Wednesday March 14 2012
More tears for Ranieri

Inter were eliminated from Europe at the hands of Marseille. Luca Cetta examines where it went wrong and where to from here for the Nerazzurri.

Claudio Ranieri seemed misty-eyed as Inter managed to end their nine match winless run in all competitions on Friday night versus Chievo. Following the emotional toil of a six-week spell in which Inter’s domestic dreams evaporated, their win in Verona offered hope ahead of their Champions League return contest with Marseille. Unfortunately for Ranieri there would be tears of a different kind on Wednesday as the Nerazzurri succumbed to a 2-2 aggregate, away goals rule elimination.

The tactician was able to fight through the disappointment to note he could have done more, but felt his side deserved to advance. “The Coach always takes the blame and we are paid for that, so it’s fair enough. I have to admit we could not have done any more, partly because of that bit of luck that this season just won’t come to Inter.”

Trailing by one goal after the first leg, Inter needed to take the momentum gathered by the Chievo revival and generate a storm of fury on Marseille. That forecast barely lasted 10 minutes, as other than early chances for Wesley Sneijder and Diego Milito, they hardly threatened the French outfit in the first half.

It was more of the same after the break until expert poacher Milito stole in behind the defence to poke home the aggregate equaliser. However, Inter’s recent defensive deficiencies – 19 goals conceded during their barren run – were on show again as Brandao shrugged off Lucio to fire past Julio Cesar in injury time and give Didier Deschamps yet another triumph over Ranieri, eight seasons after Monaco knocked out Chelsea. That Giampaolo Pazzini netted a penalty to win the match on the night mattered little.

So where to now for club and Coach? Out of the Scudetto reckoning and a long way from securing third place, eliminated from the Coppa Italia and Champions League, this season has become nothing short of a disaster. The short-term Ranieri reign will likely be over in the summer. Perhaps nothing short of a fourth European crown would have kept the Tinkerman in the job, but now his position looks untenable. Andre Villas-Boas, Fabio Capello, Laurent Blanc and Luciano Spalletti have been linked with Ranieri’s post.

Again struggling to rectify the Sneijder issue, Ranieri claims the Dutchman picked up a knock and so was substituted, but the 4-4-2 has provided greater balance rather than utilising a trequartista and it was almost as if Ranieri wanted his tried and trusted system in the hour of need as he brought on Joel Obi.

Do Inter now focus on one last tilt at Champions League qualification, which may generate little more than a place in the undesired Europa League? Should they use the remaining fixtures to further integrate the youngsters in preparation for another cycle? And how will Inter rectify the Sneijder situation, an issue which will have a bearing on the direction the club takes next season?

There is certainly plenty ahead for Massimo Moratti to concern himself with in the upcoming months. And a near guarantee of more tears on the horizon for Claudio Ranieri.

Have your say...
I agree with "Boss" completely. The graceless behaviour from players like Zanetti and Materazzi and especially the shameless Moratti from 2006 onwards was a disgrace. Wearing the Scudetto shield after finishing 3rd was a truly pathetic act, preaching about winning honestly. calcopoli would have meant no Ibra, no Mourinho, no titles, no Champions League. They are back where they belong...nowhere!
on the 18th March, 2012 at 9:53pm
@Luca, not sure if you're aware of this but most every player comes from a different team... That would be like saying hello.. Eto was former Barca and the coach was former Chelsea when Inter won the treble a couple years back... I get that Inter are struggling and you have to take whatever you can from Milan's success, but really? Yes, Ibra is former Inter and so is Seedorf but they're really making their mark with Milan specially Seedorf. Nice try though lol!
on the 15th March, 2012 at 8:45pm
Another useless performance from a Serie A club typified by abysmal defending. 3 Italian sides conceded 9 goals in these 3 second legs, scoring just 2 between them. What has gone so wrong in Italian football? Someone needs to be teaching this generation of footballers how to defend properly! Surely players like Aronica aren't the best Italian football has to offer? And some metal when under pressure would be good too, rather than the meek collapses we've seen this last 2 weeks.
on the 15th March, 2012 at 10:40am
After years of success it is quite understandable to have bad season. Nothing new for football world really. Inter will be OK.
on the 15th March, 2012 at 1:43am
The squad has been left to rot over the last 2 years. That's not Ranieri's fault. Milito and Maicon should have been sold for huge sums after the CL final but were unwisely kept.
Now the team needs to be totally rebuilt but I doubt they have the money. I'd sell Sneijder, Maicon, Forlan, Mariga, Pandev and maybe Cesar. That should be easily over 50m. Also offload Chivu, Muntari, Zarate and Palombo.
With that I'd sign Isla, Handanovic and Rossi, along with a few others.
on the 14th March, 2012 at 10:19pm
With the best squad in the world, Ranieri would still lose. We need new - QUALITY manager and new players.
on the 14th March, 2012 at 8:59pm
inter's club are just a bunch of fools. They are so lucky they got mourinho. He is responsible for eveyrthing good they had. Here is a pattern, inter pre-mourinho are a joke and only win the scudetto because juve have gone. Inter with mourinho win the treble and beat teams like Barca. Inter post mourinho turn back into the pathetic pre mourinho team with a idiot president, idiot team and idiot fans. Notice a pattern? the treble is solely Mourinho's. No one elses. Not the clubs or the players'.
on the 14th March, 2012 at 7:21pm
lol inter are a true joke. They thought they were good when Juve and Milan were out of the picture after Calciopolie but now they ar eback, inter are back where they belong. Ranieri is an embarrassment. He should retire, he goes to every club and gets sacked, does this man not get enough of being a loser. When mourinho firts branded him a loser i felt bad for Ranieri, but he truly is a loser. And the idiot thinks the old excuse of "we played well were almost there now" will be believed by fans
on the 14th March, 2012 at 7:18pm
This was the last time you'll see Inter in the Champions League for years.

Inter need to completely rebuild. Sale & get return for what they have. When I look at their assets I say build around this core:

Fredy Guarín, Joel Obi, Luc Castaignos, Faraoni, Ricardo Álvarez, Juan , Poli

Keep a couple of: Zanetti, Pazzini, Stanković, Ranocchia, Cambiasso, Milito, Lucio as back ups or as veterans, only if you don't get a decent offer.

Then take $75m and invest it into players under 24.
on the 14th March, 2012 at 6:49pm
Two comments: 1st. To Alex who says he supports all Italian teams, but was glad Inter lost, get a life! ac milan fans, still dont get that for the nth time they are in love with an EX-Inter star!. This time is called Ibra. LOL.

2nd Inter shall get rid of, stankovic, chivu, maicon, milito, forlan, build upon Obi, Poli, Jonathan, Castaignos,and other youngsters...and dont release Sneijder!
on the 14th March, 2012 at 5:26pm
If I were Moratti, i would give whatever money necessary to Sneijder, ensuring he remains. He is key in all of this. Ensure him that Ranieri will be gone, and therefore the 4-4-2 experiment will be gone with him. Restructure the defense ENTIRELY (keeping only Zanetti), add some depth within midfield (Stankovic, Cambiasso, simply cannot feature as regulars any longer). Go out and get another striker to supplement Milito, Pazzini and Forlan.
on the 14th March, 2012 at 4:11pm
AC Milan Fan here

Root for all Italian teams in Europe but was kind of glad Inter got knocked out last night as they would only of got another beating in the QFs like they suffered against FC Schalke last year

Saved all us Italians the embarrassment
on the 14th March, 2012 at 3:30pm
This raises some great points. You have to believe Inter are on a downward spiral without a serious restructuring this summer, and there's no reason to involve Tinkerman in any of that,
on the 14th March, 2012 at 2:54pm

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