Former players throw light on ‘disrespectful’ De Boer at Inter

Frank De Boer’s stay at Inter Milan was very short-lived and although he didn’t last that long with the Nerazzurri, just four months, a good number of the players he managed at that time have just harsh words for him.

De Boer became Inter Milan’s at the start of the 2016/17 campaign after he was hired as the successor to Roberto Mancini on a three-year deal.

He started off with a pre-season win but struggled when competitive football began. His stay at Inter Milan will easily pass for a failed managerial move. The club provided him with the needed reinforcements and depth he needed, or so it seemed at the time. 

Inter Milan signed Joao Mario and Gabriel Barbosa a.k.a Gabigol in big-money deals. They also secured a deal for Turkish full-back Caner Erkin. However, these signings didn’t suffice for the Dutchman eventually.


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Gabigol was rarely used by Frank De Boer while Joao Mario couldn’t fully replicate his Euro 2016 form after the move.

His tenure as Inter boss started off with a 2 nil loss away to Chievo, a shock and disappointing 1 all draw against Palermo at home. They managed to get a 2:1 win against the Old Ladies but subsequently lost to Roma, Cagliari, and Atalanta.

They lost 4 in 5 in the Serie A and were also poor in the Europa League. Therefore, the club couldn’t help but terminate his contract after just 85 days in charge, precisely on November 1.


Regardless, the manager had words in his defense. He was eventually replaced by Stefano Poli and this provoked him into taking a swipe at the Inter hierarchy:

“I was dealing with a rotten group but wasn’t allowed to throw out certain players,” said De Boer in May 2019.

“I perhaps should’ve pushed a bit harder, because if you want to create change, you have to get a lot done right away. Maybe I tried to be everyone’s friend and that just wasn’t possible.”

However, some of the players he managed at the time also had words for the manager. Former Inter winger Jonathan Biabiany described the Dutchman as the worst manager in the history of Inter Milan.


“It hurt me very much to hear from him that we were a rotten group,” Biabiany said in December 2019.

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“I was not the only one who did not understand him because even those who played said they did not understand De Boer’s ideas and he always showed himself as being arrogant. In my opinion, he is the worst Inter manager in history.”

Erkin who also arrived after his appointment has his own say. The Turkish man didn’t make a single appearance under De Boer and supported Biabiany’s remarks.


“Frank de Boer’s attitude towards me was awful,” Erkhin said recently in a chat with Football Italia.

“He left me out as if I was some teenager promoted from the youth academy. The treatment I received from De Boer was disrespectful and he transformed the path of my career with his attitude.

“I never understood why De Boer treated me like that. I was never in his plans, from the first day he set foot in Italy.”

He noted that he was not the only player who felt that way about the Dutch boss.


“Everyone knew what kind of person De Boer was, that’s why I still can’t figure out how he managed to reach a club like Inter,” Erkin continued.

“I agree with Jonathan Biabiany when he says De Boer was the worst coach in the history of Inter. It’s awful that all my dreams were shattered by a man who was only there for two-and-a-half months.”

Frank De Boer’s exit from Inter Milan was not the end for him. He was hired by Premier League outfit Crystal Palace where he had another short spell with results, not in his favor. He subsequently moved to Major League Soccer outfit Atlanta United FC.