Piero Ausilio admits Inter are targeting an Antonio Conte-style Coach, but “the squad is many little groups and lots of people who think only of themselves."
You can read the rest of his surprisingly candid comments to a university class in Milan today here.
He discussed the disastrous 2016-17 season, which saw Roberto Mancini leave two weeks before the Serie A opener and Frank de Boer sacked in November.
“We started the campaign with great enthusiasm from the new owners, a Coach who had begun pre-season training, then a week before the start of Serie A for a thousand reasons either we decided to send him away or he left,” noted Ausilio.
“So we went for a Coach who didn’t know Italian football. But in that case even those without imagination could tell it was no good way to start a season, because you are behind compared to everyone else.
“You have to start the training regime all over again, get to know the players and create the concept of a team that was built with a different system in mind. He trusted some players rather than others.
“Football clubs are like businesses, if you don’t plan well, you can run into a negative campaign. This year Inter did not plan well. We changed four Coaches and will finish seventh or eighth.
“And yet the Inter squad is made up of good players. Anyone who says the squad is poor now said a few months ago that Inter were the main antagonists to Juventus. Max Allegri said that, so did Maurizio Sarri and Luciano Spalletti. But if you don’t plan properly, it’s all relative.
“As a club, we need to be stronger when communicating. When we were about to face Juventus in Turin, a newspaper had on its front page Conte to Inter. We lost the game and for the entire week the only talk was about a Coach who would replace Stefano Pioli.
“In those moments you have to give the Coach support. There are television stations that transmit 24 hours a day and have to fill that airtime with something. Apart from Spain, there’s no other country in Europe where three different daily newspapers are dedicated solely to sport, so they have to invent something on players and Coaches.”
Ausilio confessed that the problem at Inter is the lack of cohesion, with various ‘cliques’ created in the locker room.
“Juve are strong now, but we have to see what they’ll be like after losing those four or five players who give them their structure, character and mentality. You can’t buy that on the market.
“If you lose in one go Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Diego Milito and Walter Samuel, you lose those players who went through the negative times and emerged to taste success.
“It’s not as if the players don’t train hard at Inter. We are there every day. There is no sense of solidarity, they haven’t been able to create a group due to various ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, but also characters and human values.
“These are not bad lads, they arrive in the morning, have breakfast together, train and then stop for lunch. It’s a struggle to find negatives, but they certainly have their defects.
“There isn’t one large group that shows solidarity player to player. There are many little groups and lots of people who think only of themselves.
“Nobody does more than the absolute necessary, there is no great collective willpower.”
It is perhaps because of this attitude that Inter are so determined to sign a Conte-style Coach.
“We must deal with contractual situations and the market. We are thinking of Coaches with those characteristics, but then you see all the top tacticians are at Chelsea, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Juve, etc.
“We have to face up to the reality of the situation.”