Rafa Benitez Expected To Be Sacked At Napoli

Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has come under increased scrutiny over the past several weeks.

According to widespread reports in Italy, the Spanish tactician’s relationship with club officials has deteriorated as his on-field success with the Italian side has decreased.

Benitez was hoping to regain some trust from Napoli officials and build some momentum in his team with a positive result against AC Milan on Sunday. Instead, the under-fire manager watched as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Rossoneri.

The loss to Milan means Napoli have now picked up just three points from the last twelve available, and the club remains twelve points behind league-leaders Juventus. They have collected only 24 points in fifteen Serie A matches.

The Azzurri are in seventh place in Italy, two points off of a Champions League position, and the feeling around the club is that a change of leadership could see the team turn into stronger contenders for a European spot.

Napoli were knocked out of this year’s Champions League campaign by Athletic Bilbao in the qualifying round, but have progressed to the Europa League’s Round of 32 as group winners.

Despite his Europa League success, the Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport claims that the probability of Benitez remaining at Napoli is “close to zero”.

The newspaper also suggests that the uncertainty surrounding the manager’s future at the club has damaged the morale of his team. Many Napoli players see Benitez as a “dead man walking” and are anticipating his imminent departure.

The Napoli boss has been despondent in recent post-match interviews and has not been upbeat regarding his side’s chances of European qualification.

“Clearly we need to win our games to get closer,” Benitez said following the loss to Milan. “It’ll be increasingly tough to get third place but we knew Serie A was a very difficult league.”

“I remember the game against Roma was not long ago [which Napoli won]. We showed character, quality, hunger to win. We know this side lacks consistency, especially compared to last season. We now have more shots on goal that anyone else, but don’t score as many goals.”

With Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers coming under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks as well, Benitez is already being linked with a return to the Merseyside club.

The 54-year-old manager enjoyed some of his best moments at Anfield, guiding Liverpool to Champions League glory, an FA Cup and a UEFA Super Cup during his six-year spell at the club.

He also became known for his managerial “war of words” with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and current Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

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  1. Brian December 16, 2014
  2. supertrev December 16, 2014
  3. Smokey Bacon December 16, 2014
  4. rkujay December 17, 2014

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