Rise And Fall Of Inter

After watching Inter's second crumble in a week it bewilders me that the flawless treble winning Champions of last year have swiftly kissed two potential titles goodbye in a matter of four days.

Inter's thrashing by Milan saw them lose pace in the Scudetto race as they went from 2 points behind to 5 points. Moreover if that wasn't enough Napoli's impressive comeback against Lazio on Sunday, also saw Inter drop down to third. Despite this one would have expected that Inter would at least make it to the Semi-finals of the Champions League as last year's Champions were drawn against Shalke.

The German's of Shalke are known to be tough opponents but few German sides have come to the San Siro and conquered.

This statistic didn't seem to be the case as Shalke crushed Leonardo's Inter 5-2 in what was a horrific display from the defending Champions. With both these losses making front page news, I cannot help but contemplate the state of Inter.

Leonardo's philosophy seems to be to attack first and defend later which was seen in both games against Milan and Shalke. Against Milan Leonardo opted for an attacking trident of Pazzini, Eto'o and Pandev with a midfield of two against the likes of Gattuso, Van Bommel and Prince Boateng. A brave move, if the defence was fit, but one that was costly in the end.

With an already weakened defence- with Lucio suspended, Samuel injured and Chivu and Ranocchia barely passing the fitness test- one would have easily seen this option was not the best. Surely the midfield should have provided more cover for the defence?

The same thing occurred against Shalke where once again too much emphasis was laid on the offense and too little in defence.

Despite Inter scoring two early goals Shalke managed to always bring themselves back eventually tearing Inter to shreds in their own back yard.

Inter's dismal display over the past two games saw their fans pour out of the stadium with horror leaving them reminiscing over the Mourinho days.

What also amazes me was Leonardo's lack of instruction in telling his players to push hard on the counter down Milan's left flank where Zambrotta was positioned. The left flank of Milan's was exceptionally weak, as Zambrotta is a shadow of the player he used to be, but above all it was his first game he had started after being out for several months injured.

Instead, play seemed to stick down the centre to Pazzini or to the right where an inform and highly impressive Abate was proving to be an indestructible force.

If Leonardo lasts until the end of the season he will have too look long and hard at the last two matches and try to fix his tactical and player problems in hope of winning anything this season. It is a shocker to see a side that absolutely conquered the peninsula last year, to have now fallen hard in just four days.


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