Spalletti: "Inter, you are perfect. Nainggolan and Vidal? Our midfielders will be like them"

Spalletti: "Inter, you are perfect. Nainggolan and Vidal? Our midfielders will be like them"

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INTER? YOU ARE PERFECT!

The quality of these players is very high. I am 100% satisfied. Icardi is super and also generous.

We want to win the Scudetto but Juventus and Napoli are more equipped.

Milan? Each derby is worth double. 

To Francesco, I always told him that I thought. He is Roma but Rome is Roma.

He is a good coach, very good one, the field has proven this for many years. But today, Luciano Spalletti is much more. He is a leader like Mourinho and Conte in the dressing room and also a high level communicator. A “manager” in every sense of the word just like Trapattoni before Mancini and Mourinho. Let’s face it, the Inter transfer market wasn’t really liked by the fans, and it was Spalletti that immediately brought serenity to the Inter faithful: no complaints, exalted the current squad at his disposal and he has also guaranteed the commitment of the team, with heart and professionalism. Spalletti yesterday came to see the Gazzetta dello Sport: “I am honored to be here. When I was a child, my grandmother used to serve breakfast together with the Gazzetta dello Sport and Oro Saiwa (Italian cookies). I hope to not disappoint although it will be difficult.” 

Coach Spalletti, are you convinced that you have in your hands a team of high quality?

“There was expectation of a different transfer market, yes, this is true. I was convinced that I could cook up some special things with certain ingredients. But today, I am 100% satisfied. When I was in Riscone (for training camp) I told to all that promises were made to me. Then, the transfer market was not complete and above all, I did not know all the players yet.”

What convinces you the most? 

“The quality of the players which is very high. I have players that are always available to learn, motivated and true professionals. Being a professional means that one must have competence and passion in what he does. The 55-60 thousand people that come rooting for us at the stadium will understand and be convinced in the work that the players have done so far.”

Please analyze the market.

“Borja Valero and Vecino understand our football, our rhythms and have character. They turn it on from the very first minute until the very end of the game. They are consistent and give the same results game in game out. Maybe players like this were missing at Inter, at least I thought so just by watching the team from the outside.”

Skriniar?

“He will become a fantastic defender. He has quality, desire and incredible potential to improve. In a year, all the top clubs will ask for him I am sure of it. His eyes can tell you a lot like he is not afraid when being attacked by his opponent. He is effective and knows how to play the ball very well.”

Dalbert? 

“He has a fantastic left foot, very fluid on the wing and crosses well. He does not defend badly but must continue to learn in this aspect. He is like Emerson Palmieri. Remember? When Emerson arrived at Roma, few believed in him…”

Can Dalbert and Cancelo play together seeing how they are very attacking players? 

“Yes, of course. But do not forget D’Ambrosio and Nagatomo as it is not easy to overcome them. They give the team the right balance and are uncomfortable opponents for anyone.”

Karamoh?

“The fact is that he is still a kid. You can see this during training when he shows his full enthusiasm especially when it comes to shooting drills. He must continue to grow and must be guided carefully, surely is a very high quality player. He is fast and so when he starts taking off, he can burn the ground under his feet. Has good techniques but must improve the playmaking ability in the hot zone, like the one near the opposing goal.”

Where, potentially, can this Inter team end up?

“Well, we start 29 points behind Juve, 25 behind Roma, 24 behind Napoli. It would be a dream to improve every player but I have a perfect team in hand and you will be able to see that.”

Are you a bit shorthanded when it comes to defense?

“Of course: it is useless to hide this. We are missing a central defender. But we do not want to buy just because we want to reach a number of players, it is not part of our policy. I have been talking to and working with the players who are already here at Inter and I can assure you that Ranocchia and D’Ambrosio are two central defenders. I am not interested in the past and I only judge what I see on the field. Miranda and Skriniar are very fast although there are those who see them otherwise. I like the Brazilian in particular because he can adapt to his opponent every game.”

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In your midfield, it misses someone like Nainggolan…

“Interchangeability helps. Everyone is capable of doing a little bit of everything. On the field, you have to run because football is not only about positions. Everyone helps each other out. You come to me, I come to you. When you work like this, as a team and in a block, you will be like Napoli. Basically, our midfielders will become a Nainggolan or a Vidal. I have five great players in three places. Borja as Pirlo is ideal, the others can and must have to do a bit of everything. I am more fond of those who can adapt marginal roles at any given time. For example Joao Mario, who was decisive coming off the bench. He has shown a certain character of a leader. He knows how to attack the opposing midfielders, has done very well as trequartista and against SPAL, I will play him.”

Will Brozovic return to certain levels?

“He does rotate a lot, he is the one that always surrounds the ball, never stops. He also targets the goal when there are opportunities. Out of my midfielders, Brozovic is the most likely to score.”

Was it correct to sell Medel?

“I told him that: ‘Gary, to me, you are a trequartista.’ He looked at me as if I was f**king with him. At the same time, I had to be honest with him. I could not guarantee Medel a leading role in this team. Medel is an international level player. It was not easy for me to keep him out and it was not easy for him to stay out.”

Gabigol?

“He must play, he would have spent another year here without the margins to grow. I advised him to leave elsewhere and play. We are all curious to see how much he can grow. But up front I am good with Candreva, Icardi, Perisic and the good replacements for them.”

Are those your top three players?

“Icardi is a good person, a great professional and a champion. I want to make him feel the utmost confidence that I have in him. He is very strong, just like Perisic. We have spoken on several occasions and it was good that the club found the ways to keep him. He was told that he would not be leaving the club and so he focused on working and training, normal things with star players. I van is an impressive athlete, he is fundamental in what we want to do and is capable of putting the club to the top spot. He loves moving along the sideline and against Roma, he was decisive there. But if he can learn to be five meters towards the middle, he can become even more devastating, in the area just behind Icardi. This is a good spot for an animal like him to hunt, where he can do bad things to the opponents.”

Candreva? 

“Another machines that runs for kilometers on end, certainly. But the fierceness must increase when he puts the ball into the area for Icardi who is always comfortable in the opponents box like a sofa in his own home.”

Who is the vice Icardi?

“Eder, and then there is Pinamonti.”

Tell us, why Inter fans can dream?

“The strength of this Inter is still unfinished. We want a team that ultimately bolsters the idea that the most important thing is not the opponents: first there is the ball, then teammates, then space to cover, only after that, the opponents. We are working very hard, I am fortunate to have real coaches as my collaborators. My staff is the extension of myself.”

The league resumes with Inter-SPAL.

“This is a tricky game. Only starting today that I will have a full group although it is right to give some space to the nationals. Semplici (SPAL coach) is doing very well in Ferrara. He has always had his team playing hard and organized ever since he was in Serie C. They are enthusiastic and we have the risk of being too generous with them, taking them lightly for example. They will play with a 3-5-2 with two forwards that can give our central defenders problems. It will be a trap game for us, some might think that the first two games were difficult and then it will be easier from now on but it won’t be the case. The first game with Fiorentina was difficult. Pioli did not deserve that ending… The Viola were a tough opponent for a season opener.”

And the second matchday…

“…. came a friendly with Roma. Friendly because there are many friends there.”

And yet, before the game you were met with whistles and insults. Did that happen because they still wanted you on the bench after a record breaking 87-point season or because of Totti?

“I am sorry that I could not unite the people of Roma. All I tried to do was for the good of Roma and for the balance of the team. Francesco is a unique phenomenon, with him, everything became amplified. I wish him the best as a director but as a player, all that love did not always help. It is true, Totti is Roma but it is also true that Rome are Roma. I always said that I thought to Totti. I hope to remain his friend. In the past, I experienced similar situations with Parente at Ancona and Jankulovski at Udinese.”

How are Milan after the past transfer market?

“They are a very strong team, I know Montella well. He knows what the team needs to do because as a forward, he needed to do the same to score goals. He has what it takes inside.”

In a month, there is the derby…

“The derby is worth on two standings, the real one and that one of the traffic like. Because in Rome, they were trying to catch green at the traffic light so that they didn’t have to stop…”

Who will win the Scudetto?

“We want to win as much as possible but Juventus and Napoli are more equipped. Napoli are perfect because they are capable of playing short game but at the same time can suddenly seek depth. Once they have the ball, they don’t want to give it to you. Roma have a strong engine and probably the best midfield. Will be difficult to find space against ‘monsters’ like Nainggolan De Rossi and Strootman. Even a talent like Gerson is losing a bit of confidence.”

About Insigne, how do you explain the difference between club and national team performance? 

“Napoli are like math, it is easier for him to memorize. At the start, he was struggling and now he is working very well.”

Thought on the national team.

“I have to start by saying that I played with Ventura at Entella and also at Spezia. As a coach, his doorbell was the first that I rang for advise.”

And yet, Italy are struggling.

“Ventura is a good coach but he is trying to guide a national team like a club. He has brought in some young players but when you work and look forward to the future, you lose something immediately. Ventura must look for what is in front of him. I also find myself disagreeing with his midfield but I repeat, he knows more than me. I do not like positional midfielders. But I blindly believe in Ventura and his teams have always played well and scored many. In Madrid, they needed three points. Easy to say to the team ‘let’s win’ and set up a defensive formation. I also want to emphasize the great work of Viscidi, responsible for all the young national teams.”

Source: Gazzetta dello Sport

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