Naples, master of regularity, but not of details

Returning to Serie A in 2007 after going through bankruptcy, Naples could validate its place on the podium against Genoa this Sunday, for the eighth time since this recovery. A regularity that places the Partenopei among the cadors of the Italian championship, but which also leaves room for a lot of regrets. How does Aurelio De Laurentiis’ club manage to systematically let out a Shield when he holds out his arms to her?

A few weeks before their paths go their separate ways, Lorenzo Insigne and Napoli will try to go definitively to conquer a place on the podium against Genoa this Sunday after having had to, as too often in recent years, give up on their last hopes of Shield. Still in the race for the arrival of fine weather, the Partenopei saw Fiorentina, Roma and Empoli come and shatter their dream. So much so that at thirty, the Neapolitan captain will not succeed Diego Maradona, the last to have allowed Napoli to win the title in 1990.

Mind fight

A long scarcity of more than thirty pins to which the Neapolitans have nevertheless had many opportunities to end in recent years. 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, so many seasons which saw the men of Aurelio De Laurentiis (ADL) finish on the podium (four times second and three times third). With the culmination of this fabulous year 2018 where, led by Maurizio Sarri, Naples, 91 points on the clock, however sees Juventus blowing the title from him. “The team that year played the most beautiful football in the history of the club, and their way of playing was much better than that of Juve” , testifies Marcello Calvano, journalist for Kiss Kiss Napoli radio. Only here, a stone’s throw from the end, the Old Lady, beaten by her southern rival the day before, is doing well after a stormy game against Inter. The next day, in Florence, Kalidou Koulibaly takes a red after six short minutes and Napoli, spanked by Fio, lets Juve slip away. “Mentally, the team had collapsed after seeing what had happened at San Siro the day before” remembers the journalist.

A bit like this season when “Milan and Inter have not shown that they are better than Napoli” according to Vincenzo Credendino, journalist for the Calcio Napoli 24 television channel, who then summarizes: “Each time, we think it’s the last chance for them to be champions, and yet the club always manages to find themselves in a position to be. This is proof that he works rather well. » So how do you explain that a team that is sometimes close to the heights in terms of play does not manage to finally get a title of champion?

No fiber, only AD(S)L in Naples

“If different coaches and different players have the same problems, it’s probably because you have to look for what’s wrong with the club.still admits the one who works for the small skylight. Where Milan, Inter and Juve have Maldini, Zanetti or Nedvěd, Napoli have no general manager. » It must be said that President De Laurentiis takes up a lot of space.

The vice-president is none other than his son, Edo, and Cristiano Giuntoli, the sports director, only does scouting so that ADL then leads the negotiations. A rather discreet president this season, but who ended up putting pressure on his men when he felt that … the Champions League could escape them. “It’s important for him because it brings in money” , recalls Vincenzo Credendino. Once this qualification has been officially validated, “The whole city was sad to have lost the Scudetto, but he, and the club, were happy to be back in C1 next season. »

A lack of ambition which could explain why Napoli was able to integrate the top of the rankings so quickly, without ever managing to reach the top. Especially since another element disturbs the Italian journalist. “When Ancelotti was Napoli manager, in 2019 for his second season, the club ordered the players to put on the green after a game. The players refused and Ancelotti told them: “You do what you want, but I will be at the training center as we were asked.” All the players returned home, without any sanction at the time, and since then the club has had a strange attitude. » Napoli took Allan and Nikola Maksimović to court once the two players left southern Italy. “That’s what will happen to Insigne too once he’s in Toronto.warns Vincenzo Credendino. The only two who were spared are Piotr Zieliński, because he extended, and Arkadiusz Milik who was more or less unwanted. » An attitude that poses a problem and above all that places the club as an enemy of the players, when the two parties should move forward together. The same phenomenon occurred more recently when Luciano Spalletti announced a greenout following the debacle against Empoli before being dismissed by the club the following day. So many details that still make Napoli run after a Scudetto that has eluded them since 1990. And that at the time, as Vincenzo Credendino reminds us, “to win the title, Napoli needed the best player in history” .

By Florian Porta
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