How Antonio Conte Has Made Inter the Team to Beat in Serie A This Season

There’s a new sheriff in town. 

After Inter scraped to a fourth-place finish last season under Luciano Spaletti, and with the club divided over the Mauro Icardi saga, the writing was on the wall for Italian coach. 

Antonio Conte was a wanted man by at least four of Serie A’s top teams this summer, but the ex-Chelsea man made the decision to become the new Nerazzurri boss and try to end Juventus’ monotonous dominance of Italian football. 

Alexis Sanchez

The Milan club has made a perfect start to the new domestic campaign, winning each of their six games, and have done so without any serious problems. Conte’s side have a great opportunity to extend their lead over ?Juventus to five points when the two teams go toe-to-toe at San Siro next Sunday evening, and the Inter coach will be confident going into the crunch match. 

But how have ?I Nerazzurri become such a well-drilled side? 

Conte was ruthless in his transfer demands, and froze out star striker ?Mauro Icardi, Belgian warrior Radja Nainggolan and winger Ivan Perisic. The ex-Juve boss recruited a mixture of youth and experience to add a touch of hunger and plenty of know-how to his side.

Inter invested in serial winner Diego Godin, a man-mountain who knows what it takes to guide an underdog to domestic success over their superior heavyweights. Stefano Sensi was signed from Sassuolo, and the young box-to-box midfielder has shone in the opening stages of the season, being touted as the best player in the league by many pundits. 

Nicolo Barella was brought in to add more steel to the engine room, whilst ?Romelu Lukaku and ?Alexis Sanchez signed from ?Manchester United, as Conte seems confident in helping these two stars recapture their scintillating form of old. 

It’s not only the Italian manager’s shrewd business acumen which has contributed to Inter’s sensational start however. Players who were deemed surplus to requirements under previous regimes have been reintroduced into the fray under their new coach, and the likes of Antonio Candreva and Danilo D’Ambrosio have been given a new lease of life. 

The former Juve boss’ ability to squeeze every drop of talent and determination out of his squad has helped him to win titles in the past, and it may well do so again. 

?Chelsea stormed to Premier League success under Conte in the 2016/17 season, playing an exciting but organised brand of football with a three-man defence. This system has been the former Italy boss’ go-to formation, and he has adopted it once more with his new side. 

Romelu Lukaku,Milan Skriniar

Experienced goalkeeper Samir Handanovi? is arguably the best shot-stopper in the league, and the Slovenian giant is protected by a brick-wall defence. Godin, Milan Skriniar and Stefan De Vrij form an incredible unit in front of Handanovic, and the ?ex-Atleti defender is the perfect man to instil his manager’s winning mentality into his teammates on the pitch. 

One stick that has been used to beat Conte is his occasional lack of judgement when it comes to man-management. The Italian has had great success in the past by producing a settled team and not favouring rotation. Whilst this is a good short-term approach, managers can’t build a legacy when half of the dressing room is grumbling and unhappy

It seems Conte may have cracked that enigma at Inter. Six players were rested for I Nerazzurri’s trip to Sampdoria on Saturday evening, and even when the away side went down to ten men, they produced a solid performance to claim another three points. 

Inter have a tendency of crumbling during the winter period of the season, and their frailties eventually become very apparent and are easily exposed. Conte is the man who can stop this inevitable derailing and keep the ship on course.  

With star talent such as Lukaku, Sanchez and Lautaro Martinez, I Nerazzurri have an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of Serie A against Juve, and declare themselves as the team to beat this season. 


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