Monday May 29 2017
Spalletti: ‘Napoli play heavenly football’

Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti heaps praise on Napoli - “they play heavenly football”.

The Giallorossi finished above Maurizio Sarri’s side this season, but the boss of the capital club sees plenty to admire in their rivals.

“They play heavenly football,” Spalletti enthused in an interview with Sportitalia.

“That technique, that speed, that ability to figure out when to drop between the lines and when to go beyond the defenders - it’s beautiful to see.

“Sarri is right to be disappointed about coming third, because his team played great football. In my opinion Roma did too, but I don’t much like talking about penalties, even if he [Sarri] is a friend.

“Last year we finished a point behind them, they had an excellent end to the season and we, in the period I was there, had only a single penalty, while they had more.”

Spalletti also lamented the condition of his defence this season, insisting he didn’t have the time to work with them in pre-season.

“It’s difficult to keep them in line, the goals we conceded yesterday say that we didn’t train well. [Kostas] Manolas can make up two yards on anyone, as can [Antonio] Rudiger, [Federico] Fazio a little less so.

“We’ve had complications and delays from not being able to work with the defenders at the pre-season training camp.

“Fazio came in late, Juan Jesus arrived in Pinzolo. The same for Mario Rui, who arrived late, so in that time there you lose a period of work.

“I only had Manolas, and as a result this understanding was delayed. In those 20 days you work and recover together, you do particular things on the pitch and you put the compactness of that position into action.”