© foto di Daniele Buffa/Image Sport
Three days after the end of the summer transfer window, F.C. Internazionale’s technical director Marco Branca gave an exclusive interview to Andrea Paventi of Sky Sport 24.
What do you put yesterday’s defeat down to? Was the side missing a bit of character?
"I wouldn’t say a lack of character, on the contrary, I liked the way the players reacted after Roma’s opening goal on 15 minutes. I was very happy with the character shown by the team at the end of the first half - just like in Europe three days prior to that – considering a number of factors: we’ve made a lot of changes, we’ve got a new midfield, a few new defenders – because I think of Ranocchia as new because he was a little relaxed last season, but this year we’ve already seen what he’s made of – a new strikeforce and everyone has shown great potential. Potential in terms of fitness, character, technique and movement. We had an average start to the second period, then we conceded another goal which could have been avoided, given our tactical, technical and physical ability. From a psychological perspective we had less nervous energy because we’d spent most of it three days before. However, when we look at all these factors together - new players, the clear approach that the coach and club have taken - we just need to be a little patient to find that balance in the side. That’s what will make the difference. I think the three points are the most important thing on the night itself, but I think there’s reason to be positive this morning because the signs are good."
You spoke about patience. Is this the same approach the club are going to take with the coach, even if results are a bit up and down? It’s easy to appoint a young coach and think that if a little while later things aren’t going well, then the situation will be reviewed.
"I think it’s easy from the outside, and you can understand that. We know there are rules, and we need to accept these rules both in the good and bad times. We need to be strong, it’s no coincidence we’re called professionals as we need to be strong to deal with that. It won’t only be a case of patience, but it’s to do with the confidence, the great confidence we have shown in the coach since the end of last season. We know very well that people who do this job develop at different speeds. We had to be patient in Mancini’s first season for example but again we had great faith in him. Then later, gradually – because you can’t change things overnight – we improved, we achieved great things starting with a small success, when we won the Coppa Italia. We’re in the same position this season because we’ve freshened up the squad, we’ve got players who are very motivated, there are things to work on but we must keep the faith and be patient."
In this transfer season that just concluded Inter spent more than they have since the Mourinho era, both in terms of fees paid and the number of personnel brought in. How was that made possible in your opinion? Does much of that have to do with the confidence that the club has in the coach?
"Sorry to contradict you, but that’s really not the case since in Mourinho’s first year we spent more than 60 million euros. In the second year – considering the fact that we conducted a deal that divided opinions and not everyone saw as positive at the time due to the departure of Ibrahimovic – we were able to spend precisely because we had the money. This year we had a transfer campaign full of changes but one that was very different because, if the that one brought us bigger signings, this year’s allowed us to lower our transfer budget by close to 40 million euros, and this is something that needed to be done, even if we didn’t want to. When the season gets underway the fans are interested in this type of discussion up to a point, and when the season gets underway it’s not a fundamental discussion but we need to be serious professionals and that’s why we did it. It’s also something we did to the fullest of the possibilities. Regarding possible additions, it seems to me that we managed to bring some players to Inter who are highly motivated and have great potential."
At this moment why was it right to complete a transaction like the one for Cassano, who could have been of interest in the Mancini era?
"Because there are questions of timing, opportunities, moments and projects that are different, since probably six, seven, eight years ago there were plans for other types of players. And it also may be that Cassano today is completely different than what he was eight years ago. There are certain things in the transfer market that always work from a timing standpoint; you can never establish 100%, or even 75%, how your transfer campaign will go when you reach 1 July, because the opportunities change for everyone on a daily basis and so you have to do well and be capable of seizing those moments when they come along. I believe that, from this point of view, we made the most of the opportunities that this transfer market could offer us and we’re satisfied with the potential we have. Now we need to work on this potential."