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Tuesday August 7 2018
No need for Napoli panic

Many Napoli fans have been quick to turn pessimistic following their loss to Liverpool, but Massimo Nuzzo explains there’s no need for the negativity.

Going into the upcoming season, all signs pointed towards Napoli making another challenge for the Scudetto. President Aurelio De Laurentiis did the unthinkable and brought in Carlo Ancelotti to manage the Partenopei, Jorginho was the only player to leave the club, and although their transfer market went quiet after the World Cup, the additions of Simone Verdi and Alex Meret have added to the excitement growing in Vesuvius’ shadow.

However, a lot of that excitement turned into worry following Napoli’s 5-0 - yes you read that right - defeat to Liverpool. Ancelotti’s men just couldn’t seem to get anything going. There were some moments where we saw the Napoli we are all used to, quick passing movements up the pitch and dangerous on the counter, but it was apparent that Hamsik & co. still aren’t fully adept under their new Coach. That’s okay.

Maurizio Sarri instilled a non-stop, full steam ahead attacking style during his three years in Naples. Ancelotti doesn’t want to change that, he just wants to slow it down. During the match it was noticeable that the players were still trying to get the hang of being calmer on the ball. There were stints where you could see that they got it, leading to chances opening up for them. Having said that, we also saw them fail to find any type of equilibrium as they would often switch back to that full speed approach.

During the match we saw that Napoli can execute Carlo’s game plan, it will just require patience.

To speak directly about the game that has introduced heavy doubts into the minds of some supporters, it actually could’ve been a closer affair. Three of the goals scored can be chalked up as goalkeeping errors made by new signing Orestis Karnezis, and Napoli made it 2-1 towards the end of the first half only for the goal to be wrongly disallowed due to the assistant referee ruling Jose Callejon offside.

It’s also important to take into consideration where both clubs were at during the match. Liverpool were coming off of an impressive pre-season showing in the States against the likes of Manchester City & United and were a week out from the start of their season. Napoli on the other hand only had one friendly against a side in a top division (that side being Chievo), and were still two weeks out from kicking off in Serie A.

When you think about it rationally it’s a side that is used to their Coach’s tactics and has one of the best attacks in Europe, against a side that has a new man on the bench and is still learning a new system. Of course 5-0 is alarming, and one would expect better from a side of Napoli’s calibre, but it’s best for these things to happen now, so that they can be prevented during the times that matter.

The Partenopei knows what needs to be fixed and they’ve already taken steps towards doing so. French wingback Kevin Malcuit has already completed his medical for the club - all that's left is the announcement - and he will provide great competition for Elseid Hysaj at the right back position. In addition to that, it is reported that a deal is in place to bring Guillermo Ochoa to the San Paolo.

In Sarri’s first year at Napoli he didn’t win in the league until the fourth game, so give Ancelotti some time. The additions made in the transfer market, combined with the “bombshell” news that Napoli journalist Carlo Alvino has been hinting at all summer, are prime examples of why tifosi don’t need to start seeing the glass half empty just yet.

Have your say...
@BOSS

No, they're not all wrong. They are all just as ignorant
on the 13th August, 2018 at 7:03pm
@Azzkikr. Stop the whining and enjoy Juve =)
on the 11th August, 2018 at 11:16pm
Napoli lost abit of ground to inter and Roma this mercato, but will certainly still finish within top 4.

This season serie a will be quite predictable. Obviously rubentus will win the scudetto. 2nd to 4th will with 99% certainty be inter, Roma and Napoli in any order and then Lazio, Milan, fiorentina for El.
on the 11th August, 2018 at 6:09pm
@ chalon

I know everything. Everyone in my family says I'm an expert in soccer. What, their all wrong?!
on the 8th August, 2018 at 11:36pm
@BOSS... you know nothing Jon Snow.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 6:22pm
I was a big fan of Ancelotti in his Milan days. Then he did well at PSG, Chelsea, Real also, but hasn't had much success in last 4 years.

And I'm not sure why he let Jorginho go. I thought that he liked to have regista like Pirlo. And is there anyone who can do role better in current team?

His style is not as attacking as Sarri, but those who remember Milan from 2002-2007, boy that was a classy team. I have doubts with current roster what he can really do.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 3:30pm
I the PUB sweepstake I drew Dzeko out of the hat!
Not much of a chance, you will say, but hey, you can only hope.........
Hahahahahaha

Realistically I'd say that, on paper at least, Ronaldo must be odds on favourite.

In the Premier draw I got Vardy.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
on the 8th August, 2018 at 2:05pm
So far not convinced by the Hamsik-regista experiment. Just play Diawara as plan A. He's looked good just about every time i've seen him play, even his Bologna days.
Napoli still have a very good midfield if they find the right mix.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 3:15am
I think we'll see the difference Sarri made to those Napoli players. In terms of quality they're about a top 6. Sarri made them a record breaking top 2. That's the difference a manager can make. Had Sarri been at Milan, Milan probably wound've finished top 2 (if we'd had any pace). Ancelotti is used to working with world class players which he had at Milan, Real and Bayern. He's not going to have that a Napoli. I think they'll be lucky to finish in the top 4. I hope I'm wrong.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 3:08am
The danger of going backwards is very real for Napoli.

There's no point talking about last season's standings. It's history and right now every team is on zero.

Napoli could be overtaken as they have neglected to bring in players who can improve them and make a difference here and now. It's a big leap of faith to think otherwise.

Ancelotti must like a challenge because Napoli are simply not equipped to compete at the very top. This is why Sarri received such high praise.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 2:50am
Napoli won't drop off a cliff, but it will be years before they seriously challenge for the title again.

Everything seemed to align for Sarri. He united a small group of players and got them playing to their absolute maximum. Even then it wasn't enough.

The level of backing for Ancelotti has been underwhelming and insufficient for a club looking to push on.

Fabian, Verdi and Meret are for the future and don't really remedy any present issues, so how can Napoli be expected to progress?
on the 8th August, 2018 at 2:25am
I’m kinda torn about Carlo. He disappointed me by avoiding Azzurri,and Milan when they needed him the most. He’s getting older and more stubborn relaying on only well established clubs for jobs/ success. Sarri leaving Napoli is sad. I don’t think he’ll have better success with Chelsea. ...just as Carlo won’t have success with Napoli like he did with Chelsea. Martens had an amazing past season, Carlo is not going to get best out of Callejon,Mertens,Insigne. GK issue ...shoulda of got Donnarumma.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 1:44am
Excited to see how Napoli perform in their first 5 Serie A matches: Lazio, Sampdoria, Torino, Milan, Fiorentina

All solid teams that will be challenging for CL / Europa.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 1:23am
Tomas

Your wrong. Friendlies are what moulds a team for the new season and have become as important as the league and cup games.
Everyone watches the icc games and now think that the English teams are the best ever because Spurs won it.
And just because Liverpool have played 8 preseason friendlies compared to Napoli's 3 doesnt mean anything. Its all about quality, not fitness.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 12:20am
Napoli problems will continue as we don't have good players on the bench to do rotation and compete on all competitions which was missing the last seasons
on the 7th August, 2018 at 8:38pm
BOSS: Are you for real? It's a friendly and even better did you look how many subs for each team? Poor boy, I hope you are smarter than that
on the 7th August, 2018 at 7:45pm
Lol what did I say about English teams dominating Italian teams. Now the purported second best team in Italy get annihilated by a top four English team and shut up about the extra week, lol really? Any excuse these days.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 6:45pm
Im a huge ancelotti fan but I think his first season is going to be a disaster. First off you have lost jorginho your best midfielder and have lost a class keeper in Reina. Sarri was so successful at napoli because his players matched his philosophy perfect. Ancelotti is the complete opposite of sarri. Ancelotti doesn't play that free flowing attack and my prediction for this year is that napoli are going to fall out of the top four. Lost two key players and brought a manager not similar to team
on the 7th August, 2018 at 6:39pm
ADL lack of spending is going to cost Napoli this season.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 5:54pm
Napoli are going to stink this year. Inter got better, Milan got better, Roma got better, Lazio will be tough to beat as well.

Napoli didn't do enough during the transfer window.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 5:34pm
Napoli's failure all this time lies on their president. He whines too much & doesn't want to admit his team's failure.

I don't think Ancelotti will last long, he's just the right man at the wrong team.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 4:30pm
Other than the team being unchanged or slightly weaker, the fact that Sarri is gone is a big loss. He was the best coach for Napoli. Ancelotti may be past his prime and in any case his biggest skill is managing big players, similar to Zidane. That is not something Napoli needs. Napoli needs a system to be able to compete with Juve.

Add to it that the squad which is not deep enough is supposed to compete in CL as well.

In my view finishing top 4 is already a big achievement for Ancelotti.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 4:22pm
Napoli’sbest acquistion was Fabian Ruiz.

Jorginho is a big loss and midfield is weaker. In goal Meret in unproven and injury prone and Reina was a leader so again team is weaker. Defense in unchanged but older. Remember this defense was the worst defense among top 10 teams under Benitez. Sarri’s possession football changed that. In attack Ancelotti is unlikely to play Mertens and Milik and Inglese are not good enough.

Only upgrade is Verdi over Callejon.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 4:20pm
Without a proper CB partner for Koulibaly, then they can forget about winning anything.

A CF might be needed too. Cavani would be ideal but probably too expensive. Belotti could do well if he stays fit.

Without a few top signings before the deadline, they might find themselves out of the top 4 for next season.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 4:08pm
Some info for people saying Napoli are going to drop out of the top 3.

Points behind Juve last season

Napoli 4
Roma 18 (6 more wins)
Inter 23 (7.5 more wins)
Lazio 23 (7.5 more wins)
Milan 31 (10 more wins)

Lots of ground to make up for the rest and signings take time to gel.

We've lost one player and invested in nearly 100 million Euro's of talent. The squad has been together for 6 seasons now.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 3:47pm
"I hope his system does work as Italy need a strong Napoli to help fly the flag." They're not flying any flag other than their own, when they focused on winning the scudetto last season i said that they'll just end up doing more harm to themselves as well as Serie A in the long run and i was right. I wonder if this summer they could have used some of that CL money that Roma and Juventus got? Italy would be a lot better off with Milan in that 4th spot, Napoli is a midtable team that overperformed
on the 7th August, 2018 at 3:02pm
As a Juve fan I can say that watching Napoli play is always a pleasure unless we are facing them. The Sarri system of the quick short passing to move the ball around was a Napoli feature that made them so great to watch with quick penetrative movement that left defences floundering. If Ancelotti is slowing that down it is going to diminish their unpredictability which proved to be so devastating. I hope his system does work as Italy need a strong Napoli to help fly the flag.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 1:14pm
I can't imagine Napoli squad is deep enough for European cups. Injury prone with short bench. Also lack of decent quality defensive midfielder with Napoli so vulnerable with loosing goals. Positive: with Milik and Inglese backing-up each other might be right time to move Mertens back to wing.
on the 7th August, 2018 at 12:55pm
Napoleon r the team to flop out of top 4. Hiring Ancelotti is a disaster, his career is finished same as Mourinho
on the 7th August, 2018 at 12:44pm
It's not so much the scoreline that should exude panic but rather the lack of notable investment on the squad. Karnezis is just horrible, Ochoa was great for Mexico but has always been shaky for club. Their only hope is Meret can keep his phenomenal performance but he's also too injury prone. Jorginho is a huge loss that hasn't been replaced, not even Hamsik as deep playmaker is gonna change that. Mario Rui remains the only left back with Ghoulam out even longer and Albiol is struggling with age
on the 7th August, 2018 at 12:11pm

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