Seven years (and nine managers) after an historic treble, Inter have hit an all-time low in Italy

There was a fan protest at the San Siro today as the club went down to another defeat.

Image: Antonio Calanni

SEVEN YEARS AGO, Jose Mourinho led Inter Milan to the Coppa Italia, followed it up with a last-day Serie A triumph and then claimed a Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.

It was the first time an Italian side had won the Treble.

But Mourinho left immediately afterwards and swapped the San Siro for the Bernabeu. Rafael Benitez arrived as coach but was sacked by the end of the year owing to poor domestic form, despite leading Inter to the Club World Cup.

Leonardo was installed and fortunes improved. By the end of the term, there was another Coppa Italia and the team recovered sufficiently to finish as runners-up to their local rivals Milan.

But, ever since, it’s been a steady decline.

The revolving managerial door has had plenty to do with it. Since Mourinho, eleven different coaches have taken the reins and Inter have inevitably struggled to piece together any sort of consistency.

Italy Soccer Serie A Source: Antonio Calanni

In the 2011/2012 season alone, they went through three: Gian Piero Gasperini, Claudio Ranieri and Andrea Stramaccioni.

In 2013, they finished the season on 54 points – their lowest tally in 12 years. Inevitably, Stramaccioni was unceremoniously dumped. The 9th-place finish meant that Inter wouldn’t be featuring in European competition for the first time since 2000.

In recent years, many have tried with not much in the way of results. Walter Mazzarri and Roberto Mancini brought a little bit of stability but when former president Massimo Moratti sold his majority stake in the summer of 2016 – thus ending his 21-year association with the club – it dovetailed with the club spiralling out of control.

After sterling work with Ajax, Frank de Boer was appointed last June but only lasted 85 days in charge. Stefano Pioli took over last November but he was sacked just last week.

Earlier today, Inter – with Stefano Vecchi taking interim charge for the second time this term – lost to Sassuolo. The defeat meant the club have taken just two points from their last eight games.

To add insult to injury, Inter fans staged a humiliating protest during the first-half at the San Siro. They unveiled a banner which said, ‘Seeing as you don’t deserve our support, we’re going to lunch’. And then they promptly walked out.

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The disastrous season sees Inter limping over the finishing line and, once again, looking for a new manager.

The club’s Chinese owners – Suning Holdings – want Antonio Conte but it’s an ambitious proposal. He’s won a league title in two different countries in his last four years as a club coach with Juventus and Chelsea respectively.

Swapping all of that success to merely try and pick Inter up off the floor doesn’t exactly look like the most appealing project.

So, things may have to get worse before they get better for the Nerazzurri.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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