New Inter Milan caretaker coach Andrea
Stramaccioni plans to literally rejuvenate a failing side after
making the step up from the successful youth team to replace the
sacked Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri left after a defeat by Juventus stretched
eighth-placed Inter's poor run to six losses in 10 games as the
2010 European Cup winners face up to the prospect of no
Champions League next term and no trophy for first time since
Inter's biggest problem is their ageing side and
little-known Stramaccioni has been promoted for at least the
rest of the season after leading Inter's youth team to victory
in the NextGen Series at the weekend.
"Young people are an asset and the club together with the
coach will decide how best to manage them," the 36-year-old told
reporters at his presentation on Tuesday.
"The assessment of when and how to do it is an important and
delicate thing because you can take a risk and rush the
evolution of a young man. But I think the president has already
given a signal."
President Massimo Moratti chose to go to London to watch the
youth side beat Ajax Amsterdam in the final of the NextGen
Series, devised to be a Under-21 European Cup, rather than
attend the Juve game on Sunday.
He said youth must be blooded and Stramaccioni immediately
brought Andrea Romano, Ibrahima M'Baye and Marko Livaja into the
first-team squad for his first training session as he looks to
convince Moratti to give him the reins long-term.
"I come from achieving a great triumph, a success of
everyone, of a youth sector of the highest level," he said.
"Now I am living something totally unexpected, a dream which
president Moratti has presented to me and which I will do
everything to honour to the best of my ability."
Stramaccioni, a former Bologna player whose career was
halted early by injury, had only been Inter's youth coach for
less than a year having joined from a similar role at AS Roma.
Inter had been linked in the media with moves for Zenit St
Petersburg boss Luciano Spalletti and former Chelsea coach Andre
Villas-Boas, who was trying to shake up an ageing squad at
Stamford Bridge before being sacked, for the permanent role.
Whoever gets the job full time faces a difficult task in
reviving a team who won an unprecedented Italian treble under
Jose Mourinho in 2010 before the Portuguese left for Real
Madrid, knowing full well Inter had reached their peak.
Rafa Benitez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini and Ranieri all
picked up the poisoned chalice within less than two seasons and
now older players such as Esteban Cambiasso and Dejan Stankovic
will now be nervously looking over their shoulders.
Manchester United famously packed their side with young
players in 1995 after shipping out older names and Paul Scholes,
David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt went on
to help dominate English football for years.
With UEFA's new financial fair play rules threatening
Inter's long-standing reliance on benefactor Moratti and
expensive spending on big names, youth could be the future.
The head of the Italian league managers' association Renzo
Ulivieri and the Italian federation's youth director Arrigo
Sacchi have given their backing to Stramaccioni who is younger
than 38-year-old club captain Javier Zanetti.
"Our captain is an example of a person who is young within,"
Roma and other Serie A clubs are also beginning to invest in
youth as Italy frets about the absence of young players in top
teams and the poor performance of the national side as holders
at the 2010 World Cup.
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