Stramaccioni’s ascension shocks old boss
Andrea Stramaccioni’s appointment as Inter Milan coach has taken his old boss in the club’s youth set-up by total surprise.
The 36-year-old former youth team coach has been promoted to look after first-team affairs after Claudio Ranieri was shown the door on Monday night with Inter 10 points adrift of the third and last Champions League qualifying place and 22 below rivals AC Milan in Serie A.
Roberto Samaden, the head of Inter’s youth team sector, was shocked by Stramaccioni’s swift ascent to the top job but backed him to make a go of it.
"Honestly, it was difficult to think this would happen so quickly for Stramaccioni," Samaden admitted.
"When we signed Andrea the idea was to start a new project but we would not have imagined that things would proceed the way they have.
"This is a new experience because it has never happened before, but we will face it with calmness."
The Rome-born Stramaccioni led the Nerazzurri’s youth team to victory in the inaugural NextGen Series in London at the weekend.
And he does have the quality to succeed, according to Samaden.
"(Inter owner Massimo) Moratti has always valued the youth team sector," Samaden said.
"Stramaccioni is talented and that is what I noticed from the first moment I saw him.
"I have known him for some time and he is intelligent and humble. It’s not easy to know how far he can go, but he has done a good job with our youngsters.
"I think he can do well in this new experience."
Arrigo Sacchi, who was given his big break at AC Milan in 1987 after two successful years in the lower leagues with Parma, welcomed Stramaccioni’s appointment.
Sacchi, who is now the co-ordinator of the national youth teams for the Italian federation (FIGC), told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Inter’s campaign has been below par.
"When things go badly it means that mistakes have been made by everyone.
"All the federation staff and I had wanted Stramaccioni for the under-17 national team coaching position.
"He is an interesting young coach. He is prepared, despite Italy not being a country ready to invest in young coaches.
"I think he has the possibility to have a say at Inter. However, he is not a magician and in order to do well he will need the right environment where he can work with calmness."
Inter legend Sandro Mazzola criticized the decision to part with Ranieri at this stage of the season.
"Inter have been struggling for a while and the results were not arriving," Mazzola, a former player, told Tuttomercatoweb.com.
"You would have to be inside the club to understand what went wrong, but I would have waited before coming to the conclusion to dismiss Ranieri. I don’t think the coach is totally to blame."
Former Roma coach Carlo Mazzone believes Inter have made a mistake in handing the reins to a 36-year-old.
"I’m happy to see young coaches get to Serie A but where is their experience?" he said. "We are talking about top clubs. I feel sorry for Ranieri.
"It’s not good to see so many coaching changes taking place."
Ranieri’s dismissal is the 16th coaching change made in Serie A this season.
Inter have won just one of their last 10 league games and last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Juventus dropped the club to eighth place.
The Nerazzurri were eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Marseille in the last 16 earlier this month.
Former Inter player Andrea Scanziani believes a coaching change was necessary.
"A changing of coach was in the air," Scanziani said. "Having won everything with (Jose) Mourinho, Inter has failed to find the right coach.
"The important thing now is for the club and the players to support the young coach. He will need help to find synergy with the squad in order to do well. Inter can still finish in the European qualifying positions."
Stramaccioni is Inter’s fifth coach in 22 months. His first game in charge will be against Genoa on Sunday.