Atalanta forward German Denis scored a 12 minute second half hat-trick at the San Siro to ensure that Inter remain eight points adrift of city rivals Milan who occupy the third and final Champions League qualification spot in Serie A.
With only seven games remaining in Italy, it looks increasingly likely that Inter will miss out on a seat at Europe’s top football table for the second consecutive season, a previously unthinkable underachievement for the Internazionale faithful who witnessed their side lift the Champions League trophy in Madrid just three years ago under the stewardship of ‘The Special One’ Jose Mourinho.
Inter Milan President Massimo Morrati has been responsible for the subsequent hiring and firing of four separate managers since the departure of Mourinho including Leonardo, Claudio Ranieri and current Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez all of whom endured short and unsuccessful spells at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium.
Following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri in March of 2012, Moratti opted to appoint from within the club with the decision to install youth team boss Andrea Stramaccioni as First Team Coach. Stramaccioni had recently led the Inter Primavera team to success in the Next Gen Series Youth Tournament however had had no experience of senior level management. Moratti’s decision to trust Stramaccioni with such a high profile role came as a shock to many within the Italian game however perhaps more surprising to the Italian press and those across Europe is that Stramaccioni has been able to maintain his position at the San Siro in spite of his failure to arrest Internazionale’s three year slide.
Stramaccioni began his tenure with only seven games of the 2011/12 season remaining, one of which was a crucial Milan derby. Inter swept away their fierce rivals with an impressive 4-2 victory which effectively banished Milan’s hopes of retaining the Serie A title and provided the Internazionale supporters with optimism for the new season.
Further hope was given when Stramaccioni’s Inter ended Juventus’ 49 game unbeaten run on the Old Lady’s home turf with a sensational 3-1 victory as Inter began to look like genuine title contenders once more having won seven league matches on the bounce. However, an alarming slump in form which has seen Inter accumulate a dreadful four victories in their last 15 Serie A outings has left I Nerazzuri in 6th position, 21 points behind league leaders Juventus.
Some may argue that Inter have been severely hampered by the unfortunate injuries to experienced duo Diego Milito and Walter Samuel however given the team’s incredible collapse since the turn of the New Year it is hard to believe that President Massimo Moratti’s finger is not hovering over the big red button once more.
Rumours have already circulated that Moratti has been in contact with former boss Jose Mourinho about a sensational comeback to Italy this summer, given that the Portuguese looks certain to end his tenure at Real Madrid at the end of the season. However, a return to the English Premier League for Mourinho looks a far more realistic prospect and as such Moratti must decide whether to keep the faith in the young Andrea Stramaccioni.