So far this season Antonio Cassano has racked up 5 goals and 5 assists in all competitions and has recorded over a 1000 minutes in 17 appearances but like all great players, it is impossible to judge Cassano’s contribution to the team by statistics alone. What Cassano really offers is so much more than that.
Cassano arrived at the club in the summer just before that end of the transfer window in a deal with cross town rivals AC Milan. Inter took on Cassano in exchange for Giampaolo Pazzini and €7 million. This in itself represented good business.
Pazzini was incredibly keen to leave Inter after a poor season and little playing time add to that Cassano is considered the more talented of the two players and it looks as though things were looking promising in the transfer market compared to last season’s disaster.
As for Inter, in a tactical sense, they desperately needed someone to take the creative pressure off Wesley Sneijder who over the past two seasons had struggled to fit into the tactical plans of the previous managers as well as suffering from a string of niggling injuries that reduced his amount of performances.
On the pitch Cassano has developed a fantastic understanding with Inter’s other forwards, Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio. So far this season when they have played together they have managed to look incredibly dangerous in a way that Inter have lacked since the treble winning season.
So far, so good you might think, however, this over reliance on one player from an attacking point of view has begun to resurface again but this time Cassano has found himself at the centre of the debate.
After Inter’s recent home game with Cagliari, which finished 2-2, Cassano was incensed by the referee’s decision to wave play on after a pretty blatant foul on Ranocchia in the penalty area. This incident led to Cassano receiving a 2 match ban which kept him out of the Parma match and will mean he misses the home game against Palermo.
Add this to the fact that Sneijder is the subject of a pay dispute and has thus been frozen out of the squad means that Inter are lacking creativity around the edge of the penalty box. As resent results have shown this Inter team need someone who can create goals in what is otherwise a very hard working and industrious squad but one that struggles to break teams down.
What this does prove is just how important Cassano has made himself to the team. It isn’t even Christmas yet and already he has become almost central to how Inter perform and whether they are able to bring home 3 points.
Written by Oliver Beatson
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