Kevin Pogorzelski Date:19th February 2018 at 9:05pm
Written by:

After a five goal rout of Chievo in early December, Inter were undefeated and sitting happily at the top of Serie A with a wry smile that two years of increased investment was finally set to bear fruit under new coach Luciano Spalletti.

However, it has taken just over two months for the squad to start displaying the cracks that underlined recent failures to reach the much coveted Champions League qualification places, let alone challenge for the Scudetto.

While even the most ardent Interisti would have struggled not to raise a smile at the comical way in which Milan Skriniar and Andrea Ranocchia combined to fire Genoa ahead on Saturday night, the fact that the latter is still pulling on a Nerazzurri shirt must concern them.

When you look at the options available to Spalletti, the lack of depth is astonishing for a club of their stature and apparent determination to return to the top table of European football.

That Inter had remained unbeaten since Udinese visited the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in mid-December is possibly more surprising than their simultaneous inability to turn one point into three until victory against Bologna last weekend.

The Nerazzurri give the impression of a solid Serie A side, full of reasonable talent, but with a soft centre and limited individual ability to propel them past the opposition, if their few stars are unavailable.

How the Inter hierarchy could end another transfer window without providing back-up for Mauro Icardi is baffling, given the obvious dependency they have on the Argentinean’s goalscoring prowess. A 19-year-old Yann Karamoh is certainly not the answer, whereas Gabriel Barbosa is showing what minutes on the pitch can do to a player on loan in Brazil.

With one win in 10, the Biscone are in real danger of missing out when the prizes are handed out in May and somehow, and what may be even more concerning, becoming the laughing stock of Milan.

As the Nerazzurri looked down on the rest of Italian football, AC Milan appeared to have already sewn up that title, as they watched an expensively assembled group of players fail to replicate anything close to the sum of their parts.

However, new coach Gennaro Gattuso, or simply time together, is transforming the Rossoneri’s season and they find themselves within just seven points of their bitter rivals.

Hosting bottom club Benevento on Saturday night has become a huge test for an Inter team lacking confidence, with a Derby della Madonnina to following. Failure to beat the Witches could result in more than just laughs being directed at Ranocchia and co., such as Spalletti’s ability to deliver this term.