In­ter fire Frank De Boer

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

In­ter Mi­lan fired coach Frank de Boer yes­ter­day af­ter win­ning only four of the team's open­ing 11 matches, leav­ing the club in 12th place.

Youth squad coach Ste­fano Vec­chi was given tem­po­rary con­trol of the se­nior team for to­mor­row's Europa League match at Southamp­ton.

For­mer Chievo Verona, Bologna and Lazio coach Ste­fano Pi­oli is the lead­ing can­di­date to take over per­ma­nently for De Boer. An­drea Vil­las-Boas, Marcelo Bielsa, Leonardo, Lau­rent Blanc and Francesco Guidolin have also been men­tioned as pos­si­ble re­place­ments.

De Boer, a Dutch­man who had never played or coached in Italy, was hired less than two weeks be­fore the sea­son be­gan af­ter Roberto Mancini re­signed un­ex­pect­edly amid a re­ported lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the club's new own­ers, the Chi­nese re­tail giant Sun­ing.

"In­ter would like to place on record its thanks to Frank and his coach­ing team for their work with the club over the past months and wishes them the best for the fu­ture," the club said in a state­ment. "Fur­ther an­nounce­ments re­gard­ing the first team coach­ing po­si­tion will be made in due course."

In­ter has won only one of its last six matches, and ap­peared thor­oughly con­fused in a 1-0 loss at Sam­p­do­ria on Sun­day. In­ter is 13 points be­hind Serie A leader Ju­ven­tus and has 10 fewer points than at this stage last sea­son, when it stood se­cond and ap­peared to be a gen­uine chal­lenger to Ju­ven­tus.

The team also lost two of three Europa League games un­der De Boer.

The lone high­light of De Boer's cam­paign was a 2-1 win over Ju­ven­tus in Septem­ber.

In­ter's next coach will be­come the team's ninth since Jose Mour­inho led the club to a tre­ble in 2010. The oth­ers were: Rafa Ben­itez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini, Clau­dio Ranieri, An­drea Stra­mac­cioni, Wal­ter Maz­zarri, Mancini and De Boer.

In June, Sun­ing took con­trol of 70 per­cent of In­ter. Erick Tho­hir, the In­done­sian en­tre­pre­neur who pur­chased In­ter from the Mo­ratti fam­ily three years ago, re­tained 30 per­cent of the own­er­ship and is still club pres­i­dent.

Marco Tronchetti Provera, the CEO of In­ter's chief spon­sor Pirelli, on Mon­day pointed to the lack of lead­er­ship at In­ter as the chief cause of the team's strug­gles.

"Even an ex­tra­or­di­nary coach can't do great things without the club. You can't con­trol a foot­ball squad from Jakarta, Bei­jing or Nan­jing," Tronchetti Provera said. "There's been a long line of mis­takes . ... This is a prob­lem that should have been re­solved a while ago."

Dutch coach Frank de Boer

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