Inter Miami: Three Solutions To Reoccurring Problems
In the midst of a losing streak, Inter Miami needs changes – fast. Here are three solutions to their problems.
Inter Miami came into the league looking to make an immediate impact.
Two managers and losing seasons later, the ghosts of 2020 continue to haunt them in 2021. As they prepare for their next match against the New York Red Bulls, Phil Neville and the team need to do some serious soul searching if they want to turn this season around.
Here are three solutions:
1. Bench Blaise Matuidi
The 34-year-old World Cup winner came to MLS with much fanfare.
With his immense experience and pedigree, lots of pundits and fans believed that his quality would help Inter Miami’s midfield.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
Only a year into his Miami career and the France international has provided nothing but controversy and sub-par performances.
According to smarterscout, Mautidi has not only regressed, but he provides little defensive or offensive support:
Neville’s insistence on giving Matuidi the responsibility of dropping deep and acting as Miami’s main ball progressor in midfield is a mistake.
Mautidi has never been a technically proficient midfielder at any of the clubs he played for. With numbers like that, for the 34-year-old to be a consistent starter on a team that desperately needs a competent central midfielder to pair alongside Gregore is criminal.
One solution to this issue is to bench him.
Matuidi has started every game this season for Inter Miami and has looked off the pace in each one. The Orlando City game on June 25th was the only performance where he was widely praised. For the other matches, he’s looked slow, old, technically poor on the ball, and loses almost every defensive battle he gets himself into.
To take his place in the starting XI could be a player like Victor Ulloa. The 29-year-old may not be a “big name” but he provides some quickness, some muscle, and positional awareness. If not Ulloa, then Jay Chapman can slot back and play that role as well.
Whoever it is, Matuidi has repeatedly shown to be off the pace in Miami’s midfield.
It’s time for a change.
2. Inter Miami Can Switch Formations
Another solution could be Neville switching to a 4-4-2.
The 4-2-3-1 that Miami has been using all season has not worked.
There’s not a single player on the roster that can dictate play and provide the creativity that the Herons need. Federico Higuain can play in that position, but, the 36-year-old is coming off a serious knee injury. At his age, playing every game is a rarity.
Rodolfo Pizarro has been ineffective as well.
On the season, the Mexico international has zero goals and zero assists; for a Designated Player, that is unacceptable.
With both of Neville’s options looking lackluster, the Englishman should look to change into a 4-4-2.
The 4-4-2 gives Miami two banks of four that can give some defensive shape to the team. It also would give Gonzalo Higuain some help up top.
If Neville were to pair him with Julian Carranza, a player who has good hold-up play and pressing ability, then Higuain can drop deep and be that creative presence.
The downside to this formation is that there’s no concrete answer on the left-wing. Brek Shea has started there most of the season, but he has not looked threatening. Neville also has the option of starting the club’s newest signing Indiana Vassilev.
Whoever starts, should Miami switch to the formation, this could help solve some of the team’s build-up play.
3. Inter Miami Should Sell Rodolfo Pizarro
If Inter Miami wants an empty Designated Player spot before the sanctions officially hit next season, selling Pizarro would be a good start.
The 27-year-old has never really settled in Miami, and the South Florida club could be looking to cut their losses.
Should Miami do this, they will have a free DP spot where they can acquire a player that fits the club ethos and Neville’s vision.
It’s been discussed before, but, if Miami does sell Pizarro and bring in a DP that is under 23 or younger, the club will have three U-22 initiative spots according to new MLS rules:
It’s a win-win for Miami.
They get a disgruntled player off the books, and in turn, Neville gets the opportunity to work with a DP he sought after.
For Inter Miami to potentially make the playoffs, it’s going to take quite a bit of work from Neville and his coaching staff to turn it around. Whatever work they do, the club needs to get results or else suffer another season of mediocrity.
Follow Alex Windley of ‘MLS Multiplex‘ on Twitter @aaw_1998 and @theheronoutlet