Following Gian Piero Gasperini’s sacking after two defeats and one draw in Serie A, Claudio Ranieri was appointed Inter Coach as owner Massimo Moratti looked to bring some stability to the club. In employing a 4-4-2 formation in his first match, Ranieri tailored the side’s playing style to the stars in his team and the Milanese side immediately reaped the benefits from hiring a veteran like the Italian, as they ran out 3-1 winners in an emphatic display against Bologna. But Ranieri’s immediate effect on the Inter players will be no surprise to Italian football fans as the ex-Roma manager thrives under pressure and never shies away from a challenge like the one posed at Inter.
Ranieri sent his new players out with a system they were more accustomed to than the one employed by his predecessor. Clinical goal scorer Giampaolo Pazzini was given his first start of the season and repaid his new manager with a fantastic strike to put Inter in the lead. The former Sampdoria player linked up with midfielder Estaban Cambiasso, smashing it pass Bologna keeper Jean Francois Gillet. Cambiasso, Pazzini and Diego Milito linked up perfectly on several occasions, playing delightful one-touch passing football. The Nerazzurri looked deadly in every attack, remained resilient defensively and each member of the squad played the game with a smile on their face. Despite having worked with the team for just two days, Ranieri was getting the best out of his squad as he based the style the team played around the talents at his disposal.
Ranieri’s immediate effect on the Inter team comes as no surprise, however. The former Palermo defender has a tendency of taking over a failing team and turning them into world beaters. When Ranieri succeeded Luciano Spalletti at Roma he took over a side which was sitting in the bottom half of Serie A and falling behind title rivals Milan, Inter, Juventus and Fiorentina after just four games. The Italian quickly turned the Giallorossi into genuine title contenders and had them sitting top of the league on course to lifting the title before Pazzini and partner in crime at Sampdoria Antonio Cassano tore through the Lupi defence and took three points as well as the scudetto from right underneath them and they subsequently lost out on the title to Jose Mourinho’s treble winning Inter.
Ranieri was consistent when in charge of Chelsea, qualifying for European competitions in each season and finishing 4th in the Premier League before the club were bought by Roman Abramovich. Following the takeover of the Blues, the Italian Coach had to deal with an ever-changing group of players in which it is believed he had very little say and who left as the money was thrown about, he faced constant criticism from the English media and his job was constantly under threat. But the Roman persevered and in finishing runners-up, he guided Chelsea to their highest league finish in 49 years, only to be pipped to the title by an unbeaten Arsenal.
Ranieri was drafted in at Parma to help them in their relegation battle. The Gialloblu won seven of the 16 games the Tinkerman was in charge of and they finished a very respectable 12th in the league.
There are several other success stories of Ranieri’s career but his spells at Chelsea, Parma and Roma are the best examples to show that he is capable of taking a struggling team and making them dangerous, making them a team capable of success. Massimo Moratti is not the easiest President to get along with and he did Gasperini no favours with his constant criticism in the media but Ranieri has dealt with difficult employers and media pressure before, and has never let it affect his performances as a manager. Taking on his 12th job as Coach, Ranieri is experienced enough, mentally strong enough and knowledgeable enough, to turn Inter around and challenge Milan, Juventus, Napoli and Lazio to the title this season.