x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

As struggles continue, it is apparent Inter Milan need to restructure

Inter Milan is on the prowl for a new coach, with several notable names, such as Fabio Capello and Walter Zenga, having turned them down. Andre Villas-Boas may be the long-term solution, but would face another team that needs a roster turnover.

The recent stumbles of his team in Serie A and exit from the Champions League mean Claudio Ranieri's days at Inter Milan are likely numbered.
The recent stumbles of his team in Serie A and exit from the Champions League mean Claudio Ranieri's days at Inter Milan are likely numbered.

 

Fabio Capello made quite a show of ruling himself out of the job as Inter Milan's next head coach.

After one report claimed Capello had been spotted dining with Massimo Moratti, the Inter president, he snapped: "Someone may have seen me at a restaurant, but not with Moratti."

A man can be sounded out in a number of ways, and in the recruitment of coaches it is usually via an intermediary or a telephone call.

Capello was contacted by Inter soon after he resigned from managing England.

His answer: No.

Students of the veteran former AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus coach will be aware that a Capello "no" sounds firm but can become negotiable, as it might be by June.

His initial "no" turned into a "yes" when he joined Juve from Roma.

Capello is not the only potential candidate to have heard from Inter, as their run of seven matches without a win, arrested only last weekend, gathered alarming momentum.

Well-connected colleagues on this newspaper have learnt that Al Nasr's Walter Zenga was offered the chance to replace Claudio Ranieri, whose position weakened further with Inter's elimination from the Champions League by Marseille.

Without reassurance that the post was not just a short-term firefighting one, Zenga said "no".

He might be considered again before or during the summer, though Andre Villas-Boas, dismissed by Chelsea, is still a preferred longer-term option within the club.

Quite how attractive the job looks to anybody, even someone with Inter as close to his heart as the former Inter goalkeeper Zenga, is debatable.

They are a horribly brittle side.

Ranieri talked of the last-gasp defeat by Marseille as "summing up Inter's season" in that they appeared to have recovered ground when Diego Milito's goal cancelled out the 1-0 advantage the French team had brought to Italy, only to lose it again when Brandao scored in injury time, rendering Giampaolo Pazzini's later penalty irrelevant.

At 2-2 on aggregate, Marseille had the away goal.

You could see Ranieri's point.

Not so long ago, he was overseeing a 10-match winning run, making up for Inter's disastrous to start to the campaign.

Then the plunge in form.

At seventh in the table, Ranieri's successor faces a 2012/13 likely to be spent outside Europe's elite club competition.

And squad restructuring is needed.

The fact that Marseille scored both their goals in the tie in injury time spells out that stamina is failing some of Inter's ageing, tiring warriors.

 

sports@thenational.ae