You don’t need an Italian football expert to tell you Gian Piero Gasperini was off to a bad start at Inter. Even though he has lead the Nerazzurri in fewer than a half-dozen competitive matches, his team looked nothing short of horrendous in that time. It can be argued he did, in fact, deserve the pink slip handed to him this morning. But that is not the only sacking Inter fans should be calling for. It is time for the focus to shift towards club president Massimo Moratti and the mistakes he has made as well.
Gasperini’s Inter team has been bad, to say the least. Losing the Serie A opener to Palermo is nothing to fire a coach over, but shipping four goals in the process was certainly cause for concern. But since than, Gasperini and his players have only made matters worse. They suffered a humiliating home loss in the Champions League to Trabzonspor, looked sluggish in a scoreless draw at the San Siro to Roma, and then last night Gasperini’s ship finally sank.
Inter were made to look nothing short of silly in a 3-1 loss to recently promoted Novara. The Nerazzurri may have had the bulk of possession, but they simply never seemed interested or capable of doing anything with it. And when Novara did get the ball, the gaps in Inter’s defensive setup where so large you simply couldn’t believe it was Inter Milan you were watching play? To make matters worse, when Novara ventured forward, the crowd at the Silvio Piola, a 16,000-strong cauldron, rose to a fever pitch and in response, the Inter players appeared to ball up in the fetal position on the pitch! It was an amazing night for the Serie A newcomers, and a total disaster for Gasperini and his men.
And all the while, the cameras forced us to look at the face of Massimo Moratti, sitting there glum and looking appropriately disgusted. But part of that disgust must be pointed directly towards himself. Once again, he has made a terrible coaching decision that almost everyone but Moratti saw coming months ago.
When you hire a coach like Gasperini, you hire a system as well. No one in the footballing world, I guess with the exception of Moratti, thought his new coach would come in and adopt a conservative defensive approach, or try and remake the Mourinho team. This is a man who earned his name with a certain tactic and made it very clear he would try and bring it to Inter. And while Gasperini deserves blame for not seeing the obvious, that Inter’s players were simply not physically suited for it, Moratti deserves even more blame for hanging his hat, once again, on a coach who wasn’t suited for this storied club.
So here we are, watching the same film as last year. Moratti makes an ill-advised coaching hire and now has to comb the continent looking for someone who wants to take over an aging squad, whose confidence is low, and sign a contract with a president who should be resigning himself!
But if their is any credit to give Moratti, at least he woke up from his slumber to see the obvious earlier in the season than he did last year. After only two games in Serie A and one in the Champions League, Inter has a real chance at turning their season around. But that would require Moratti to make a good hire, which in the last couple of seasons has not exactly been his forte.
In the coming days we will begin to hear the names of candidates for Inter’s managerial vacancy. Already the obvious ones are being floated, including the likes of Claudio Ranieri and Carlo Ancelotti. Who do you think should get the job?