In­ter sack de Boer af­ter 11 league games

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Frank de Boer has been sacked as coach of In­ter Mi­lan af­ter just 11 Serie A games for fail­ing to ig­nite the Ital­ian giants at home and in Europe. Sun­day’s loss at sim­i­larly strug­gling Sam­p­do­ria was In­ter’s fifth league de­feat since the start of the sea­son and prompted a fan back­lash on so­cial me­dia call­ing for the Dutch­man’s re­moval.

“In­ter Mi­lan an­nounces that Frank de Boer has been re­lieved of his du­ties as first-team coach,” a club state­ment said yes­ter­day. “The first-team squad will be taken over pro­vi­sion­ally by our youth team coach, Ste­fano Vec­chi, who will be on the bench for the Europa League game against Southamp­ton.

“The club would like to thank Frank and his staff for their con­tri­bu­tion and wish them all the best for the fu­ture.” In­ter’s new Chi­nese own­ers Sun­ing ap­pointed de Boer, 46, as a re­place­ment for Roberto Mancini two weeks be­fore the start of the Serie A sea­son. Af­ter in­vest­ing heav­ily in play­ers over the sum­mer, In­ter-Italy’s last Cham­pi­ons League win­ners, in 2010 — were ex­pected to chal­lenge five-time con­sec­u­tive cham­pi­ons Ju­ven­tus for the Serie A ti­tle, as well as sig­nal their re­turn to Europe by chal­leng­ing for the Europa League. But with only four league wins in 11 games In­ter are well off the pace. They slipped to be­low mid-ta­ble at 13 points be­hind lead­ers Ju­ven­tus fol­low­ing the 1-0 de­feat at Sam­p­do­ria.

In Europe, de Boer’s men have been a dis­as­ter. They sit bot­tom of Group K be­hind lead­ers Sparta Prague and Is­raeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva, who stunned In­ter 2-0 at the San Siro.

In­ter beat Southamp­ton 1-0 last week and will visit the English Premier League side for the re­turn leg on Thurs­day, when Vec­chi will be in charge. Al­though Vec­chi will take over on a care­taker ba­sis, for­mer Lazio coach Ste­fano Pioli is be­ing tipped to re­place de Boer on a more per­ma­nent ba­sis. In­ter host base­ment side Cro­tone on Sun­day.

De Boer was sum­moned by club bosses two weeks ago and earned a stay of ex­e­cu­tion on the con­di­tion that In­ter beat Southamp­ton to re­launch their cam­paign in Europe.

But de­feat away to Sam­p­do­ria was the fi­nal straw. “We have to re­ally work on our men­tal ap­proach to games be­cause we can’t af­ford to play two halves in such dif­fer­ent fash­ion,” de Boer lamented af­ter the game.

“To­day some play­ers gave me 70 per­cent, but they need to give me 100 per­cent all the time. We need to take a long, hard look in the mir­ror at our­selves and re­alise that play­ing for In­ter is a source of pride.” De Boer’s time in charge was also marked by a con­tro­versy sur­round­ing club cap­tain Mauro Icardi, which some re­ports claimed had a di­rect ef­fect on In­ter’s per­for­mances. A group of hard­line “ul­tra” fans de­manded last month that Icardi, 23, be stripped of the cap­taincy over claims he made in a re­cently pub­lished au­to­bi­og­ra­phy.

The an­gry fans claimed Icardi had lied about the con­tent of an al­ter­ca­tion with them fol­low­ing de­feat to Sas­suolo in 2014, which he in­cluded in his book. In­ter Mi­lan sided with the ul­tras and or­dered Icardi to scrap the book and re­print an amended ver­sion. — AFP

MONACO: Mos­cow’s mid­fielder Ge­orgi Schen­nikov gives a press con­fer­ence at the Louis II sta­dium in Monaco yes­ter­day, on the eve of the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball match AS Monaco vs CSKA Mos­cow. — AFP

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