Inter Milan have fired Andrea Stramaccioni and brought in former Napoli Coach Walter Mazzarri. Explaining the decision to hire Mazzarri, Inter President Massimo Moratti said simply:
“We needed a Coach with his experience.”
“Sackings are never nice,” Moratti said on the club website. “This change is due to the fact that we’ll have a tough year and I thought we needed a Coach with the experience of Mazzarri.
“That doesn’t diminish the fact that we rate Stramaccioni as a talented Coach with potential and I’m sure he’ll become one of the best coaches in Italy.
“The reasons might even safeguard his professionalism because perhaps he was particularly unlucky and, at this moment in time, he might need to find himself in an easier situation than the one at Inter. But with the year he’s had he will find that. It won’t be an easy situation because we’ll need to show we’re very good and also of course have some luck.”
Mazzarri will be the seventh Inter manager since Jose Mourinho left, almost exactly three years ago. That is no way to build continuity and a successful side. Moratti has to hire a manager and stick with him.
Moratti let Strama down in my opinion. It was clear that a year ago, that Inter were going to slash their wage bill to get more in line with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules. That meant that older experienced players like Julio Cesar, Wesley Sneijder and Maicon were let go and younger (and cheaper) replacements were brought in.
With such a change in the squad, this was always going to be a season of transition. Then Inter got hit with injury after injury, and any hope that they team had of competing vanished. No team, or manager, could overcome the injuries that Inter had this season.
Before Christmas, when Strama had a healthy squad, he had Inter in contention for the title. At the winter break, Inter were in fourth place, one point behind second place Napoli and eight points ahead of Milan.
But injuries started to devastate this Inter squad, and then Sporting Director Marco Branca and Inter’s board did not exactly help Strama and the team out in January.
Milan went out and bought Mario Balotelli and Branca brought in Tommaso Rocchi. No points for guessing which Milan side did better in the second half of the season.
Was I completely happy with Strama? Of course not. But I think he has the talent to grow into a really good manager, given time. Unfortunately that will not happen at Inter, and some other club is really going to benefit as he develops.