There is an interesting battle going on at Inter at the moment between the manager Claudio Ranieri and Inter’s best player Wesley Sneijder. And it is a battle that Sneijder cannot win.
Sneijder was taking off at half-time during Inter‘s defeat at Lecce last weekend and when asked about being substituted after the game by Sport1, Sneijder said:
“The coach’s decision. I’ll probably talk with him about it tomorrow.”
The problem for Sniejder is that he does not fit into Ranieri’s style of play. Asked about Sneijder, Ranieri said:
“Sneijder must learn the language that Inter is speaking: everyone must attack and everyone must defend. I’m not worried about keeping great players on the bench.”
Talking specifically about the Lecce substitution, Ranieri went off to say:
“It wasn’t only Wesley, but also the two strikers should have interpreted the match better. We were too stretched as a team. Sneijder is an important element, but he must learn the language the team are speaking. At Barcelona everyone fights to win the ball back. There are no big egos. The best teams in every league play well whether they are attacking or defending. I said it would be wonderful, but difficult, to slot in quality players like Sneijder and Forlan. If these players fit into the the framework of the team, we can improve. If this doesn’t happen I won’t waste time thinking about it too much and will fall back on the team that has been getting the results so far.”
Ranieri said there had been no run in with Wes for the time being:
“I haven’t spoken to Sneijder yet, I probably will during the technical meeting this evening. I see him playing behind a lone striker or behing two forwards: to make an attacking midfielder successful behind two players requires sacrifices on the part of everyone. When we play compact, we get results. If we can’t playing two forwards and Sneijder, I have no scruples about making changes. It doesn’t take me long to work things out. Having players available has never been a problem for a coach. A quality squad allows variations in the formation, so you can use the players who are fittest and gradually slot in the others.”
As I said this is a battle that Sneijder cannot win, and I expect to see Inter sell him during the summer, and use the proceeds to make Inter younger and more athletic.