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New man at Inter

Master stroke or strange decision?

There was talk of England boss Fabio Capello and the new man at Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas, but Inter have now announced that the man entrusted to wrestle the Serie A title back from their San Siro joint tenants is former Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini. He has been unveiled as their new coach on a two-year contract.

Won

After Jose Mourinho won everything possible with the club in 2009-10 he moved on to Real Madrid and was replaced by former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez. He didn’t last long and was replaced by former Milan boss Leonardo. He has now moved on to Paris St Germain and Gasperini will now step in as the fourth manager at the club in twelve months.

It is evident that Gasperini was not the first choice for the job. Capello’s ‘people’ have confirmed that there was contact with him and it is widely reported that it was only the £13 million price tag that stopped Inter trying to get Villas-Boas. It has also been reported that attempts were made to lure Chile boss Marcelo Bielsa and Fiorentina’s Sinisa Mihajlovic, but they both ended in failure.

Apologetic

In an almost apologetic sounding manner, Inter president Massimo Moratti said on the Inter’s official website,

“I am fully satisfied with the choice.”

Really?

Experience

The fifty-three year old Italian is certainly not short of experience. He had a decent if unspectacular career as a player. He spent most of his time in Serie B and Serie C after failing to make the grade at Juventus. He did spend a couple of seasons in Serie A with Pescara after helping them to promotion.

After retiring as a player Gasperini returned to Juventus where he took up coaching duties with various of the club’s youth teams. He stayed in that role for nine years before leaving to take up his first role as a head coach. That position was at Serie C club Crotone.

Success

He quickly guided them to Serie B after success in the play-offs where they stayed for two years. Strangely, in the 2004-05 season he found himself being sacked and then reinstated soon afterwards.

In 2006 Gasperini moved to Genoa in Serie B and at the first attempt he took them into Serie A. In 2008-09 he led them to fifth place and earned plaudits from everyone, including Jose Mourinho, for the way he coached and for how his team played.

Sacked

However, last season Genoa picked up just eleven points from their first ten games and in November, Gasperini was sacked.

So that is what his experience amounts to. A half decent playing career and a couple of promotions from the lower leagues as a coach and one good season in Serie A. He might be a great coach, but we haven’t really seen too much evidence of that thus far.

This could be a master stroke by Inter. We will just have to wait and see.

Sat 25 June, 2011
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