WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG FOR INTER?
Chinese owners and sacked boss under-fire from fans
Now that Frank de Boer has been fired, Inter Milan fans are debating who was more responsible for the squad’s poor start to the season: the Dutch manager or the club’s new Chinese owners.
While De Boer never really showed a complete understanding of Italian football tactics in his 84 days in charge, more blame is being heaped on the retail giant Suning, which took control of 70 per cent of Inter in June.
“Even an extraordinary coach can’t do great things without the club. You can’t control a football squad from Jakarta, Beijing or Nanjing,” said Marco Tronchetti Provera, the CEO of Inter’s chief sponsor Pirelli.
“There’s been a long line of mistakes. This is a problem that should have been resolved a while ago.”
De Boer was fired on Tuesday after producing only five wins, seven losses and two draws in 14 matches in all competitions — leaving the club in 12th place in Serie A and also struggling in the Europa League. Many Inter fans had lost patience with the Dutchman and were calling for a change.
De Boer was hired less than two weeks before the season began following the unexpected resignation of Roberto Mancini, who reportedly wanted more control over the transfer market and clashed with Suning.
Players who thrived under Mancini struggled under De Boer.
Felipe Melo has appeared in just two of 11 Serie A matches. Fellow midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia lost his place in the starting lineup after getting substituted 28 minutes into a 1-1 draw with Bologna because he “wasn’t listening” to De Boer’s instructions.
Gabriel Barbosa, the promising Brazilian forward who Inter signed in late August amid great fanfare - even though it was unclear if De Boer wanted him - appeared for just 21 minutes against Bologna and hasn’t played since.
Mauro Icardi, the highscoring Inter captain, was widely ridiculed by the club’s hardcore “ultra” fans after recounting a clash with the supporters in his autobiography.
The lone highlight of De Boer’s campaign was a 2-1 win over Juventus - sandwiched between embarrassing Europa League losses to Hapoel Beer-Sheva and Sparta Prague, matches in which Inter were outscored 5-1.
“It’s too bad it ended like this,” De Boer said on Twitter. “This task required more time to move forward.”
Youth team coach, Stefano Vecchi, was given temporary control of the team for the game against Southampton tonight (12.05am Friday UAE time).
INTER-ESTING: There is a lot of speculation of who will replace Frank de Boer