Andrea Ranocchia has been many things at Inter, Captain, ex-captain, a meme, loaned out, sold and for the most part of recent seasons, a bench warmer.
Coming into the opening game versus Lecce, fans were confident of Inter’s new defense. Skriniar and De Vrij looked solid ending last season, D’ambrosio’s breakthrough season, the return of Bastoni and the free signing of Godin assured fans of 5 top center-backs options.
A week previous to the opening game an injury ruled Godin out of the game & Bastoni lacked match fitness to start, no one was worried Skriniar & De Vrij could handle 90 minutes, worst case we have Ranocchia on the bench as cover.
As is the “Pazza Inter” way, De Vrij was injured in the warm up catapulting Ranocchia into the starting line-up. Reactions on twitter were as expected, doubts crept in, some fans unsure of even a draw. Thankfully “Pazza Inter” is no more.
Ranocchia V Lecce
Andrea began the game looking shy & sluggish, his touch is what we all remember it to be. This soon left the ex-captains game, he stormed into his first start. Determined to prove something, to show Conte he can work in his system. The Italian international displayed a performance of what should’ve been expected from his early days. Inter went on to win 4-0. A marvelous first win for both Conte & Inter. Ranocchia had taken his chance shown fans and coaches alike his ability hadn’t disappeared. Player ratings flew around social media, few had him below a 6.7/10. Our team rated him 7.3/10 for the Lecce game.
Ranocchia V Cagliari
Fast forward 6 days, Inter – Cagliari approaches. No De Vrij, Godin & Bastoni on the Bench. D’Ambrosio, Skriniar & Ranocchia start at the back. Following his previous performance, the mood is relaxed but apprehensive considering the task ahead. Cagliari on their own patch, difficult and stubborn.
Ranocchia started this game exactly as he ended the previous one, full of confidence & clearly buoyed with the managers show of faith. Andrea was magnificent under the long high balls which rained down on the back 3 the entire first half. Confident with the ball at his feet, passing well, pressing forward, looking the part in Conte’s side.
Having played a solid first half, the heat & previous 90 minutes began to show. Not to the determent of the team or his own performance. Conte rewarded him within the game by subbing off Candreva for Godin in the 79th minute. Andrea did pick up a yellow card in the 86th minute for a tired looking challenge. With over 180 minutes played the Player Ratings looked kindly on his performance. 6.3/10, a solid display.
Overall surely no one can complain with Andrea Ranocchia’s opening performances. 2 wins from 2. 6 points, 6 goals scored, 1 goal conceded. It see’s Inter sitting pretty on top of the league table, even if its only after 2 games. As well as only facing lower ranked sides. Nonetheless, this is a step forward for Inter and Ranocchia.
Andrea Ranocchia has been reviewed well after these games, his performances spoke to the player he was before & appears to be again. Whether or not he gets another start this season. The Ranocchia Renaissance is well & truly underway.