To understand the present, you have to first understand the past.
The date was 31st May 2015, the final game of a disappointing season for Napoli in which they failed to qualify for the Champions League in Rafa Benitez’s final Season.
Fast forward 15 months and 21 games later and Napoli lose for the first time at the Stadio San Paolo under Maurizio Sarri, losing to Roma is of course nothing to be ashamed about but the manner of the defeat and the deeper underlying problems that threaten to destroy Napoli’s season after only 8 games. It all began on the 27th of July when 36 goal hero Gonzalo Higuain completed the unpardonable sin in the eyes of Napoli’s fans by joining deadly rivals Juventus for the now infamous sum of €90 million.
Napoli spent well this summer by spending on Polish international Arkadiusz Milik from Ajax and spent well on talented players Marko Rog, Lorenzo Tonelli and Amadou Diawara from Dinamo Zagreb, Empoli and Bologna respectively, Napoli started the new season with a bang winning 3 of the first 4 games with the only downside being the poor performance in the 2-2 opening Day draw at newly promoted Pescara.
8th October 2016, Poland VS Denmark, Napoli’s new 35 Million Euro hero Arkadiusz Milik tore his ACL which will keep him out until at least March of 2017, Although the Polish hitman has stated he would like to be back playing by February, it’s surely unrealistic to think he will be ready and match fit to play at a high level by then.
What do Napoli do? Do they continue with Callejon, Insigne, Mertens and the underperforming Gabbiadini? Or do Napoli go into the market for a free agent? The likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Dimitar Berbatov and Miroslav Klose have been mentioned as possible short term replacements, Adebayor and Berbatov have been met with sighs by sections of the Napoli faithful.
There were heavy rumors that Napoli had an agreement with 27 year old Leonardo Pavoletti from Genoa although Genoa’s president Enrico Preziosi has this week rubbished “unhelpful” headlines, 29 year old Giuseppe Rossi is another player linked with a January move to Napoli and even 38-year old Didier Drogba has been mentioned for a loan move in the MLS offseason.
Napoli’s “crisis” was also increased this Week when president Aurelio De Laurentiis this Week gave a passionate press conference in which he claimed that the current Napoli had no link with the Napoli of Diego Maradona which enrgaed some sections of the Napoli ultras, ADL who has never been Mr. Popular with the ultras hardly showed himself in a good light with that absurd statement, another possible reason for Napoli’s struggles as of late has been with coach Maurizio Sarri’s refusal to rotate his squad, Jorginho who has looked tired on the pitch at certain times is still starting Napoli’s games.
Napoli fans ask Sarri why he isn’t using Rog or Diawara in games or even why he isn’t bringing them on off of the substitutes bench, One thing is for sure, Napoli surely need to look at the players they have on the bench, Diawara who was one of Serie A’s brightest prospects at Bologna hasn’t gotten a sniff of game-time which is causing some Partenopei fans to scratch their heads.
More rumors of unrest came after Napoli’s game with Genoa in which president Aurelio De Laurentiis and coach Maurizio Sarri clashed over referees, Sarri convinced Napoli were denied two clear penalties lanced a furious attack on referees and ADL responded by saying he wished Sarri didn’t say anything about referees, What happened to this season being the season Napoli finally ended Juventus’ dominance in Serie A? Wasn’t this supposed to be Napoli’s season to win their first Scudetto since the heyday of Diego Maradona?
Napoli’s long suffering fans certainly deserve better than what is currently happening at the club. De Laurentiis spoke this week about Juventus having 380 million in annual revenue and Napoli can’t compare the history to Juventus, Should the president be saying this? Surely he should be giving off positive vibes.
Napoli who currently sit 7 points behind their great rivals travel to the J Stadium in 2 Weeks ironically just two days before Halloween, Should Napoli take a heavy beating in Turin then it will be a Halloween nightmare come early for the long suffering Napoli faithful.