Stramaccioni - Mourinho the second?

Posted by Mike Whittaker

Claudio Villa/Getty Images Taking a page out of Mourinho's playbook, Andrea Stramaccioni credited Inter supporters for the team's win over AC Milan.

Charismatic, tactically astute and dedicated to Inter's future success -- these attributes have seen Andrea Stramaccioni thrust into the limelight as one of the most proficient young coaches in world football today.

Stramaccioni led the Inter Primavera team to glory in the Next Gen Series, demonstrating to club president Massimo Moratti that he could be ready to make the step up into top-flight coaching. With Claudio Ranieri unable to return the squad to a winning mentality and only having a couple of months left in the 2011-12 season, Moratti saw this as a perfect opportunity to test Stramaccioni at the highest level.

The impact brought about by Stramaccioni's appointment as caretaker coach was nothing short of phenomenal; in his debut game the team beat Genoa 5-4 in one of the most thrilling matches I've ever witnessed the Nerazzurri play.

- Moratti: Stramaccioni is like Mourinho

While the team were under the guidance of Ranieri, the squad looked deflated, fatigued and unenthusiastic. Stramaccioni's exceptional man-management skills reinvigorated the whole team and affirmed the belief that they were capable of competing for honours.

When Stramaccioni led his team to an illustrious 4-2 victory over rivals AC Milan in the penultimate game of the season, Moratti was convinced that he had finally found the right man to help him rebuild his squad and lead the club to glory.

Up until this point Stramaccioni has only held a licence to coach lower league and youth teams, so to obtain the required UEFA Pro Licence, he has been enrolled on the 2012/13 coaching course. Italy's football governing body, the FIGC, have given him dispensation to sign the contract as Inter's head coach before gaining his licence in June 2013.

Inter applied some wholesale changes to the squad over the summer, leaving Stramaccioni to find the right balance and formation for his team. The Nerazzurri find themselves in third place and top of their Europa League group after a respectable six wins, two draws and two losses in 10 games.

This run includes the recent 1-0 win against AC Milan, which saw Inter defeat their cross-town nemesis for the third time in a row -- a feat last achieved during the 2009/10 season with the legendary Jose Mourinho in charge.

Stramaccioni celebrated this latest victory after the game by taking to the pitch in front of the Curva Nord Ultras and dedicating the win to all the Inter fans. This Mourinho-esq gesture has proven to the fans that Stramaccioni is truly passionate about the club, while also drawing comparisons between Inter's current coach and the Special One.

Since Mourinho won the treble in 2010, every coach that has been at the helm of Inter has inevitably been compared with him, but unlike his predecessors, Stramaccioni actually has a lot in common with the man who is widely regarded as the best coach in the world.

In a recent interview, president Moratti was asked about the similarities between the two, to which he replied: “He's a worker and bright like Mourinho” and followed with "We always want to make comparisons but he's growing in terms of personality, ability and his attention to detail. You also need humility to succeed." Stramaccioni himself confirmed that he has the humbleness required when in repose to Moratti's comments he was quoted as saying: "I'm very proud of what the president said. I can only smile at the comparison because I'm a nobody while Mourinho has won wherever he's been."

 

The similarities between the two coaches are striking: both have an air of authority about them but also the charisma and approachability that their players respect and respond favourably to. They both have an exceptional tactical mind being able to change their formation and line-up to best nullify their opponents attacking threats. Undeniably, neither is perfect, both have tasted defeat in games but where they excel is in their ability to learn from mistakes.

Stramaccioni is still only 36 years old and just six months into his coaching career at the highest level, but already he is showing signs of having the intelligence and ability to become a world-class coach. In the future, I have no doubt that he will grow into an accomplished coach, joining the likes of Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola as one of the most successful in the game.

In my eyes, he has the ability to once again make Inter the elite club they use to be and hopefully he will stay at the helm for many years to come, returning the Milanese club to winning ways, fill the trophy cabinet with an abundance of silverware and who knows he may even achieve his own treble with the mighty Nerazzurri.

What do you think? Is Stramaccioni a legend in the making?

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