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Napoli Blogger On April - 21 - 2011

Napoli Notizie: Waiting on Walter

‘I cannot guarantee Mazzarri will stay at Napoli, I do think it’s something he’ll have to consider long and hard before committing to a decision’ Those are the words of Walter Mazzarri’s attorney Simone Canovi, spoken at the end of March.

With Napoli riding so high in the league and on course for the best finish in two decades why would Mazzarri consider moving on? Well maybe it’s not a surprise if you consider this…

This season has been a peculiar campaign. In many ways a one off. For a start, non of the Serie A teams have a coach that has previously won Serie A. We have seen unsettling situations at Juventus, Roma, Palermo and Inter where serious questions have been raised (rightly or wrongly) about coaching, transfer policies and in Roma’s case a delicate ownership issue. These factors combined with the relative calm in Naples, tactical acumen of Mazzarri and some sound business in the transfer market have given Napoli the chance to thrive and take advantage of others failings.

Will the success continue next season? It will be a lot tougher next year without the necessary reinforcements. Roma are new under new ownership and the correct management appointments both on and off the pitch will bring much needed stability to the Roman club. Juventus will have a new stadium and will want to build on what it is already a good squad which has suffered from injuries to key players this term. Gigi Delneri appears to have ridden the storm of criticism out and looks set to stay on the bench next season for the next phase of the Juventus project. You can hardly blame Mazzarri for thinking ‘is this as far as I can take Napoli?’

Mazzarri himself needs to learn lessons from this campaign if he is to stay. Against the top sides Napoli have appeared to be unprepared. Last weekends defeat at home to Udinese was identical to the defeats to Inter and AC Milan. Despite being the stronger side on paper Napoli lacked a cutting edge, a way of breaking down sides and picking up the pace when the opposition slows down the play. He needs to come with a ‘Plan B’ other than throwing on all your strikers when its too late. Indeed, former Juventus and Italy international Franco Causio has suggested Mazzarri could learn from Udinese, with the use of a five man midfield in certain situations. This would be a system many of the Napoli players are familiar with anyway thanks to the coaching of Edy Reja during his time at the club.

What is important for Napoli and for Mazzarri is that he is given assurances in the summer over transfer policy. Napoli must listen to him and what his needs are, after all it was his call on the signing of Edinson Cavani, a signing which has proved very successful. Given Aurelio De Laurentiis’s recent comments on the almost certain redemption of Hassan Yebda, a player Mazzarri wanted and hints at a deal with Udinese for Gokhan Inler it appears Walter Mazzarri flirtation with the possibility of moving to pastures new has certainly made De Laurentiis listen, after all its easy to replace a player, its harder to replace an excellent coach….

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