The Great Gasperini
Italian Serie A began play this weekend after a brief work stoppage and a temporary continuation of the current player agreement. The long anticipated debut of the season lived up to its hype. There were plenty of goals and drama, Roma fell, Napoli rolled on, Juventus christen its new stadium, and Milan and Lazio battled to a 2-2 draw. Unfortunately, the team with the most off season drama, Inter Milan, only proved that the theatrics were here to stay.
“The Great Gasperini” was officially unveiled. Let’s rewind to 2010. Inter Milan just out played, out manned, and frankly, wanted it more than Bayern Munchen. Thus, in the twilight hours of the night in the Spanish capital of Madrid, The Champions League trophy was lifted by long time captain Javier Zanetti, a feeling of jubilation.
Fast forward to next season, Jose Mourinho departs for Real Madrid and enters Raphael Benitez, recently sacked from Liverpool. Benitez won a League title in Spain while coaching for Valencia, and a Champions League title in a remarkable comeback in Istanbul for Liverpool. Benitez seemed like the obvious choice, and perhaps would have been successful, if anything, just anything went his way or he proved he was better than Mourinho, which was unlikely unless you win the treble in successive years.
Plagued by injuries and a horrible start to the Serie A campaign, and a roller coaster Champions’ League group stage, the recipe for early dismissal was being crafted. Not even a FIFA Club World Cup could save Benitez, which in all honesty, if you faced a professional club from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and only beat the club 3-0, and you are a top flight European club, there is evidence that clearly the machine is not firing from all cylinders. Following a temper tantrum from Benitez and harsh comments about Massimo Morratti, the President, owner, and general manager of Inter Milan, Benitez was indeed sacked.
Enter Leonardo, the once coach of arch rival’s Milan. Under Leonardo, Inter found a brand new confidence, regained health, and went from eighth place to a second place finish Serie A, a quarter final appearance in the champions league, and a Coppa Italia title. Inter seemed to have their swagger back, and looked forward to 2011. Leonardo shocked Inter and Moratti when he announced that he was looking to take a front office position with Paris St. Germain.
Now, Inter will unveil its fourth coach in one year. Enter “The Great Gasperini.” A man who stood by...continued at The Great Gasperini of Inter