New Inter manager Gasperini has big expectations

New Inter Milan manager Gian Piero Gasperini's only previous coaching experience with a major club came with Juventus' youth squad.

Updated: July 05, 2011 20:39 IST
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Milan: New Inter Milan manager Gian Piero Gasperini's only previous coaching experience with a major club came with Juventus' youth squad.

Not to worry, Gasperini said during his introduction on Tuesday as Inter's fourth manager in little more than a year.

"I've done well in the past and I'm expecting to do well here," the former Crotone and Genoa coach said. "Inter is already a great team and we want to have a great season."

Gasperini signed a two-year contract last month after previous manager Leonardo unexpectedly left to negotiate an executive position with Paris Saint-Germain.

Inter won an unprecedented treble in 2009-10 that included the European Cup title but concluded last season second to city rival AC Milan in Serie A and was ousted by Schalke in the Champions League quarterfinals as it retained only the Italian Cup trophy.

Injuries and coaching changes have hurt Inter's consistency.

Jose Mourinho departed for Real Madrid after leading the club to the Champions League title, and Rafa Benitez lasted only half a season before Leonardo took control at the start of this year.

"Winning is what matters here. I'm not looking at the past, I'm looking toward the future," said the 53-year-old Gasperini, who began his coaching career with Juventus' youth squad in 1994, winning the prestigious Viareggio youth tournament.

He moved to Crotone in 2003 and led the club up to Serie B in his first season, then signed with Genoa in 2006.

Gasperini led Genoa up from the second division in 2007, then qualified the club for the Europa League with a fifth-place finish in Serie A in 2009, but was fired in November after gaining just 11 points in the 10 matches of last season.

As a player, Gasperini also began his career in Juve's youth system, then played for Reggiana, Palermo, Cavese, Pistoiese, Pescara, Salernitana and Pesaro.

At Genoa, Gasperini coached current Inter players Diego Milito and Thiago Motta.

"It's nice to be back with them, and I hope they can repeat the success they've already had here," he said, adding that he hopes key playmaker Wesley Sneijder doesn't transfer. "It's tough to say what Sneijder will do, but the club is doing everything it can to hold on to him."

Gasperini wants his players to be able to switch positions easily, and said he might use a three-man defense.

His introduction comes a day after a report by Italian football federation prosecutor Stefano Palazzi indicated that former Inter president Giacinto Facchetti broke rules in similar ways to what other clubs did in the 2006 Italian match-fixing scandal.

Juventus was stripped of the 2005 and '06 Serie A titles. The 2006 title was reassigned to Inter, but it could now be stripped again.

Inter President Massimo Moratti called Palazzi's report "offensive" and "stupid," noting that Facchetti is no longer alive.

Moratti was a notable absence at Gasperini's introduction, with technical director Marco Branca and assistant general director Stefano Filuccchi joining the coach instead.

Meanwhile, Inter has reportedly reached a deal to sign Argentine playmaker Ricardo Gabriel Alvarez from Velez for €12 million ($17.4 million).

"Alvarez is a great player and he would be a welcome addition," Gasperini said.

Inter opens its season with a derby against Milan in the Italian Super Cup in Beijing on Aug. 6, while Serie A starts the weekend of Aug. 27-28.

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