The first "Mister"

Bob Spottiswood SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.32 / 110

Donning his bowler hat, a beaming smile and a solid Crystal Palace playing record, Bob Spottiswood arrived in Milan back in 1922. He was the first professional coach to take charge of Inter in the club’s history, with then President Francesco Mauro hiring him with the hope of improving upon their most recent poor campaign. At the time, the retired midfielder did not have a full grasp of the Italian language, therefore the players called him Mister, a word which has since stuck for coaches in Italy even today. However, Spottiswood’s lack of Italian soon created tactical problems out on the pitch, with Nerazzurri supporters coining a particular nickname for him. He became known by everyone as ‘Bob Pastisùn’ (Bungling Bob).

Nerazzurri supporters coining a particular nickname for him. He became known by everyone as ‘Bob Pastisùn’ (Bungling Bob).

His coaching performance was undoubtedly worse than what the President had expected from him, with Bob Pastisùn’s first season in charge ending with the team just managing to avoid relegation. He was with the coach with whom it all nearly crumbled. His second season was certainly better, as he helped Inter finish with a respectable fourth place, however this achievement was overshadowed by another Englishman named William Garbutt, who in the same season helped an unbeaten Genoa side secure their eighth league title. Pastisùn’s language skills soon began to improve, as did the team’s understanding of his tactics, however it was sadly too late for the Englishman, with Paolo Schleider soon replacing him. A man from Milan through and through, who was from then on known as Mister.

 

Bob Spottiswood

Bob Spottiswood (Carlisle, UK, 1887 - 1966, Bromley, UK) was the first professional coach of Inter in the club’s history. He took charge of the Nerazzurri from 1922 to 1924, just avoiding relegation in his first year, before finishing fourth the following season. Paolo Schleider was the man who subsequently took his place.