Speaking as an Inter fan, it’s hard to think of ways in which last season could have been any worse. There were three managerial changes, no silverware and to top it off; Juventus taking the Scudetto after an unbeaten season, as if to rub salt in our wounds.
However, it wasn’t as if football fans the world over couldn’t see it coming. Last season was the culmination of a rapid decline that started straight after the Champions League victory in Madrid and the departure of Jose Mourinho as head coach, with the World Club Championship and the Coppa Italia victories seeming to just paper over the ever widening cracks.
There was, however, one bright spot which appeared at the end of last season and that was the brave appointment of Andrea Stramaccioni. The reason that Stramaccioni’s appointment was brave was because at 36 years old, Strama had no first team managerial experience and was actually younger than the club captain, Javier Zanetti. One thing Strama did have on his side was a fantastic record in with the Inter youth team, having guided them to victory in the Next Gen Youth competition.
For many, including club president Massimo Moratti, the end of last season was seen as an opportunity for Stramaccioni to show that he could handle the step up to the first team and manage some of the big ego’s that top level football brings. Although at times the team showed some tactical naivety there were some fantastic moments. The highlight of which has to be the derby victory of neighbours AC Milan which mathematically prevented them from being able to win the Scudetto.
This season was meant to be a transitional season where the club would try to rejuvenate the squad by bringing in younger and hungrier players and at the start of the season that’s what it looked like. Inter struggled for consistency, especially at home. Impressive away wins were countered by lacklustre home performances. This was all changed, however, when Stramaccioni reworked the team by introducing at 3 man defence and pushing an extra man into midfield.
This has meant that Inter have been able to keep possession easier and create a solidity at the back, which they were lacking in earlier rounds. Strama has been helped of course by fantastic individual performances from the likes of Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Cambiasso, Palacio and Cassano but the credit surely rests with the coach who is managing to draw these performances from the players.
Obviously, it is important that Inter and the fans don’t get carried away this early in the season but we can be optimistic at how quickly this team is progressing after that incredible and record breaking win over Juventus on their own doorstep.
Let’s hope this is a sign of great things to come.
Written by Oliver Beatson
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