Goal.com looks at Inter's leaky rearguard in depth...
In 2011, Inter have been able to go forward and score in convincing fashion, seemingly throwing caution to the wind as Leo has added some of that famed Brazilian offensive flair to an attack that was sorely rigid under his predecessor. But by contrast the Nerazzurri have also been shipping goals with alarming irregularity, conceding 18 in 14 games.
The number of chances they allowed to come the way of Bayern Munich in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg clash, eventually resulting in a 1-0 home loss, is evidence of the issues that pester the team at the back.
|Mou 08-09||21 in 50||0.42|
|Mou 09-10||26 in 56||0.46|
|Leo 10-11||3 in 14||0.21|
Though Leonardo's tenure is of a limited sample size thus far, Milan's blue and black outfit have only kept three clean sheets in 14 matches - narrowly over 20 per cent, less than half the amount of Mourinho's era of success.
This is not to belittle Leonardo's effect since arriving at Inter, but compare and contrast it to recent triumphs and the numbers, without doubt, reveal that defensive improvement is needed if the Nerazzurri are to be remembered as winners, rather than failures, this season.
|Mou 08-09 0.92|
|Mou 09-10 0.79|
|Leo 10-11 1.29|
If the players are not the ones who have changed, though Walter Samuel's injury-enforced absence is noted, the difference then arrives from both efficiency and organsiation. Despite the presence of experienced and savvy players like Maicon, Lucio, Ivan Cordoba, Andrea Ranocchia, Christian Chivu and Javier Zanetti, who arguably comprise one of the deepest defences in all of Europe, the team remain susceptible on the flanks and are also clearly having difficulty dealing with crosses into the area, looking nervous, incompetent, and dare I say shambolic at times.
Leonardo may subscribe to an offensive philosophy, but as the old adage has revealed, "defence wins championships" and without improvement at the back, there will be no trophies for the Brazilian tactician come June.
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