Monza, Nesta: “I worked hard to get to Serie A. Galliani? Pleasure and responsibility”

Live TMW

11.45am – There’s a new sheriff in Monza. Having said goodbye to Palladino, the Brianza club has focused on Alexander Nesta: the coach presents himself at a press conference today. Live text by TMW.

12.08 – The press conference begins.

What emotions accompany you on this, your first bench in Serie A, in Berlusconi’s Monza and with Galliani?
“I think it means a lot to me, it’s the first time I’ve played in Serie A as a coach, I’ve worked hard to get to this level and I hope to get there prepared. I’ve studied a lot, with my staff. Working with Galliani is a pleasure but also a responsibility, which I feel is double. I’ve seen the sports center and I see the hand of the president, who has left something really important wherever he has been. Not everyone has the sports center I saw, the stadium is very different from what I remembered”.

What did Galliani ask you?
“It’s a strange relationship, twenty years later we have another presentation press conference. We won a lot and lost a lot, we fell and got up again, it was a wonderful journey: finding yourself as a coach after twenty years is strange, but he didn’t ask me anything”.

Galliani said it was a different negotiation than in 2002. From his point of view?
“It was very different, as a player it was a special day: that day we went to Controcampo I think, when the show started I wasn’t smiling much because leaving Rome was complicated for me. I remember that after the advert Galliani told me that at Milan there were only happy players. This time it’s very different, we laughed a lot and it lasted two seconds: when he called me it didn’t seem real. I’ve done my apprenticeship, I’ve been in Serie B sweating and when a call comes from Monza you don’t have to say anything. You think it’s true and you go”.

What do you bring with you from your luggage?
“Studying. Being a footballer brings you advantages, but if you don’t study, you don’t watch and you don’t try you don’t grow. I bring with me a great enthusiasm: it’s the opportunity of my life, I worked to get to these conditions and make the most of it. I spoke with Palladino, because I called him: the first thing I told him was that he got too many points… He was very nice, he worked very well here and I know that after him it will be tough: he did so well that it will be tough”.

Will it be a rigid or malleable team depending on the moment?
“I have an idea, that the team played best with the 3-5-2. But the first thing we will do with my staff is to try to understand where each player can do better. We will understand it better during the retreat: everyone at the beginning of the year, in July, talks about dominance and playing man to man. Then maybe on the fourth day they back off and play a different game. We don’t make proclamations”.

Have you already spoken to Maldini to intercede for Daniel’s move to Monza?
“No, we spoke a month ago. We talked about other things, but also about Monza and I asked him something. No, Paolo is a dad: the agents, the presidents, the directors do something else”.

Eleven months ago you eliminated Monza from the Coppa Italia. How much have you been able to evaluate your path as a coach since then and what are your goals now?
“It was August football, we won but August football screws you over. You should never be fooled by those games. Time will tell if I can stay in Serie A: I know there is skepticism because I have never coached there, it is normal and you can say it because I am not touchy. I have been looking for pressure since I arrived, otherwise I would have stayed in Miami. I know it is there and I am used to criticism, as a player and as a coach: I will sweat for it as I have done in other years”.

Is there a player who intrigues you more than others?
“No, I studied the squad. There are many talented players, then there is the younger one who gives you more pleasure to coach, but Monza is made up of a group of experts and good young players. I didn’t ask for anything, I know that Galliani will do everything to put Monza in the best conditions. We talked about what we could improve, but we will do it based on what we can”.

Eighteen years ago world champions, now out in the eighth finals. Isn’t it time to change something in the relationship between Italians and foreigners in Serie A? Monza is a reference…
Galliani intervenes: ‘Let’s not talk about the national team, let’s talk about Monza’.
Nesta: “I spoke with the Monza players who are close to the national team and they are a bit disappointed, they will do everything to win back their place. About the national team I can only say that it is a shame, I hope Spalletti is not the only one to blame because the problem seems big to me”.

He has had great coaches with whom he won. Who do you look up to?
“No, not from a tactical point of view. On management, as in trying to get the best out of players, I think so. I take inspiration from Ancelotti, Eriksson, Zeman: all people who treated me well and got the best out of me for this. I learned this from these coaches: they understood me in difficult moments and I hope to bring the same approach here too.”

Have you talked about Colpani’s possible permanence?
“I followed him last year, today he is an important player who has shown that he can make a difference. The transfer market is done by the director, every player has his own ambitions: for now he is our player and I train him”.

First contacts?
“When Palladino left.”

She said that strong players play with her…
“The strong ones play with me, no doubt. Regardless of age: I hope the young Italians will step out and stop making excuses. In my day the foreigners were Montero, Stam, etc.: today there are fewer strong foreigners coming and I don’t want to give our boys any more alibis”.