Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Napoli Blogger On May - 27 - 2011

Napoli Notizie: The Ultimate ‘Zona Mazzarri’

They do say a seven days is a long time in football, well try the Monday after the final Serie A game of the season…..

Less than 24 hours after Napoli completed the Serie A campaign with a 2-2 with Juventus and it appeared like Napoli were about to sack Walter Mazzarri, and hire the jobless Gian Piero Gasperini.

News broke via Sky Italia that Napoli may give Mazzarri the boot because of his flirtations with leaving Napoli with his apparent pining for the Juventus job angering some in the Napoli camp and unwillingness to commit to the club whilst Aurellio De Laurentiis charged ahead with planning for next season.

As the day went on the more stories came out. Firstly that Mazzarri had ALREADY been sacked after the Juventus game and that Aurellio De Laurentiis had met and agreed in principle with Gian Piero Gasperini to take over the Napoli hot seat. Then rumours that Gasperini would only say yes to the job once Walter Mazzarri had been removed from his post which contradicted the earlier reports that Mazzarri had been given the chop. Either way Walter Mazzarri was on VERY shaky ground going into the all important meeting with Aurellio De Laurentiis that day. It seemed that 15 months hard word by Mazzarri was about the come to a close and the Napoli project was on the brink of falling apart in the space of 12 hours.

Many commentators, reporters and fans predicted the meeting was a formality,for the very first time I had doubted that Mazzarri wouldn’t be Napoli coach next season, all hope appeared gone, Mazzarri would also be gone and a new coach would be appointed but If we have learned anything from Mazzarri’s time at Napoli is that his sides like late comebacks and he staged his own if albeit an extreme version of ‘Zona Mazzarri’ late on Monday night, two hours after the meeting with De Laurentiis and the club released this statement..

”After two years of active cooperation, which led the Napoli in the Champions League earlier than planned, the President and the coach Mazzarri laid the foundations of a new partnership to continue the program of construction and growth in the second five years, which will capture the changes in, always in respect of fair play wanted by (Michel) Platini.”

It was a sensational turnaround. Much like his Napoli side since taking over, Mazzarri managed to turn it round just when everything seemed lost, however it appears Napoli’s young direttore sportivo, Riccardo Bigon is the man that should be thanked for Walter’s stay. Bigon is fast developing a reputation for being a very shrewd operator. Last summers sensational signing of Edinson Cavani has done much to enhance is reputation and he is fast becoming one of the best sporting directors in Italy. It is believed that Bigon acted as broker between De Laurentiis and Mazzarri enabling them to sort out any differences between the two parties and establish a clear vision for future of the club.

Now Mazzarri, De Laurentiis and Bigon must work together and ‘continue the program of construction and growth’ and build on the solid foundations set down this year, as next season won’t be so easy.

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