Well here we are 18 days into the 2011 summer transfer window and instead of the strengthening of Inter that we all expected with not alot of movement being shown in signing new players while in the Nerazzurri camp it’s starting to look more like a meltdown than a revolution.
After committing to the Nerazzurri a few weeks ago Wesley Sneijder disappointed all the Interista and Massimo Moratti by stating that “Only God will decide where my future lies. ” followed a few days later by a statement from Samuel Eto’o who also had committed to our beloved club that “Playing in England is an idea I have had in my head for some time and now what matters to me is finding a good team,” then followed the best news so far this summer that Leonardo was leaving to take up a directors role at Paris St Germain, which in it’s self is great news as I’ve felt for a while that he wasn’t up to the job at Inter but it has raised the question as to who is? And the cherry and icing on the cake is that it’s been revealed that Lucio is considering a contract from Malaga after the powers that be at Inter refused to give him a two year extension to his contract!
So lets start with the management problem don’t get me wrong i’m happy that Leonardo has gone as he had a good run but he wasn’t right for Inter but we are back with the same problem we had this time last season, Who is good enough to replace Mourinho? well it won’t be the ‘Special One’ as he has already said he’s staying at Real Madrid and he’s not likely to leave till he’s won La Liga with them. There was talk of Argentine Bielsa taking over but according to Moratti he refused due to personal reasons. Then there was talk of the recently fired Ancelotti taking the reins but that’s been denied by both camps and besides why would we want another Milanista in charge of our club, never again i say! There is a rumour going around that Pep Gaurdiola will be joining at the end of next season but who knows how true that is so for the purposes of this post i look at it as a permanent position. Personally i’d like to see Gus Hiddink in the hot seat but i don’t think he’s really in the running and if he leaves the Turkish national team he’s likely to rejoin Chelsea so let’s look at the pros & cons of the managers that are in the running.
For me this guy is the 1st choice and the natural successor to Mourinho after being his right hand at both Chelsea and more importantly at Inter. At just 33, Villas-Boas is regarded as an up-and-coming genius on the coaching scene – proving his credentials last season by winning a historic treble with Porto of the Portuguese league, cup, and Europa League.
However, it’s not only a €15 million release clause that stands in the way of the ‘new kid on the block’ coming back to San Siro; Villas-Boas has already made it clear that he intends to continue with his impressive Porto side, but you never know stranger things have happened so i’m going to keep my fingers crossed. Of course people are saying €15 million for a manager is excessive and you could get a decent player for that but for me having a decent manager is just as important as the players so it’d be money well spent for me.
Gian Piero Gasperini has steadily climbed the ranks of Italian football since taking over as Juventus youth team coach in 1994, a position he held until 2003. He then moved on to Crotone, winning them promotion to Serie B. He is best known for his stint at Genoa, whom he led to Serie A, and also earned impressive finishes in the top half of the standings before being sacked last season after a mediocre start to 2010-11. He was recently linked with the position at Champions League-bound Napoli before Walter Mazzarri announced he would continue with the southern club.
In Gasperini’s favour is his availability and motivation to prove himself with a big club, an opportunity many feel he deserves. However, working against him is his lack of experience at the highest level. Tactically, Gasperini has intriguing ideas, often employing a 3-4-3 or 4-3-3. The Italian media recently reported Moratti met with Genoa president Enrico Preziosi in order to discuss releasing the coach from his ‘gardening leave’, as his contract is still in effect despite being relieved of his duties last November. I think if we can’t get Hiddink or Villas-Boas than Gasperini would be the next choice for me.
The Serbian has a strong connection to Inter, having ended his playing career at San Siro before taking the role of assistant alongside former Nerazzurri boss Roberto Mancini. Being very familiar with the club, the former free-kick specialist would seem a natural choice to take over. But i don’t think he has got anywhere near enough experience to keep Inter at the top of the game though the Italian press are making him favourite to take over.
Mihajlovic enjoyed success with Catania (as many coaches seem to do) before replacing now-Italian national team boss Cesare Prandelli at Fiorentina. It took time, but the 42-year-old eventually settled with the injury-hit Viola in the last third of the 2010-11 campaign and it’s unlikely the Viola will let him go easily, as they see him as a long-term appointment.
‘The Tinkerman’ can steady a ship, perhaps what Inter need at this point, but is often regarded as ‘the best loser’, reaching second place or close to a trophy but always coming up short in the end. He is possibly a good candidate if the rumours of Gaurdiola coming next summer are true as he’d keep the seat warm and the team in check. He has plenty of experience in Serie A, as well as international stints with Valencia, Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid.
His past with rivals Juventus and Roma may prove a difficult pill for the Inter fans to swallow, but his reputation and knowledge of Calcio make him one of the ideal candidates, not to mention he’s currently out of work after leaving the Giallorossi midway through last season.
These seem the most likely candidates for the job to me though there are others that have been linked including ex Nerazzurri midfield general Diego Simeone, Capello and even Louis Van Gaal but we’ll have to wait and see. On the bright side Moratti has ensured fans that the vacant position will be filled next week.
What about Transfers?
The other major problem that is facing Inter are the possible departures of our key players Sneijder, Eto’o & Lucio unfortunately all we can do is pray that the powers that be at Inter can convince them their futures lie in Milan otherwise we have got a major up hill struggle coming in the new season. On the subject of incoming transfers all the talk of big name signings that have been floating about for months aren’t really materialising with other major European teams snatching them up or getting ahead of us in negotiations for the best of these i.e Alexis Sanchez, in fact Branca doesn’t seem to be doing anything particularly relevant in the market while teams like Milan, Juve, and even Lazio & Roma are making some great signings which are going to make life very difficult for us when the season kicks off, in fact all we have done is signed Luc Castaignos, which was done even before last season ended and i’ve found out today that although Yuto Nagatomo is now officially an Inter player we only own half of him so all in all so far this transfer window we have signed a grand total of one and a half players! Would you call that an overhaul Branca? Pull your finger out we are getting left a long way behind here.
What’s to come in the next couple of months concerning transfers is anyones guess but things need to start happening fast or we will end up back in that dark period of the 90’s that none of us Interista ever want to see again, fingers crossed that won’t happen. Though to be fair if it did i’d still be here singing Pazza Inter Amala!