Eintracht Frankfurt V Inter Milan: What Mazzarri Learned in Pre-Season Friendly

Dan ColasimoneContributor IAugust 10, 2014

Eintracht Frankfurt V Inter Milan: What Mazzarri Learned in Pre-Season Friendly

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    Following some decent showings in the International Champions Cup, Inter Milan took on Eintracht Frankfurt in another pre-season friendly ahead of the start of Serie A.

    Walter Mazzarri's side went down 3-1 to the Germans in what was a disappointing display overall.

    After starting brightly and taking a lead through Ruben Botta, Inter conceded three quick goals, courtesy of Lucas Piazon and a Haris Seferovic brace to lose control of the match.

    The coach should have picked up more valuable knowledge about his side with the season proper fast approaching.

    Here are five things Mazzarri will have learned from the game.

This System Suits Nagatomo

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    The 3-5-2 formation that Mazzarri is so fond of brings out the best in Japanese wing-back Yuto Nagatomo, especially now that Inter's defence has been bolstered by Nemanja Vidic.

    A sturdy back three of Andrea Ranocchia, Vidic and Juan Jesus enables Nagatomo to hug the left touch line and scoot forward frequently to join in attacking movements.

    That freedom granted to the 27-year-old allows him to fully exploit his best attributes: pace, stamina and skill.

    His assist for Botta's goal was another bright moment in Nagatomo's pre-season.

Inter's Defence Will Be Tested by Pace

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    The Milan side's defence might have a sturdy look to it, but Eintracht Frankfurt exposed it as being susceptible to rapid attacks.

    For the first two goals Inter conceded, in particular, positioning errors from Ranocchia left Vidic exposed.

    At 32, the Serb is no longer able to turn and accelerate rapidly, and he therefore could not recover the situation on either occasion. 

    Speed is not always essential at the back, but a lack of pace means understanding between central defenders is all the more important. Inter have work to do in that department.

Obi Can Be a Liability

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    After a season on loan at Parm, Joel Obi is back at Inter. Mazzarri might be wondering whether he is deserving of a first-team place after a number of shaky displays in pre-season.

    The Nigerian gave the ball away too often against Eintracht Frankfurt and was guilty of getting caught out of position on several occasions, most crucially in the lead-up to the third goal Inter conceded.

    His replacement Danilo D'Ambrosio only needed to have a relatively error-free second half in order to look more impressive than Obi.

A 4-3-3 Formation Is a Viable Alternative to 3-5-2

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    At half-time, Mazzarri made five changes and also switched to a 4-3-3 formation for the first time in this pre-season.

    After losing composure somewhat in the process of conceding three quick goals in the first half, Inter regained some solidity in the second term under their altered system.

    Even if the former Napoli coach opts to use 5-3-2 in the majority of Serie A games, he will at least realise he has a workable Plan B.

     

No Attacking Midfielder in the Squad Stands out Clearly Above the Rest

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    Mazzarri tried out a host of players in central midfield roles in this game, but no one man stood out as the most dangerous playmaker.

    Yann M'Vila, Obi, Mateo Kovacic, Rene Krhin and Hernanes were all utilised during the match, but none of the midfielders took control of proceedings, and few chances were created for the strikers.

    This is probably the most troubling aspect of Inter's pre-season for the Nerazzurri coach, who must find a conductor to lead his orchestra when Serie A gets underway.