There was a time, before Calciopoli, the five consecutive Scudetti and the Treble, when Inter were a bit of a joke. Their lack of success, constant changing of tacticians and the bizarre whims of President Massimo Moratti made them a guaranteed punchline for fans of every other club. Seeing what has happened since Jose Mourinho left a year ago, it's all looking horribly familiar.
A side still mourning for the loss of The Special One was thrown to Rafa Benitez, a man who generally failed to achieve very much at all in his many years at Liverpool. Aside from that freakish Champions League victory over Milan, which to this day I find inexplicable, he was really not the image of success. Leonardo made it entirely clear he never wanted to be a Coach in the first place and lasted one season at Milan before making a run for the exit. The Brazilian only managed six months across the city.
Now we have the unedifying spectacle of Inter scrambling to find anyone willing to take the job. The list of candidates is not reassuring for the fans. If Andre Villas-Boas were to leave Porto, he'd probably end up at Chelsea, while Fabio Capello is still busy boring England supporters. Marcelo ‘El Loco' Bielsa rejected the offer, so they turned to Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Let it be known that Fiorentina ultras were overjoyed when the stories emerged Mihajlovic would be leaving. They couldn't believe their luck, having abandoned the stadium in droves this season when faced with an incredibly dull and negative side that failed to qualify for Europe. It was generally believed the delay in Fiorentina issuing a statement was because they saw the celebration in the streets – well, the Internet forums – at news there'd be a change of Coach. The response now Sinisa has pledged his future to the Viola is of stunned disbelief. “Why must we always shoot ourselves in the foot?” moaned one supporter.
Even considering Mihajlovic is bizarre in and of itself. This was the man who was assistant manager to the sacked Roberto Mancini before the Mourinho era. Going full circle back to him really would be like diving into a time warp, bringing along all the ill feeling and bitterness that came with Mancio's dismissal.
So who are the other candidates? Delio Rossi, who was sacked from Palermo this season. Twice. Gian Piero Gasperini, axed by Genoa mid-term. Gianfranco Zola, fired by West Ham United and whose Italian management career consisted entirely of a spell as sort-of-assistant-co-Coach-basically-a-figurehead alongside Pierluigi Casiraghi at Under-21 level. For a team that begins its season on August 6 with the Italian Super Cup against Milan in Beijing, the Nerazzurri are looking a little half-baked.