The faithful of Napoli were preparing to pick up where they left off before the end of the previous winning campaign. Since the squad finally won the Italian league after 33 years, the city of Naples has scarcely stopped partying.
Napoli won the Serie A championship with five games to spare last season thus the team was met with chants of ‘champions’ in their last few games. This season’s home games have been met with the same enthusiastic chanting as previous ones.
However, the Partenopei have taken the field looking something different lately, in part because of the change in leadership. The team’s former coach, Luciano Spalletti, resigned, citing a need for a sabbatical, and was replaced by Rudi Garcia. His aggressive strategies had won acclaim from around Europe.
The 59-year-old departed Al-Nassr by mutual agreement in April, not long after it acquired Cristiano Ronaldo. Even before teams in the nation started actively recruiting star players from Europe.
Conte swiftly rejected Napoli last month
So far, however, the Frenchman’s adventures in Italy have not gone well. Unfortunately for Napoli, Garcia has not been able to sustain the success of his predecessor. Currently, Napoli sits in fifth place.
There have been some encouraging indications from the club in the UEFA Champions League. Napoli defeated Braga and Union Berlin while narrowly losing to Real Madrid. Nevertheless, the French coach is under increasing scrutiny.
Sky Italia claimed in October that the Azzurri president Aurelio De Laurentiis was considering firing head coach Rudi Garcia after the squad got off to a shaky start. De Laurentiis met with Garcia and the club’s personnel last month to talk about the direction of the project.
The Blues’ chairman wanted Antonio Conte to replace Rudi Garcia as manager. But Conte’s representatives quickly shot down the offer. Neither financial nor technical factors played a role in his decision to reject the offer.
Since then, TEAMtalk reported the Napoli administration compiled a shortlist of three coaches. Any of those coaches could replace Garcia in the closing stages of the season. One of those is Graham Potter, who has been a candidate for several clubs since leaving Chelsea.
In addition to Potter, former Marseille coach Igor Tudor and current River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo of Argentina are candidates.
Former Juventus President takes swipe at Napoli
Former Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli criticized Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis. The Juventus executive states no coach wants to work for him at Napoli. “I think [Rudi] Garcia is safe in his position now because no other coach wants to join Napoli,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss.
“De Laurentiis said he spoke to many coaches who didn’t want to come to Napoli and will regret it. Someone who says things like that has to realize that coaches are not stupid, and it is not easy for them to deal with a President who has such a strong presence.
“The story that De Laurentiis went into the locker room is a useful strategy, but if he always does this and wants to be the coach, then just go the whole hog, give him coaching badges and let him run the team.”
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