After winning their opening two games of the season, Phil Neville’s Inter Miami have gone on a club-record losing streak of six straight matches. In this streak, Neville’s seat is getting hotter and hotter and could be the favourite as the next head coach to lose his job in Major League Soccer.
Their defeat to Houston Dynamo this weekend has only added to the pressure Neville is under at the Florida-based club.
There are rumours of Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets being courted in the summer, and looking odds from Lottoland UK and other sites there appears a good chance the pair will be on the move come the end of the season in Europe. But these links can only do so much to cover up the poor results on the field right now. There is only so long fans and ownership can accept how things on the field are going.
This season was possibly the first year since their MLS expansion season in 2020 where there hasn’t been a full overhaul of the roster during the offseason.
Josef Martinez was brought in from Atlanta United to partner Leo Campana up front, Sergiy Kryvtsov and Franco Negri were added to the defence along with Nicolas Steffanelli coming in to play off the front line.
The injury to Gregore has really hit this side hard though. Since he was ruled out for the season Inter Miami haven’t won. His presence in the midfield has been vital in breaking up play, progressing the ball and general leadership on the field.
Dixon Arroyo has been added since Gregore’s injury and Inter Maimi have made the incredible trade to receive Canadian International Kamal Miller and $1.4 million in General Allocation Money (GAM) for Bryce Duke and Ariel Lassiter in a bid to improve themselves defensively.
While their defensive issues have stood out, their attacking issues are there to see. In this six-game losing run, Inter Miami have only scored in one match, a 3-2 defeat at home to Chicago Fire.
Their last three matches have all finished as a 1-0 defeat, two away in Cincinnati and Houston, as well as a home defeat to FC Dallas.
Neville has worked to improve his side’s defensive performances especially after the three goals conceded to Chicago Fire, but this has had serious issues in the final third.
Another contributor to the lack of goals is the fact that a lot was gambled on with the signing of Josef Martinez who has struggled with injuries over the last two seasons he had in Atlanta, along with plenty of personal/off-the-pitch issues that were well documented.
Not a single player on this team has scored more than once in 2023. Campana and Martinez are both without goals which, after the change of system this season to focus on using the two strikers together is really causing Neville a headache.
For Neville’s plans to have crumbled with the loss of one midfielder will come back to him with how this roster has been built. While the restrictions they are under play their role, the lack of depth in key areas is a huge issue.
But that doesn’t excuse Neville enough after he worked well under similar limitations last season when he guided Inter Miami to the playoffs.
Their next few games in MLS also look particularly tough. Their next four games are all against high-performing sides in Columbus Crew, Atalanta United, Nashville and Florida rivals Orlando City.
Neville really needs to turn things around quickly as his friendship with owner David Beckham will only give him a pass for so long. Something needs to change quickly or we could see a new head coach excitedly talking about the possibility of having Lionel Messi on his roster this summer.