APPIANO GENTILE – "I heard what Valentino Rossi said and I’d like
to thank him, I liked the fact he spoke about being serious both
professionally and on a personal level. Then there are the players, the
few people who know what I say, how I work. I’d like to thank everyone
for their praise." This is how Walter Mazzarri began his press conference ahead of Inter v Bologna.
very rare for a coach to see the club change hands mid-season. Usually
new owners change the coach regardless: but everything I’ve achieved in
my career has allowed president Thohir to make the decision to go on
together. I like the fact he said it, I’m one of his employees, perhaps
the most important one because I’m in charge of the technical side,
which affects the day-to-day running of the club.
"Is this the
toughest spell of my career? I’ve gone through worse, because I know how
to take some distance from it. I’m not interested in analysing things
with the league season ongoing. You’ll know what I think as soon as the
season is over, but during the campaign I’m only interested in our next
game, which is tomorrow night against Bologna. It’s not an easy match,
there aren’t really any in Serie A. We need to keep working on the
mistakes we’ve made, on improving and being together, just like after
Livorno, to try and pick up the best possible results and get the team
as high up the table this season. That will make it easier to plan for
the following seasons.
"If you look at our performances over 95
minutes you can analyse the team and its display, but in football
incidents happen that you can’t legislate for, a penalty decision for
example. Even a misplaced pass by a player who’s always played and done
well can occur on an off-day. You can’t give a logical explanation for
that, but the rest of it remains and that’s what I work on. That’s why I
talk about putting in performances that allow us to take as many points
as possible. How many? I can’t know. We’ll review things with the
president at the end of the season, such as whether to send a player out
on loan or not. These are decisions that affect the whole club,
including for example technical director Piero Ausilio.
general, I want us to always think that danger is just around the
corner, and the team must never underestimate the potential threat posed
by the opposition. I think that’s what happened. We gave the impression
of being in charge of the match and we didn’t spot the danger. Had
Livorno hit the bar rather than scoring their first goal, I think that
would have given us a shake, like against Atalanta.
"I will keep
doing what I believe in, hard work. I’ll do everything I can to take
this team as high up the league as possible. I believe, as I’ve said
before, that it will be easier to plan the future based on how we finish
the season. I see improvement, you don’t consider our shape and
tactical play. You can’t control people switching off, it’s something
that needs to be assessed by the players themselves with regards to
their character. I’m gathering data to understand that those who need to
remain in the team need to have certain attributes. Three or four
moments when you go to sleep over the course a season, that’s OK, not
30. We’ve got an excellent approach on the road, just as we showed in
our last match. This is what you can see for example. But there are
certain observations you make that you can’t talk about with the season
ongoing. We’ll talk about that at the end of the campaign.
class’ gets bandied around a lot. I think to perform at the highest
level you need to keep focused at all times, which is not easy.
Mid-table teams who finish halfway up the league have highs and lows.
That’s why so many of these lads have experienced moments like that,
they need to be coached mentally to maintain certain levels and get into
good habits. Our up and down performances need to be considered, but
the truth is the coach and his staff work on this every day.
typically prepare my team and substitutions before the game, a
professional coach makes them based on logic. Hernanes was one of the
few that had played, but you need to consider that we have a match every
three to four days. For instance Samuel played because he’d only
featured in one other match, Ranocchia had played in three, there was
logic behind it.
"I would like us to make a good start against
Bologna. We’ve created a lot in the last few games. I hope to begin the
game as we’ve played in the second halves of matches. In general terms
the team has created a great deal and conceded very little. We’ve also
tried a couple of things tactically, and we hope to see the benefits of
"Jonathan will train today and I’ll assess him,
Nagatomo had a knock and I tried to rest him because we have a lot of
games. This will allow us to have him at full fitness tomorrow.
outside pressures, wherever I’ve worked, I’ve always tried to keep
people together. If the ownership shows the team they’re behind them,
that can only be a good thing for the players, it makes them see they’re
united that the others are involved and there’s togetherness. It’s
definitely a help for the coach so I welcome it.
the start? He’s one of the doubts I have. If he doesn’t play, someone
else will. No one’s happy when they’re not playing. Icardi? I’d like
people to consider the number of chances we create compared with other
teams. I look beyond our results now and I analyse this season in terms
of potential. This the current situation: the team is creating a lot or
almost always more than other sides and allowing the opposition very
little. This goes for Icardi who started for Sampdoria and now has the
responsibility of starting for Inter. It’s different because it’s a
process. It’s about knowing Inter must always go out looking for one
result: the win. Besides he’s still young, look at how many young
players start regularly for sides competing at the top.
and Cambiasso are both good playmakers but they can also play together
as two central midfielders. I was undecided in the end, and I picked
Hernanes and ‘Kuz’ who was fresh. He played well, now I’ll assess who to
pick tomorrow, based on those best suited to playing Bologna.
played a back four on a number of occasions, and I’m not ruling out
doing it again some day, but I don’t think it’s that crucial. The
important thing is the lads know what they need to do.
"I’d ask the fans to keep doing what they’ve always done: support Inter all together."