Okay, the game itself was a disaster on many levels. Casiraghi appears to have finally worn out his welcome as manager of the U21s. Mannone, the goalkeeper, lost his mind in the first 5 minutes and young players being young took a while to settle down. I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about what Casiraghi’s theories on the game at large or strategies on this game alone are. But by and large I wasn’t too impressed with what looked like a lack of ideas going forward.
And yes, I know that the photos are from the first game in the tie, but they were all I could find.
The purpose here is just to share some thoughts on Inter’s young guns since for many of these guys playing time in Serie A is spotty – or, as in the case of Ranocchia, I don’t really get a chance to watch his team play.
Destro: Due to crappy links to the game, I didn’t see too much of Destro’s play, although he probably had one of the best attempts at a score for the Italians at the death of the half. He also was coming very deep into midfield for the ball and trying to be the link of a defending midfield and the other forward Okaka. Destro was subbed at the half for Marilungo but considering the performance that Okaka had this game – Casiraghi took off the wrong guy. The superior technical ability of Destro would have come in much better stead. Destro at least made a couple attempts at goal.
Santon: Davide has just come back from 2 knee surgeries and near a whole season on the slab. I thought that he had a very credible game for his first whole 90’ in a very long time. Attacking on the Italy left he was very effective making nice crosses, winning free kicks and corners. Defending he was around ¾ effective. He was making interceptions and tackles but every once in a while he needed help. In the first overtime period while he was defending a pass deflected off someone in front of him to land perfectly for someone running onto it behind him. His mistake was a lack of awareness of the runner. He was otherwise in decent position.
The real lack of defensive coverage was a fault of Casiraghi’s. There were 2 defensive midfielders in the middle of the park, but the 2 offensive midfielders basically went wherever they wanted. The two fullbacks were basically left to cover the wings on their own.
Speaking of which, Santon saved a goal coming from the left in perfect coverage as the hapless goalkeeper stayed glued to his line while a cross burned across from the right skipping the 6 meter box right infront of him.
I thought that Santon was a real protagonist for the team who was able to fulfill more than one function and was able to go from defending a 2-0 tie to fighting for qualification life.
Ranocchia: FrogBoy looked really good yesterday doing what he does best. He was dominant in the air and with the attacker in front of him he was able to tackle and mark with skill. What he didn’t look comfortable doing was running towards goal. When the defensive shape broke down – when the ball was advanced faster than the defense could retreat to position – he was much less effective. And slow-ish. He, and the team, relied on Ogbonna to bail the defense out of trouble.
With the ball in front of him it’s hard to determine who Ranocchia reminds me of, but I am tempted to say a better coordinated, less nutsy Marco Materazzi. The sky is safe with Ranocchia anywhere around the ball and he was very able to control his zone. His physical limitations mean that there needs to be a compliment to him in any defense. Looking over our defense right now, assuming Ranocchia joins us next summer; I don’t think the speedy compliment to him isn’t on the senior team. And no, Cordoba doesn’t count right now.
*** Special consideration to Bolzoni who was also on the field, he was one of us once. He didn't have an especially great game, but I would just like to acknowledge that he was there and he has a Championship with Inter too. For those who don't know, Bolzoni is with Genoa now, on loan to Siena in Serie B***