Inter cannot expect to replicate their Serie A success in Europe with such a defensive style of play, a report in Italian media argued today.
Antonio Conte told reporters after last night’s win over Sassuolo that the Nerazzurri would still be in the UEFA Champions League if they had played with that kind of determination all season.
Calciomercato.com Columnist Stefano Agresti disagrees, however, saying Inter – who only had 30% possession against Roberto De Zerbi’s side – needed better football and better players to progress in Europe.
“You can win using the counterattack in Europe, like PSG did against Bayern Munich last night, but you still have to be more proactive than Inter normally are,” he argued .
“Inter need to be able to control games with personality on the ball rather than technique and physical strength.
“It’s not a question of aesthetics, it’s a question of attitude, and this is where Conte himself must take the next step.
“Antonio is on the cusp of winning his fifth league title in seven seasons at club level, but he has never had success in the Champions League and in fact it has often been a huge disappointment.
“It’s probably not a coincidence.”
Agresti also said Inter need to broaden their squad depth if they are to improve on this season’s embarrassing group stage exit, which has seen Conte’s side finish under Real Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach and the Shakhtar Donetsk.
Inter do not have a fourth-choice striker behind Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez, the latter being “ often injured ”, while their options for reinforcement in defense are very short as their central defenders starting point.
Conte would also need a midfield upgrade, despite being Inter’s ‘most complete’ department with Christian Eriksen and Nicolo Barella’s class.