Italian manager Luciano Spalletti experienced an uncomfortable 2016/17 Serie A campaign with Roma. With Francesco Totti’s retirement imminent, the 58-year old coach fell out with the Italian media, the Roma fans and the 40-year old striker who has achieved over 50 caps for Italy.
Similarly they were dissatisfied regarding the Roma No 10’s lack of playing time. Roma finished runners-up behind Juventus, however the experienced manager with over 400 Serie A games, resigned.
The aftermath of the issues with the Italian striker resulted in Spalletti receiving boos from Roma fans during their finale to the Serie A season. After this climax to the season against Genoa at the Stadio Olympico, the manager from Florence stated:
“Our paths have not crossed. If they had, I would have offered all my friendship.
“The Totti fans jeered me, but I received many positive messages from the Roma fans.”
Will Spalletti Reignite an Aspiring Inter Milan?
Inter Milan in Turmoil
Subsequently, Spalletti signed an agreement with Inter Milan in June 2017 with a challenging task to stabilise a legendary team in disarray. Inter’s turbulent season in 2016/17 included the involvement of five separate coaches.
Former Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, resigned before the beginning of the troubled season after his relationship with the owners, Suning Group, collapsed.
Dutch coach and former Barcelona and Ajax player, Frank De Boer, took over and lasted just 85 days. Shortly after, current Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli was sacked after an eight game winless run. As a consequence, the two times European champions failed to qualify for Europe.
Inter and their heavily backed owners needed an experienced coach to progress the legendary club and Spalletti stepped forward. Ever since their Champions League victory in 2010 with Mourinho at the helm, I Nerazzurri have been in gradual decline. Juventus have benefited from Inter Milan’s tribulations winning the last six Serie A titles.
Accolades and Trophies
Attributable to his success in his second stint as Roma manager, Spalletti is an admired and respected coach.
Coaching Zenit St Petersburg, Udinese and Sampdoria along the way, Spalletti won the prestigious Panchina D’Oro in 2004/5 with the side from Udine. Shortly after this accolade the manager was named Coach of the Year by the Italian Footballers Association in 2006 and 2007 for his achievements in Rome.
With two Coppa Italia and two Russian league titles, the Serie A trophy would be the next step in his prominent career.
Spalletti’s Favoured Tactics
Spalletti is an extremely versatile manager who likes to play 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. However, he can discipline his sides to transition to a 3-4-3 which he did frequently at Roma. Spalletti experimented with a 4-6-0 formation with Totti as the False 9 at Roma; a system that has inspired other coaches in recent years to employ.
During Spalletti’s second game of this Serie A season, he came up against his old employers from Rome. The Inter coach used a double pivot of Vecino and Gagliardini who stifled the attacking threat of the Romans especially Belgian Nainggolan and Dutch midfielder, Strootman.
Inter found space either side of the single pivot, De Rossi, and despite going a goal down, ran out 3-1 winners thanks to two goals from Mauro Icardi.
What Will Spalletti Bring to Inter Milan?
Spalletti has extensive experience in Serie A and has managed for an impressive 22 years in Europe.
During his second stint with Roma, he achieved an impressive 66.67% win rate. Spalletti will bring Champions League experience where at Zenit they progressed to the knockout stages in 2011/12 for the first time.
Inter Milan will benefit from a coach with great tactical flexibility and significant knowledge of Serie A football. With four runners-up finishes in his managerial career, Spalletti aims to go one step further with Inter Milan.
Inter Milan’s aim for the Season
Appointing Spalletti should provide some stability to Inter after a chaotic season last year.
Inter’s target has to be Champions League football or Europa League qualification at the very least. Hot on their heels though will be holders Juventus, Napoli, improving strongly under Maurizio Sarri, and big spenders AC Milan. In addition, his old friends from Rome might have a prominent part to play in this fascinating Serie A season.
Embed from Getty Images