It's time to sack Stramaccioni.
I'm going to do a full write up in about an hours time once I've eaten some scrambled eggs and watched an episode of Stargate Atlantis, on exactly why.
So, let us begin.
First of all, the regulars here will know I hate Branca, dislike Moratti's actions of late, and am a big supporter of Stramaccioni.
I want to preface this article with the comment that I respect what Branca did this january. He got some good signings, and filled the roles we've needed (regista for one). Not perfectly - another striker and a CB would have been good, but alas. Not a disaster, as it has been previously.
Our game against Siena perfectly sums up everything about Inter that I have criticized. Let us begin.
First of all, Zanetti at RCM has been a disaster, and it always has been. He drifts out right naturally, and with Schelotto there, he has to do it to cover Schelotto - who was 20-30 metres ahead of our defensive line when we were out of possession at every instance. Its no coincidence that we lost two goals from where Zanetti should have been playing.
Let us go briefly into some 'football theory'. A 3-5-2 relies on highly dynamic wing backs, who have to fulfill both wing forward and wing back duties. This means you need players with a lot of stamina, and the tactical discipline to ensure they keep running. Schelotto failed alot on the latter part, and as I said, Zanetti pushes out RW already by default. In a 3-5-2, this isnt so bad. In a 3-4-1-2, this is a disaster. You leave a huge gaping hole at RCM.
We were fatally flawed as soon as that decision was made. The gap was there, and it was exploited. The fix, correctly, was to bring Kovacic in. What did not work was to move to a flat back 4, and pushing Kovacic out to a more AML role. As we saw, this is not his natural position and he drifted much more centrally to get involved in play. Quite correctly, too.
Yet, we find ourselves in a position where we've just lost 3-1 to the bottom team in the league. And as I've said a few times, we're in relegation form. This continues to be true.
The solution to all this is comparatively simple, sadly. Kudzmanovic looked good today. He did what most of our midfielders cannot. The short simple passes which retain possession and allow us to build our attacks. What we need is to employ a more familiar style. A 4-2-3-1, for example, would be very good - though we may lack the wingers to do this at the moment.
Sadly, Strama cant see this. I dont know what happened. He had balls at the end of last season, he tried to impose his 4-2-3-1 on us and it worked, to spectacular results.
Something is changed in Strama now, and we're in a rut I can not see him getting us out of.
Sadly, I think his time has passed.
The sad thing is, I do believe a PROPERLY implemented 3-4-1-2 might actually work. Work is in a reasonably loose sense, but it could at least function. Handanovic;Ranocchia Samuel JJ; Zanetti Kudzmanovic Cambiasso Nagatomo ; Guarin/Kovacic ; Cassano Milito
Its not ideal, but at least that midfield covers our requirements. Sadly I don't think we will ever see it.
I would much rather see something shaping up like;
Handanovic, Zanetti Ranocchia JJ Nagatomo, Cambiasso Kudzmanovic, Palacio Guarin/Kovacic Cassano, Milito
In the back line, you see a lot of what we had in Mourinho. A very good central defender who will hang back and clear things. One who takes the ball forward. A pair of versatile full backs. Cambiasso is of course still there, Kudzmanovic seems like a reasonable replacement for Thiago Motta... In Palacio, you need to increase his work rate, but he's always on the shoulder of the full back, looking for the offside trap. In Guarin and Kovacic, you can quite nicely replace Sneijder - they may not have the same attributes, but Guarin's impact this season is obvious, and with Cassano out on the left we have someone who overlaps well with the full back looking for space to create opportunities.
Milito, also, is alleviated of a lot of his defensive duties which causes him a lot of problems, he can poach as he does indeed do quite well.
I have to say, though, in conclusion, I think its simply time for Strama to go. 3-1 loss to Siena is a sacking offense. We've been in relegation form all season aside from our 7 consecutive wins, and nothing has changed with that.
People will be tempted to ask what we expect, who we might bring in, etc. The simple solution is that, given the players we now have at Inter, any reasonable manager could make a decent team out of Inter. Where it gets hard is how to make a world class team out of us. But the players are there to make at least a decent team - a team that should be competing for the champions league spots without a doubt.