With about a month left in this year’s summer transfer window have Inter lived up to the promises made at the end of last season? Unfortunately not! Don’t get me wrong I believe that the players we have signed will be useful to us, but I believe that the biggest thing holding us back is Gasperini’s formations.
We have signed two wing backs, Nagatomo & Jonathan, yet in Gasperini’s formations there is no place for wing backs meaning that these two and Maicon will be forced to play as wingers or full backs dependent on whether we’re playing with a 3 man or 4 man defence. It’s not just the defence that is causing problems with fitting players in, our biggest signing so far is Alvarez who plays CAM or as a winger but so far this pre-season he’s been pushed into a deeper midfield position or as right forward which in the match against Galatasaray he looked pretty uncomfortable in my opinion. Also on the subject of midfielders out of position Gasperini’s formations are also forcing Sneijder (one of the best trequartistas in the game) to play a deep central position which to be fair Wes is taking in his stride and playing well in, though it’s hardly taking advantage of the talent available.
The final problem with his formations in my opinion is the three forwards, the central position is fine with Pazzini & Milito perfect for this role but Eto’o out wide is a problem because he has said several times he wants to play in the middle even though he is great on the left and this could make up his mind about leaving us, also that leaves Pandev for the right and in my opinion he is a complete waste of space, yeah he gets a few goals but in a squad like ours i’m sure even I could score a few! My main problem with Pandev is that he lacks the skill of his team mates and to me he looks clumsy on the pitch.
So what’s the solution?
First thing first a few of our squad need to be sold ASAP as they don’t have the quality to be part of the Inter squad. These players are Rivas, Chivu, Muntari and Pandev, once these guys are gone then we can look at replacing them with talented youngsters that will be back ups to start with with a view to them replacing the older players in the future. In my opinion I don’t actually think we particularly need any more players to be competitive but i do believe we need one more world class center back as that is our weakest area for cover. The biggest transfer rumours at the moment for Inter are Sneijder to Man Utd & Tevez from Man City, after careful consideration i don’t believe transfering Sneijder would bring any advantages to Inter, lets face it the money would be handy to balance the books ready for the FFPR‘s but quality players like him are few and far between so we’d probably spend most of it on his replacement making the sale pointless. That leaves the Tevez situation, i’d be extremely surprised if it happens but if it does I think he would be a great signing for us and would play fantasticly with Eto’o and Sneijder. People have said his mercenary mentality could be an issue but from what i’ve seen he’s like that because he misses Argentina but with Inter’s many Argentinian players i think he could possibly settle well in Milan and even become dedicated to Inter, if Zanetti has got enough faith in him to suggest to Moratti to sign him then he too must think he’ll do well with us. So back to the question of how to solve the problem of Gasperini’s formations and how to fit in the crucial players, the ideal solution would be to return to Inter’s favoured 4-3-1-2 formation but i believe the perfect set up would be a 4-1-2-1-2, which is just a slight variation, rotating players depending on the opponent (see below for an example)
In my formation here one of the first things you may notice is the fact that Zanetti isn’t present, this is because i believe it is time ‘Pupi’ handed over the captain’s armband and took a lesser role on the pitch, i’m not saying i don’t think he should play again but I do think at his age he needs to be a backup. I realise this is controversial but it would be for the good of the club. Anyway in this formation I feel we would have a better coverage of the pitch than in Gasperini’s 3-4-3, when playing defensively Nagatomo & Maicon would hold their defensive positions and under alot of pressure Cambiasso would drop back to provide extra support for the defence, this set up would leave the players in great positions for playing a quick counter attack. When playing attack Nagatomo and Maicon would move up the field to provide support on the wings, Cambiasso would drop back to ensure the defence isn’t left lacking, and Alvarez and Obi would play the wings ahead of the two wing backs. The main job of both the wingers and wingbacks would be to provide the creativity for the attacking trio of Eto’o, Sneijder and Pazzini to take advantage of their abilities to find space and take advantage of it.
On the left you will see the basic setup of Gasperini’s 3-4-3 formation, the first thing that stands out is the amount of space across the pitch, meaning the players have to do twice the work to provide the necessary cover, note that i’ve used Zanetti in this formation in the defence, this is purely down to the fact that he is more consistant than Ranocchia who would be the rotation player. In my opinion this formation puts too much pressure on Nagatomo and Maicon who will have to cover the majority of the pitch not only to provide wing play for the attackers but also having to track all the way back to support the defence, which I think is the main reason during pre-season we’ve been struggling to stop the opponents on the wings. Also when Sneijder moves forward to do what he does best it leaves a massive hole in the center of the pitch for Cambiasso to cover, the only way to combat this is for Wes to stay deeper and Eto’o and Alvarez to track back to fill the space but in doing this they leave Pazzini up front alone which in itself reduces our attacking potential.
Don’t get me wrong I do think Gasperini has the potential to be a great manager for us, he just needs to realise his revolutionary formations may have worked for Genoa but for Inter and especially in Europe they could be very risky with the results being a bit hit and miss. I admire his pushing for attractive attacking play but it needs to be balanced with a good defence and keep control over every inch of the pitch even when we’re not in possession, and i can’t stress enough that he needs to organise his formations around the many strengths and talents of our players not make them fit the formation.