clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Should Inter Pull Plug On Walter Mazzarri Experiment?

The Nerazzurri are fading down the stretch once again, but is it the manager's fault?

Claudio Villa

Inter is in trouble. Big trouble. The follows-you-into-bed-and-wakes-up-beside-you-the-next-morning kind of trouble.

The Nerazzurri are winless in their last four games, including two straight disappointing draws to Livorno and Bologna and are in danger of missing out on a Europa League spot.

So how does new owner Erick Thohir propose to clean up the current mess? By confirming that his embattled manager Walter Mazzarri will be around for another year, that's how.

Thohir's comments came as a bit of a surprise seeing as he did not hire Mazzarri and that they seem to have two very different philosophies on the composition of the squad for next season and beyond.

The Indonesian businessman wants to cut the wage bill and prefers exciting, young starlets to take center stage while the Italian coach prefers experience and guile over burgeoning talent.

It seems that the inevitable impasse will lead to Mazzarri's sacking, but if we are to take Thohir's words at face value, and I am reluctant to do so at this point, then the 52-year-old will get another year to guide Inter back to Serie A relevancy.

I'm not sure if Thohir's declaration was really a dreaded vote of confidence given to a dead-man walking or if he's genuinely convinced that Mazzarri is the right man to lead the squad out of the abyss.

The Inter hot seat has a reputation for swallowing up managers of all kinds of age, experience and tactical competence so another quick disappearance will not shock Nerazzurri nation in the least.

Will Mazzarri add his name to the list of one and done coaches at the club or can he thrive in his second year much like Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool?

Obviously, Mazzarri doesn't have a player like Luis Suarez to work with and asking the Nerazzurri to challenge for the Scudetto next year might be a tad ambitious, but the similarities are worth examining.

Liverpool's owners gave Rodgers another year even though there were whispers that the job might be too big for the ex-Swansea City manager, especially after the Reds' seventh-place finish.

They stuck with him though and Rodgers repaid his bosses faith by engineering a wonderful season that could culminate in a Premier League title.

That's the conundrum right now for Inter's top brass. Do they hang on to Mazzarri and open up the chequebook to give him the players who will flourish in his system or do they cut him loose and start from scratch... Again.

Many of Mazzarri's critics point to his refusal to give Mateo Kovacic and Saphir Taider an extended run in the squad as grounds for termination. He prefers the likes of Ricky Alvarez and Zdravko Kuzmanovic in midfield and this rankles many of his doubters.

I see their point, I really do as it would be disastrous if Kovacic was let go only to flourish at other clubs like Mattia Destro and Philippe Countino before him.

But what if Alvarez is sold in the summer, Esteban Cambiasso does indeed move stateside to MLS and Inter cashes in on Fredy Guarin having a decent World Cup. What then?

Suddenly there is room for some young talent to be inserted into the lineup. This might seem like a far-fetched scenario, but it's also a plausible one.

Interisti need to look at whether the club will be best served by firing another tactician after one season or sticking with somebody who at least has a vision for what this team could become, no matter how convoluted that reality might be at the moment.

Mazzarri's tactical stubbornness is troubling, as is his penchant to blame others for the side's misfortune. Mazzarri has never really won anything in the top flight either save for a Coppa Italia title with Napoli in 2012.

He has become somewhat of a polarizing figure among Inter fans. Does the club let him go or not? It's a tough call and one that Thohir needs to get right.

On one hand, I'm relieved that Inter will have some continuity heading into next season, but on the other what happens if the Nerazzurri continue their winless slide and miss out on Europe all together?

What happens if Milan, once left for dead, pulls a Lazurus-style ascension up the table and leaves us out in the cold. What if the club can lure Diego Simeone back to San Siro?

A plethora of potential new signings have already been splashed across the front pages of major dailies and transfer rumor websites. The Nerazzurri have been linked with everyone from Fernando Torres to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker and it's only April.

The only breaking news at Appiano Gentile is that there are more questions than answers, which is a development that shouldn't surprise anyone.