Over the last couple of seasons, the first words to roll off the lips of any Inter fan are; ‘this is our season’. The following 36 fixtures lead to constant frustration, depression, and anxiety. The 17/18 season Inter would need the full 36 matches to qualify for the Champions League. Their fate was decided on match day 36 against Lazio in where they would take 4th spot. The 18/19 season Inter would take just as long to determine their Champions League fate.
Ultimately Inter would not have qualified for Champions League in the last 2 years if UEFA never changed the rules. Allowing the tops 4 teams to qualify effectively from 17/18 season Inter slipped into the competition 2 years in a row.
What is going to change this season? Inter have had countless changes since the conclusion of the most recent season. Conte, signing a champion coach who coached Juventus and Chelsea both to league titles. Further this he had an impressive display as the Italian national coach in 2016. Ultimately on the outset it looks like Inter have secured competitive football under Conte. But is Conte the answer to Inter’s prayers?
Unfortunately it is too early to tell. With this being said, Inter cannot expect the signing of a coach to change the entire team. At Chelsea and Juventus, Conte was handed a team with limitless options. He was handed a team with a solid foundation. This is definitely not the fact, especially considering the drama of the most recent season. On and off the field, the foundation of the team was extremely rattled. From getting knocked out of all competitions, to losing their captain to internal dramas. This would all be outside of Conte’s control; he would need to discipline the team well to ensure this doesn’t happen. But ultimately he will need to build a solid team foundation and a great team culture.
The next change for Inter this season is Financial Fair Play (FFP) clearance. Inter has been bound by FFP sanctions for the last couple of seasons. This has seen Inter struggle to entice players to come and play for Inter. More recently Inter missed out on signing Cancelo, who had an incredible season with Juventus. As well as Rafinha who scored a crucial goal against Inter in the Champions League for Barcelona. With the sanctions now being lifted, every transaction Inter makes will be going under the microscope.
Although the transfer sanctions have been lifted, it seems that Inter is struggling to entice top players. This can be put down to multiple things. Firstly Inter will struggle to lure players while the previously mentioned cracked foundations are still exposed. Albeit that the arrival of Antonio Conte will provide Inter with some stability, but is it enough.
Finally Inter’s last season did not go to plan according to the fans and management. It was a season where Juventus broke away and won by 11 point, Napoli was clear in second 10 points clear. The battle for 3rd and fourth was tightly contested. The only issue with this is that is that all teams within the fight for third place could have been wrapped up the crucial Champions league positions well before the conclusion of the season.
Now it’s time to revisit the first question – is Inter destined for an average season? Juventus seem to be way ahead of the rest of the competition. Napoli are continuing to reinforce their team ensuring that they are continuing to improve season to season. So where does that leave Inter? With the current signings and rumours, it cannot be seen that Inter can improve to the point of challenging for the title. Inter need to ensure stability within the team as well as some purchases to reinforce their squad.
Ultimately ‘YES’ with what has been seen, Inter will fail to challenge Juventus for the title, and will have an average season.