in matches.

While Mazzarri is surely to blame for this, some of the players are as well. Captain Andrea Ranocchia has turned in no spectacular displays lately, leaving some fans to question his appointment to the captaincy. While he is a good leader and a crucial member to the Inter dressing room, it is equally important for the team captain to lead by example on the pitch. If Inter players follow the example Ranocchia has been setting, it will be a long, dreadful season indeed.

While Inter’s season is yet into a full crisis mode, they risk something even more valuable: the fans. Dull performances each week and the lack of classic Inter spirit on the pitch may turn some fans from the team in coming weeks. This season it is crucial for Inter to find their way into Europe once again. While Mazzarri certainly has an abundance of tactical shortcomings, this is an obtainable goal for him.

Reports suggest Inter would have to part ways with 10 million euros to get rid of Mazzarri. With the financial state Inter currently sit in, one can’t see Thohir willing to give up on a manager as easily as Moratti was in the past. Crisis or not, it is crucial that Inter fans rally behind their team in a push for European football next season. When the season is over, maybe then we will see a change in management which ushers in the return of exciting football and the Inter spirit on the pitch.

Wednesday, November 12 th, 2014
For discussion of this topic and many more about Serie A, join R/ItalianFootball