Welcome to Inter’s new coach Claudio Ranieri
Everyone knew after the Novara game that Gian Piero Gasperini wasn’t going to see the end of the next day as the Inter head coach but I can’t imagine that anyone thought that Massimo Moratti and Marco Branca would instate his replacement so quickly. This says to me of course that this has been in the pipeline for a little while and regardless of what has been said in previous weeks Gasperini was rapidly running out of time.
A few months ago when we were originally looking for Leonardo’s replacement Ranieri was amongst the list of candidates so it’s no real surprise that he was chosen. One crucial factor in his appointment is the fact he has been the coach of several top-level clubs and ‘The Tinkerman’ is known to have a talent for steadying a ship, which will be vital after Inter’s disastrous last couple of months. The downside of his appointment is that he is widely considered as ‘the best loser’ as he has a habit of coming close to honours of league titles or cup wins but always coming up short in the end. This isn’t as bad as it seems as long as Moratti only sees him as a short-term solution because with the chaos caused by Leonardo’s departure and Gasperini’s terrible era we need to be realistic and just set ourselves a target of qualifying for next seasons Champions league, anything beyond that would be a bonus and as much as I’d love to see our beloved club return to glory this season we need to settle the squad again and rebuild their shattered confidence, as Roberto Mancini said to the press recently Inter’s winning cycle has come to an end, as Interista we have to accept this fact and realise our priority now is to setup the new foundations to return the club to glory in the coming seasons.
So who is Claudio Ranieri?
The 59 year old coach was born in Rome on the 20th October 1951 and had a playing career as a defender playing for Roma, Catanzaro, Catania and Palermo during which time he hardly set the footballing world alight. But his coaching career has been a different matter, admittedly he’s hardly a Jose Mourinho or a Sir Alex Ferguson, but in his time he has coached some of the big clubs of Europe.
His managierial career started with a small side called Campania that he coached for just one season before moving to the then Serie C1 side Cagliari, where he made his name as a manager by getting them promoted to Serie A in successive seasons. His next job was to be at Napoli in 1991 and despite only guiding them to a fourth place position and no silverware he was responsible for replacing the legendary Argentinian Diego Maradona with another legendary player Gianfranco Zola.
In 1993 he returned to Serie B to take the bench of Fiorentina who he managed to gain promotion to the top flight with in his first season. Before he left the Viola in 1997 he managed to win them the 1996 Coppa Italia and also that year’s Supercoppa Italiana. When he did leave in 97 he took on what was his biggest club so far with his move to Valencia in La Liga where in his second season he took the Spanish club to not only to secure the Copa Del Rey but more surprisingly he guided them to qualify for the Champions League. After this came a season long spell at Atletico Madrid, this wasn’t to be a good time for him as during his time there the players were struggling on the pitch and the club went into administration and they were heading for relegation so Ranieri took the decision to jump ship before he was pushed.
This proved to be a good move for him as he then moved to Chelsea where he was instructed to reduce the average age of the squad which he did by bringing in to the club Frank Lampard, Emmanuel Petit, Boudewijn Zenden, Jesper Grønkjær and William Gallas spending £30 million. It was during his time at Chelsea that he gained his nickname ‘The Tinkerman’ due to him rotating his players in nearly every match. The beginning of the end of his Chelsea career came with the takeover by Russian Billionairre Roman Abramovich in 2003 who allowed him to bring in big names like ex Nerazzurri names like Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo amongst others, spending a huge £120 million in the transfer window. He then went on to lead Chelsea to a Champions league semi-final. But this wasn’t good enough for the fickle Abramovich who in May 2004 replaced Ranieri with Jose Mourinho.
In June of 2004 he made a return to La Liga and his previous club Valencia where he replaced Rafa Benitez on a three-year contract only to be sacked eight months later for getting knocked out of the UEFA Cup. Two years later Ranieri returned to Italian football and coaching as he took over at a struggling Parma in February 2007 and saved them from relegation that year and was subsequently linked with jobs at several clubs including Palermo and Manchester City but to everyone’s surprise it was at Juventus where he spent the next two seasons entering into a war of words with Inter manager Jose Mourinho during that time, he was sacked from the Turin club in 2009 after Inter secured their 17th Scudetto much to Juventus’ disgust. His last job before becoming Inter head coach of course was with Roma where in 2010 he nearly destroyed Inter’s treble hopes with his Roman team but after a shock 4-3 defeat in February 2011 to Genoa he decided to hand in his resignation.
|Chelsea||England||18 September 2000||31 May 2004||199||107||46||46||53.76|
|Valencia||Spain||16 June 2004||25 February 2005||36||15||12||9||41.66|
|Parma||Italy||12 February 2007||31 May 2007||16||7||6||3||43.75|
|Juventus||Italy||1 July 2007||18 May 2009||92||45||17||30||48.91|
|Roma||Italy||1 September 2009||21 February 2011||56||32||11||13||57.14|
Now he is the head coach of what is arguably the biggest club of his career it remains to be seen how his theories and tactics will work with the Inter squad but from what I’ve seen his tactics will fit well with our players and as I’ve said before he’s an ideal coach to settle things back down after the chaos that was the Gasperini era. As such it is vitally important that us Interista show him that he has our support and that we trust in him to take our club back to the top where it belongs.
Ranieri’s Introduction Press Conference
“There is so much excitement in this and the reason I do this job is because of the thrills it gives you. I’m proud to be part of the Nerazzurri family”, said Claudio Ranieri, as he opened the press conference.
The new coach was then asked what approach he was going to take with Inter now: “There has been a lot of bad luck, misfortune and injury, now we have to regain our confidence and self-esteem and try and pick up some points. It’s the beginning of a new path; to win here with Inter would be splendid: a year and a half ago these lads were champions. I believe in their desire to react. They have slipped back but what’s important is to realise that and to fight back. I want to see that compact group again that never gave up which I saw when I played against them. We need to close in and stay compact and challenge for every ball. Now we need to think about getting results. That’s the most important thing: they are used to winning, so they just have to start doing it again.”
“The first press conference always goes well: the journalists are all good, they ask and they want to know. Then we’ll see how the second one goes, and the third, but that’s all part of the job, at this stage we are vaccinated against them.” Claudio Ranieri told Inter Channel of his first impressions immediately after his meeting with the press as new coach of Inter, when he was officially presented in the press conference, which finished a short time ago at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti.
There were many questions and the Nerazzurri coach replied with his thoughts, emotions and objectives for the future. There was one question he hadn’t been expecting, though. “I didn’t understand that question about the fans, because it implied that I am not welcome for some Inter supporters. I didn’t understand it because I can honestly say that whether I’m in Milan or elsewhere, I have always been respected.”
At this stage Roberto Scarpini passed on messages to Ranieri from Inter fans that had been sent to the studio, which describe the Inter coach as he really is, a well-mannered, well-behaved person and a very sporting adversary: “I think I’m like this all the time; everything I do, I do it with love and passion. Of course there were some skirmishes with José Mourinho, but this is all part of the logic in the press and we played on it, too. A verbal argument is one thing, the mutual respect which two people have always had for one another is something different.”
A striped blue and black shirt with his name on it was the first present Inter gave to the new coach. “Who would Claudio Ranieri be if he were still a player today? Chivu, an outside left. But what I can tell you now is that if I’m here today, it’s all thanks to Herrera: it was he who chose me from among a thousand little boys, If Helenio Herrera hadn’t been at Roma, I might not have been here today.”
An English television company was waiting to interview the coach after the exclusive on Inter Channel and Claudio Ranieri moved off with a smile: “I’d better go now. I have to speak English and if I don’t concentrate, people will think Mourinho was right when he said I only know how to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon’…[smiling, Ed].”
And so from all of us ‘Good Luck Mr Ranieri!’