Friday June 6 2014
Stramaccioni’s second coming

Following a difficult spell in charge of Inter, Richard Thomas believes Udinese are the right club for Andrea Stramaccioni to kick-start his coaching career.

“In terms of meticulously studying his opponents, he really reminds me of Mourinho. He has great charisma.” These were the words of then Inter general manager Ernesto Paolillo shortly after Andrea Stramaccioni replaced Claudio Ranieri as the Nerazzurri’s head Coach in March 2012. The young tactician’s initial appointment may only have been on a caretaker basis, but Paolillo’s words were representative of a feeling within San Siro that they might have someone special on their hands.

After injury cruelly deprived him of the opportunity of a playing career in the mid 1990s, Strama spent over a decade prior to landing the top job at Inter working his way up the coaching ladder. Spells working in various roles within the youth sectors of AZ Sport, Romulea - in whose academy he grew up playing - and Roma caught the eye of the Nerazzurri, who handed him a three-year contract to take charge of their Primavera team in 2011.

His impact was instant. Less than a year into his new role, the then 36-year-old completed the job of guiding Inter’s youngsters to victory in the prestigious NextGen Series, earning him a reputation in some quarters as the ‘Italian Andre Villas-Boas’. A mere day after the triumph, the rise of Stramaccioni was complete when he was unveiled as first team boss.

Of course, the way Strama’s Inter tenure subsequently unfolded showed that it was a case of too much too soon for the rookie Coach. Though initial results in charge were good enough to earn him the post full time, the following season’s ninth place Serie A finish fell way below expectations. In truth, the roots of the Nerazzurri’s problems stretched far deeper than the poor campaign over which Stramaccioni presided, while other mitigating circumstances also conspired against him in his efforts to turn the ailing giants around.

Nevertheless, there was no way President Massimo Moratti was ever going to tolerate a mid-table finish just three years after seeing Inter win a historic treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League under Mourinho. Following what was in his words a ‘cursed’ season, Strama was unsurprisingly sent packing and placed on gardening leave.

Fast forward a year and the tactician has now been given a second bite at the Serie A cherry, having in recent days been confirmed as Udinese’s new boss. He was formally presented as Francesco Guidolin’s successor at a Press conference on Friday afternoon in an appointment that, on the face of it at least, seems an ideal fit for both parties.

“He is a knowledgeable Coach who is very up to date,” Bianconeri sporting director Cristiano Giaretta said of his side’s new acquisition. “He has a great desire to develop and coach the youngsters.” At a club renowned for giving emerging talent its chance, Strama should find his Udinese remit far more familiar than the one he was handed at Inter. Where at San Siro he was judged almost entirely on the cut-throat industry of results, much more emphasis in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia will be placed on his ability to nurture exciting young prospects - his proven forte.

Furthermore, the expectations placed upon him at Udinese results-wise will of course be much lower than they were in Milan. The Bianconeri's underwhelming 13th place finish under Guidolin last season gives Stramaccioni ample opportunity to preside over an improvement next term, while he will also be able to call on his predecessor – who is staying at the club behind the scenes – as a mentor. A reduced media spotlight and Udinese’s seeming desire for continuity and long-term planning should also help provide the 38-year-old with a more favourable environment in which to work than at San Siro, where he was very much thrown in at the deep end.

The infrastructure and philosophy of Udinese mean they are a club at which Strama, with his own attributes and track record, has the potential to thrive. Should he do so, his time at Inter will be viewed as nothing more than a false start to his senior coaching career.

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Have your say...
People don't forget his contribution towards Inter Milan. I'm also an Inter Supporter and I believe he went wrong only because of his lack of experience. He saved us in the end of the 2011/2012 season. In the 2012/2013 season he led Inter to 10 straight wins. He brought in players who have made the BackBone of Inter such as Handanovic, Guarin, Palacio and Kovacic. Handanovic and Guarin are World Class players and Kovacic is well on the way of becoming one of the best. Don't Hate on Strama!
on the 28th June, 2014 at 6:02pm
You can't blame Strama for questionable transfers. Only a few coaches are allowed to make the choice of who is to be signed at Inter. This decision is usually left with directors.

Secondly, Strama made some blunders tactically. Yes, he disposed of Juve and Milan but these were pretty much his only accomplishments. He was just a scapegoat for the deeper issues at Inter and shouldn't be written off as a coach but for now shouldn't be considered for a role for calcio's bigger sides. Udine are ok
on the 9th June, 2014 at 1:05pm
Many Inter fans believe that injury and transfer affected his time at Inter but I can say that Strama himself is the problem..Who set up the training method??Of course it is him with the stupid Panoncini back then, so when many Inter players injured it was down to his wrong training method..About transfer also, he chose to sign bunch of mediocre like Rocchi,Kuz,Pereira,Schelotto,Silvestre etc..He let Livaja and Longo (2 youngsters) left and instead opt to sign Rocchi..
on the 8th June, 2014 at 2:06pm
Geez..This editorial rated Strama too high..As an Interista, I never regret having him left the bench..In my opinion, he is just younger version of Claudio Ranieri..He chopped and changed the team and formation almost every week..He does not have plan B..Yes, Inter have had some spectacular results under him such as the the victory against Juve in Turin or the Milan derby but Inter suffered many embarrassing results under him (remember the home game vs Lazio, Atalanta, Udinese, Bologna)..
on the 8th June, 2014 at 12:26pm
Injuries, a bad January transfer window AND some unbelieveable refereeing done for him. Remember the ghost penalty awarded to Bologna? in March 2013 for Samuels "handball"....and it continued to May 2013 and even into Mazzaris reign. The best of luck Stramaccioni.
on the 8th June, 2014 at 11:04am
I don't think he was too cocky. I think the media suddenly started appointing him the chosen one after that win and that tends to make it seem like you have given yourself that reputation. he always seemed humble and had to work with basically a reserve team. I wish him a lot of luck. Always did like him and would love to see him succeed and work in better circumstances.
on the 6th June, 2014 at 7:47pm
Glad to see Strama back in the game and he was definitely done hard by as Inter suffered an unreal amount of injuries and no help in the market. I still like Mazzarri but I feel Strama did pretty good with what he had at his disposal, really just needs some work on the defensive side.
on the 6th June, 2014 at 7:30pm
Alexxx, that wasn't because he beat Juve, it was because Marotta talked smack about him before the game and he let his emotions get the better of him afterwards.
on the 6th June, 2014 at 7:29pm
the problem with this guy is that he's too cocky. Remember how he defeated juve and suddenly he acted like he's the chosen one?? He forgot the basic principle.. humility, keep your feet on the ground no matter how good the results you got.
on the 6th June, 2014 at 6:14pm
I wish him great success. I think he's very talented and we should've stuck with him, I have more confidence in him than Mazzarri. The majority of Inter's failure last season was down to injuries and bad transfers (Rocchi, Schelotto, Silvestre, seriously?), I place very little blame on Strama.
on the 6th June, 2014 at 3:55pm

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