Can Ranieri help Inter Milan move on from Mourinho?
Will new Internazionale coach, Claudio Ranieri, be able to finally rid the club of JosÃ© Mourinho's spectre?
Claudio Ranieri is a short-term fix to Internazionale’s problems but his challenge at the San Siro will be to escape from the lingering shadow of JosÃ© Mourinho.
It is where the three coaches that have followed Mourinho have failed. The Special One’s departure in 2010 left a gaping hole, and since the Portuguese manager has embarked on a new challenge at Real Madrid, Inter have been unable to emerge from the gloom of his exit.
Inter president Massimo Morratti””like Roman Abramovich at Chelsea””has struggled to find the answer. He cut the tenures of Rafael BenÃtez and Gian Piero Gasperini short, before Leonardo joined Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
Chelsea’s billionaire owner has found unearthing a suitable candidate to replace Mourinho just as difficult, with AndrÃ© Villas-Boas the fifth coach to take charge at Stamford Bridge in three years.
Moratti’s choice of Ranieri as the man to bring some stability to the San Siro is unsurprising ““ the former Chelsea boss has an impressive record of steadying Serie A clubs in the last decade and Inter’s current form – four defeats in five games – amounts to a mini crisis.
Ranieri managed to steer Parma away from the danger of relegation in 2007 with a series of impressive results, leading them to a respectable 12th place finish. He then joined Juventus and enjoyed a strong first season, guiding them to third place in the league.
However, the following year his tenure in Turin was brought to an end on the back of mounting discontent amongst Juve fans, who were unhappy with his tactics.
Ranieri then fulfilled a career ambition when he was given the chance to replace Luciano Spaletti at Roma in 2009.
He reversed the fortunes of I Lupi, who had slumped to consecutive defeats at the start of the season, as they challenged Mourinho’s Inter for the Scudetto.
A dramatic improvement in performances culminated in an unbeaten run of 23 league games, edging ahead of Inter at the top of Serie A and including a dramatic 1-0 victory over the Milan side.
Inter eventually went on to win the title but Ranieri received plaudits for his ruthless decision making – he withdrew captain, Francesco Totti, and vice-captain, Daniele De Rossi during a heated Roma derby against Lazio and his bravery was rewarded with a 2-1 victory.
Ranieri will now be expected to use his vast club experience to help Inter narrow the gap on their rivals but he, like those before him, faces a daunting task in trying to rid the club of Mourinho’s spectre.