Inter head into the 2017-2018 season with a burning desire to put right what went so horrendously wrong in 2016-2017. But if they're driven by the need to forget everything that's happened during the last twelve months, so are the four coaches that they chewed up and spat out in that time.
Three of the poor souls we had on our bench last season have already worked out what they're doing for the next one. Roberto Mancini has headed abroad again and taken charge of Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg; Stefano Pioli has returned to Fiorentina where he enjoyed the most successful part of his career as a player; and Stefano Vecchi has gone back to coaching the Primavera after stepping into the first-team breach on two occasions. So that just leaves one coach who still needs a job for next season - but according to multiple sources in England on Thursday evening, that is about to change.
Having already held talks with another former Inter coach in Claudio Ranieri (who has since joined Ligue 1 side Nantes), Premier League club Crystal Palace are apparently set to appoint Frank de Boer as their new manager. The Eagles have been searching for a man to replace Sam Allardyce since the ex-England boss surprisingly resigned from hnis post at the end of May, having guaranteed them a fourth successive season in the top flight after arriving in December, but it looks as if they have made their decision after holding talks with several overseas candidates.
De Boer has been out of work ever since Inter brutally disposed of his services on 1 November 2016, just 85 days after being hired by outgoing president and renowned footballing ignoramus Erick Thohir, but his extended vacation is set to end after negotiations between the parties were said to be 'at an advanced stage' on Thursday. BBC Sport reports that the Dutchman is Palace chairman Steve Parish's first choice for the job, and that he has been offered the job after holding talks with the club earlier in the week.
I imagine I don't need to remind anyone just how badly things went for Frank at Inter. He arrived with a strong CV after securing four consecutive Eredivisie titles as head coach of Ajax, but due to a whole host of factors that we all know about he was doomed to failure from minute one in Italy. In a topsy-turvy three months that included a spectacular victory over arch rivals Juventus and a humiliating defeat against Israeli minnows Hapoel Be'er Sheva, De Boer amassed 5 wins, 2 draws and 7 defeats between Serie A and the UEFA Europa League, before being dismissed off the back of Inter's loss away to Sampdoria. He picked up just 4 points in his last 6 league games, which put him 17th in the Serie A form table as the graphic below shows (via WhoScored.com).
Despite this, I'm sure I'm not the only Interista who wishes Frank the best of luck at his new club in South East London. He may have done little to help himself with some of the peculiar decisions he made during his brief spell in charge, but we all learned to love De Boer as a person as he tried and failed to resolve some of the key problems that have plagued Inter since 2010, including team spirit, work ethic and respect for the shirt. Indeed, it won't surprise many to hear that 'the respect and humbleness he showed was striking' to the Palace hierarchy during their meetings with him, 'especially given how much he achieved as a player' - had our players only followed his lead in that regard, we may have experienced a very different 2016-17 season. But last season is now but a distant memory; it's best for all of us to move on.
All the best, Frank. We'll be rooting for you.