Finally, the inevitable has been confirmed on Inter's official website. "FC Internazionale would like to announce that the club has appointed Walter Mazzarri as the new head coach. FC Internazionale would like to thank Andrea Stramaccioni for the great commitment and professionalism he showed in a particularly difficult year. Walter Mazzarri has signed a two-year deal." - Stramaccioni out as Inter manager It comes as no surprise that the former Inter Primavera coach has been removed from the head coach job after 14 months in the role following his uninspiring record of 31 wins, 11 draws and 23 losses since he was promoted into the job in March 2012.
The 2012-13 season will always be remembered as one of the worst in Inter's 105-year history, but it would be unfair to say there have been no positives at all. In this article, I am going to share my thoughts on the best and worst for Inter this season in several categories. - Moratti 'reflecting' on Stramaccioni Manager I know what you're thinking: "Inter have only had one head coach this season!" As much as this is a novelty for Massimo Moratti's Nerazzurri, I feel the difference in performances between the 2012 half of the season and 2013's has been so hugely different that you would be forgiven for thinking there has been two different Andrea Stramaccioni's in charge this campaign.
Finally here we are at the end of the 2012-13 Serie A season, a campaign that promised so much following a disgraceful sixth-place finish the previous year. In my 2011-12 season review on my website Nerazzurri World, I spoke of an appalling season that ended with optimism for a more successful future under the guidance of a young up-and-coming coach by the name of Andrea Stramaccioni. Even by the start of the season in August, things were looking very promising, with a wealth of new faces combining with the experience of several veterans to create a squad that, on paper, looked as though they could possibly challenge Juventus for the title, even though the target was only for a top-three finish.
It's hard to believe that three years ago on Wednesday Inter were ending their 2009/10 season on top of the world by lifting the most prestigious trophy in club football. For the 2012/13 season it seems the Nerazzurri wanted to finish the current season in a similar way, by claiming a result that encompasses everything about the campaign they have just come to the end of. Unfortunately, unlike 2010, everything has gone wrong for Inter in 2013, and this was summed up completely by the 5-2 thrashing Udinese gave the Nerazzurri in the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Finally Inter are just one game away from the end of a nightmare season that will live long in my memory for all the wrong reasons. A season that has produced very few positives. However, before the club can move on from this disastrous campaign, they have one more challenge to endure in the shape of an in-form Udinese. - Cassano admits career regrets - Negredo catches the eye of Inter Like Inter, the Zebrette have had a season of two very different halves. Prior to their last meeting with the Nerazzurri, the Udine side were having an unremarkable season with just five wins and four losses in 18 games.
Inter came into the 2012/13 season looking to make amends for the disappointing sixth place finish achieved last season. However, circumstances have overtaken the club in the months since their ten-game winning spree, leaving them in what can only be described as a mess. I'm not going to get into who's to blame for the Nerazzurri's fall from grace or even the vast list of injuries suffered by key members of the squad, but the fact remains that these things have resulted in the club ending the current campaign in an even worse position than they started it.
I have very fond memories of Andrea Stramaccioni's first game at the helm of Inter against Genoa, on the 1st April 2012. It was a match that ended 5-4 at the Giuseppe Meazza to the home side, and promised a future of exciting football under the guidance of the young newly promoted coach. Fast forward just over a year and Stramaccioni's team once again faced the same Genoese side, this time away from home, however the feeling and scoreline couldn't be any more different. - Match report: Genoa 0-0 Inter 0-0 against a Genoa side battling desperately to stay out of the relegation zone is a far cry from the buzz and excitement I recall from that previous meeting last season.
Bitterly disappointed! That is the only description I can come up with about how I'm feeling following Inter's 3-1 loss to Lazio on Wednesday. Why am I so disappointed? It's not so much with the loss of three vital points -- after all, with the Nerazzurri's recent form I almost expected them to lose this match. Up to the 40-minute mark I was actually impressed with the performance and drive that the Inter players were showing in an attempt to secure a victory. Admittedly the defensive blunder that resulted in the own goal wasn't their greatest moment, the goal seemingly going against Samir Handanovic following a collision with his centre backs as he dived to punch the incoming ball away.
Inter's 3-1 defeat at Napoli Sunday came as no real surprise. As I explained in my preview, with the Nerazzurri missing 13 of their first-team squad due to injury, watching Napoli run rings around the visitors was the inevitable outcome. Even if Inter had managed to field a full-strength squad, a defeat was still the most likely result considering it has been 15 1/2 years since the Nerazzurri last won at the Stadio San Paolo (October 1997). The cursed season that Inter are enduring continued on Saturday when it was revealed that Inter's only real first-team striker, Tomasso Rocchi, had picked up a knock.
An uphill struggle faces the Nerazzurri on Sunday evening as they travel to the bay of Naples to take on second place Napoli. Inter always knew the run-in for this season was going to be tough, with all four of the teams they have yet to face having the capability of defeating their full strength line-up. But with 15 first team regulars now out of action for the Nerazzurri, the pressure is really on Andrea Stramaccioni and his second string squad to find the results they need, or at the very least limit the damage these teams could possibly cause.
When Javier Zanetti was stretchered off the pitch in Sunday's loss at Palermo, a sense of absolute disbelief was felt not just by those associated with Inter, but also the entire footballing world. His immense fitness and stamina even at 39 years old had perhaps given the legendary player a superhuman aura, after all the Nerazzurri's 'il Capitano' has for a long time been considered a player who was seemingly immune to serious injury and the normal aging process shown by most footballers. Such was the opinion that the Inter skipper couldn’t have possibly seriously injured himself, several players expected him to return to the pitch, an opinion that Jonathan shared with the awaiting press post match: "I thought he would come back on the pitch.
Inter's visit to relegation-threatened Palermo was a must-win Sunday if the Nerazzurri wanted to keep a firm grip on fifth place, where they stood before the match. Ninety minutes later, and the home side were celebrating their 1-0 win, while Inter were left picking up the pieces once again and head into next weekends difficult game against Napoli in a depressingly low seventh place. Luckily for the Nerazzurri, Lazio only managed a 0-0 draw away to Parma keeping Inter a point ahead with four games to go.