Frank de Boer spoke of his excitement as he was unveiled as the new head coach of F.C. Internazionale in a news conference on Tuesday.
"First of all I want to thank Inter for choosing me as the coach of a club with such great traditions," he began. "I’ve spoken with everybody and it’s very important that we all want to take the club back to where it should be. I’m excited and I can’t wait to get started, to get to know the players and the rest of the people that work here. Two weeks is not much time at all, but we have to be ready."
That was a point the press had picked up on too, but De Boer was keen to stress that his side would be well prepared for the start of the season: "It’s not an ideal situation, but we have a very talented and experienced side. We can use our ideas to be ready in a short space of time. We have a philosophy and the team needs to believe in that. I’m convinced that we’ll be ready and that we’ll get on the right track as quickly as possible," explained the Dutchman. "We spoke to Inter two weeks ago simply to understand whether there might be any common ground. Everything happened quickly. I was honoured by their interest," added De Boer.
This will be De Boer’s first managerial experience outside of his native Holland, but the coach insisted he was familiar with Serie A TIM and ready to implement his philosophy in Italian football: "Serie A TIM has improved a great deal in recent years on a technical level. If you look at how the teams play now, it’s clear that the playing systems have really evolved too," said De Boer. "I’ve coached lots of young players but I’m convinced that working with more experienced players can often be easier. Inter are famous for their youth academy and part of my job will be to keep an eye on the youth ranks. I would love to be able to give youth its chance, given that the club invests so much in it."
De Boer preached caution when it was put to him that the club needed to sign a playmaker, flagging up Ever Banega as one possible solution: “I’ve analysed the squad very closely. Banega can obviously operate as a playmaker. I want all the players to stay right now and in a few weeks we’ll see how the situation has developed. It’s one thing to watch players from afar, on video, and another to coach them and see them working every day. Sometimes they can surprise you,” explained the Dutchman. “We don’t want to sell our key players – [Mauro] Icardi is one of them. He’s shown that over the last two seasons and for me he is vitally important. Mauro is young and he can still learn, but I’m sure we’ll work very well together. There’ll be no problems.”
De Boer also spoke about the kind of playing system he’ll be using at Inter: "You have to be able to adapt very quickly – we’ll need to play with several systems. The most important thing is that everyone believes in what we’re doing, especially the players. This squad has great experience so I expect them to adapt quickly. It’s not easy to do in two weeks, but we have to be ready as soon as possible. We’ll need to be patient, but I’m confident that the group will learn quickly. I know Italy and the culture here is different to the other countries I’ve played in, but football is 11 versus 11 no matter where you are. We’re professionals and what we need to do is win games. There are players of many nationalities here but they’re all good professionals and we’ll have no problems understanding each other. Results are the most important thing, but we hope to implement our philosophy and play some good football. Combining the two would be amazing for the fans."
De Boer was clearly keen to focus on the players in the current Inter squad, but there were inevitably questions about potential transfer business. First up, the new Inter coach was asked if he was disappointed that his former Ajax charge Arkadiusz Milik had already joined Napoli: "I don’t like talking about rumours, especially when it comes to transfers. It was a big step for Milik to come to Italy, but we have Icardi in that position and he’s about the same age."
De Boer also spoke about the other young players he coached at Ajax: "They’re very young but they have lots of talent. I’m sure some of them will be playing in Serie A TIM in a few years, perhaps at Inter. But they’re still young and they need to play as much as possible right now."
Finally, De Boer had a message for his predecessor Roberto Mancini: "Everyone has the greatest respect for him. I wish him the best because he’s a fantastic person and a fantastic coach."
(Photo F.C. Inter)