Nainggolan and Iron Men in defense: Spalletti's plan to end seven years of Juventus dynasty
The coach thinks of a team of steel: defense of three with three tough defenders in De Vrij, Miranda and Skriniar.
THE GIANTS OF SPALLETTI
- Kilos and centimeters to turn things around. Now, we call it Iron Inter.
- The coach is open to a three-man defense with De Vrij in the middle of Skriniar and Miranda.
- Could go with the 3-4-2-1 with which he changed Roma and enhanced Nainggolan.
A team of super heroes to end seven years of Juventus dynasty. Millions of Inter fans around the globe are thinking about it and wanting it, watching closely the transfer market that is unfolding for their beloved club. Because adding a Ninja and a defense of Iron Men are really mouth watering, raising the bar of expectations and increasing the desire to wake up one day hoping that it is already matchday 1 in the league to see how this team does.
With the awareness of being able to return to dream big, Luciano Spalletti, meanwhile, is serene and not only it is because of vacation, on the sea and time spent with the family. The team that he has always wanted is taking shape, it has been since achieving the goal of returning to the Champions League: physically strong - because to go far in Europe and excel in Italy, it is essential to have an impenetrable armor - and able to adapt like a chameleon that is the ability to change skin and play in any formation without upsetting the overall balance of the team.
Just like his last Roma, built on a 3-4-2-1, that guaranteed defensive solidity and offensive productivity where the added value was the ability of many players knowing how to play in different roles and to do it well. That formation can quickly transform into a 4-2-3-1, the style of play that Spalletti developed to perfection in the shadow of the Colosseum. He is calm, as said before. So calm that he was at Inter Club party in Tuscany: “The children asked me if with the arrival of De Vrij we will move to defense of three. And yes, we will…”
Background of the past - Strategy or clue for the future? We will soon find out when Appiano Gentile is open for preseason training camp. But in the meantime, Luciano is already imagining the “creature” of his creation to be deployed on the field: going from 3-4-2-1 to 4-2-3-1 and vice versa. Just like his beautiful Roma. With Asamoah and Perisic on the left to do what Florenzi and Salah did on the right: Nainggolan will do what Nainggolan does because no one like him that knows how to insert himself with strength and quality behind the central forward.
Yes, Ninja will be the real key man of everything. He became great in the final third of the field under the guidance of Spalletti. “Nainggolan is the turbine that our engine was missing. He gives you extra blast,” Spalletti said on Sunday evening. And only he knows how much he missed the “blast” last season, that jolt of muscle and adrenaline, that ferocity in the legs to attack the space and hurt the opponent. Especially in the big matches away at Juventus and Napoli where Inter did not score a single goal. They did not want to give up one millimeter to protect the goal of Samir Handanovic. The quality of executing the final pass was missing, so were the strength and courage to hurt the opponent on the counter. Inter needed Nainggolan last year, who is not afraid of anything and is able to overwhelm everyone and everything. He has always been an enemy of the Old Lady.
Bunker - The most immediate work will be for the defense, to raise the bunker in front of Handanovic. Because in Italy, as you may already know, it is the team that allows the least amount of goals that wins the Scudetto, almost never the team that scores the most. The BBC of Juventus did it: muscles, strong, height and personality to minimize the level of danger. And with Skriniar (Slovakian national team, 188 cm, 80 kg), De Vrij (Dutch national team, 189 cm, 79 kg) and Miranda (Brazilian national team, 186 cm, 78 kg), the Inter wall seems to have solid foundation and physicality that can also contribute in the offensive end, on set pieces, an aspect that Spalletti loves to care for.
A double weapon, shield and sword of this team. Inter know that with it, they can go deep in Europe and go after the league, to return to the throne of Italy. The road is far with many solutions to study. With a new leader in the midfield (Dembele?), the runs of Perisic and Icardi’s goals, Spalletti can really dream of a revolution.