Nainggolan taking the "new year, new me" approach: living low profile, training hard and asking Inter for trust
A pact of honor among real men. It aims to put Radja Nainggolan back at the center of Inter. The new black and blue life for Il Ninja began in Empoli with 36 minutes played post-suspension, that allowed him to restart the engine and gave a victory to Spalletti to close out 2018.
Everyone is waiting for Radja Nainggolan because his first five months at Inter were very below standard. As a promise to himself, Marotta, Ausilio and Spalletti, the most important men at Inter have made this pact of honor. That Napoli night, when Nainggolan was in the stands for being late for too many times, it was Inter sporting CEO that ended the gossip: “He was wrong, the club was vigilant and took action. This case is closed.”
Very true. Case closed for someone that needs to be re-discovered immediately. With the spotlight over his head, he picked to be low profile during the Christmas holidays, thinking only about the present and future. Inter’s mission is to bring football back to the center of Il Ninja who has been perfect in these first few days of 2019 after such a crazy end of 2018.
So far, Nainggolan has been a disappointment. On the pitch, he suffered too many injuries and relapses, playing very little and missing practically all the key matches in the autumn season. Off the field, we had a series of controversial events like missing (or being late) trainings, passion for casinos, cloned checks and other unprofessional behavior. Inter, for a while, endured, hoping that Il Ninja would soon put the team on his shoulders. But when it was understood that concrete action must be taken, Ausilio, Marotta and Spalletti used the first hard fist to push Nainggolan back on track, leaving behind all the controversy.
After the suspension and the audio log circulating around social media with him saying that he missed Roma and this was him causing a mess so Inter would sell him back to the Giallorossi, the Inter pact has arrived. So Radja went temporarily off social media but eventually returned publishing a picture of the first training of 2019. He spent his Christmas holidays in Cagliari, with family and friends. This was fundamental. They have given Ninja normality again, something that Inter are asking for.
Then there was a video of him training in the dark alone along the Poetto beach, wearing the Inter colors along. Radja has asked for trust and the club has decided to give trust but only under certain conditions. This is the pact, something that Nainggolan, starting in this new year of 2019, intends to respect. In Appiano, they are talking about how he is training extremely hard to get back in top form. Tomorrow, there is Benevento but his first objective is Sassuolo, the game that he missed (first leg) because of an injury suffered during pre-season. Five months of fire came but Radja is still here, he is not leaving but he must prove to be worthy of Inter.