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Napoli Blogger On May - 12 - 2011

Napoli Notizie: Perfect Storm In The Bay Of Naples

Nosediving league form, a coach threatening to leave, the owner calling out the players and the clubs top scorer suspended for three game, this must be about a relegation candidate right? Not quite…

While AC Milan celebrate a deserved Serie A title, the side closest to them for much of the second half of the season has quietly started to fall apart. With three defeats in four matches Napoli are in danger of slipping out of the top three as a resurgent Udinese push hard to qualify automatically for the Champions League.

The situation with Walter Mazzarri’s future is certainly a lightening rod. Although he denies any negative effect on the team,  three defeats in four is Mazzarri’s worst run of results as Napoli coach.  Indeed a day BEFORE last weekends game in Lecce in an astonishing admission he told the media that he has ‘alerted the club to the fact’ that he may not stay next season. To those who have been following the story closely over the last few weeks this wasn’t a big surprise, but for him to admit this to the whole world was astonishing. What followed on Sunday afternoon was an awful Napoli performance.

The team appeared visibly unmotivated and agitated. Indeed star man Edinson Cavani was sent off for remonstrating with the referee and it was to be El Matadors display which summed the last couple of weeks in Naples. His performance was the worst so far in a Napoli shirt. He missed three chances which a few weeks earlier he was scoring with ease. He had just missed a header from six yards a few moments before he got sent off in a frustrating afternoon for the Uruguayan who previously could do no wrong. Now he faces a three game ban and will almost certainly miss the rest of the season and the two all important games to round off the campaign.

Last Sunday Napoli were actually in a position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League as the game with Lecce was heading for a draw, however in the closing moments of the game substitute Javier Chevanton unleashed a thunderbolt which hit the underside of the bar and crossed the line to make Napoli’s week even worse, ironic as it was Edinson Cavani’s wonder strike in the first game between the sides in December that split the two sides. If the manner of the defeat was bad then the words of Aurellio De Laurentiis hardly made anyone feel better;

“The players were not worthy to wear the jersey and to represent the colours of Napoli”

Words to fill every player with joy no doubt….. He would clarify the comments a couple of days later saying he was speaking as a fan Napoli fan and then posted a statement on the official website about how he was proud of the year that Napoli have had, but the damage had already been done. A private disagreement over what appears to be the future of the team between coach and patron had pretty much gone public. This is harming the clubs image, distracting the players and spoiling for the fans what has been a fantastic year for all involved with Napoli. The two parties need to find a way to work with each and create some sort of positivity within the squad.

Napoli now face two ‘must not lose’ games. Napoli need just ONE point to secure third place and with it the vital automatic qualification for the Champions League group stage. The first of these is at home against Inter this coming weekend. Worryingly the Nerazzurri are in great form, making the Coppa Italia final in midweek as well as winning their previous four Serie A games. If Napoli fall to Inter (and the form guide suggests so) then they face a trip to Turin to face old enemy Juventus. A game which could have so many sub plots the writers of Lost would be proud.

Napoli certainly don’t make life boring for the fans do they?

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Nicks2Cents says:

    WHo is going to step up and score for Napoli down the stretch? Does Hamsik have it in him? I like to think Lavazzi will do so with him as a more focal point.

  2. Napoli pune clauză de 50 de milioane de euro pentru Cavani, killerul Stelei | StirileMedia.ro says:

    [...] Napoli Notizie: Perfect Storm In The Bay Of Naples | Serie A Weekly [...]

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