Miami, FL – After a three-week break to reflect and possibly regain some confidence, Inter Miami fell flat in a contentious 0-1 loss to DC United. After what is now the team’s third straight defeat, it’s safe to say the team has reached a low point. For all the talk about what the club wants to achieve and how big they want to be, it feels as though there’s a giant elephant in the room no one is discussing. Inter Miami needs to stop pretending.
While arguments can be made that the team played better Saturday night, there’s still an aura of frustration and sadness that surrounds Phil Neville and the players. Especially after the controversial refereeing decisions:
"Some of the things I'm seeing, is a major major worry for this league. The players are angry, frustrated, fuming about what they thought was a major injustice."
– Neville on the ref's decisions.
— Alex Windley ☀️ (@aaw_1998) June 20, 2021
The team looks dejected, Neville looks frustrated, and unfortunately, the club is not in a good place right now.
Three weeks ago, just before the team’s home game against DC United, in a pre-match live stream, Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas spoke about a variety of topics, but in the end, he mentioned how “better days are ahead for Inter Miami.” This may be true, but with the current state of the club, this sentiment rings hallow.
“Freedom to Dream” is the club’s motto, but right now, the team needs to stop dreaming and deal with the reality: it’s not good enough.
It starts with the Designated Players. Rodolfo Pizarro has provided nothing this season besides black and white cleats and transfer rumors, Blaise Matuidi’s legs have gone, and Gonzalo Higuain is playing like he’s got a ‘cigarette in his mouth.’
The team needs a reality check. Yes, they want to win trophies and play glamorous football and attract the biggest stars. Yes, they want to be a global brand, but before you run, you need to walk.
MLS is a league where you don’t need stars to win MLS Cup. All it takes is a well-rounded roster filled with DPs that understand the manager’s vision and can execute it accordingly. Right now, Miami doesn’t have that.
Phil Neville has been thrown into the deep end with this team, and last night was a perfect example of that.
No matter how much tinkering he does with the lineup, no matter how many players he drops to the bench, the outcome is the same: no heart, lack of quality, and disappointment.
The club needs to go back to basics.
This off-season, Miami’s front office needs to clean house and trade, waive, release and/or sell whatever player doesn’t fit Phil Neville’s vision.
— Alex Windley ☀️ (@aaw_1998) June 19, 2021
Chris Henderson inherited a mess that he will now have to spend at least two transfer windows cleaning up. Luckily, Inter Miami has a promising Academy and USL side where they can bring talented prospects up to the first team to make an impact.
Players like Mitch Curry, George Acosta, Shaun Hundal, Venton Evans, and Harvey Neville are all talents that have the capability to get meaningful first-team minutes.
As far as 2021 is concerned, if Miami doesn’t pick up their performances, missing the playoffs is 100% a possibility. Neville and the Inter Miami Front Office, instead of pretending, need to look towards the future and have an honest conversation with themselves. If not, it’s only going to get worse.
Photo Credit | Joe Noyes