BLOG ITALIA
Thursday April 18 2013
It’s decision time at Inter

Inter’s season took another blow on Wednesday with Coppa Italia elimination. Varun Mathure looks at whether the lessons of this term will affect the future. 

It has not been the best of seasons for Inter and the Coppa Italia exit against Roma last night took away the only hope of a bright spot. With just six rounds to go until the end of this campaign, Inter and Massimo Moratti face a big decision going into next term.

Last year was supposed to be the start of a ‘project’ at Inter, but numerous factors have hindered its growth and a proper evaluation is tough to make. Inter look to have failed in their pre-season objective of securing Champions League football with the team nine points behind Milan who sit in third place.

The reasons for this are numerous, but their poor form in the second-half of this season has to be the prime one for their downfall. The Nerazzurri have collected just 15 points from 14 games this side of 2013, with four wins, three draws and seven losses. While injuries have played a factor here, the team has struggled to recreate the form that saw them end Juve’s unbeaten streak.

And this is where the main question facing Moratti comes up – who exactly can be held accountable for such a slump? Inter’s missteps in the transfer market certainly played their part as they failed to secure a proper back-up for Diego Milito and let Marko Livaja go out on loan to Atalanta. Following the Argentine’s injury, things really went pear shaped.

There were other issues too with the transfer policy as Inter decided not to reinforce their defence, despite the injuries to Walter Samuel and Cristian Chivu and the poor displays by Matias Silvestre. The lack of cover has seen Inter concede 26 goals in their 14 games this year, which is the second-most in the League behind only Pescara.

Eyebrows were also raised with the decision to let Philippe Coutinho leave for Liverpool. Inter did sign a very good prospect in Mateo Kovacic with the money available, but whether he was really what the Serpenti needed at that point of season is a matter up for debate. Coutinho’s departure left Inter with the much maligned Ricky Alvarez as the only player capable of taking on opposing defenders and moving play forward rapidly.

Given all these factors, one would be led to conclude that Inter technical director Marco Branca has a case to answer for. It should also be noted that Branca was responsible for Wesley Sneijder’s abrupt departure from the club in January. However, at the same time, young tactician Stramaccioni has also made more than a few errors along the way.

Strama’s policy of adjusting his squad to the opposition paid rich dividends at the start of the season, with Inter being extremely dangerous on the counter. However, as the season wore on opponents seized on to this fact and realised that the Nerazzurri were not too good at creating opportunities when forced to take the initiative.

His constant shuffling of the squad and formations also prevented the team from establishing a style of play which has always been a hallmark for most successful teams. But, perhaps, his greatest error came about in how he set out his defence. The three-man defence worked for a while, before falling apart towards the end of last year.

The huge number of injuries have certainly not helped Strama’s cause, but one can’t blame them for Inter having accumulated lesser points than the likes of Siena, Torino and Bologna in the past 14 games. While he certainly did start brightly, the Roman’s inexperience has shown as the season has worn on.

Another criticism of Strama in some sectors has been his failure to bring in more players from the Primavera. One of the things fans looked forward to at the start of the season was seeing many of the successful NextGen squad integrated into the senior party. Marco Benassi has been the only one given a proper chance to feature so far.

There have been mistakes made this year, but now Inter face an even more important decision than last summer. Moratti will have to evaluate whether he wants to continue to put his faith in Stramaccioni and give him another shot, or to start over once again with a more experienced Coach in an effort to get his side back into the top tier of Europe.

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Have your say...
Any other coach would have got Inter relegated. Unfortunately injuries matter. Tactically he out thought Conte in Turin. He has all the qualities but in soccer you need luck as well. I confirm Strama for next season. A good transfer campaign is needed. Remember this though, with all their injuries, if not for a few dubious refereeing "errors" , we woukd be in 3rd. What does thay say to all the rest of the "healthy" teams? Forza Inter
on the 18th April, 2013 at 5:46pm
Strama is not at fault here. Yes, he is inexperienced. But his tactics were winning matches when Inter had players available. Now more than half the first team is injured. When Rocchi and Jonathan are in the starting line-up, you know you are in trouble.

Keep Strama for next season, bring back Livaja and Longo. Give Benassi, Bessa, Kovacic more time in the starting lineup. We dont care if it takes one more year, but give youth a chance to grow.
on the 18th April, 2013 at 5:32pm
One of the few articles on Inter that this spot on! Get rid of in order 1.Branca, 2.team doctor (Combi) and 3. Strama!
on the 18th April, 2013 at 5:05pm
Some people seemed to be fixated with calciopoli. Everything goes in cycles Inter will be back. The probllem started when benitez was hired not the present coach. Major overhaul needed, hopefully with young players. Should be exciting.
on the 18th April, 2013 at 4:55pm
@juventino

Your comparing conte to sir Alex and mourinho?? C'mon, easy big fellow. I'd say does two are pretty far ahead of conte. Even tho conte is doing a great job
on the 18th April, 2013 at 4:51pm
inter made big mistake when they sold coutinho to liverpool ,ricky didn't deserve to play in team like inter and they must sell him in the end of season, why they didn't give a chance to livaja and why they brought roki what's the purpose from this stupid signed .
on the 18th April, 2013 at 4:47pm
You are not a coach dude, get it in your head. No charisma and no tactics.

You will get sacked on the pitch, on the pitch.
on the 18th April, 2013 at 3:06pm
Keep strama for next season and give him falcao, icardi and fabregas. Forza inter.
on the 18th April, 2013 at 3:06pm
Great article. However you forgot to address the main reasons for Inter's slump: poor refereeing, bad luck, the anti-Inter conspiracy, lack of a scandal to wipe out the opposition, the implementation of FFP, Sneider's terrible behaviour, and other external factors that make Inter an awful, awful team. I also heard that Milan and Juventus added female growth hormones to Strama's espresso in order to counter his obvious tactical strengths. Poor Inter, calcio is so unfair!
on the 18th April, 2013 at 3:00pm
They should find a better coach. Strama is ok, but he needs more experience when he must to deal with difficult situations such as injury crisis.

I think the biggest Inter problem is transfer strategy, that don't involve coach. Only Mourinho could tell Moratti or Branca what players they should buy. Inter squad is way of the balance and defenders like Rannochia or Silvestre is too weak if you want to build a strong and competitve team not just in Italy, but also in Europe.
on the 18th April, 2013 at 2:58pm
He seems like a nice guy,but everyone knows nice guys are just that,they are not winners.When Juve took Conte it was because winning is in his DNA and anyone who saw what he did to Vucinic against Pescara can be assured it is his way or the highway.Coaches like Conte,Sir Alex or Mourinho all have thatnasty streak that is required of a leader.I hope Inter show faith in him but ultimately I don`t envisage a long marriage.
on the 18th April, 2013 at 2:49pm
This team isnt ready to play in champions league next season and it wont be for at least 3 years but moratti has to splash out this summer or things will be worst next season. they need new striker playmaker and new defenders. Said they didnt need sneidjer thats exactly who they need
on the 18th April, 2013 at 2:36pm
seeing Jonathan and especially Alvaro Perreira in the starting line-up sums up all what's wrong with the current Inter team and squad. Strama hasn't a clue!
on the 18th April, 2013 at 2:33pm
Inter are right back where they belong.

They will need another fabricated Calciopoli 2.0 (and a real coach) to ever reach the top again.
on the 18th April, 2013 at 2:22pm

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