By Daniele MeloniTwo games in charge, two wins: how Claudio Ranieri revived Inter and their fading stars
From Tinkerman to Mr. Fix-It. It's been a long and winding road taking Claudio Ranieri from Britain to Internazionale - Italy's most successful club in recent years - via Parma, Juventus and Roma, where he had again locked horns with Jose Mourinho. Now, he is in charge of the club the Portuguese manager said he has 'loved the most' throughtout his distinguished career, his team and his former players. Not bad for someone who The Special One branded as a sore loser.
But wait: how did he manage to get appointed? In the summer when Leonardo left the Milanese outfit after taking them to their seventh Coppa Italia, Inter began their search for a new manager who combined vision and experience. Ranieri's name was never brought up and after trying to get as diverse managers as possible - from Bielsa to Villas-Boas and Mihajlovic - Inter appointed former Genoa manager Gian Piero Gasperini, whom Mourinho once dubbed as the shrewdest tactician he had ever come across during his Inter spell.
Gasperini, a staunch 3-4-3 supporter didn't cut it and was soon sacked after failing to win a single game in charge. The list even comprised lowly Novara and Trabzonspor at San Siro, in Inter's opening Champions League game. With him gone, but surely not missed, it didn't take long to Massimo Moratti to ring Ranieri, still out of job after resigning from Roma last season.
The man from Testaccio - a neighbourhood renowned for his Roma's allegiance in the Italian capital -, has developed a fame for fixing broken teams in Italy instead of constantly changing the line-up week in week out as he did at Chelsea. In 2007 he took over at Parma and led them to safety. Then, the following season he guided newly-promoted Juventus to 3rd place and Champions League football. In 2010, Roma turned to him when coach Luciano Spalletti left. At the end of a dramatic comeback he saw the title slip out if his hands only because of a Giampaolo's Pazzini brace in Rome that saw Inter pip the Giallorossi by just 2 points. Oddly, Pazzini, then a Sampdoria player, now plies his trade at Inter under new coach Ranieri... Continued at Ranierisms: From Tinkerman to Mr. Fix-It