New Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso hints he has signed on beyond this season and confirms “I have 4-3-3 in my mind” for his players.
Napoli did not confirm the length of Gattuso’s contract when they announced his appointment on Wednesday evening, but the former Milan man made it clear he did not view himself as merely a caretaker.
“You make me laugh when asking these questions. Whether I have six months or an option, it doesn’t matter, because our jobs are tied to results.
“If the President had offered me only six months, I would’ve taken that too, because this is a huge opportunity. It feels like these players are made for my style of football.
“It’s a big difference between fourth and fifth place in terms of the club and economic remuneration. Seeing this team in seventh place is a little embarrassing.
“The team is well aware that the performances have not been the best, but yes, our objective is to reach the Champions League.
“I missed out last season with Milan by a point, but this team has everything it takes to achieve that.
“The team did not expect to be in this situation, they are well aware that they can give more and I got the sensation they want to prove themselves.
“I only arrived this afternoon, so it’s difficult to give anything more accurate right now. I complimented those who work with the President, because I did not expect such great infrastructure and organisation here.
“I know where I am, the air that you breathe in this city during the build-up to games. I come from a seaside town, but now have to really deal with the biggest sea, otherwise I risk drowning!
“As everyone knows, I am afraid of nothing. I get going. I have the utmost faith in those who came here to work with me and I think we’re all talking the same language.
“Naturally, we need results and I really hope to get those, because at the age of 41 to come here after 18 months at Milan, it does make me proud. I turned down a lot of offers, because I did not like the teams proposed to me.
“Here, I have everything I need to do well. I know there’s a lot of work to be done, but there’s nothing better than when you like everything around you.
“I explained why I chose Napoli, because it’s a huge club, with a great President, excellent staff and players. My choice was easy, I said yes straight away.
“There was very little conversation about money. Maybe I didn’t need much talk of image rights because I’m ugly, bearded, half-grey now, I don’t know.”
Instead, he is thought to have put pen to paper on an 18-month deal, with a break clause at the end of the season.
Carlo Ancelotti was known for his use of a 4-4-2 formation at the San Paolo, but Rino revealed a return to 4-3-3 was likely, starting against Parma this weekend.
“At this moment, I have 4-3-3 in my mind, as we have the right players for that style of football.
“When it comes to the staff, we already have Nista for the goalkeeping coach. I took along most of mine, including Ricci.
“The President complained, I brought in six members of staff, plus me! I’d be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t have an idea of my starting XI, but we’ll see how certain players have recovered.
“We’re up against a fired up Parma side that is very dangerous and it’s no coincidence they are in their current position.
“There will be some changes of position. I don’t like playing with two banks of four.
“Carlo’s staff had a method of working that was not that different to mine, but there will be a few changes. We’ll evaluate all that next week.”
The 41-year-old then asked about reports linking Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a move down south, as well as suggestions Lorenzo Insigne could be sold.
“I want to talk about the players I have at my disposal right now. It’s too easy to talk about Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, but I want to focus on those I have.
“It is natural for human beings to seek alibis. I believe we can improve the defence, how to pass it around, our positioning - I feel the team can do better in those aspects.”
“I think it’s a lack of respect if I talk about players who are not in my squad, so don’t ask me these questions.”
“Insigne is a key player at Napoli and, like all the players, I have faith in them.
“Insigne is the captain, he was born in this city and is the symbol of it, but I want to get the best out of all my players, not just Insigne.”
Finally, Gattuso declared his one clear objective for Napoli.
“The objective is to get back into the Champions League. That is the idea. Not a miracle.”
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