Tuesday July 15 2014
‘Mazzarri has accepted my challenge’

Erick Thohir has explained his intention to base Inter’s squad make-up on age and his hope for a tactically flexible team next year.

The Nerazzurri are going through a summer of change under their Indonesian owner, beginning with replacing the experienced quarter of Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel and Diego Milito.

For the club’s President, their departures at the end of last season are part of a planned strategy with regards to lowering the squad’s average age.

“To compete at a high level, the club must have a squad with an average age of 26 to 27,” Thohir has told Bolanews this week.

“Massimo Moratti is an agreement with me, the rest of football has now changed. It is not a matter of disrespect to those who have contributed to the triumph of 2010, but now there is no other choice.

“We have had to lower the average age, so there cannot be more than four players in the squad beyond 32 years of age. We want six players aged between 25 and 28, the same number for those aged 22-23.

“Then we need a player of great charisma and experience, a true leader, and finally, many young players with great potential. All to be united as a single force.”

Thohir also spoke of the need for balance on the pitch, explaining that Danilo D’Ambrosio arrived midseason because: “Only with Yuto Nagatomo and Jonathan could we have problems. We should always consider the number of players in every position.”

That search for balance includes the team working to more than one formation, as indications from preseason have also shown.

“I do not want an Inter only for 3-5-2, but that also uses the 4-2-3-1, or other formations depending on the circumstances dictated by the game.

“Walter Mazzarri has accepted my challenge. Moreover, he has had the courage to bet on Mateo Kovacic and Mauro Icardi, who produced important ends to last season.

“Now, I hope that the policy of lowering the average age continues over time - it is a vision of things that is shared by me and Piero Ausilio.”