Times have been hard on fans of Inter Milan. A mere four seasons removed from a glorious treble—a feat no other Italian club has ever achieved—the Nerazzurri are currently mired in the depths of the mid-table.
The last year-and-a-half has been particularly rough. Last season Andrea Stramaccioni led the team on a run of 10 straight victories in all competitions, culminating in a 3-1 come-from-behind triumph over Juventus in Turin that ended their rivals' 49-game unbeaten run. But that triumph was the high water mark of the season. Inter won only two of its next eight and spiraled out of control into ninth place.
This year brought a similar strong start under new manager Walter Mazzarri. The team lost only one game out of its first 15. Mazzarri brought a badly needed sense of tactical identity to the side—as opposed to Stramaccioni, who tinkered ceaselessly and rarely started the same formation in two straight games. The team settled into their roles and racked up points, keeping hold of a top five place and putting themselves in position to make a run at a Champions League place.
While the last few weeks have again brought disappointment—a 1-2-3 (W-D-L) record in their last six league games and an embarrassing crash-out of the Coppa Italia—the future can be a bright one for Inter if they build things the right way.
Can Inter become a contender in the Serie A again? Yes, and here's a look at how it can be done.