5 Reasons Why Inter Milan Are Struggling in Serie A
Inter's fall from grace since Indonesian tycoon Erick Thohir bought the team from Massimo Moratti has been alarming.
The Nerazzurri have only won one out of their last five domestic games, dropping to fifth in the standings.
Mazzarri Is Losing the Plot
Walter Mazzarri started the season on a positive note after overachieving in Serie A with a squad that looked atrocious in the 2013 Summer ICC tournament in Miami, Florida.
Since Thohir's takeover, the squad have taken a significant nosedive and simply don't look threatening in possession.
Mazzarri's coaching philosophy calls for a 3-5-2 formation that relies on quick counter-attacks to spark the offense. The first problem with this is that aside from perhaps Jonathan, there isn't one other player in the Nerazzurri's main rotation that could be labeled as fast.
As a matter of fact, Inter employ a painfully slow midfield at the moment, formed of Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Esteban Cambiasso. While Ricky Alvarez and Rodrigo Palacio are technical, they don't have the breakaway speed necessary to truly emulate the type of play style Mazzarri used at Napoli.
Summer Signings Haven't Been Influential
It's unfortunate that Mauro Icardi has spent more time tattooing the face of his new girlfriend on his forearm than actually playing for Inter, because he looked quite good last season with Sampdoria.
It was for this reason that Inter took a chance on the 20-year-old Argentine No. 9, who showed plenty of promise in his first full season in Serie A.
Months later, Icardi has seldom been used, scoring only two goals in eight domestic appearances.
Ishak Belfodil is the other striker, signed from Parma, who has been even more anonymous.
It remains to be seen how Mazzarri and the new regime plan to use these strikers, but for now all that's certain is the disarray.
Guarin for Vucinic Embarrassment
Erick Thohir was fiercely criticized by Juventus after the botched handling of the potential Mirko Vucinic-for-Fredy Guarin swap that was branded as a done deal by reputable sources such as Reuters (h/t The Guardian).
Now, Guarin has been virtually phased out of the line-up and will look elsewhere for a transfer. It's a shame, considering the fact that the Colombian midfielder has been Inter's most dynamic midfielder despite the occasional disciplinary problem.
Erick Thohir Effect?
For a fanbase that is starving for a trip back to memory lane, Thohir's promises of rebuilding the squad and improving it aren't exactly respected when the likes of Fredy Guarin are nearly sold for 25 cents on the dollar.
Even more alarming, Thohir made the bizarre claim over the summer that his favorite Nerazzurri player was Nicola Ventola. It's still unclear if Thohir's sense of humor is too intricate for anyone else to understand.
What's certain is that the red carpet he made his entrance to Presidency on has been reduced to a discolored muddy rag.
Improvements Should Have Been Made Already
Inter desperately need a new midfielder, a central defender and even another No. 9 if they want to truly compete in Serie A.
With the parity in the league, it's possible that they could be overtaken by an improving Milan or one of the other overachieving clubs that are sniffing around a top-five position.
It'll be very surprising if Inter don't make a quality signing before the January transfer window comes to a close.