Tuesday February 4 2014
‘What works in Spain and England…’

Giovanni Trapattoni has mused that Rafa Benitez needs to remember he is in Italy and not Spain or England, when applying certain philosophies.

The Spaniard has come under criticism of late for Napoli’s drop in form, whilst Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Atalanta came alongside the Coach’s decision to rest Gonzalo Higuain and Marek Hamsik.

For one of Italy’s veteran Coaches, Benitez still has some adjusting to life in Serie A.

“Rafa has to understand that we are here in Italy and that it is not always so that certain beliefs that have gone well in Spain or England are well suited to this League.

“But he is smart, he knows this. He just needs a little time,” Trapattoni has mused in today’s edition of Il Mattino.

“He is Mister Benitez, not Saint Benitez - he has just arrived, everyone is looking at him as if he was to win the League straight away.

“But, it is not easy to succeed on the first attempt. The Juventus of this year, they are a battleship - there is something in the DNA, plus an environment that helps - there are few distractions and minimum pressure from fans.

“In Napoli, when things go well, the passion of the people of engaging and gripping, but when things go wrong, unleashed are absolute dramas.

“I have seen the goals in Bergamo. Let’s say that Napoli’s defence is not the strong point of Benitez’s team.

“Of course, to see those three errors on Sunday, in the same game, I can imagine Rafa’s anger in the dressing room.

“With me, I’d have eaten them alive when we were alone, then I would have defended them to the hilt in front of the reporters.”

The Vesuviani are back in action this midweek for the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final against Roma. Benitez’s team selection at the weekend was seen as made with one eye on this test at the Olimpico.

“Napoli can win the Coppa Italia, although the match against Roma has the characteristics of a final,” Trapattoni has considered.

“But I do find it hard to get interested in the domestic Cups, I’ve always regarded them as second level manifestations that I have had neither the warmth nor emotion for, neither when I have won nor when I have lost.

“Has Benitez rested players for the Cup? I don’t believe that at all. I would never have rested Platini and Boniek for a Coppa Italia match.”

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