New coach Walter Mazzarri (left), and ex coach Roberto Donadoni (right)

After Napoli’s disappointing start to the season, president Aurelio De Laurentis has decided to “dismiss” Roberto Donadoni as head coach, and has now hired Walter Mazzarri.

Napoli were looking forward to a successful season, with new signings such as Quagliarella, De Sanctis, and Cigarini. Napoli looked ready to shine with a team of young talent including Lavezzi, Santacroce, and Hamsik. Since the beginning of the Serie A Napoli has won two, drawn one, and lost four, leaving them tied for 14th place with Cagliari. Not only this, they also have not had a positive result away from home all season, every away game was a loss, showing the team’s dependance on the home ground.

After the departure of Napoli’s Sporting Director Pierpaolo Marino, Donadoni’s future looked in doubt, De Laurentis just needed to find the right replacement, and Mazzarri might be the right choice. Having already coached Reggina and Sampdoria, the Italian coach is probably best known for taking Sampdoria into the top tier of Italian football, and changing Antonio Cassano back into one of the world’s greatest players.

Back when Edoardo Reja was the coach at Napoli, they played with a successful and revolutionizing 3-5-2, bringing Napoli from Serie C1 up to Serie A. And during his five years at Napoli, Edoardo Reja was able to bring what was once a deteriorating squad into Europe. After Reja was kicked out and Donadoni was brought in, results did not improve. Donadoni tried to change playing style to a 4-3-3, then a 4-4-2, and after tried to go back to Reja’s 3-5-2, all he achieved was confusion between the players. Mazzarri at Sampdoria was able to play a tidy 3-5-2, maybe bringing back the original system in a clean and simple way, could be what this team needs to start popping in the goals.

So could Mazzarri change this team for the better? The talent is there, and the players are young and ready to learn, all they need is some guidance, guidance that Mazzarri could provide just like he did for Cassano. And if he were able to get this team to start playing beautiful football soon, the birth of some new stars could be imminent. Players like Lavezzi, the Argentinean often compared to Maradona and Messi, Hamsik, the Slovakian midfielder with a talent for running the midfield and scoring goals, and Santacroce, the Italian defender who seals up the back line, could all lead Napoli into a new era. Hopefully Mazzarri can revitalize this team, and bring back a powerful side in Italian football.

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