Friday August 10 2012
Strama’s wrong strategy

Andrea Stramaccioni’s Inter side were almost embarrassed in the Europa League last night. Dylan Fahy examines why.

“It was a precarious game of chess from the first to the last minute, unfortunately we ran out of time to complete the check-mate”, that was Croatian daily 24sata’s take on  Hajduk Split’s dominate win over Inter in their Europa League last night. Despite the 2-0 loss, the Italian outfit managed to remain in the competition because of a 3-0 victory in the first leg. If it was a game of chess, Nerazzurro Coach Andrea Stramaccioni will be wondering where his main pieces where.

Over 25,000 Inter fans sat silently throughout proceedings, as it was Croatia’s second best team that inaugurated San Siro’s new hybrid pitch in style. Decisive mistakes from veteran centre-back Walter Samuel put his side under constant pressure, and Ivan Vukovic pounced twice. A completely mistimed tackle from the Argentine gave away a nonsensical penalty that was duly dispatched, before the Montenegrin forward cheekily chipped the ball up and shattered the top corner.

After an ‘almost perfect’ game in the first encounter, Stramaccioni was left gritting his teeth as his defence failed to close Vukovic and Co. down time and time again. In attack Philippe Coutinho was promoted to the starting line-up after his great goal in Split, but the youngster missed several gilt-edged chances. The Nerazzurri have spent the summer rejuvenating their squad, but it was now-39-year-old Captain Javier Zanetti who got the biggest cheer of the night for a sly nutmeg while bursting into the box.

The question remains where to strike the optimum balance between experience and youth. Inter are beginning to discard the squad that claimed the 2010 Champions League, with Goran Pandev and Lucio moving on this summer, while last season’s flops Diego Forlan and Mauro Zarate have not been kept around. Douglas Maicon, Julio Cesar and Giampaolo Pazzini have all been isolated from the squad too, and dropped from European action.

An excessively workman-like midfield at times left Inter lacking that creative spark last night. Gaby Mudingayi has been brought in to play alongside similar box-to-box players in Esteban Cambiasso and Fredy Guarin. That is on top of the likes of Joel Obi, MacDonald Mariga and Dejan Stankovic already occupying the bench.

Wesley Sneijder was left with the entire creative burden in the trequartista role with the 4-3-1-2 formation.  A more successful attack-minded diamond system with Ricardo Alvarez and the Dutchman should spearhead the team in the final third alongside the potential world-class talent that is Coutinho.

An embarrassing collapse on home territory might possibly have been avoided with a slightly more settled and accomplished outfit. The law graduate turned Coach only has a fortnight to crack this case, before Inter are expected to challenge Juventus for the League title.

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Have your say...
I believe the next round would be a better 1. Palacio & Silvestre need to play. Pls not Samuel! He needs to sit on the bench.
on the 22nd August, 2012 at 4:48pm
inter? need conspire calciopoli again to get the tittle. If not, stay mediocre club in Serie A. That's real MorattInter
on the 13th August, 2012 at 6:50am
I think the Main problem is with the transfer policy, coach (strama) can argue that the club never bring player that he doesn't wanted but he never mention that the he doesn't needed either.
on the 12th August, 2012 at 8:40pm
OK, 0:2 is bad, but pshychology last night was bad. Everyone was 100% sure that they will play next round. That is OK. Next time we will beat Romania team and will be OK.
on the 10th August, 2012 at 8:24pm
Well this is going to be a fresh start for inter Massimo didnt find another coach so he is going to give Andrea a change Massimo dont have nothing to lose because he cant do worst than last season.

I think Inter need to sell Julio Cesar (Not the best idea ), Pazzo and Maicon, to get need players fresh player with this new idea that Andrea have maybe they can fight for the tittle but is going to be a long season.
on the 10th August, 2012 at 2:18pm
This guy is over confident thats all, a bit big time coachng in white nike boots.... Thinking he is the italian AVB. Inter should keep Maicon and Pazini, Julio Cesar is woeful now so good choce in giving him the custard pie.
on the 10th August, 2012 at 1:24pm
Stramaccioni is a young developing coach, hopefully he will heed this lesson quickly. Though he wasn't helped by a woeful defensive display, and a frankly baffling transfer policy. Maicon should stay, as well as Pazzini as the latter is proven goal scorer. Inter also need a GOOD wide player (Ramirez), and another center forward if Pazzini is moved on. And though I agree and like Stramaccioni policy of ball retention, why Nagamoto doesn't get a starting place is strange.
on the 10th August, 2012 at 11:33am
.What do you expect from an olympic coach. I'm sorry srama, but you don't deserve in control of Inter. Personally, I think Inter has lost its way since the treble. Trying to cash in on the high notes if you know what I mean. Winning definitely means the club is enhanced with players being over valued. Guess what, Inter has cashed in, but its going to take time to re-group & bring back some winning ways & trophies for that matter. As a die hard Internzionale fan, forza Inter.
on the 10th August, 2012 at 11:30am

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