Notables talk Ranieri sacking, Stramaccioni promotion
Andrea Stramaccioni's appointment as Inter Milan coach has taken his old boss in the club's youth set-up by total surprise. The 36-year-old has been promoted to look after first-team affairs after Claudio Ranieri was shown the door last night, with I Nerazzurri ten points adrift of the third and last UEFA Champions League qualifying place, and 22 below leaders and arch-rivals AC Milan, in Serie A.
Roberto Samaden, the head of Inter's youth ranks, was shocked by Stramaccioni's swift ascent to the top job, but backed him to make a go of it. "Honestly, it was difficult to think this would happen so quickly for Stramaccioni," Samaden admitted.
"When we signed Andrea the idea was to start a new project but we would not have imagined that things would proceed the way they have. This is a new experience because it has never happened before, but we will face it with calmness."
The Rome-born Stramaccioni led Inter's youth team to victory in the inaugural NextGen Series in London at the weekend. And he does have the quality to succeed, according to Samaden.
"[Massimo] Moratti has always valued the youth-team sector," Samaden said. "Stramaccioni is talented and that is what I noticed from the first moment I saw him.
"I have known him for some time and he is intelligent and humble. It's not easy to know how far he can go, but he has done a good job with our youngsters. I think he can do well in this new experience."
Arrigo Sacchi, who was given his big break at AC Milan in 1987 after two successful years in the lower leagues with Parma, welcomed Stramaccioni's appointment. Sacchi, who is now the co-ordinator of the national youth teams for the Italian FA (FIGC), told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Inter's campaign has been below par.
"When things go badly it means that mistakes have been made by everyone. All the federation staff and I had wanted Stramaccioni for the U-17 national team coaching position. He is an interesting young coach. He is prepared, despite Italy not being a country ready to invest in young coaches.
"I think he has the possibility to have a say at Inter. However, he is not a magician and in order to do well, he will need the right environment where he can work with calmness."
Mazzola, Mazzone question Ranieri removal
Inter legend Sandro Mazzola criticised the decision to part with Ranieri at this stage of the season.
"Inter have been struggling for a while and the results were not arriving," Mazzola, a former player, told Tuttomercatoweb.com. "You would have to be inside the club to understand what went wrong, but I would have waited before coming to the conclusion to dismiss Ranieri. I don't think the coach is totally to blame."
Former Roma coach Carlo Mazzone believes Inter have made a mistake in handing the reins to a 36-year-old.
"I'm happy to see young coaches get to Serie A, but where is their experience?" he said. "We are talking about top clubs. I feel sorry for Ranieri. It's not good to see so many coaching changes taking place."
Ranieri's dismissal is the 16th coaching change made in Serie A this season. Inter have won just one of their last ten league games and last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Juventus dropped the club to eighth place.
The Nerazzurri were eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Marseille in the last 16 earlier this month.