Nerazzurri desperate to improve on disappointment of last season.
Our “Serie A Six to Watch” series continues with Inter Milan, who will hope the appointment of former Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri helps to re-establish the club.
It was undoubtedly a season to forget for the Nerazzurri last year, with their ninth-placed finish one of the worst in recent memory.
The Andrea Stramaccioni-era was brought to an end despite a promising start, while injuries didn’t help his cause the club’s slide down the table from being genuine Scudetto contenders in November to missing out on Europe altogether was too much for owner Massimo Moratti to take.
Instead, he opted for experience over youthful exuberance in his latest appointment, having tempted Mazzarri away from Naples where he enjoyed a great deal of success at the San Paolo.
The Italian tactician helped the club return to the upper echelons of Serie A after a long absence while also ending their 22-year wait for a trophy, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can repeat that success in the north.
Along with Mazzarri arrives his preferred three-man defence, and this aspect of his managerial decisions will arguably be the most important. The tactical set-up has previously been implemented at the club by former boss Gian Piero Gasperini, but after a disastrous start to the season he didn’t last long before being sacked.
Mazzarri will hope the same fate doesn’t await him as he is handed the responsibility of making the club competitive again, and with the transfer strategy primarily focused on youth, he will need a great deal of luck too.
What the Nerazzurri do have in their favour is a lack of European football, which ultimately will allow them to focus all their attention on Serie A as their rivals look to achieve success in the Champions League and Europa League respectively.
Coupled with the arrival of the likes of Mauro Icardi and Ishak Belfodil, along with the expected development of midfield starlet Mateo Kovacic, there are exciting aspects that await Inter Milan supporters next season.
Nevertheless, expectations are fairly muted ahead of the new campaign, and while pre-season results haven’t been overly impressive, Mazzarri will be confident in his ability to oversee a resurgence at the club.
Probable Line-up in Serie A this season (3-5-2):