Inter Milan: the first successful steps of Simone Inzaghi
Italian champion last spring, eleven years after its last coronation, Inter Milan has regained its glory. The fruit of a long work carried out in recent years which has been converted by Antonio Conte. However, the Italian coach returned the apron right after achieving his goal. Aware that the club’s financial difficulties were going to cause a recalibration of the project, he threw in the towel leaving room for Simone Inzaghi who had shown great things to Lazio. The latter suffered significant losses with sales from Romelu Lukaku (€ 115m, Chelsea) and Achraf Hakimi (€ 60m, PSG). Offloading players in order to recover nearly € 200M, Inter Milan has invested a little in return with the arrivals of Denzel Dumfries (25 years old, PSV Eindhoven), Joaquín Correa (27 years old, Lazio), Hakan Calhanoglu (27 years old, AC Milan) and Edin Dzeko (35, AS Roma) as well as the final transfer of Matteo Darmian (31, Parma). Not very flashy, but interesting reinforcements to which we can also add Federico Dimarco, returning from a successful loan at Hellas Verona.
In this difficult context, Simone Inzaghi had to quickly find a guideline. Acclimatization was facilitated by the 3-5-2 system used by Antonio Conte who is also part of Simone Inzaghi’s principles. However, the approach is different for the 45-year-old technician. Quickly acclaimed by the Lombard public on his arrival and benefiting from the patience of the Milan environment given the upgrading of Inter Milan’s project, Simone Inzaghi finally exceeded expectations at the start of the season. Based on the work of his predecessor, he quickly harmonized his group and found a formula that works and is part of the show. Behind nothing has changed with the veteran Samir Handanovic in the goals and the hinge consisting of Milan Skriniar, Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni. If the Slovenian goalkeeper is no longer in his best years, the nerazzurri defenders are in great shape and make up one of the most beautiful defensive lines in Europe.
In the midfield, Marcelo Brozovic shines, covering a large area and initiating the many offensives, well accompanied by Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu who devour the spaces. Able to hold the ball, but also to play quickly in verticality, Inter Milan has no shortage of assets with four quality pistons. Thus, Matteo Darmian and Denzel Dumfries evolve on the right while we find Ivan Perisic and Federico Dimarco on the left. In front, a nice trio shares the minutes with Lautaro Martinez, Joaquin Correa and Edin Dzeko. The latter brings a lot of presence from the surface and partly compensates for the departure of Romelu Lukaku even if the effectiveness of the Belgian will have to be shared between the three men.
For the moment this is reflected in the results with easy victories against Genoa (4-0), Hellas Verona (3-1) and Bologna (6-1) and a second place in Serie A two points behind Napoli . Only small shadow, the draw against Sampdoria (2-2) which allowed to see some flaws on the defensive plan. Against Real Madrid in the Champions League, Inter Milan also lost 1-0 despite a largely dominated game in the first half. Proof that small details still have to be worked out for the transalpine training. Best attack in Serie A (15 goals scored) this Inter Milan team does not need to keep the ball often (52.6% possession, 7th overall in the league). If the Lombards know how to combine in small spaces, they are wreaking havoc against, but also in the air with Edin Dzeko in front. A hybrid team that knows how to adapt to the situation and does so boldly.
The recovery work done upstream with a big pressing and many high recoveries allows the offensives to assert their qualities. Facing Fiorentina tonight, Inter Milan can temporarily take the lead of Serie A. The coach of Viola, Vincenzo Italiano who also has a good start to the season with 9 points acquired out of 12 possible expects an interesting duel : “The most difficult match of the championship awaits us, because the value of the adversary is too important. We face the champions of Italy, they are in good shape and they will come here with a soaring self-esteem after the 6 goals against Bologna. You have to fear everything from them, they are doing well physically and mentally. If we show up on the pitch like in the last matches, however, we can worry Inter and undermine their strengths. ” For Simone Inzaghi, the opportunity is great to confirm the good work done at the start of the season.