Reaction and Opinion on Hamburg vs Inter

via Inter.it

First, before I begin, the coach's reaction, since his opinion actually matters. His full interview from Inter.it is here:

Walter Mazzarri shared his thoughts with Inter Channel shortly after his team's 1-1 draw with Hamburg.

"Honestly I thought we'd find it a bit tougher than we did today, but we played well. It's shame we conceded the way we did after the break - I think that was the only clear-cut chance we let them have. Strangely enough we seemed to give more away in the first half. We were the better side in the second period but, as happens often in football, we let one in."

"I looked at the result for a moment but that's of relative importance at the moment. The main thing is the way the team performed and they did well. We broke forward well and it was hard because our opponents were closing us down very high up the pitch in the opening 45 minutes. I'm pleased with the improvement we showed.

"Hamburg were a tough team to play against because their wide players cut inside a lot and all four of them were coming forward, so it wasn't easy to keep tabs on all of them. Our defenders did a great job. We also made the odd slip-up of course and that's something we'll work on but if we keep on this path I'll be happy because I can see the progress we're making on a daily basis.

Walter has a lot to say here in a few short paragraphs and I am going parse this down to the atom, if you don't mind and here's why - to my mind, this is the first real friendly that this team has had and to me this one means a bit more. The US tour, depending on who's playing on the field, where everyone is situated, how many player precautions there are and how much time there is in between games can make each individual game mean a lot less than this one, in my opinion.

But I think that this was a real first test of where this team is coming from. The team has had something like 3 weeks of hard training, there were some... well training games really. The trip to Hamburg shouldn't be too mentally taxing time zone wise or culturally.

Let's look at the first significant thing that Walter said:

"Honestly I thought we'd find it a bit tougher than we did today, but we played well. It's shame we conceded the way we did after the break - I think that was the only clear-cut chance we let them have. Strangely enough we seemed to give more away in the first half. We were the better side in the second period but, as happens often in football, we let one in."

I too thought that Inter would find it tougher to play against Hamburg. The Bundesliga begins legitimate games in the first 10 days of August - that makes it 15 days away or something close to it. Hamburg - who have finished in the top half the last 2 years, thanks wikipedia - is finishing up their preparations for the season and we have just finished boot camp not 5 days ago. If you want to call this my making excuses for not winning, I don't care. It's a little strange, because I didn't even care if we won or lost. I have already read reaction to this game in which the observer thought that winning or losing mattered. I don't think it did to the club and I know it didn't to me.

My comments at the beginning of the game was that we looked like a professional club playing against another professional club - something that I don't think I could have said 10 days ago when we matched wits against the Trentino All Stars. Did we look like world beaters? No. But to think that we would is, in my opinion, foolish. But I thought that we looked like we belonged on the field with these guys and that we gave a reasonably good account for the afternoon friendly.

The second half of his first paragraph is probably more distressing. Last year we struggled to put together 2 good halves of the same game and many commentators on this website considered that a problem, as did I. On the one hand I prefer that we finish strong, rather than the other way around, but ideally I would like some consistency.

By the way, I agree with him that Inter gave away space and possession in the first half more than the second. I put a lot of this on the Cambiasso change. Once again, I did not come away impressed with the Argentine.

"I looked at the result for a moment but that's of relative importance at the moment. The main thing is the way the team performed and they did well. We broke forward well and it was hard because our opponents were closing us down very high up the pitch in the opening 45 minutes. I'm pleased with the improvement we showed.

And the team did perform. There were fewer midfield saunters that went from box to box than there were against Vicenza, for example. Hamburg actually had to pass their way up the field. Not that there wasn't room for them to pass mind you, but I was looking for some improvement and I was happy to see something. But to say that I was happy with the midfield play is to miss my point. Inter needs a lot of improvement from last season in this department in order to compete. The management would like to think that a change of coaching is all that's needed for this to happen. But if these first few games are any indication - there needs to be a change of personnel... nudgenudgeCambiassoAlvareznudgenudge. Now at some point there will be Kovacic, and that's a lot, but there needs to be a DM involved too. Last season I was making myself sick in trying to get Duncan back here. Personally, I think he's just the kind of guy that we need. But I have little confidence that he'll get that chance this season.

During the game I made the comment that Hamburg was well suited to be a friendly for Inter. They did all the things that made us uncomfortable last season - they pressured the defense and the midfield way up the field, attacked Inter's defensive flank, and ran off the ball a lot. Teams that did that, no matter if it was a big team or one fighting relegation, they caused problems - a lot of problems. Hamburg was still able to cause issues wide, but the high pressure on the defense was handled a lot better than I had seen in quite a while and it didn't really matter who was in the back for it to happen. I probably could have done without Ranocchia dribbling in the box area. Sometimes it's okay to just launch it.

I think Mazzarri was correct that Inter were able to break on the change of possession. Once the ball changed possession Inter were very apt at going up the wings and attacking. Not only was the goal scored in that way, but there were several chances for Inter to work around the Hamburg penalty area. Having said that, I was disappointed at how little service Icardi got before he was subbed. And I still think Belfodil looks good, even if he didn't really have a lot of time to do much.

"Hamburg were a tough team to play against because their wide players cut inside a lot and all four of them were coming forward, so it wasn't easy to keep tabs on all of them. Our defenders did a great job. We also made the odd slip-up of course and that's something we'll work on but if we keep on this path I'll be happy because I can see the progress we're making on a daily basis.

Here's where I disagree with Mazzarri. Dealing with the ball out wide was a challenge for this team and the Hamburgers were very able to exploit that problem. They kept attacking wide all game long and forcing the team to have to deal with that situation even punishing the team when the Hamburg attacker got behind Andreolli. As I said, it was a good team to have to deal with in preseason forcing Inter to have to go over this problem again and again - better than any drill in practice. If Mazzarri needed any proof - other than all the video of last season - that this was an area of concern, then he has it. The wide midfielder and the central midfielder on that side need to close down the flank faster than we have seen thus far.

However, from a morale standpoint the last thing that Mazzarri needs to do is to over criticize the squad for not being perfect so early into the preparation. Did it look great? No. Was it better? It wasn't as bad as it could have been, that's for sure.

So did I disagree with Mazzarri that the defenders did a great job? Yeah, I wouldn't say great. And yes there was the odd "slip up". But I would also say that there was some improvement. I would wager to say that Hamburg was a step or three above Siena and Inter looked a ton better today than against the lower teams of Serie A.

I would say this, though - Inter looked a ton better against the counter today than they have in a long, long, long time. Yes, there were slip ups, like when Cambiasso wouldn't step up against the Hamburg midfield allowing them an eternity to aim a clear shot on goal from 20-25 meters. But that kind of mistake shows up on video like the shining of a noonday sun. I am hopeful that kind of mistake will be worked on.

To put a bookend on this thing, I was very heartened by the game, warts and all. I was expecting a much more prepared and fit team to waltz all over Inter, but that wasn't the case at all. I would say that at this point both teams looked about equally as dangerous and I think that's good news for us.

FORZA INTER

Team_medium

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join The Offside Inter Milan

You must be a member of The Offside Inter Milan to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Offside Inter Milan. You should read them.

Join The Offside Inter Milan

You must be a member of The Offside Inter Milan to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Offside Inter Milan. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker