Youri Djorkaeff believes the appointment of Walter Mazzarri as Inter Milan's new coach could herald a renaissance for the club following the disappointing 2012-13 season.
Mazzarri was unveiled at Appiano Gentile on Thursday after signing a two-year contract to replace the sacked Andrea Stramaccioni, and Djorkaeff, who spent three years at San Siro in the late 1990s, believes a change in direction was the right decision for the stuttering giants.
"Yes, it’s a good move. I think they had to change something, because this season was a very difficult one for Inter," explained the former France international. "You have to make a transition, you must build new things and a new coach can bring a new spirit maybe.
"It’s very strange for Inter to finish ninth in the table, very surprising, but sometimes you have to finish in mid-table in order to build something strong. Maybe that’s what Inter needed; they need to build something really strong and starting from next season they must start thinking again about winning the league."
Djorkaeff, who played in MLS for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (and the first year of the rebranded New York Red Bulls) went on to say that the lack of European matches on Inter’s calendar next season will not automatically improve the club's chances of competing for honors domestically.
"That’s just what happens today. If you’re not ready, whether you play against a big team or a small team there is no huge difference, you just have to be strong in every game," Djorkaeff said. "Inter maybe will be more focused on every game in the league, but they will have to beat not only Juventus and Milan but also the other teams if they are to win anything next year."
In the wider context, Djorkaeff is worried for Italian football after Serie A teams once again underperformed in Europe last season. The former Inter midfielder says that lessons need to be learned - especially in terms of stadia - from the boom in German football if Serie A is to return to its former glories.
"I don’t know what [Italian teams] are doing with the youth now, but I think there’s a mix of everything that they must do, it’s not just one thing," Djorkaeff said. "They have to look at what German football did five years ago and rebuild the national team, the clubs and the stadiums. The most important thing in Italy is the stadiums because they are disastrous. Hoping people will come given the stadiums they have is a nightmare.
"In my time the best foreign players were in Italy, they were not in England or Spain, just in Italy. There is no comparison between then and now."