Saturday September 14 2019
Ancelotti: 'Napoli have options now'

Carlo Ancelotti appreciates the Napoli strength in depth after a 2-0 victory over Sampdoria. “Fernando Llorente is tall, but he can play football.”

Dries Mertens scored both goals at the Stadio San Paolo this evening, the second on an assist from substitute Llorente.

“We put in a good performance, especially early on, even if we were more efficient and effective in the second half, without just enjoying the possession for no reason. The newcomers and those who came off the bench also did well,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We kept a clean sheet, so at least that was a sigh of relief. We didn’t lose balance so much as gave the ball away a few too many times and too cheaply.

“We’ve chosen this approach, which involves taking a few more risks, but we believe it to be worthwhile. We just have to make fewer mistakes with our passing.”

With the Champions League and Liverpool coming up, Ancelotti was asked about his choices and squad rotation now there are so many alternatives.

“Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski can play on the left or in midfield. I wanted Fabian today for more close passing, whereas Zielinski is more precise with long balls. It all depends on the characteristics of the midfield we are facing.

“Llorente is a complete forward. Because he is so tall, everyone thinks he’s just an old-fashioned centre-forward, but he can play football and has great technique. I have many options available to me in attack now.

“We don’t prepare squad rotation as such, but we do try to make changes depending on who is struggling in training. Everyone is of a high level and all those who came off the bench today played quality football, which is important for the growth process of the squad.”

With the new rules allowing referees to book Coaches for dissent as a warning rather than just a straight red, Ancelotti was cautioned for the first time since his playing days.

“I got sent off on the bench at Parma, but this was my first yellow! In the game of my last booking, I also scored an own goal with my buttock…”