Inter Milan are lying first in the Serie A table, six points ahead of Juventus and eight points away from Milan. The Nerazzurri have made it to the knocking stage of the UEFA Champions League and face Manchester United in the second round.
However, Jose Mourinho has still not managed to improve Inter’s performances or results compared to last term. Yes, last season, Juve were not as good as they are this season, and Milan had a terrible record last year.
But Inter have not convinced at all so far. Mourinho brought Mancini from Roma and Ricardo Quaresma from Porto in order to play 4-3-3, a formation that worked perfectly well in the Portuguese manager’s reign as Chelsea manager.
The formation did not work out well, and Mourinho had to shift his tactics to a diamond 4-4-2 formation, a tactic that won him the double (Portuguese league and Champions League) at Porto.
However, Inter have not been able to perform up to the desired standard. They have won most of their games in the second half after awful displays.
1. The defense has been terrible, but the back four is not to blame. The midfield has been terrible in the absence of Patrick Vieira with Sulley Muntari unable to provide adequate cover for him and failing to live up to his hefty €16m price tag.
Until this day, Inter have conceded 15 goals in 21 matches.
2. The team does not seem to have a clear identity and strategy; Mourinho’s approach has not been successful in creating his own version of a convincing football side. The players seem lost, their passing is terrible, their positioning is random, and they do not seem to be following any clear instructions.
The whole team seems lost when Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not playing at his best, and the instructions are apparently “pass the ball to Ibra.”
3. There is no creativity whatsoever in midfield. The two strikers are playing in front of Dejan Stankovic, who is well past his peak. Luis Figo is 35, and Mancini has been a huge disappointment since he moved to the club from Roma in the summer.
4. The constant rotation policy that Mourinho has unwillingly adopted shows that the Portuguese tactician is yet to determine his best starting 11.
1. Inter’s approach on the pitch should be more patient, and their passing should be better if they are to keep their momentum during matches. The best way to defend is by having quality possession on the ball.
2. Mourinho should look for solutions other than Ibrahimovic. The squad is good and should give the manager some alternatives, so he can change the set of his team around and add width with wingers at his disposal.
3. The transfer market can be a solution. The team needs creativity; a quality attacking midfielder is needed. Werder Bremen’s Diego can fill the void perfectly should Mourinho look to buy this month.
4. Mourinho should look to give confidence to his best 11. A starting line-up that does well in training with players that play well in matches should be given the nod on regular basis in order for them to adapt to the system altogether.