Walter Mazzarri has reacted angrily to claims that Napoli are in crisis and also to other reports suggestive of a recent attempted resignation.
After this weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to Roma that followed a 1-1 draw away to Novara, the Partenopei find themselves 12 points adrift of top spot. However, in front of the Press ahead of the team’s midweek match with Genoa, Mazzarri reacted angrily to suggestions that it has brought about a crisis at the club.
“You cannot talk of a crisis after a draw and a defeat. First there was a major victory in the Champions League over Villarreal and another in the League over Lecce. Against Roma, as it is known to Luis Enrique, we could also have won.
“The game against Roma was particularly decided by bad luck. I cannot point the finger at my players for certain situations. Conceding such goals as we did against the Giallorossi can happen, against certain champions. On other occasions we have done better. Now is a time when things are not going well.”
Mazzarri also suggested that refereeing in recent games has also cost his side points.
“I do not want to talk about referees. However, when I talk about bad luck, that also involves their decisions, always made in good faith, which can affect the result.
“Right now the officials’ decisions have counted against us, we hope we will be compensated by the end of the championship. At the moment it is running awry.”
The Coach also had to field questions on reports circulating on Tuesday that claim he had handed in his resignation after the Champions League match with Villarreal in Spain. It is alleged that this was because of a row with President Aurelio De Laurentiis that centred on Mazzarri’s sending off during the game.
During the second half of that game, the Coach pushed Villarreal’s Nilmar off the ball to receive his marching orders, something he later claimed was a conscious and physical act designed to motivate his players, who were drawing 0-0 at the time.
The reports, led by Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno, suggest that it was only the intervention of directors Marco Fassone and Riccardo Bigon that prevented the Coach parting company with the club immediately after the game.
Asked for comment on this though, Mazzarri was again defiant in his words.
“This is absurd, unfounded talk. It is trying to destabilize us, especially after a negative result. There is no truth to it.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.