Carlo Ancelotti admits Napoli have serious problems and the crisis “is going on too long now. I take responsibility, but the players must feel responsible too.”
The Partenopei have just four draws from their last six Serie A games, and it’s the first time Ancelotti has gone on a six-match winless streak in the top five leagues since December 2010, when he was at Chelsea.
This 2-1 home defeat to Bologna comes just days after a 1-1 draw away to Champions League holders Liverpool, but while Fernando Llorente had opened the scoring, Andreas Skov-Olsen and Nicola Sansone turned it all around in the second half.
“It’s a team that is incapable of keeping the focus and consistency that we did in the Champions League,” Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia after the press silence order was lifted by the club.
“Our first half was decent, nothing exceptional, and we should’ve known that after the Liverpool efforts midweek, we could not keep that tempo up for long.
“Now we all need to get together and discuss, evaluate why this negative period is stretching on. It is taking too long now, this is not normal.
“Usually the coach takes responsibility. So tomorrow I will talk to the team and ask them what they think isn’t working, see if we can find a way out of this situation together.
“I feel the faith of the squad and the club, but the results aren’t coming. So I will try to find the solution with the team, and if they can’t help me with that, I’ll try to find it myself.
“The players need to feel responsible too. I’ll take most of it, but not everything. I believe the players need to go out there with greater clarity – which is my job – and then after that they need to put in the extra effort, which they are not doing fully right now.
“Something clearly has been lost. We are not as fluid, we are not efficient, our build-up play is always a bit improvised. When things aren’t working perfectly, we still manage to bring out the spirit and determination the way we did in Liverpool to get a result.
“The problem is that we are not always mentally 100 per cent in the game. I know it’s hard to always be 100, but at least we shouldn’t drop to 20-30 per cent.
“I used to rotate the squad and the performances collectively would be much the same. Objectively, I had a lot of tired players from midweek and had to make some changes.
“The fact remains, we need the players to do more when they are on the field, it doesn’t matter who they are.”
There has been immense tension within the club for weeks now, since the squad staged a rebellion and refused to go into a training retreat.
President Aurelio De Laurentiis responded by fining the players up to 50 per cent of their October salary, a situation that has now involved FIFPro.
“This is a technical and tactical issue. The team is too inconsistent and there are many ways of improving that, by having a more solid tactical shape, like the one we had in Liverpool,” assured Ancelotti when asked if the club had to stage another intervention.
“Even if the first half was decent enough today, we were still a little too open, especially compared to the extraordinary solidity we showed in Liverpool.
“We are all united, we are all suffering in this delicate moment and we all want to resolve these issues, together.”
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