Inter has been at the pinnacle of Italian Football for generations. The treble of 2009-2010 is regarded one of the best feat by Inter in recent history and marks Inter the only Italian team to have accomplished this achievement.
In 2009-2010, an unprecedented treble season won the hearts of millions of fan around the globe. With manager Jose Mourinho at the helm and steering the club past teams like Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich to complete the historic rout for the Champions League title, Inter also managed to complete their fifth consecutive league title equaling the all time record at that time.
No one could anticipate what was to follow.
The post treble era went in a downward spiral fairly quickly as Jose Mourinho immediately announced his departure from the club to manage Real Madrid and was subsequently replaced by Rafael Benetiz. Due to their declining performance, Rafa was replaced by Leonardo who managed to steer the team back in to winning column. But Leonardo resigned soon after and was replaced by a series in unsuccessful managers including Gasperini, Ranieri and Stramaccioni.
In the span of ten years, Inter was managed by 13 different managers including Roberto Mancini, Luciano Spalletti and Walter Mazzarri and many more. None of whom could remain in the hot seat for long as Inter continued to struggle and could not keep up the pace with their peers.
In spite of some uplifting moments, the trend was seemingly downward for the most part. Players noticeably struggled to adapt with changes in the coaching staff, with different managers came different philosophies, tactics, and semantics. Almost none of the coaches could maintain their longevity or to completely instill their ideas in to the team.
Roberto Mancini and Luciano Spalletti had the longest tenure as Inter’s manager in which the latter enjoyed slightly more success domestically and by qualifying for the Champions League.
With the appointment of coach Antonio Conte ahead of 2019 season, Inter has finally found its footing in the league. The entire backroom staff has been upgraded and the inevitable change can be seen on and off the pitch.
Inter’s demise was not solely due to continues Managerial changes but also the instability of ownership and upper management. Moratti tried to sell a small share of the club to Chinese Railway Construction Company hoping for a new stadium which never surfaced and eventually the deal collapsed.
Soon after, Erik Thohir of International Sports Capital HK Ltd of Indonesia acquired 70% of the club’s share while Moratti retained 29%. A major instability ensued when the shares were bounced among many holding companies led by Thohir.
During his tenure, he tried to modify club’s financial structure to become more self sustained business model but efforts went in vain as Inter breached UEFA’s FFP regulations and received multiple fines from UEFA.
In 2016, another ownership change occurred when Suning Holdings Group led by Zhang Jindong took over majority of the club’s shares from Erik Thohir and Massimo Moratti.
The ambition of the new owners was evident from the beginning as they started to inject money not only towards the players but other aspects of the team such as upper management staff, training centers, academies, sponsorship deals and the Inter media house.
Despite minor mishaps, the club finally started seeing a new hope and resurgence by qualifying for Champions league after 6 years of absence. Inter also at the end of 2018 season announced a staggering capital gain of over $400 Million.
Steven Zhang, the current president of the club along with CEO Giuseppe Marotta appointed former Chelsea and Italian manager, Antonio Conte as the new head coach of Inter.
As the decade comes to a close, Inter currently sits at the very top of the Serie A ahead of its rivals. The future may not be now, but it sure can be seen on the horizon.
Transfer Market Miseries
The domino effect of poor management and managerial changes fell on to the players as well. Expectations from new arrivals were high as they were expected to keep an equal footing along side with a treble winning squad but instead of strengthening the squad, management decided to keep faith in the aging squad and did not add any major talent to the team.
Inter made some poor transfer choices throughout in the early part of the decade. UEFA’s FFP was to blame for some but for others, it was sole misjudgment by the staff.
The debacle was not limited to incoming players but for outgoing players as well. Players like Coutinho, Kovacic, Benassi and Zaniolo were sold prematurely for smaller profits.
At the same time players such as Handanovic, Palacio, Icardi, Miranda and Perisic are to name a few who played a pivotal role during the dark ages and kept the boat afloat.
It is somewhat unfair to judge a player during a short span in the team. Some if not most of the blame should go to the scouting staff and the coaches who are in charge of recognizing the player for his abilities and adaptability to the change.
Often time players are blamed for poor display and performance, which in some cases may be true but it is also fair to admit that a player is merely performing a duty which is assigned to him by his coach.
In other cases, some players don’t seem to fit in or adapt to the style of play that is instilled by the coaching staff.
Now & On To The Future
As things stand now, Inter has formed a strong squad due to relentless efforts by the management, coaches and everyone else in between.
Strong core of young and upcoming Italian players such as Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella and Alessandro Bastoni have been brought in due to their familiarity and adaptability trait of the Italian football.
A good mixture of youth and seasoned players are available at the disposal of Antonio Conte while Inter management broke the bank by also bringing in Romelu Lukaku from Manchester to play alongside Lautaro Martinez.
The defense is looking as great as the invincible treble winning side led by Skriniar, Godin and de Vrij.
The hard work still needs to continue and the promises are yet to be fulfilled but we look forward with our heads held high.
At the end of the tunnel, there’s light. There’s hope!
Always and forever – Forza Inter