Since Stefano Pioli took over as Inter manager, the Nerazzurri have collected 37 points from 16 games. Had Inter maintained that rate all season, they’d currently be second, five points behind Juventus.
ESPN reporter Gab Marcotti had an interesting article on the website about the impact that Pioli has had on Inter’s season. Here are his thoughts:
On Sunday, Inter took on Atalanta, one spot above them in the table and with the third-fewest goals conceded in Serie A. All Pioli’s men did was win 7-1, with hat tricks from Mauro Icardi and Ever Banega. It wasn’t just a huge win, it was a statement win in front of a 60,000-strong crowd that lights a fire under the club that hasn’t really been seen since a certain Jose Mourinho was patrolling the sidelines.
Pioli is nothing like Mourinho and this team has a long way to go before even being in the same conversation as the 2009-10 Treble winners. But what is remarkable is his combination of tactical nous and willingness to make big calls — he left out Joao Mario and Jeison Murillo at the weekend — as well as his ability to keep a lid on the controversy and in-fighting that has long accompanied Inter.
Six points separate them from the Champions League spots and it’s possible that early-season slips mean that ship has sailed. But, other than the Coppa Italia game against Lazio, there have been very few occasions under Pioli when Inter haven’t been competitive or have gotten their approach entirely wrong.
Now all he needs is patience from the club’s owners and stability around the club; two things that, in years past, have been in short supply.
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