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It’s Now Official: Mazza In, Strama Out

Giuseppe Bellini

The club has made it official on its webpage (link)

Walter Mazzarri is the new coach of Inter. The club thanks Andrea Stramaccioni for his efforts

FC Internazionale would like to announce that the club has appointed Walter Mazzarri as the new head coach. FC Internazionale would like to thank Andrea Stramaccioni for the great commitment and professionalism he showed in a particularly difficult year. Walter Mazzarri has signed a two-year deal.

Moratti had this to say in addition from (link):

"This in no way diminishes our high regard for the talent and potential of Stramaccioni, I'm sure he'll become one of the best Italian coaches"
Massimo Moratti once again spoke to the press outside the Saras offices.

Is Andrea Stramaccioni's time at the club officially over?

"I believe if you visit the Inter club site you'll see it's official."

Has this been one of the hardest sackings of your tenure?

"They're never nice. But let's say it for what it is: for now this change is due to the fact that we'll have a tough year and I thought we needed a coach with the experience of Mazzarri. That doesn't diminish the fact that we rate Stramaccioni as a talented coach, with potential, and I'm sure he'll become one of the best coaches in Italy."

Have you spoken to Stramaccioni?

"Yes, I've spoken to him all week. Don't think that's not been the case."

Has he realised that the decision was based on the fact the team suffered too many defeats?

"The reasons might even safeguard his professionalism because perhaps he was particularly unlucky and, at this moment in time, he might need to find himself in an easier situation than the one at Inter. But with the year he's had he will find that. It won't be an easy situation because we'll need to show we're very good and also of course have a bit more luck."

Walter Mazzarri is a gutsy coach with a lot of experience.

"Yes, the decision was made with a big focus on that."

What do you expect from Inter? Will it be a comeback year?

"We expect to do well every year. Now let's see what happens in the transfer market. We'll speak to the coach about that and we'll see what comes out of that and then our hopes based on how good the team is."

So the fans need not worry? You'll build an Inter side to win trophies?

"We didn't start badly this season, it was an Inter side capable of winning but then we had a series of catastrophes, in terms of injuries, that meant we didn't do as well. We'll certainly try to rebuild to have solid targets."

And what of reports, over the last few days, claiming you wanted to sell Inter?

"No, come off it."

What does this mean for us?

Without trying to tell the future, I think that without statements from the man himself there are certain things that we can expect. There will be more in the coming days and week, but this is just first impressions… stuff that buzzed in my head while I was reading the news.

1. The 3 man backline is here to stay.

I have been doing a lot of Mazzarri reading lately in anticipation of this moment and I understand that he has in the past used a four man backline. But I think that ship has sailed in his philosophy. He’s found a lot of success with it, and frankly it’s something that he can claim to be a master of – not many people can do that. His Sampdoria punched wildly above its weight fighting with 3 in the back. And his Napoli team was marvelously coached in the system.

2. He’ll start out slow and conciliatory like they all do, but the over-under is 3 weeks on when he starts realizing what he’s inherited.

Mazzarri has worked his way up the ladder from the old League C2, old League C1, Serie B and finally to Serie A with several teams. He’s been around and it’s not likely he’s going to have a whole lot of patience with… stuff. I worry about a Rafa redux. However, while his Napoli team didn’t seem to be in love with him, they did play their collective butts off for him. There is no Cavani or Hamsik here, but there might be more in other parts of the field.

3. The clock is ticking on how long Moratti will be patient with the team in Mazzarri’s style.

Mazzarri is an Italian coach. He’s not going to play Total Football. He’s not going to make anyone forget Barcelona or Arsenal. When the other team has the ball, his teams play five in the back with centerbacks and wingbacks in the backline looking to counter. The 3 center midfielders include 2 defensive midfielders. This is not the Moratti dream. This is not the game favored by the man who brought phenomenal, thin Ronaldo to Italy. If Mazzarri wins but does so with a defensive, counter attacking game does Moratti accept this?

These will be the things that won’t be solved until the games start. And I am sure that there will be no end of speculation about all these questions and more in the days and weeks and months to follow…