Tag Archive for 'Lukaku'

Inter: its leadership problems

Inter’s march in this sports season has characteristics that deserve psychological evaluation. It has won 12 matches but lost 6 and drawn only 1. These data seem to highlight an unbalanced team mentality between winning or losing. An aspect that was not present last year, in contrast, in which the draws were as numerous as those of the other top six teams. Another aspect highlighted after the resumption of the championship is that after important winning performances against Napoli and the final against Milan two defeats against lower level teams occurred. Finally, the Skriniar issue. How was it possible for the team captain to be sent off for two serious fouls? Not to mention the difficulties Lukaku continues to show on the pitch.

It seems to me that these data highlight the lack of continuity in the quality of effort, which in my opinion for any team should constitute the true 12th player on the pitch and which many summarize with the words “collective strength.” The sources of this trait lie in the role played by the coach, who must be adept in his daily work at leading interpersonal relationships among the players and getting them to recognize how mutual support is critical to success.

However, the strength of the collective also lies in having player-leaders. Joachim Low who led Germany for many years winning the World Cup in 2014 was talking about this when he said: “Leading athletes have always been necessary. Without leading athletes you cannot be successful.” This is the kind of leadership that needs to be shared among some players in the team. These are players who through their role as captain or for other reasons influence the players as a whole to strive their best to achieve the common goal.

This leadership style currently seems to be lacking at Inter motivated to play their best only with great teams and not with others. Against these, however, the weaknesses of an uncohesive collective to pursue the long-term goal represented by fighting to win the championship emerge.

Football is no more a team sport

The rules on the transfer of players from one team to another during the competitive season are destroying the very idea of a team in soccer. Insigne has just signed a contract that binds him to Toronto starting from next June. Morata would like to leave but he will not be able to because Juventus does not have another center forward. Icardi always has his bags ready. These are just some of the most famous examples of these days, not to mention Cristiano Ronaldo who a few months ago went to Manchester United with the championship started.

Many players are turning into soccer mercenaries, who move according to the economic interests of the club, their procurers and themselves. Haven’t you noticed this? Yes, of course, but never before has this dimension of soccer taken over the idea of building a team united on the objectives to be reached. It is a process that requires and cannot be subject to frequent changes.

What is the basis of today’s supporters, certainly not the team in its concreteness made of names and surnames and of the game expressed by these players. We are becoming more and more fans of an abstract idea, of what that team means to the fan but not of what it is now. On the other hand it is useless to get attached to a player because it is likely that tomorrow he will be sold to save the club’s budget or because he wants to earn a few million more. This is the case of Lukaku who now complains about his new team and we have to witness the liturgy of the coach excluding him and him apologizing and saying that he will work to regain the trust of the fans.

Soccer is losing one of the essential aspects of any team and that is that you win and you lose but together. We will no longer see the famous final 15 minutes of Manchester United that were the expression of a collective mentality built over time or the cynicism of Juventus in bringing home the result or the enthusiasm generated by the 10 and 9 teams because today there are no more and we will no longer hear phrases like: “give the ball to …. that then he takes care of it”. Turning a phrase by Eduardo Galeano on its head, I think that over time fans will no longer say “today we play”, they will lose the sense of “we” in favor of a more neutral “today my team plays”.