When Mourinho left Inter Milan to join Real Madrid in the summer, Massimo Moratti, the chairman of Inter Milan, had a big job to do and this was to find a credible successor to ‘The Special One’. His search ended when a found a manager in former Valencia and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez. Like many, I was mystified by this choice, seeing as Liverpool had underchieved massively in his final season at the club, finishing 7th. Even though he has been without many key men due to injury, such as Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, being in 7th place in Serie A at the turn of the year is unacceptable for the current Champions League holders and winners of the last 5 Scuddetos. Even though Inter won the FIFA World Club Cup, straight after the much, he said he wanted to either be backed or to be sacked, a moment on which Moratti has kept quiet on. This is reminiscent of when Mourinho announced his intention to go to Real Madrid after they won the Champions League and Mancini when he said regretfully that he would resign after Inter lost to Liverpool to go out of the Champions League. In this blog, I will have a look at the five managers I think could take over at Inter if Benitez gets sacked.
This season, Mazzari’s Napoli side have impressed this season, being 2nd in Serie A and only 3 points behind Massimiliano Allegri’s AC Milan. He has got the best out of the likes of Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik and they have proceeded through to the next round of the Europa League. Before his time at Napoli, he managed Sampdoria, were his side famously defeated Inter Milan 3-1 on aggregate on route to the Coppa Italia final. He has also managed Reggina and Livorno amongst others. He is a strong contender for the job, but I doubt he will get it due to Napoli’s probable reluctance in letting him go and that Inter will probably go for a higher profile manager.
If you had told Reja that Lazio would be 3rd in the league come Christmas, he would have laughed. His reputation has gone up since he moved to Lazio from Croatian side Hajduk Split almost 10 months ago. He has got an eye for talent, bringing the likes of Hernanes and Sergio Floccari to the club. Lazio is the 21st side he has managed in his career so far. His most succesful period at a club to date was his 4 year spell at Napoli between 2005 and 2009, in which he got them from Serie C1 to the UEFA Cup. He probably won’t go to Inter due to his lack of success and Reja probably wanting to continue his job with Lazio.
Despite a poor spell in charge of Inter 10 years ago, I think that Lippi will still be a contender for the job. Winning the World Cup with Italy 4 years ago will be on his side but a poor showing at this summer’s World Cup could prove to be a knockback. He is an experienced manager, having managed Italy twice, Juventus twice, Inter Milan and Napoli amongst others. As he is out of a job, Inter will not have to pay any compensation to get him. I think that he could be a front runner for the job.
The former Fiorentina boss has done well so far in his job as Italy boss. He has managed to get some good results and play players who were seen as troublesome, e.g. Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano. In his 5 years as Fiorentina boss, he managed to get many impressive results at the club and is said to be by many, their best ever manager. He has previously managed Parma, Roma, Verona, Venezia, Lecce and Atalanta. He is the ideal solution for a short term move until the end of the season, but this is unlikely due to his commitments to the Italy job.
Jurgen Klopp*Borussia Dortmund
The Borussia Dortmund coach has had a fantastic season. He has guided his side to the top of the table, only dropping 8 points along the way to be crowned the Bundesliga’s winter champions. He has managed the side for 2 years after an impressive 7 year spell at Mainz, the club in which he play at for the majority of his career. He has an eye for young and inexpensive talents in Shinji Kagawa, Neven Subotic, Lucas Barrios, Mario Gotze and Mats Hummels amongst others. In my view he is the ideal replacemnt due to what he has achieved at Dortmund, but he will probably not leave until the end of the seasons to hopefully win the Bundesliga with his impressive side.
Many other managers have been linked to the job, so in brief, here are a few of the other manager’s to have been linked. Fabio Capello, manager of the England team was linked in the summer to replace Mourinho, but instead was offered a new two year deal worth £12 million by the English FA, in what would turn out to be a silly move after England’s failiure at the World Cup. He will probably not go because he ‘wants’ to finish his contract with England. Louis Van Gaal, the manager of Bayern Munich will probably be linked to the job due to his impressive CV. He got Bayern to the final of the Champions League last season just to lose out to Inter Milan. He will probably not got due to him wanting to retire at the end of his contract with Bayern Munich. Turkey boss Guus Hiddink has also been linked to the job and he could be a front runner for a short term move. He has done it before with Australia and PSV Eindhoven and Russia and Chelsea.
I feel that the job should go to Cesare Prandelli or Guus Hiddink on a short term move until the end of the season so Jurgen Klopp can take over as he has a lot of promise and in my view, could prosper with more money to find more talent.
For more about Jurgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund, see my previous blog http://footballblog.co.uk/mid-season-european-review-shocks.html
Please comment on this article. Do you agree with my contenders, if Benitez should be sacked and who Inter will appoint if Benitez, as predicted, does go.