Tonight, after reading a post from n4l, something startling came to me. Of all coaches that I can remember: Cuper, Zaccheroni, Mancini, Mourinho, Benitez, Leonardo, Gasperini, Ranieri, Stramacioni and Mazzari, a period of well over a decade, only one of them has actually tried to be a coach. And that was Rafa Benitez.
Coaching Inter, is no easy task, from a demanding president, to demanding fans, to a media that will easily submit themselves to "intellectual prostitution" it can hardly be surprising that we've gone through more coaches than any club that has remained in Serie A during the same period (I'm assuming this). Right now as we look dead set to go through another dark post treble season, where everyone's trying to look for answers and solutions to our problems, even with Mazzari (the man some even hailed as our saviour and could even lead us to a Scudetto). I think n4l hit it spot on.
This is the post in question and the key part of it for me, was where he made the distinction between a coach and a manager which caused me to look back and realize this. Rafa waa the only one here who actually tried to build something beyond the results here. Unfortunately for him (and us) we were all in our post treble high and wanted nothing of it. We couldn't fathom not winning, and not doing it now. We heckled Benitez, and would call him stubborn when he stuck to a system that did not necessarily play to the strengths of our aging players, despite the results not coming. There were also an injury crisis, which many attributed to his training methods and rumors of the locker room turning against him and most importantly, Rafa was replacing his long time rival in Mourinho who had left on an unprecedented and unrecripable high. Things were set against Rafa wrong the start and by the time he left, his sacking was more than justified despite his winning of two trophies. In fact, he pretty much asked for it, with his "Back Me or Sack Me' speech. http://www.theguardian.com/football/...world-club-cup It's clear what Inter did, but what if we didn't?Mazzarri is really disappointing but not that I didn't expect it. Too much individualism in attack, no systemic methods for creating attacks, still can't hold the ball under pressure, still need to defend in numbers to look decent defensively. Same shit tbh.
I hope people saw how Juve's attacks were very structured in what they were looking to do. Tons of variations and patterns to their attack. A lot of it didn't work out today, but they were consistently trying it. Lots of balls into strikers feet, 1st striker dummies, balls going wide then back inside to mid then penetrating forward pass e.t.c.
When we have the ball it's all fricking freestyle. Whatever guarin/ricky feel to do, we do Just like last year, it'll work in some games but it's not a method for creating chances on goal consistently. Especially in those tight games. This is why we failed last year. Our methods were simply haul the ball up to cassano/palacio and hope something happens. Every good attack v Juve was on the counter (nothing new) with ricky dribbling or palacio making amazing diagonal runs. Palacio is subbed and the new kids don't have that kind of intelligence so our attacks stop. Ricky gets tired and he can't go on mazy individualistic runs, so our attacks stop.
On a POSITIVE note, we have a decent crop of youngsters who should get to play and play often. Olsen, Icardi, Belfodil, Obi, Kova, Duncan. I personally wouldn't buy any more players and demand that Mazzarri be a real COACH (not manager) and make these guys play good football. The only thing stopping us from playing good football is competence in coaching/management.
I honestly want to see what Ricky can do in a more structured environment where he's coached to use his talents selectively and more effectively. Creativity within the system versus all out improvisation. It's what I wanted to see happen with coutinho also last year under strama, but we're seeing some of it with 'Pool right now. Sadly, doesn't look like that's going to happen here for Ricky. Same for belfodil tbh. Raw, raw talent that needs coaching.
The first half of Rafa's 6 month reign, had us playing arguably some of the best football most of us had ever seen Inter play, despite Milito the hero of the previous season going through his worst ever run of form. Our defense began to show leaks. The fortress that had been Lucio and Samuel just 5 months earlier started to show cracks and as I had mentioned earlier, many at the time attributed this, to his playing of a high defensive line, this was later proven to be false as we've suffered defensive issues (and still do) 2 and a half year on. What was key to Rafa's reign though, IMO, was his willingness to use the young unproven players rather than alter his system and play experience, and he didn't just do this for a few games, he did this on a regular basis and even in the Champions League, in contrast, Strama ran his experienced players to the ground every four days even when he knew full well the squad was thin and even when the games became meaningless, and now Mazzari won't even start Primavera players in the pre-season, despite it being obvious that some players are way past it and the youngsters comprehensively outplaying them.
Rafa's reign marked the only time Coutinho featured on a regular basis, and had he not been sacked, there's little doubt that he would have continued to see football especially with how injury prone Sneijder was. Even with rumors of him being one loss away from being fired, he still stuck to his system, his tactics, and his football this earned him the nickname the The Stubborn One. And with all the pressure on him before he even accepted the position this multiplied ten fold, once the results stopped coming.
But looking back on his rollercoaster of a coaching reign, I just have to wonder if Rafa was just that good thing you don't miss until long after it's gone...
and honestly after looking at the first half of this, I really have to wonder how the hell we were able to this then and now can't even string two passes together now.. . sigh