Rejuvenated Sneijder hits out at Gasperini

AFP, Saturday 22 Oct 2011

Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder has hit out at former coach Gian Piero Gasperini, claiming the short-lived boss played him out of position

Wesley Sneijder

Gasperini lasted only five games in charge of the nerazzurri, losing four of those and drawing the other one.

And since Claudio Ranieri has taken over, Sneijder claims he has been restored to his favourite position and is reaping the benefits.

"I didn't meet Gasperini much but we did speak a lot about my role," the Dutch international told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I told him straight away: 'I don't like playing in centre midfield', I'm a forward not a midfielder.

"Ranieri has done well and understands how the team should play, with everyone in his (true) position and that's the key.

"And now I am also playing in my position. When Ranieri arrived we spoke because he speaks a lot with his players and I like that."

Sneijder plays in what is known in Italy as the 'trequartista' position between the forwards and the midfield but the player himself thinks he's also capable of playing as a secondary forward, or deep-lying number 10.

"That's where I played in Beijing (in the Italian Supercup) and to tell the truth in that first half you saw not just the best Inter this year but of the last three years," he said.

"Hence I play better as a second striker than a midfielder but overall I prefer playing off the shoulders of the front two."

Inter, who take on Chievo on Sunday, have got off to a disastrous start in the league, winning just once and losing four of their first six matches, leaving them fourth from bottom.

They have actually won more games in the Champions League where they have had two successes and one defeat.

They trail leaders Juventus by eight points already but Sneijder still believes they can win the league this year.

"We can still win the title even though at the moment we have more points in the Champions League than in the league," added Sneijder.

"You can pull back eight points with many games still to play because after beating Lille all we can do is look forwards, even though I've never been afraid of having to look over my shoulder (at the teams in the bottom three).

"The hunger to win never leaves you because once you've won, you want to win more."

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