A very different match from the 0-1 defeat against Novara but another defeat anyway. In the initial 30 minutes Inter did very little to win the game, lacking ideas and penetration. Forlan had two chances but in the end the homeside looked grey and confused. Confusion became a mess after Di Vaio's first goal (provoked by a Lucio's mistake) and Ranocchia's, pardon Di Vaio's, second. A burden only too heavy for a team so frail like the current Inter.
Two nil down and clearly the team had no clue how to get out of that hole. There were nearly 50 minutes still to play: enough time to recover but no idea how to do it. It was the whole team that let the fans and the coach down. Don't blame Ranocchia or Castaignos for not being up to the task. They never smelled any confidence from Ranieri, they know only too well that every mistake or timid game could cost them their place in the team for many weeks, so their displays are always too shy (Castaignos) or too exuberant (Ranocchia), not a balanced approach anyway. None of them has the personality to become a leader, but they have enough talent to blossom as good players. Nurture the nature - this should be the coach's job.
As usual Claudio Ranieri's postgame analysis was honest and objective: "We didn't play as a team after their second goal. Every player tried to do more and then we lacked coherence". Only Mancini, partially, and Mourinho, totally, had complete success with this team. It suggests something about the players and also about Moratti and the board. The coach is not the problem but certainly a part of.
Reverting to 4-4-2 was not enough to recapture the 7 wins in a row form. Against Bologna Inter missed three key players of that winning streak, three playmakers, one for each department: Walter Samuel, Thiago Motta, Diego Milito. Samuel was the man who orchestrated the back four; Motta the game's pacesetter; Milito, with his moves, dictated passes, opened gaps, created scoring chances. Not having substitutes is not a good excuse, on the contrary is the proof of inadequate planning (and nurturing).
Defense: Ranocchia, and not even Lucio, can play Samuel's director role. Chivu did it at Ajax and Roma, he should be Samuel's deputy not Nagatomo's.
Midfield. Cambiasso & Zanetti as a central pair worked only when there was a brain between them (Motta or Sneijder). To think that Cambiasso can act also as emergency playmaker is a recurring mistake at Inter: Ancelotti at AC Milan never asked Gattuso and/or Ambrosini to become Pirlo when he wasn't available; they were there to help the playmaker and if Pirlo wasn't fit Seedorf filled the role.
You can play without playmaker but you can't pick the wrong playmaker. Playing without a brain in midfield can be acceptable when you play against better teams and you rely only on counterattack, a tactic based on a bullet proof defense and quick forwards. At the moment Inter have none.
PS A good thing: facing an average opponent like Olympique Marseille in the Uefa Champions League is the best thing that could happen to Inter in this moment.
Serie A 2011-12 / Day 24
Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Ranocchia, Nagatomo; Zanetti, Cambiasso; Faraoni (69' Castaignos), Sneijder, Forlan (61' Poli); Pazzini. Coach: Ranieri
Bologna: Gillet; Raggi, Portanova, Antonsson; Garics, Perez, Mudingayi, Morleo; Ramirez (70' Kone), Diamanti (58' Taider); Di Vaio (76' Acquafresca). Coach: Pioli
Goals: Di Vaio 37’, 38’, Acquafresca 85'
Yellow cards: Sneijder; Diamanti