Friday April 5 2013
Stick or twist with Strama?

As Inter’s inconsistent campaign continues, Alex Mott asks if it’s time for boss Andrea Stramaccioni to move on.

Back in November last year, there was seemingly only one team who could realistically challenge Juventus for the Scudetto. As one journalist wrote in La Repubblica at the time, “Inter ought to make a monument to Stramaccioni.”

The Nerazzurri had just beaten their old rivals in devastating fashion, and brought to an end their 49-game unbeaten run in the League. The derby of Italy had cemented supporters’ thoughts – that this Beneamata team, with their young, idealistic Coach, could go all the way to the top.

The 37-year-old had named an ultra-attacking XI that day, with Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano and Diego Milito leading the line – the boss younger than his captain had gone toe-to-toe with Antonio Conte. And won.

Javier Zanetti insisted that with Strama in charge, Inter could “reach the very top”. President Massimo Moratti meanwhile claimed that his team could go all the way. “Are we Juve's main challengers? We're just focused on ourselves,” he said. “Saying that, of course we'd love to challenge for the title, we naturally want to perform well and I feel that we're improving with every match we play.

“I like the fact we've found consistency and we're able to make tactical switches during games to adapt to our opponents, so we can best counter their strengths. This is the most positive aspect, along with the unity between the Coach and the players. We've got great team spirit.”

Just five months later, however, and things have never really progressed from that night in Turin. What was meant to be the springboard for a historic campaign has turned into a flash-in-the-pan – unlikely to be repeated.

Their win on Wednesday evening over Sampdoria was their first since they defeated Catania on March 4. Since the turn of the year, the Nerazzurri have only picked up 15 points out of a possible 36. Losses to Siena and Bologna have derailed their season – draws with Milan, Roma and Torino have rubbed salt into the wounds.

From being in second place in Serie A in November, four points behind Juve, they are now fifth, and trail the leaders by 18 points. With eight games of the campaign left, there is a genuine possibility of the Nerazzurri not competing in Europe next year. Tough matches against Lazio, Napoli and Udinese await.

But how has this happened in such a short space of time?

Of course, injuries have helped unsettle the San Siro side. Losing Milito to a long-term knee knock has seen the front-line become a blunt imitation of what they once were. And a lack of options up front has seen them score more than two goals in a League game just three times since Christmas.

The defence has become increasingly shaky post-break, with Juan Jesus and Andrea Ranocchia prone to lapses in concentration. And when Samir Handanovic is consistently your best player, something is surely a miss.

Perhaps the biggest criticism though, is reserved for Stramaccioni himself. The tactician has been, at the same time, predictable and erratic in his line-ups. The reverse fixture with Juve last week saw a back-three of Ranocchia, Walter Samuel and Cristian Chivu. Trying to match-up with Old Lady didn’t work, and they effortlessly swatted the Nerazzurri aside.

At 37, the Coach still has plenty of time to hone his style and reading of the game. It has been an up-and-down season for Inter, but with a lack of European football staring them in the face – will President Moratti stick or twist with his youthful tactician come the end of the campaign?

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Have your say...
Not mentioning the referees "mistakes" which added more problems & contributed more than Strama's mistakes doesnt make it go away or not happened mr writer
on the 10th April, 2013 at 9:02am
too many injuries...

let see how Juve or Milan play with a only one reserve striker to choose from.

then take away 3/4 senior midfielders

and then 2/3 defenders.

oh and lets knock out the reserve keeper too.

Strama is doing OK with what he has. tactical changes are forced on him.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 5:48am
Strama is to blame. He encouraged the loan of longo and livaja and sale of coutinho and snidger. He bought players like scheletto and kuzmanovic which I consider as average players or below average. If we have coutinho and longo and livaja now we would be in uefa spot. He never voiced his disagreement with sale or loan of those players. Yes branca is also to blame but I believe branca must have consulted with strama before buying this mediocre players. Time for zanetti to move on.
on the 9th April, 2013 at 1:32pm
Regardless stick with Strama or change to a new coach, Inter would never become scudetto again unless they create another "Morattopoli" just like what they did in 2006.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 5:39pm
Stramaccioni needs a better squad. He deserves more time.
He's just a victim of Moratti's transfer chaos.
Let Sneijder and Coutinho go???
Got the oppertunity to get Balotelli and let it slip away!
This team deserves more quality.
Moratti got to spend new money for the future of this team.
Just 3 years ago, we were champions of Europe. And now?
With this squad, it's not a question of the coach.
Most of the players are middle class.
Qualification for the Champions League is impossible with them.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 6:08am
Moratti has to take the blame here. We desperately need a goal scorer, which we just dont have! The January transfer market was perfect for us to reinforce this department but we didn't... now all we have is Rocchi!? A change in transfet policy is needed!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 7:43pm
Stick for sure
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:37am
Benitez is free at the end of the season.
Terrible decisions, terrible buys, terrible President.
Had a chance to correct the striker problem in the winter, knowing milito would be out, goes and buys Rocchi from Lazio, I couldn't stop laughing.
on the 6th April, 2013 at 10:00pm
Ciao I'm a Juve fan & I wonder why people forget that Inter may, or maynot have done something wrong which could possibly've meant they wouldn't have won what they did?
I'd also like to point out Juventus never did a SINGLE thing remotely questionable and r victims of a vast international conspiracy, we've never benefitted (FACT) from any refereeing decision, EVER.
Inter not winning is cosmic justice, but on earth 3 yrs after the fact why haven't the courts disbanded them?
on the 6th April, 2013 at 9:49pm
Also if some will recall it was after the juve victory that all the injuries started first samuel and so on and so forth I think some on the squad are very capable but we lack a rock in defense (or at least one was absent most of season) and an important and consistent presence in the middle. Kovacic may fill that roll but he may not be ready. And also will some give a good reason why gargano continues to get playing time he has been trash most of season how was he not subbed in last two games
on the 6th April, 2013 at 9:03pm
As some ppl have already commented strama is a victim of bad transfer and injuries. Yes it would be nice to still have the players which were loaned out but at the time they were viewed as not ready. And aside from recent injuries they probable would never gotten any playing time. Rocchi, schelotto, kuzmanovic are real mysteries as to y they were signed. I understood the sales of coutihno and sniejder but imo the most significant sale in the past few years was the sale of thiago motta.
on the 6th April, 2013 at 8:35pm
despite the injuries during this awful season,strama has to blamed together with moratti and branca,strama tried maybe 10 different formations , 4-2-3-1 , 3-5-2 , 4-3-3 etc.he must stick with one or two at max to gain consistency,he is lack of confidence because every time he lost a match a change formations or players,i think its very hard and rare to find a coach at inter succeed with team after a failure,if inter need to back for winning ways they must sign a high profile coaches and players
on the 6th April, 2013 at 12:40pm
I'd blame the clubs transfer policy. Aside from Palacio, Cassano, & Kovacic, all the players that have been brought in over the past 12 months, do not have the quality that you'd normally associate with a top Italian club. Due to Sneijders continual injury problems, Inter have desperately lacked creativity in their midfield for almost 3 years. They took too long in signing a player like Kovacic. Inter have some great young players & I'd like to see Strama give them more of a chance.
on the 6th April, 2013 at 10:31am
From european champions to mid-table seria A team that is my beloved inter. i think the problem is moratti. inter were strong and could have been stronger after winning CL but greedy moratti decided to cash key players. Strama's fault was to let go players like S. Longo and Livaja on loan. How can you send 18 years old shinning star to a loan and keep players like cambiasso, stankovic,samual, and Cassano to your team?
why would you sell Coutinho and bring schelloto?
on the 6th April, 2013 at 8:05am
This is what I call part of the "I must write something" syndrome of some of these blog contributors. When Strama was winning derbies and ending unbeaten runs he was the most promising tactician and on his way to being a great in the mould of Saachi. Now. The Inter team has been beset with injuries, Branca and co have been woeful in the transfer window buying the likes of Kuzmanovic (benchwarmer at Stuttgart) and a "not yet ready" Kovacic. And you seriously expect him to perform miracles???? I respect Strama and I think he's a good tactician whose major strength lies in reading the game superbly. He may not get to the "Greatness" level at Inter but trust me, he will be a Great someday.
on the 6th April, 2013 at 5:21am
Here we go again!!! Its Strama’s fault isn’t it? Whenever Inter’s isn't doing well the press, the media and some of the fans calls for Strama’s head. I do think we need to wait till the end of the season b4 we draw conclusions about Strama’s performance and position. Like I've said in some of the previous blogs about Inter, it’s highly unlikely we finish in the top three looking our inconsistency and the lack of top quality players in the squad. To sum it up, injuries has taken its toll on the squad this season so let’s just hope that we will finish the season on a high. FORZA INTER!!!
on the 6th April, 2013 at 3:02am
Imagine if there is no "Statute of Limitations" where is this team will be?
on the 6th April, 2013 at 1:45am
Here lies Inter's problem; rather than sticking with a manager they change and change and change. Truth is aside from Mourinho Inter have never benefited from a change in manager in the long term. There is always a sense that they are building for next season. I remember this in the 90s when they spent the same money as Milan and Juve but never achieved the same levels of success due to swapping and changing managers.
on the 6th April, 2013 at 12:46am
I cant really believe that blame is being put on strama for the results of this season. I mean, does reputation really make that much of a difference? If capello, lippi or even mou has only a non-existant Rochi as a central striker, trust me his results would not have been much better. I mean, the man has done wonders with our team spirit, he just cant compensate the lack of quality in the squad. Nobody will come in and do magic with our squad, quality players must come in. I believe in Strama
on the 5th April, 2013 at 10:54pm
I believe Strama should be given a chance to continue next season and agree entirely with Angelo Trofa in his assessment. As an Inter fan for the best part of twenty years I too have seen far better squads perform much worse and Strama has done well giving us some great matches showing courage and tenacity, (juventus v Iinter, Inter v Spurs)n and of course we have also been mediocre at times but realistic fans see the point we are in our transition and accept this.
on the 5th April, 2013 at 10:39pm
Strama is doing the maximum he can do with this team. The problem lies with Branca and the physios. Why are so many players getting injured? Right now, there are no forwards. Cassano can get the ball, but he has no one to pass it to. Depending on Rocchi for the remainder of the season doesnt look bad on Strama, but it looks bad on Branca. Were there any good transfers? Ok, I understand Inter are not going to spend a lot, then at least call back Longo, and get Forte from the primavera.
on the 5th April, 2013 at 9:11pm
"Trying to match-up with Old Lady didn’t work, and they effortlessly swatted the Nerazzurri aside"

This is where your comment looses credibility. If you want to persuade opinions then at least get the background stats correct. The Inter V Juve game ended with similar ball possession, shots on goal and of course the score was 1-2. To anyone watching the game they would have told you the game was evenly posed.

At least highlight objective views leading up to your "honest comment"
on the 5th April, 2013 at 8:09pm
Ive been an Inter fan for over 20 years, ive seen managers come and go and Stramaccioni doesn't strike me as an exceptional manager... he should never have been given the position. being a youth team manager doesn't justify getting the top job. I hope he is sacked and moratti hires someone with a winning mentality.

Forza Inter

Bring Back Mourinho!!!!!!!
on the 5th April, 2013 at 8:01pm
"Trying to match-up with Old Lady didn’t work, and they effortlessly swatted the Nerazzurri aside."

Seriously? Are you for real???
on the 5th April, 2013 at 7:52pm
Stramaccioni could not have done much more with the squad given to him. Branca is to blame. Yes he has made mistakes, but I must agree with Mike: No one says anything about Conte. He never adjusts formation in games and Juve have become very predictable. He proved it last week against Bayern. At 1-0 and Juve getting dominated, should of made an adjusment. Strama would of at least tried something. If Inter invests in quality players, they can keep Strama and give him another chance.
on the 5th April, 2013 at 7:26pm
Strama, guess what? you will be sacked on the pitch, on the pitch.
on the 5th April, 2013 at 5:47pm
I think you're being a little too harsh on Strama. The injuries have played a HUGE part in the recent downfall of Inter. Half of them have been in the training so it makes you wonder the fault really lies on the medic team. Strama has managed to still keep Inter in the hunt but now that Palacio, it's going to need a miracle to finish to play in Europe next season.
on the 5th April, 2013 at 4:55pm
Cut Strama slack, I've been an Inter fan since the 90s, and believe me this season isnt the worst. Some high profile managers with much more experience and decades on their CV have fared far worse (Marcello Lippi...). He's young and has taken the reigns of possibly the worst Inter in my lifetime. For the first time ever there is no high profile subs, or even a Julio Cruz to fall back on.

I hope he stays, and given time, we're re-building. for once Inter must point to stability
on the 5th April, 2013 at 4:32pm
I think he is a like Coutinho young, raw and talented but will not flourish for a few years yet and at a club the size of Inter he cannot be afforded a couple of seasons of 'training' where he will be below par and cost Inter big time. He has made MASSIVE errors that show his inexperience, the fact Inter are so poor in first halves of games shows this (Spurs first leg) AVB himself stated Inter were out after the 2nd leg 4-1 win because Palacio did not start 1st leg instead Strama chose Periera!?
on the 5th April, 2013 at 4:02pm
if inter wants to get close too or return too greatness sometime soon, then i'm afraid strama must go. inter would need the likes of some one of mour quality or likeness. strama is a youth coach with no experience. granted over time that some experience will come. but like we all know very well, in serie a, there is NO time! you must jump right in and preform well. and consistently too! no time to waste, and definitely no time to lose matches either. sorry strama.
on the 5th April, 2013 at 3:28pm

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