Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

“Gasperini is the coach who put me in most difficulty. I would change but he would adapt, time and again.” - Jose Mourinho

Hastily made first impressions and endless weary comparisons. Everyone is constantly guilty of them and as football fans and observers become more judgemental than ever before, both are becoming increasingly more frequent.

Small, inventive Argentinian striker? Label him the ‘new Maradona’. Tall, mobile French midfielder? Quick, compare him to Patrick Vieira. Young, articulate and successful Porto coach…… get the idea.

Ask Diego Latorre, Momo Sissoko or André Villas-Boas and they will probably not only be more tired of the lazy assessment than anyone but will also be able to tell you how inaccurate it is too.

Yet on and on the hasty conclusions go, and Inter’s appointment of Gian Piero Gasperini has led to another round of them. As club President Massimo Moratti’s sixteenth appointment in sixteen years, the first is to say the Nerazzurri have regressed back to their indecisive and haphazard ways of the mid-Ninties.

After seemingly being rebuffed by Villas-Boas, Siniša Mihajlović and a number of other coaches, it does indeed seem the scatter-gun approach has returned to San Siro, but when it comes to the former Genoa coach who finally has taken on the role, many of the rushed assumptions are simply unfounded.

Foremost among them have been references to his Juventus past, as he was born just outside Turin, joined the club aged just nine, progressed to the first team and, upon retiring, immediately took a post in the same youth sector he once played within. Altogether the now 53-year-old spent twenty years at Juve and has constantly been linked with the clubs top job over the past four years.

However he would hardly be the first coach to move between the two clubs, indeed when he became a professional the Bianconeri were led by Giovanni Trapattoni who himself left Turin for Inter in 1986. This switch would be repeated by Marcello Lippi in 1999, albeit with very differing results to the current Ireland manager.

Next up are his tactical ideals, with the preference for 3-4-3 shown at Genoa being held up as some kind of proof that Wesley Sneijder will move on as there is no space for him. Yet during his time at Juve the coach constantly employed a 3-4-1-2, winning the Viareggio Tournament in 2003 with that very formation, using Ruben Olivera behind the strikers.

Gasperini also deployed a four-man defence this season during the two months before he was sacked by Genoa and here too is another plus-point to his appointment - familiarity. Within that same Rossoblu back-line in October and November was Andrea Ranocchia, now at Inter. Added to the coach’s strong relationship with key men Diego Milito and Thiago Motta and the decision to turn to him looks ever wiser.

Both players enjoyed superb seasons at the port club under the new Mister, displaying the form that originally grabbed Inter’s attention. The Argentine netted 24 goals in 31 games, while former Barca man Motta re-ignited his career after a turbulent and disappointing time in Spain.

Having the trust of those players will be essential as Inter look to stabilize once more and perhaps there would be less objection had this choice been made twelve months ago.

They tried the big-name approach with Rafael Benitez, rescued themselves from his disastrous reign under under Leonardo who then walked away, much as Mourinho did a year before. Now all eyes are on Gian Piero Gasperini as La Beneamata start again. Repent at leisure…

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