Wesley Sneijder says he wants an explanation from Claudio Ranieri as to why he was substituted at half-time during Inter’s defeat at Lecce this weekend.
When asked about his withdrawl after the game by Sport1, Sneijder said:
“The coach’s decision. I’ll probably talk with him about it tomorrow.”
Inter tactician Ranieri however, had a more logical explanation for his decision to replace Sniejder:
“He was not playing badly but I wanted to restore [defensive] security,” Ranieri explained, pointing out to his side’s frailties when getting caught out on the counter attack. “We’re still not developing well with 4-3-1-2 [and] we can express ourselves better with 4-4-2. Can he play in behind the forwards? We’ve said it many times before, he is a central player that must be free to make mistakes. He’s a trequartista, he cannot be conditioned to play on the outside. He could play in a 4-4-1-1 but we must then strive to adapt well to a diamond [formation in midfield. We tried it [the diamond] today but we have seen again that the team didn’t cope well with it. We were unable to press well and I changed it. In future we will try maybe with a 4-2-3-1, with [Diego] Forlan on the wing and Sneijder a bit behind the striker. We should try that because in the first half today we did not have the necessary solidity.”
Reading between the lines of Ranieri’s comments, it is clear that he is having trouble fitting Sneijder into his preferred style of play. That is why I expect Sneijder to be sold this summer, as Ranieri prefers to play without him these days.