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Inter confirm Benitez as manager

June 8, 2010

Inter will be expecting silverware next season under new manager Benitez

They say if plan A fails, give plan B a try. In the case of Inter Milan and their president Massimo Moratti, forget plans A, B, and even C. Rafael Benitez, the club’s 4th choice to succeed Jose Mourinho as manager, is expected to confirm his appointment tomorrow morning following his exit from Liverpool just last week.

Ever since the news that Jose Mourinho had practically pre-signed a deal to join Real Madrid as head coach emerged, speculation had been rife that Benitez would become his successor at San Siro, but with names such as Manuel Pellegrini and Fabio Capello also being bandied around, it seemed unlikely that Benitez would be the man to eventually land Milan’s top job. But, against most people’s expectations, he will be named as Inter Milan manager at a press conference in the morning.

Benitez’s troubles throughout the last season at Anfield have been much talked about, and he will be the first man to admit that he underachieved in his time at the club, especially since the 2005 Champions League triumph. a 7th place finish in the Premier League last season was the final straw for the Spaniard and the American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks sought to find a new man to lead the Reds forward. Despite a drought of silverware in the last 3 seasons however, Rafa Benitez will still be held in high regard by the Anfield faithful, and there’s no doubt that it’s the owners and not the manager who have felt the full force of the supporters’ brunt in recent months.

So, the time has come to predict how well, or more importantly, how long Benitez will last at Inter, and as with all great journalists, a chance to criticise a boardroom decision shall not pass me by. Whilst I’m a great fan of Benitez, admittedly I did call for his sacking on a number of occasions last season. Not because I don’t like the man, not because I don’t think he’s up to the task of managing a big club, but because I thought his time had come and gone, and it was a chance for a new, fresh face to come in and shake things up. Now, for me, Inter Milan is not the right club for Benitez to join. Jose Mourinho is ‘The Special One’, for obvious reasons. A domestic double and European glory last campaign was a remarkable achievement, arguably an achievement that no other manager in the world could deliver. The expectations at San Siro are now at an all-time high, and for Benitez to replicate or even get within touching distance of Mourinho’s honours would be a miraculous achievement.

For me, a case of one-season-wonder (one-season-no-wonder may be more of an appropriate name) is probable. A failure to win the Champions League and lets say Italian Cup, even with a Serie ‘A’ title may not be enough to keep Benitez in his job, as is the current footballing climate. The European Cup is more valuable and more financially lucrative to clubs these days, and as we’ve seen at Real Madrid, failure in that competition effectively leads to the removal of the boss. I believe that Benitez should have taken a bit of time out of the game, assessed his options and moved to a club with expectations and ambitions that he could realistically deliver. Unfortunately, I do not think Rafa can deliver the goods at Inter, and I’m certain that he’ll be finding himself a new club come this time next year.

I hope I’m wrong as I’d love to see Rafa succeed in management wherever he goes, but I just don’t see it. I wonder what Inter Milan fans think about their new gaffer?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 9, 2010 10:28 pm

    This is a mistake. It’s Rafa’s mistake and Moratti’s mistake. Wrong man in the wrong place at wrong moment in time.

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