Friday September 8 2017
Giampaolo: ‘Napoli for the Scudetto’

Sampdoria Coach Marco Giampaolo sees a strong Napoli, and says Juventus “will have to toil like never before” to retain the Scudetto.

The Partenopei have kept the body of their squad together from last year, while the champions have seen Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci depart.

“Napoli are the team that’s strengthened most, because they haven’t changed anything and [Coach Maurizio] Sarri has a year’s extra work,” Giampaolo told Corriere della Sera.

“To win a seventh Scudetto Juve will have to toil like never before. One step behind them are Milan, Roma and Inter, all on the same level.”

Samp face Roma this weekend, and Patrik Schick could face his former side, as well as the Coach who urged him not to join the Giallorossi and play out wide…

“I expressed my opinion and then you journalists embellished it. I said he can play different positions across the forward line, but always with the goal in front of him.

“I confirm, for me he’s not a winger. He’s a crazy player, never banal and when he shoots it’s always a goal. And a year ago nobody rated him.

“He needed to grow muscularly, he was physically immature. But very strong. Do you know who first saw that in him? Antonio Cassano.

“One afternoon he came up to me and he said to me: ‘mister, this one is very, very strong’.

“Cassano at Verona? You can’t get into a man’s head. What I’ll say about him is I could talk to him for hours and hours. He’s a football connoisseur.”

Giampaolo faced Jose Mourinho in a pre-season friendly against Manchester United, and he gave his assessments of the world’s best coaches.

“In terms of the art of communication, there’s no doubt it’s him,” the Blucerchiati boss said of Mourinho.

“[Pep] Guardiola is a magnificent idealogue, while [Max] Allegri is a genius at handling pressure. The same is true of Spalletti.

“Sarri is a football maestro. It depends what you mean, but in my opinion there’s no such thing as ‘the best’ because half of it depends on the quality of the players.

“I’ll give you an example: at Empoli Sarri got 40 points, at Napoli 90. Do you think he just became good now? No. He was good before, but now he has the materials at his disposal.”

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