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Sunday December 16 2012
Petkovic 1-0 Stramaccioni

This was billed as the battle of next generation Coaches and in that case Vladimir Petkovic came out on top against Andrea Stramaccioni, says Susy Campanale.

Lazio beat Inter 1-0 last night and Vladimir Petkovic also got the better of Andrea Stramaccioni, albeit more in terms of performance than mere results. If this was meant to be a duel between the Coaches who have revamped Serie A, then the younger man seemed to take a step back into the past.

Stramaccioni had his 36th official game on the Inter bench this weekend, making him the longest-serving Coach of the post-Jose Mourinho era. The former Primavera boss is truly a tactical chameleon, switching his systems constantly to surprise opponents and keep his own players on their toes. Having succeeded where Gian Piero Gasperini thought it was impossible by implementing a three-man defence, he also managed to balance a trident with Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio. When he first took over from Claudio Ranieri in March it was like a breath of fresh air, his attacking approach bringing goals galore and entertainment to San Siro. I’d like that Strama back.

There have certainly been moments of that magic this season, such as taking a 3-4-3 system to Turin and out-playing Juventus. In the last few games against Palermo, Napoli and Lazio the plan was to run few risks, then hopefully nick a goal near the end. It seems like a big step backwards for the youngest Coach in Serie A. "We limited Napoli," he boasted when they were the home side. Too often of late the approach has been to defend first, soak up pressure and try to hit teams on the counter-attack. It all feels a little too... Ranierish. Surely nobody wants that.

On the other hand, Petkovic stood by his word that Lazio would try to dominate at the Olimpico. They held the initiative from start to finish, although strong defending from Inter and uncharacteristically poor finishing from Miroslav Klose saw them struggle to actually make any of it stick. Instead, the Nerazzurri hit the woodwork twice and tested Federico Marchetti’s reflexes with old-fashioned counters. Possession and initiative ultimately counts for nothing unless the ball is in the back of the net.

Yet I think it does count, at least in the eyes of the fans and the opponents. Fiorentina, Roma and Lazio (Turin aside) are guaranteed to take the game to you in any stadium, even if that means running some big risks and dropping points. These are not sides to sit back and soak up pressure. They are the antithesis of the old negative image people had of Serie A. Inter had originally seemed to be heading that way too, so I hope Stramaccioni can rediscover his audacity. We all want to see Scudetto contenders who go on the attack.

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Have your say...
Petkovic 4-1-4-1 managed to choke Strama counter attacking tactic in the whole 1st half.

Introduction of Palacio and slight tinkering of formation managed to re-boot Inter which result in two shots hitting the post.

But Lazio readjust to that and got their goal via Klose attempt (after many chances when begging).

This is a clear example of game of tactics. Both teams could win the game on their own right. But its Lazio who convert chance into goal.

Lately, Inter come duller to watch. Sigh.
on the 18th December, 2012 at 4:22am
Further, the team is drastically missing creativity within midfield. Guarin is good, but he is no tre-quartista. Coutinho and Alvarez need to get more playing time because Gargano, Zanetti, and Cambiasso are all runners/defenders. Quite honestly, Gargano has been poor all year. Cou and Alvarez give quality on the ball, even if they are young. At this point, with all of that said, and being a huge Inter fan .. this team does not have what it takes to win Lo Scudetto yet.
on the 17th December, 2012 at 11:19pm
This article is not far off of the mark, there has definitely been a switch in terms of Inter's play from when Strama started to where they are now. They are playing much more on the break, and defending deep. What boggles my mind .. is Strama has openly stated he finds it difficult to input Sneijder into the squad. Yet in matches against Parma, Napoli and now Lazio, he has opted for a tre-quartista behind the strikers (Alvarez first, then Guarin). This IS Sneijder's role.
on the 17th December, 2012 at 11:18pm
the advantage. people have to realize that this is basically the 1st year of this project and that serie a is far more competitive this season than last. last year it was just juve and milan with a hint off napoli and that was it everyone else was way to incosistent. this year u have juve, napoli, inter, lazio, and even fiorentina also roma of late yes juve is strongest but right now everyone else has basically started from scratch(except napoli) great season ahead agreed
on the 17th December, 2012 at 9:55pm
tough lose for inter just edged out in an opponents stadium in the final stages of a match. yes the first half was too defensive but as many have commented strama is only fielding a squad to their strengths. much better in the second half guarin is not a playmaker better on one side thats where hes been his best this season. imo the introduction of candreva in the second half was key for lazio up till that time in the 2nd half inter had been controling most of the play after this lazio regained
on the 17th December, 2012 at 9:48pm
For now, d best coach in serie-A is still Conte and then allegri.
juve r now much better than what they were before conte came in.
Allegri's transforming milan. Look at how they play now. They attack. Not just counter only. They attack. Look at el-sharawy. Milan build player that good now.
That's just d things that strama don't have. Age is not a good excuse.
Losing point on "small games" is not ok. Evven with "big team win" excuses. Coz points of winning in games is what makes u d champ of d league.

I'm not saying strama's bad.
We can't compare him with mou. Every coach would have 90% chance to b champ if club spoils them (coaches) with almost every player that they want, as moratti spoils mou. Besides,mou can concentrate on champions league with no sweat in italy competition because there's no juve, milan was far down with point deduction. Inter have no serious competitor.
I won't b surprised if strama n inter win champions league if moratti spoils him like he spoils Mou.
Strama's Okay. It's just This is not his time yet. Don't judge him yet.
But, in the other hand, don't hail him high yet. He's not yet a great coach. Not "never". Just "not yet".
So, let d mock and praise wait until strama is ready.
on the 17th December, 2012 at 1:06am
@Viktoria

U think allegri is better then conte? Have u banged ur head again viktoria. Look at the table son and check where Milan are. That's right, they are under juve exactly where they belong. Your own president has openly said he wants pep and that allegri is just a stop gap. Gattuso hated him and inzaghi nearly had a fist fight with him. Just keep envying juve viktoria, whilt Milan continue with inconsistent performances.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 10:39pm
I disagee, not because I am Inter fan but one should be just realistic ... Lazio won just thanks to Klose's magic touch while Inter players were just unlucky. I saw good Inter that will be up there pushing Juve to the limits
on the 16th December, 2012 at 6:55pm
Inter still do not play like a team, we depend on individual efforts. we lack creativity and flair in midfield. and we can hardly pass the ball around as well. so making chances is quite impossible under the main circumstances.

Strama is unlucky, he had to sub Cuchu which was a huge lose. and generally that Sneijder situation limited our midfield capabilities. we do not possess any creative mid force.

Nobody said anything when Inter were winning important games and now this, typical F-Italia
on the 16th December, 2012 at 5:15pm
@mewstafa

Lololol.. Every team that's wins against juve are lucky ... Can't stop laughing at your ignorant posts.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 4:02pm
@boss

Allegri a loser? And conte is a winner? Lol your emberassing
on the 16th December, 2012 at 3:59pm
The constant butt kissing of strama is a joke. On what grounds is this guy the next big thing or full of potential? Is it because he is young? That is total stupidity. This guy is crap. He has done nothing to be considered a great coach. His team loses quite regularly. He puts his best player sneijder on the bench. I don't understand why you bloggers are pleased so easy, it is no wonder Italy are so poor in Europe, you're all content with losers like allegri and strama. Conte is the only good 1
on the 16th December, 2012 at 1:51pm
Strama is a young coach with a lot of potential, but his inexperience will show every now and then. I think his early success is working against him, forcing him to take a few steps back.

When he took over Inter, expectations were rock bottom, allowing him to play good football and run a few risks. But his initial success has raised expectations to unrealistic levels, and now he if forced to abandon future growth for short term results.

This is year zero for Inter, I say let Strama be.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 1:06pm
If Strama has become reactionary then this article is right there with him. Inter, even at the height of their powers under Mou do not control games, do not go on the all out attack and do not dominate possession. Strama is merely using the assests at his disposal. He does not have a midfield that can control games. To go to the Olimpico against this Lazio and hit the woodwork twice and have a penalty wrongly disallowed is no disgrace. Strama sets up is team to suit the situation at hand....
on the 16th December, 2012 at 12:43pm
This post is full of hyperbole and little in the way of substance. I'm a juve fan, and care little for Inter, but they came into the game in second place for no other reason than Strama. He has exceeded expectations. A result went against them today - it changes nothing and says little about the kind of coach he is. And your description of Lazio was also off base. Petkovic did not send his team out to play against Juve. Lazio was perfectly happy to sit back and absorb pressure and do little else
on the 16th December, 2012 at 11:58am
Great to see Inter lose. Couple of lucky wins, then they lose again. Moratti is a very silly man. Buys useless players, and the good ones, and the ones who won so much he keeps on the bench or sends away.
I personally think Inter are an embarassment for italian football, and deserve everything they get.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 11:58am
"...Lazio are guaranteed to take the game to you in any stadium, even if that means running some big risks and dropping points"

Yeah, exactly what we saw against Juventus. ROTFL.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 11:21am
Susy is right about Strama leaning towards reactive futbol than an attacking one recently. The one against Napoli was no different, soaked up pressure from Azurri for long periods. What surprised me, in particular, was that Strama deploying Guarin in trequarista role(again)! It might have worked against Napoli but then shifting to a 4-3-1-2 and putting the creative burden on Guarin isn't exactly what wise men do. I felt Strama took a leaf out of Allegri's book of KPB as trequarista.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 10:56am
Agree that when Strama joined we were playing some fantastic football-some of the best for a long time and it was possession based not counter attacking which is how we played for too long, personally I'd prefer this style too but Strama has gone back to our main strengths of the Mancini and especially Mourinho era, we need to attack more at San-Siro and Sneijder has to come back into this team but last night especially 2nd half we were good if not for the post could have won the game.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 10:28am
Im a little disappointed with this all fatality type of attitude. When Inter beat Juve, he was considered the genius that would revamp Italian football. Now he is a backwards type of coach! Lazio was the better team on the night, as Petkovic best put it Lazio only suffered for 15-20mins. God forbid a team or a coach has an off night!

I hate Inter & everything they stand for, but im also realistic! Inter are a disjointed team the only reason they are playing well is because of Strama.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 10:13am
@Alexxx: what your saying is nonsense, Strama isnt overrated he's been put where he belongs. your just judging him on the last couple of games forgetting how he started the season amazingly, Juve played bad ?? haha more like inter were really good my friend not the opposite, and against milan they wouldnt have dominated the match if it wasnt for nagatomo's red card, and strama got them last year 4-2, Strama is one of the best coaches in italy and he's still 36 so there's room for improvement
on the 16th December, 2012 at 10:13am
Susy is spot-on! Strama has achieved good results, but Inter have been dull to watch. Inter have some amazing young players, as evidenced by their Primavera's Next Gen success. It is a pity that he isn't bringing some of these players through: giving them Serie A experience. At the moment, Strama is the polar opposite of Zeman. Petkovic has done a fantastic job! Lazio are a very solid & well organised team.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 10:01am
Inter's problem is that they lack creativity in the midfield. Zanetti, Gargano, Cambiasso, & Guarin are grafters, but none of them can orchestrate play. Because of this, Inter do not control games, & tend to rely on counter attacks and set-pieces. At home, they often look like the away team. Sneijder is missed, but his play these days seems to involve shooting instead of passing, hence why Strama uses him as a trequartista. Verratti would have been ideal for Inter.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 9:49am
Strama is just overrated. I don't get the logic why people claim he is the next big thing just because he changes tactic regularly. His 3-4-3 defeated juventus not because it's great.. but because juve played bad. He defeated milan because montolivo's goal was not given. This guy is nothing special.

You better pay attention to allegri, dear suzy.. I truly believe he is the best italian coach, next to conte. Look how milan's performance lately. And he did that with a totally revamped team!
on the 16th December, 2012 at 9:41am
"switching his systems constantly to surprise opponents and keep his own players on their toes. "

That's just stupidity! He may surprise opponents by that, but he makes his team struggle & risks losing games more and more.

He got lucky in the derby by refereeing gifts & got the game handed over to by Alessio in Turin.

And Inter fans sill try to hype him up. I say, WISE UP !
on the 16th December, 2012 at 5:38am
This article is an embarrasment to Football-italia.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 5:05am
Attacking at all costs? Sure, if you're looking for inconsistency the Roma way. They all tinker with the way they play and they suit their tactics depending on the opponents. Strama was wrong with his tactics but that doesn't make Petković the "attacking genius", he simply took iniciative in a game where the opposition pretty much yelled "come at me bro!" Other than that, he can set up a defensive system as well (the Juve game).
Lastly, defending isn't evil. It's a tactic, some even call it art.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 2:24am
"Too often of late the approach has been to defend first, soak up pressure and try to hit teams on the counter-attack."

Stramaccioni is working to the strengths of his players, who are mostly from the Mancini and Mourinho days. If he can start bringing in more of those kids he coached, hopefully we see a more attacking team. Inter played some good football when he started coaching in the seniors. The current team isn't used to playing with a high-line defence.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 1:54am
Perhaps they were poor in the first half but the ATTACKING Inter had most chances of the second half and if not for Marchetti and the woodwork would have won the match.
I am a Rossoneri fan and do not often defend Inter but this blog is a bit unfair!
on the 16th December, 2012 at 1:46am
Sad display by inter. We were timid through out the first half that I saw. Guarin is not a play maker IMO, but a forceful midfielder. I'm pissed that Sneijder is left out yet we can't mount a proper attack. A midfield packed with defensive midfielders will always put in a Chelsea-like performance. smh.
on the 16th December, 2012 at 1:43am

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