mazzarri salme

Yesterday evening Inter coach Walter Mazzarri was interviewed by host Pierluigi Pardo for the sports talk show Tiki Taka – Il calcio è il nostro gioco on Italia 1.

Here we present you with the full interview:

The Inter coach discussed the current period the team is going through: “From a sporting standpoint my morale is somewhat low, and coaches are never happy when their teams lose. When we began I knew it could be difficult guiding a club like Inter, especially considering the way things looked over the summer. But then we started very strongly, even beyond the expectations. Then we slowed down, which came down to some fault of our own, the way our opponents figured out how to play against us, and also because of a bit of bad luck.”

“Life consists of ups and downs, and football is no different. Even teams like Barcelona have gone through rough patches. Inter can have them too, as long as there’s a foundation of faith in the coach and the project. After all this we’re still in fifth place, ahead of teams like AC Milan and Lazio, who already had solid teams from last season. Is this the most difficult moment in my career? I don’t know if that’s a media perception or not. I’ll continue to coach as long as I’m happy doing it, and the other sideshows don’t concern me.”

Regarding negotiations with Juventus for Vučinić, Mazzarri declared: “I’m only going to discuss Inter players. For the last month there’s been nothing but talk about the transfer market, and I’d hate it if part of the reason for this rough patch we’re going through were connected to all the transfer talk. The team has to remain focused on the pitch.”

What about the refereeing decisions that have been going against Inter? Mazzarri stated: “A couple of weeks ago we decided to stop talking about refereeing decisions because you run the risk of becoming tedious. Of course there are certain objective facts we follow, but then discussions come up that make things even more difficult for the referees. We have to focus on the matches, and then at the end of the season we’ll take stock of things, and we’ll analyse the refereeing decisions as well.”

Commenting then on today’s remarks by Massimo Moratti, who invited new Nerazzurri president Thohir to spend more time close to the team, Mazzarri continued: “I don’t think that’s influenced our dip in form. I don’t see any pressing need for Thohir to be here: we have Branca, Ausilio, Cordoba and lots of people within the club who look after the team. Obviously I’m pleased if the president is here, especially in times of difficulty like this, but it shouldn’t be a problem if it doesn’t happen. I don’t feel alone, I’m given support. If by ‘alone’ you mean that the club’s not able to do the same sort of deals Inter used to do in the past, then that’s a different matter. But Thohir and Moratti and the rest of the management have shown they have confidence in my work, going forwards too. The fact that the change of ownership took place mid-season is in itself a sign of the difficulties we’ve had. I signed my contract knowing that Moratti was here. Perhaps the change did have an effect on the team, distracting us from getting on with purely football matters. The people who work in this world know that situations like this are hard to deal with. We have to keep working away and turn things around with a win. Criticism? I’ve had a target on my back from the day I first began coaching.”

Mazzarri also spoke about the end of his time at Napoli and Seedorf’s arrival in the AC Milan hotseat: “My decision to leave Napoli and my decision to join Inter occurred at different times. I chose to leave Napoli before knowing where I would be going next, yet I have nothing but good memories of my time at Napoli. Seedorf is world-class: you could see he had character as a player and I’m sure he can be a success as a coach too.”

Finally, the coach had a few words to say about Mauro Icardi: “He showed his talent last year too. The problem is that we haven’t had him available to us, and he hasn’t even been able to train consistently for two consecutive weeks, which would allow him to play at least seventy minutes. The problem is that I still haven’t been able to utilise him.”