Inter is in some serious trouble. In the Italian Serie A, Inter is currently in the 7th position with a total of 36 points, 14 points behind the leader Juventus which amassed a total of 50 points thus far. Importantly, Inter is 6 points behind Udinese which is currently holding the third and last Champions League spot. Inter has not won a game since January 22, 2012 and, in fact, earned only 1 point from their last four games. It lost four of their last five league games. Amazingly, the losses were inflicted largely by the teams that Inter was expected to beat, including Lecce (18th in the table), Novara (19th in the table) and Bologna (15th in the table). The last loss, and perhaps the most embarrassing one, came against Bologna on February 17, 2012. In that game, Inter was badly beaten by a team that occupies the bottom-half of the Serie A table. What’s more, the defeat came at home and by a humiliating score of 0-3. To put it mildly, the fans were not pleased!
And just when you thought things could not get worse for Inter, Andre Ayew’s goal against Inter in the Champions League game made them much worse. After a 5 game winless streak in the Serie A, Inter was hoping to right the ship in the Champions League match against Marseille at the Stade Veldodrome. Claudio Ranieri, Inter’s Manager, was quoted as saying that even though “we’re in another negative period [now], but fortunately we have the Champions League to kick-start us. This team needs adrenaline and stimulation to produce good performances.” Unfortunately for Inter, and Ranieri, the team’s misfortunes and bad form spread to the Champions League matches. Despite its many chances, Inter failed to score again and conceded a losing-game goal to Marseille’s Ayew in stoppage time.
It is thus not surprising that the media is now speculating that Ranieri’s days at Inter may be numbered. The prospect of Inter failing to qualify for the next year’s Champions League must be terrifying to the management of the club and its fans. Inter’s next Serie A match against Napoli, a team that sits right atop Inter in the Serie A table, is crucial and just might determine Ranieri’s future with the team.