Sunday December 6 2020
Gattuso: 'Times have changed'

Gennaro Gattuso wants Napoli to become more ‘consistent’ and expects even more of Piotr Zielinski, but insists he isn’t looking for Rino replicas. ‘I’d be on the bench in this squad.’

The Partenopei crushed Crotone 4-0 with goals from Lorenzo Insigne, Chucky Lozano, Diego Demme and Andrea Petagna.

“I compliment the team, because the 4-0 result is as always not a fair reflection and we did have some struggles,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“It became simpler when they went down to 10 men, but it’s not easy to play every three days when you return home at 5am.

“We have to provide consistency. We’ve done some good things, we earned 21 points on the pitch, that’s not a small amount.”

The Partenopei now go head-to-head with Real Sociedad at the Stadio Diego Maradona on Thursday.

“Europa League qualification is the first major objective of the season and we know it’s against a very strong team.”

Gattuso has repeatedly called for more grit and determination from Napoli, but he insists he’s not looking for players who were like him in his heyday.

“What I want is for our players to work as a team. If there’s someone who looks like me, I won’t play them, because I want a different type of football to the one I could play. I was incapable of that, but they are not and they’ve got to use their quality with passing, overlaps and creating a numerical advantage.

“I am proud of what I achieved, but football has changed over the decades, including in Italy, so it’s only right we move with the times. If I was in this Napoli squad, I’d spend a lot of time on the bench.

“Players are like children, you have to realise that times change and you have to change with them. If I tried to deal with my kids the way my father did with me, it just wouldn’t work. I think more coaches have to be open to adapting to the changing times.

“For example, I don’t like music in the locker room, it’s really annoying, but I understand that’s what they do nowadays. We used to try to concentrate before a game.”

Piotr Zielinski has found some balance in the trequartista role behind the striker and provided a great assist for Lorenzo Insigne today.

“Zielinski looks like he dances with the ball at his feet, I’ve rarely seen someone able to take men on the way he does. I think the only thing he’s lacking to become a real top player are those seven or eight goals per season, because he is capable of it.”