Following a disappointing season last year, Stramaccioni has made a few changes up front that seem to have gotten Inter Milan back on track.
"GOALS win games" - a statement so true, it simplifies the objective of the sport like no other. Whether you elect to punt the ball forward or emulate the 'tiki taka' style of play, at the end of the day its the end product that counts.
We, at Goal.com, have an obssession with goals and their importance as our name suggests. While doing our best not to over-complicate things with our infatuation with this partucluar aspect of the game, we will be presenting a statistical as well as tactical evaluation of all the top teams in Europe and will try to render a verdict on where these teams lie in the goal scoring department. Today, we analyse the fortunes in front of goal for Italian giants, Inter Milan.
Inter Milan have started this season far better than they did the last. They scored only 68 goals in the league during the last term at an average of 1.47 goals per game while they have managed 23 goals so far this season at 1.77 goals per game.
|Season||GS Home||GS Away||Home Avg.||Away Avg.||Total||Total Avg.|
The Primary Strike Force
Inter Milan have added Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio to their ranks this season but it is likely that the former will accompany Diego Milito up front for the most part as he has done at the start of the campaign. Cassano and Milito have different styles that complement each other and the duo have struck up a good understanding almost immediately.
a> Diego Milito
- Statistical Evaluation
A year wise representation of Diego Millito's contribution, in terms of goals and assists, for Inter Milan..
Key Figures -
1) Apart from his lacklustre 2010-11 season, Milito has averaged a goal every 1.72 games.
2) Last season the Argentine either scored or assisted 48.52% of Inter's goals in all competitions.
- Tactical Evaluation
Jose Mourinho signed Diego Milito in the summer leading into the treble winning season after the striker averaged around 20 goals a season over the preceding five years. He went on to score 30 goals that season having adjusted to his new surroundings with minimum fuss.
Milito is every manager's dream player, he has the ability to walk into the first team but never takes that for granted. He is a hard worker and tactically astute on the field which prompts managers to trust that he will follow their instructions and execute them efficiently. His clinical finishing is undoubtedly the best aspect of his game and it is that goal scoring prowess that has seen the 33 year old average a goal every two games throughout his career.
- Strengths - Work Rate, Movement, Finishing
- Area Of Improvement - Dribbling
Recent Form - Milito has started this season in decent form and has always been reliable for Inter, rarely producing a 'bad' performance. His best game this campaign came against Pescara when he scored once and provided two assists.
b> Antonio Cassano
- Statistical Evaluation
A year-wise representation of Antonio Cassano's contribution, in terms of goals and assists, for Inter Milan..
Key Figures -
1) This season, Cassano has created the most goal scoring opportunities for Inter Milan with 18, four more than chief playmaker Wesley Sniejder.
2) Despite averaging just 1.5 shots per game this season, he has managed to score 4 goals, already equalling his tally for AC Milan throughout last season.
- Tactical Evaluation
The striker has always been more of a creator than a prolific goal scorer. He has excellent vision and regularly drops into the hole behind the main striker to create openings while he does make the most of his chances when they present themselves. The fact that he has created more opportunites in front of goal than any other Inter player this season speaks volumes of his creative ability in the final third.
- Strengths - Creativity, Passing, Dribbling
- Area of Improvement - Aerial ability, Composure, Work rate
Recent Form - Cassano has hit the ground running since his switch from AC Milan this summer. He has been a creative force for Inter in the final third while also managing to score four goals himself. If he does continue in this sort of form, his signing may well be viewed as a master-stroke come the end of the season.
Rodrigo Palacio signed for Inter from Genoa this summer but is having to wait for a decent run in the first team. The 30 year old has been restricted to just two substitute appearances in the Serie A this season and his chances could remain limited if the partnership between Milito and Cassano continues to flourish. The Argentine plays as a second striker who uses his pace and movement to good effect while boasting a good goal scoring record.
Marko Livaja is a 19 year old striker from Croatia who joined the club last year. He was loaned out last season but has made six appearances for the senior team this time around although only two of those were in the Serie A for a total duration of 13 minutes. However, Andrea Stramaccioni seems inclined to give the youngster more opportunities in the other competitions. The Croat has a good turn of pace, is strong in the air and is an able finisher.
The Supporting Team
Apart from the influential Wesley Sneijder who is the chief playmaker in the side, Inter's midfield does not offer too much experience in the creative department. Fredy Guarin has shown flashes of brilliance since his arrival and has impressed with FC Porto previously. Philippe Coutinho on the other hand is touted as a rising star at Inter after a successful loan spell at Espanyol last season and a good start back at the San Siro this term.
Ricardo Alvarez was expected to be a key player when he was signed last season but never he truly found his feet and has been restricted to just three appearances during the current campaign. Although Coutinho is yet to cement his place in the starting line up, Stramaccioni is not afraid to play the young Brazilian and one would expect to see plenty more of him as the season progresses. The youngster is capable of dribbling past defenders with ease and has shown signs of maturity off late.
Guarin is a midfielder who causes defenders a lot of problems. His decision making does let him down at times but he is still a potent threat in attack. Sneijder orchestrates proceedings for the team and is heavily involved in the side's build-up play. His vision is exceptional while he remains one of the best passers in world football. If afforded time and space, he can unleash a lethal shot from raange.
- Pivotal Pointers
1) Sneijder averages an assist every 2.97 games of his Inter Milan career.
2) Coutinho scored 5 goals in 16 games while on loan to Espanyol last season averaging a goal every 3.2 games.
3) In the 2009-10 season, Guarin scored 10 goals and provided 8 assists for FC Porto in 44 appearances. He averaged a goal or assist every 144 minutes that season.
The Preferred Combination
Andrea Stramaccioni usually opts for a 3-5-2 formation in which Javier Zanetti and Yuto Nagamoto play down the flanks as wing-backs. Esteban Cambiasso anchors the midfield while Sneijder and Guarin play ahead of him. At times, Walter Gargano plays the role of anchorman which leaves Guarin on the bench as Cambiasso plays in a more advanced position. Coutinho takes up one of the two advanced midfield positions when he is involved. Cassano regularly drops off Milito to create openings while the Argentine leads the line.
Inter Milan are very much a side trying to revive itself after a poor 6th place league finish last season. Andrea Stramaccioni is the man given the task of putting the pieces back together for the Nerazzurri and his side have shown some encouraging signs of revival. Cassano seems to have revitalised the attack while Milito has been in fine form as well.
With the likes of Coutinho and Guarin gradually getting more involved in the first team, the attack is starting to look a lot sharper in the final third. If Inter keep progressing at this rate, they will score plenty of goals this season and that should help them compete for honours.
- Final Rating
Aerial Ability: 2
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