Monday May 12 2014
Giaccherini: I’m ready for Italy

Emanuele Giaccherini concedes that he has had a difficult season, but insists he is ready for Italy if Cesare Prandelli calls upon him.

The versatile midfielder has been a particular squad regular during Prandelli’s tenure since debuting two years ago, but a difficult season in the Premier League with Sunderland has left his position with the Azzurri heading out to the World Cup in doubt.

“Prandelli knows me like few others, he knows the player that I am,” Giaccherini has considered to the Corriere dello Sport today.

“He called me to the national team practically against criticism from all, he gave me every confidence and even in making my debut against Spain in Euro 2012.

“I can say this - I chose England and have had some difficulties, I do not hide it. But I have not had a wasted season, I am fine now, physically I am ready, I have recovered myself.

“In short, I am available. That said, the choices from Prandelli will be the rights ones for the national team, that is for sure.”

The 29-year-old considered his season in the north east of England, which began under Paolo Di Canio and ended under Gus Poyet, with spells of form sandwiching a period out of the first team picture.

“I would say that at first it went well, perhaps not great, but overall it has been a good year. Eventually we reached our objective - we are safe from relegation. Through thick and thin.

“We reached the final of the League Cup, against Manchester City, we were in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, in short, we fought on several fronts.

“The truth is that this Sunderland has been dismantled and rebuilt. We had to play with many teammates not knowing each other. We could not find the mechanisms to our play and Di Canio paid for this.

“I was playing well at the worst moment for the team, I had space and continuity until earlier this year, when, after some tactical tests, I was on the bench when the team managed a short series of victories.

“I ended up in the stands, but I have always worked in silence. I decided to bide my time. Then things came to me - against Chelsea it was the turning point for our survival.

“Then a goal and assist against Cardiff. In short, I gave my contribution to our stay in the Premier League.

“The Premier League? I’m honest - I did not follow it much when I was in Turin. Now I can say for sure, this is a more difficult competition - there are players and teams of the absolute highest calibre.

“Manchester United are seventh here not just as a result of their own errors, but for the great competition there is. The Premier League is really exciting.

“My future? Yes I really want to play here again. I want to stay and do even better, with the experience accumulated.

“I still have a three year contract, I’m fine where I am, but let’s see what will happen. I will speak with Poyet and we will decide together.”

Giaccherini was asked about former side Juventus and the speculation over Antonio Conte’s intentions for the future.

“A Juventus without Conte would surprise me. He is the man that changed the team in the mind before the field, returning them to winning again and then again. As a Juventus fan, I would be very worried about a change like that.”

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