Inter Season Review
By Max De Luca
Udinese on Sunday.
Interisti had not witnessed carnage of this magnitude in recent memory and left many supporters crying ‘Dio mio’ at the sorry scenes in San Siro.
A rash of injuries to key players, tactical mishaps, comical defending and plain old bad luck derailed a campaign that had held so much promise in the early stages.
Sixteen losses and a ninth-placed finish was the end result as we take a look at the highlights and lowlights of a season that is better best forgotten.
Player Of The Season: Samir Handanovic
The Slovenian goalkeeper has been value for money since his €11 million move to Inter last summer. The towering 28-year-old is the only Nerazzurri player in the current squad who would walk into pretty much any starting lineup in the world. His heroics between the sticks this season have attracted many suitors, including Barcelona. Inter would be wise to hang on to Handanovic for years to come.
High Point: 3-1 Win Over Juventus
Nobody gave the Beneamata a fighting chance ahead of the Derby d’Italia in Turin on November 3 but Inter shocked the country by coming from behind to secure a 3-1 victory. The Nerazzurri not only ended Juve’s 49-game unbeaten run in Serie A but handed the Italian champions their first defeat in their new stadium. The win was sweet on many levels for everyone associated with the club.
Low Point: 4-1 Loss To Fiorentina
Inter never showed up in a one-sided affair at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on February 17. The margin of the defeat was not as concerning as the lack of competitiveness by the visitors. It was truly men against boys on that afternoon. The Nerazzurri were never the same after that match and the lopsided loss triggered a downward spiral for the Nerazzurri that would see them drop six of their next 10 games.
One Word That Best Sums Up The Season: Debacle
I am fairly certain that ending the campaign with 16 losses, including seven at home, finishing 33 points behind Serie A champions Juve, ending with a negative goal difference and missing out on Europe all together qualifies as a debacle.
Reason For Hope: Mateo Kovacic and Mauro Icardi
Inter surprised many by pulling off a spectacular transfer coup in January by landing 19-year-old Mateo Kovacic. The much-coveted Croatian youngster was given a baptism by fire and kept his head above water in the 13 Serie A appearances he made since joining the club. The teenager is definitely one for the future.
Mauro Icardi is not officially an Inter player yet but Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone has already announced that the 20-year-old will join the Nerazzurri in the summer. The striker is one of the hottest prospects in Italy and gives Inter a young set of legs upfront in a position that is dominated by veterans.
Song That Best Sums Up The Season: Down In A Hole
Just look up the classic Alice in Chains song on YouTube. It’s how I felt after every Inter loss this season, especially the setbacks against Siena and Palermo.