Don Nerazzurri looks at who is the right coach to move Inter forward next season

After the 2-0 defeat to our old enemy Juventus the writing was on the wall for Claudio Ranieri and Massimo Moratti was left with no choice but to replace his head coach for the second time this season.  His choice of Andrea Stramaccioni as caretaker may be one of the best decisions he has ever made.  Time will tell!

As I’ve said many times this season a new project and philosophy for Inter is crucial for the club’s future and the appointment of our new head scout, Valentino Angeloni from Udinese, has sent clear signals to the rest of the football world that this time Inter are going to be doing whatever is needed to move the club forward.  But what about the position within the club that is arguably the most important to the performance side of the club, the head coach? 

There are many candidates being talked about for the job but in my opinion there are only four that I feel could take the club in the direction it needs to be heading in, great coaches like Fabio Capello and Luciano Spalletti wouldn’t be the right choices. Luckily Capello denied any interest in the job anyway. and Spalletti has signed a new contract with Zenit so is out of the running too.  Two other high-profile coaches that have been linked are Pep Gaurdiola, who I don’t think would succeed at Inter without Moratti spending a lot of money that the club just can’t afford, and of course the ‘Special one’ himself Jose Mourinho who actually fuelled the rumours of a return to the Nerazzurri this week by saying that one day he WILL return.

Controversially, I personally don’t want Mourinho to return for at least a good five years. Don’t get me wrong I do think he is the best coach in the world but I have two reason’s for not wanting him back in the near future. Firstly I think his history of winning the treble with Inter would mean the expectations for almost instant success would certainly be impossible to achieve even for him and in turn this would destroy all our great memories of him and tarnish his status as an Inter legend.  The second reason is down to the new project that is under way at the club, I don’t feel that he would be able to rebuild the team mainly from our youth and bring a whole new way of thinking to the club that is so desperately needed, in my opinion Mourinho works at his best when all the pieces are in place for success but he’s not so great at building the foundations and collecting the right pieces.  I know a lot of Interisti won’t agree with this but that is my opinion, saying all that though, in four or five years time when Inter is fully rebuilt I do believe without doubt that he could once again lead us to another historic treble.

That leaves us with four very talented coaches who could lead Inter in to the next generation.

Andrea Stramaccioni

Firstly, I’d like to point out that as Stramaccioni has been given the position as caretaker coach, I think he should be given a decent chance to prove himself at the reins and be given until at least the next winter break to make his mark and show he’s up to the job. But we all know what Moratti is like, so there is a chance he’s only with us for the remainder of the season.

‘Stramala’ as he is affectionately known to Interisti after leading the Primavera team to glory in the NexGen series is by far the most unknown candidate for the job which makes it even more surprising that he’s even being considered by Moratti. But after his playing career was cut short by a serious knee injury he has worked tirelessly as a coach.  Since he obtained his licence for youth coaches in 2003 while working for Romulea, he has gone on to have a great influence on the Roma youth system where he led them to two national titles.

In 2009 Stramaccioni obtained his current coaching licence, the UEFA A, which means he’s eligible to work as head coach of Lega Pro teams or as vice coach in Serie A or Serie B.  This of course wasn’t a problem when in 2011 he replaced the popular Fulvio Pea as the Inter Primavera coach where he built a great understanding with our players and went on to lead the Inter youth to win the NexGen series which is the equivalent of the Champions League for youth teams.  This was of course on the same day Ranieri’s first team got beat by Juventus 2-0 and led to him losing his job and prompting Moratti to promote his young talented youth team coach to the position of caretaker until the end of the season. Though as he lacks the required UEFA Pro coaching licence he will work alongside Giuseppe Baresi who has fulfilled the role of assistant coach under many of our previous head coaches and knows the squad and club very well.

Stramaccioni is an intelligent (Graduating in Law in 2010) and charismatic leader with a good eye for tactics, his favoured formation is my favourite 4-2-3-1 though he has been known to also use a 4-3-3 also. Both of which are good balanced setups that should provide some great creative attacking play but also keep the back solid.  In his recent press conferences I have noticed that his charisma and confidence remind me of a certain Mr Mourinho, but I don’t really want to resort to comparisons with our legendary treble winning coach, instead I’d like to consider him as his own person and I hope he can prove that “being himself” is exactly what Inter needs to drive them forward to future success.

The only negatives so far that may go against him getting the position permanently are his lack of experience, he is only 35 after all and to become the permanent coach he would have to qualify for his UEFA Pro licence as soon as possible.  But as someone pointed out the other day to me, being promoted from the youth team coach to the first team coach is exactly how Pep Guardiola started and look what he’s achieved at Barcelona since being introduced as an unknown manager at a top club. And of course as he’s already an Inter employee it means he would be by far the cheapest option for Moratti.

Our next candidate is Zdenek Zeman who I have to admit I knew little about when @Gigiscik started telling me he was ideal for the job, so I thought who better to tell you all about him than the guy who convinced me:

Zdeněk Zeman by @Gigiscik

What can I say about Zeman?

Well let’s start saying that he is the only manager on Wikipedia who instead of a picture has his formation of 4-3-3 displayed! That tells you already that we are talking about somebody unique, special and different!

The teams that he coaches, they all always have same philosophy no matter what the situation: ATTACK! If you’re drawing he attacks, if you’re losing he attacks and even if you’re winning, he will still attack! This year, Pescara have scored 66 goals so far, and they will probably be over a hundred by the end of the year!

He works with what he has (rarely ever starting with a great team) and builds the team with youngsters, and he builds champions! Consider his time at Roma, it was the best Roma ever seen! I still remember the remarkable 5-0 win against Capello’s Milan! Finishing that season in 4th place after years of almost qualifying for the UEFA cup. I also remember Lazio playing great under him, with a 2nd and a 3rd place finish. Also Foggia, in their first year in Serie A they scored over 60 goals - how crazy is that?

Zeman never made it big because he never compromised with Moggi. He was the first one who started to say the truth about Juve players getting carnetina for breakfast, lunch and diner (because he read that on a book on Juve, LOL)! And Moggi tried his best to make sure he never would coach again... but he did! Now 20 years later, we know who was right and who was wrong!

Zemanlandia is a reality if Moratti wants to start a new cycle and wants to bring Inter at same level of Barcelona (Even Guardiola said that he admires Zeman... not Conte, or Capello, or Lippi, or Villa boas, or Blanc, or Bielsa)! I consider Zeman as the best coach in the world, and even Ranieri mentioned that Pescara is the only team who plays spectacular football in Italy!

Inter if really want a change, he is the man! He would maximize the potential of players like Poli, Obi, Castagnos, Nagatomo, Ranocchia, etc as he believes in the young, and there are no Senators in his team. He is the chosen one!

So there you have it as you can see my friend @Gigiscik is very passionate about Zeman being given the chance at Inter.  Next up is a coach that went from undefeated at Porto to a flop at Chelsea. For this section of this article, I have used quotes from regular Nerazzurri World writer @burnerbean’s latest article – Why I Think Andre Villas-Boas is the man to lead the Inter Revolution:

Andre Villas- Boas by @burnerbean

What’s he like?

Andre is a very intelligent, analytical manager. Andre is a strategic thinker who has learned from the very best in his short career, his motivation and attention to detail is exemplary. Andre is known to be almost obsessed with his attention to detail like the previously mentioned Pep and Mourinho.
Andre expects players to fight for him, he is a big motivator and will stick by his players. Players are expected to adapt to his system and be versatile on there approach to the game.

Playing style

4-3-3 appeared to used the most at Porto. Andre likes to use the width of the pitch. The 4-3-3 used is usually a really efficient tactically drilled system incorporating slick fluid passing from the back line to the front line. Other systems commonly used by Andre are a 4-4-2 diamond or 4-2-3-1 which whenever I saw Chelsea that seemed to be how they were set up.

Looking at Andre’s time at Porto his tactical efficiency seemed to get more out of his players than perhaps some other managers might be able to achieve. The best way I could explain that is taken a look at Ranieri system. Ranieri is unable to utilise a system that is balanced in attack and defence and often the players look flat and lacking the required direction from a confident manager something that Andre will be able to change if he was to arrive.

Negatives

A negative perhaps is Andrea wish to stick to what he believes in, and expect the team to mould to his ways instead of looking at what he has and finds the best system. But on the other hand if Moratti decides to back him with a couple of signings then to be honest we have the players for that system we just lack wide forward.

That sounds a little like Gasperini but Andre has different formations it’s his approach to the game that won’t change, his fluid passing games and style won’t change and for the sake of a result someone might have play out of position. Realistically that could happen on the short-term but as time goes on after a few transfer this would be less likely to happen.

What can he do for Inter?

Everything about Andre would be a benefit to Inter. A strong character is exactly what’s needed at this point. Time is the key for who ever arrives in the summer. Moratti and the fans have to be patient, instant success is unlikely. A step backwards to take a big step forward.

If Andre was backed in the transfer window, and was given the time to work with his players over a couple of seasons I really believe in a new DNA being installed into the club. For me Andre is the right man to take us forward. It’s a great opportunity for Andre an a great opportunity for Inter. With young players in the team already and a strong Primavera team the future is bright but we must stick with a manager for the long-term. A style and ethos needs to be implemented to give the team and club a new character, a character of strength a superiority that is visible on and off the pitch.

And lastly is the man who Moratti wanted last summer but had already agreed to go to Athletic Bilbao,

Marcelo Biesla

Biesla has a reputation for being, shall we say unique, as you may guess from his given nickname of ‘Madman’ but despite this he is also considered as one of the most innovative coaches in the modern game.   He has great experience from managing numerous club sides but also he has held the reigns of the Argentina national team for six years between 1998 and 2004 and then the Chile national team between 2007 and 2011 where due to the vast improvements in results he has achieved with their team he is now adored by Chileans to an almost cult level.

His tactics are very attack minded and he isn’t afraid to think outside the box when setting up his teams, as is evident with his 3-3-1-3 formation or even a 4-2-1-3.  Similarly to Zeman his philosophy is one of attack at all costs and score more than your opponents.  His main influences as a coach come from Louis Van Gaal’s AFC Ajax and Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan from the 1990′s but he has an influence over modern-day managers in the same way as Pep Guardiola is said to be a huge fan of his style and this is evident in the way he sets up and plays his Barcelona squad.

He’s very precise in his methods too, constantly analysing matches from his large collection of football videos, he has even been known to check pitch measurements by pacing them out before deciding on what formation he will play.  To give as much time as possible to his players he is known to have separate training times for different parts of his squad.  Former Argentina Captain Roberto Ayala stated once that “Sometimes we wouldn’t see any of the strikers, because he’d have them training at a different time, and it was the same with the midfielders. He’s an innovator, and one of the people who I’ve learned most from during my career”

He may take a different approach to coaching than most but you can’t deny his talent which was recently demonstrated to the world as he knocked Manchester United out of the Europa League with a 2-3 win at Old Trafford followed by a 2-1 win at home.  As much as I’m not a fan of Man Utd no one can deny that to beat the English team as convincingly as Biesla’s team did takes some great coaching.

The downside of Marcelo though is that in his time his personality and gestures have caught the attention of the world’s media and caused a series of minor controversies not only in the football world but also in the political world, but then again is having someone who is outspoken and stands up for what he believes in always a bad thing?

So there are what I would consider to be the four main contenders to take charge of Inter in the summer and spearhead our new project to take our beloved club forward.  As I said earlier I think Stramaccioni should be given the chance to prove himself and he has a confidence and charisma that would in my opinion benefit both the younger and older players in our squad. But if for some reason things don’t work out for him then my second choice would be Biesla as who better to lead ‘Pazza’ Inter in to the future than the original ‘Madman’ himself?