x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Moratti's trigger-happy reign of Inter Milan goes on

Andrea Stramaccioni is the latest in a long line of men who have tried to work under the club owner's regime.

Andrea Stramaccioni is the new coach of Inter Milan.
Andrea Stramaccioni is the new coach of Inter Milan.

Massimo Moratti's strike-rate as the president of a football club is simply phenomenal. He dismisses managers with the peerless frequency that Cristiano Ronaldo scores goals.

By appointing the 18th different head coach of his tenure at the head of Inter Milan, Moratti has hit again the form he showed in his first decade in charge of the club: he's back on his trigger-happy pattern of more than one manager per season.

Moratti has been the Inter president since 1994. Look at the detail, though, and his trigger finger is even itchier than 18 coaches in 18 years.

Of the 17 coaches appointed by Moratti before Tuesday's decision to entrust the remainder of this season to Andrea Stramaccioni, two, Roy Hodgson and Luciano Castellini, were both given the job twice, reinstated in the most notorious ejector-chair in modern elite football.

The last 18 months, with Rafa Benitez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini and now Claudio Ranieri all in and out - have restored Inter's fame as a the butt of comedians' jokes, a symbol of instability.

Stramaccioni, 36 years old, and thus younger than his captain, Javier Zanetti, seems a whimsical choice for the role and a stopgap one.

Stramaccioni led Inter's Under 19 team to victory in the NextGen tournament, a sort of European Champions League for youth academies, at the weekend and has been labelled "a junior Jose Mourinho".

His early career trajectory is similar to Mourinho's in that he concentrated very young on coaching rather than playing; Stramaccioni suffered bad knee injuries as a junior at Bologna.

"It's a dream come true," Stramaccioni said, "I feel lucky."

If he is very lucky and can push a team that has one win from their last 10 games into a position to qualify for European football, his reputation will probably have been enhanced.

Inter are eighth in the league following the 2-0 defeat to Juventus on Sunday that brought to an end Ranieri's six months in charge, seven points shy of a potential Europa League place next season, with nine fixtures left of the season.

If he somehow contrives a comeback, and gets Inter into the top three, Stramaccioni might even be offered a longer stint. If he does, he will certainly play on his youth and his achievements with younger footballers to map out Inter's revival.

Many of Inter's veterans appear spent and though players like Lucio, Esteban Cambiasso and Diego Milito, all into their 30s, all heroes of the 2010 treble, have contracts until 2014, they look increasingly like the symptom not the cure of Inter's problems.


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