Saturday February 11 2012
Gasp: 'Eto'o, Balotelli and Inter chaos'

Gian Piero Gasperini spills the beans on his disastrous Inter experience, from broken promises to Mario Balotelli and what the club really think of their players.

The former Genoa Coach was drafted in late over the summer when Leonardo quit in order to become director general at Paris Saint-Germain.

His tenure lasted only five games, as he was sacked after the 3-1 defeat to newly-promoted Novara and replaced by Claudio Ranieri.

“It was the worst moment of my career,” confessed Gasp to the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“At that point, everything had already been decided. There was an absurd climate around us and the players were already resigned to their fate. We got everything wrong.”

The tactician blames the club and President Massimo Moratti for many of the problems, especially the transfer strategy.

“Moratti explained to me that due to the financial fair play rules, a big star had to leave, but that Samuel Eto’o would remain. The objective was to regenerate a group that was showing signs of fatigue and needed to begin the renewal process.

“That was fine with me. I just needed Palacio, a midfielder and a defender, considering the injuries we had in those areas. We thought for the midfield about Arturo Vidal, while I also liked Radja Nainggolan, but Inter didn’t consider him worthy.

“The same was true of Domenico Criscito, not to mention we could’ve signed Rodrigo Palacio. They were looking for Alexis Sanchez, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Carlos Tevez, who were much more difficult to get hold of.

“If I had the Palacio-Milito-Eto’o trident, then I was ready to take on the world. At least they made me happy by keeping Thiago Motta, who Inter had told to find himself a new club, and Diego Milito turned down a great proposal.

“It really would not have taken much. Just two or three players, not the nine that Inter ended up buying. So much for financial fair play! That is my biggest regret, that it would’ve been pretty simple to do well.”

This all points to Wesley Sneijder as the man who was set to leave over the summer in order to replenish the club kitty.

“The difficulties on the market made Eto’o leave. We brought in Diego Forlan and Mauro Zarate, who are very different to Palacio, and it all happened at the last minute. A great team needs to be defined at the start of pre-season training to work together.

“The first time I got to train the full squad together was three days before the start of the season, all without the necessary work.”

Gasperini was also criticised by President Moratti for using his favoured three-man defence.

“I was convinced that I had strong players who just needed to become a squad,” continued Gasp. “By motivating them with a new style of play, they’d have been reborn.

“I continue to believe Inter have great players and can still win the Scudetto. However, Inter believe the opposite. The Nerazzurri think they have ageing players who can form a great team, if they continue to play the way they always did.

“If that was their idea, then why call me? They knew I play with a three-man defence. I didn’t propose myself for the job, but rather Inter chose me.

“Moratti asked me to use Giampaolo Pazzini in the game against Roma, but in my view it was crucial to rediscover the best Milito. I couldn’t understand why there was so little regard for a player who was decisive in Inter’s triumphs. Sneijder can do everything, as he is a complete player, but he just needs to change his behaviour a little bit.

“The real problem was I didn’t see eye to eye with the club on anything – not the tactical ideas, nor the valuation of individuals. I was ready to give Philippe Coutinho and Luc Castaignos a chance, so why bring in Zarate and Forlan to keep them back?

“When I was sacked, Inter were only a point behind Milan. They blamed my ‘tactical dogma’ for all the problems, while now I heard people say Inter can’t handle two strikers and a trequartista. I said that in August and nobody listened.”

Gasperini also reveals the player who could’ve made a shock comeback to Inter over the summer, when Inter faced Manchester City in an Irish friendly tournament.

“In Dublin Moratti spoke to me about the possibility of bringing back Balotelli. Perhaps he’d discussed it with Roberto Mancini. However, he explained to me that the only people at Inter who wanted him back were me and him. I thought the President and the Coach would be enough…”