Spanish tactician Marcelino Garcia Toral is being widely touted as the next Inter Milan boss.
Former Villarreal manager and Serie A fallen giants have both endured difficult times of late and their potential partnership could ultimately prove to be of symbiotic effect.
The Nerazzurri prepare to take on Crotone on Sunday afternoon on the back of two successive defeats, first of which resulted in manager Frank De Boer getting a sack after only 89 days in charge of the Italian club.
De Boer’s 14 games in charge were by no means enough for the attack-minded Dutchman to impose his tactical ideas and put his stamp on Inter’s play, but result-driven new owners were not willing to wait any longer and decided to part ways with the young tactician.
What club management – willingly or unconsciously – refuses to realise is that the lack of continuity, patience and steadiness at the helm is taking a huge toll.
Over the course of last six years, the Nerazzurri have changed no less than eight different managers.
Their struggles go wide beyond the on-pitch problems and are deeply rooted in lack of confidence, self-belief and sheer team support which was once again more than evident in Inter’s Europa League 2-1 defeat to Southampton.
Desperate to get back to the top of Italian football, Inter have decided to approach former Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia Toral, who has been pinpointed as the firm favourite to take over from the interim manager Stefano Vecchi, the Inter Primavera coach.
With their sights set on Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho however, who remain the two dream wishes, Inter could go on to waste yet another talented manager after Frank De Boer.
Knowing Marcelino though, he could end up using the Inter chance fully to his advantage and make Nerazzurri a huge stepping stone in his emerging career.
Marcelino the Maleficent Magician
A relatively young manager in football terms, Marcelino Garcia Toral started his managerial career at Lealtad in 1997, but it wasn’t until 2007 when he arrived to his former club Santander that Marcelino started making waves across La Liga.
Having lead the Cantabrians to a best-ever sixth-place finish and the subsequent UEFA Cup qualification, he moved to Zaragoza the very following year becoming the Spain’s best paid manager following the departure of Real Madrid’s Bernd Schuster.
Things did not work the way Marcelino would have wanted them to and his career took a turn to the worse over the next couple of years during which he had spells at Racing Santander again and Sevilla.
In January 2013 Marcelino signed for Villarreal, returning the Yellow Submarine to the top flight at the end of campaign and ultimately achieving three top-six finishes, including the fourth place and a semi-final stretch in the UEFA Europa League in 2015-16.
Marcelino gained plenty of praise for his hand-on approach and attack-oriented style, which made Villarreal into an eye-catching side.
But the 51-year-old’s temperament has so far prevented him from making a big break in his career.
Marcelino was close to this big break this summer when he was preparing for Champions League qualifier against Monaco, ezeing a chance to strut his stuff among the best of the best with Villarreal.
Instead of guiding his team to Europe’s elite competition, Marcelino was released from his duties as Villarreal coach much to the surprise of the football community.
A week before the crucial August game, Marcelino’s irreconcilable differences with Board of directors, disagreements with players and intense divergences over new signings resulted in the club dispensing his services.
Valencia were eager to seize the opportunity but the RFRF rules have closed the La Liga doors for Marcelino as it is stated that a coach cannot work with another team in the same division in the same season, which officially starts in July.
A Chance for Redemption?
Both Inter and Marcelino are standing on crossroads and their paths could meet much to the mutual pleasure.
Serie A fallen giants need a quick but quality solution, while disgraced Marcelino needs a big club willing to take him on so the 51-year-old manager could put his untamed temperament to much productive use than it was the case with Villarreal.
Marcelino is a talented manager and Inter could very well be the pinnacle of his career, and an opportunity to prove his worth at the highest possible level.
Nerazzuri are considering several options including Guus Hiddink, Stefano Pioli and Gianfranco Zola who are all alternatives to Marcelino, but the Spaniard remains the firm favourite. As a man who helped Villarreal rise from the ashes, Marcelino is close to being given the chance to put a halt to Inter’s managerial Marry-go-round.
The club are thought to be weighing their options and the final decision should be made after Crotone game.
Inter are given the 4/6 betting odds to claim a HT/FT win on Sunday afternoon.