Last season’s Scudetto-winning side of Napoli is flailing under Rudi Garcia. The French replacement for Luciano Spalletti has struggled in his first 12 league games at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. With six wins, three draws and three losses, Napoli sits fourth in the Serie A table. It is 10 points adrift of Juventus, which leads the current table.
As a result of the club’s struggles, Napoli President Aurelio de Laurentiis has already named potential replacements for the boss after three months in charge. Last season, Spalletti’s Napoli side only had four losses in the entire league season. Garcia’s Napoli has three losses, and it has dropped points in half of the games this season.
A changing Napoli side
Garcia did have to deal with some changes to the squad that won the Scudetto with Spalletti. Kim Min-jae left for Bayern Munich, and the South Korean was a mainstay in the defense that conceded just 28 goals in Serie A play last season. This season, Napoli is already up to 13 goals against. Napoli’s incoming signings have not overly succeeded yet, either. The Italian side spent over $30 million on Jesper Lindstrom from Eintracht Frankfurt. The German attacking midfielder has made just one start, and he is yet to contribute a goal or assist to Napoli.
Prior to this past weekend’s loss at home to Empoli, Rudi Garcia said he wanted to make supporters happy. However, his tactics have not suited last season’s elite players. Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen combined for 38 goals and 18 assists. An injury to Osimhen has forced the Nigerian out of six games after another strong start to the campaign. Osimhen had six goals in eight Serie A appearances before a hamstring injury sent him to the sidelines. Kvaratskhelia still has a decent seven goal contributions, but it is not the pace he was setting last season. Osimhen’s absence certainly hurts in that regard.
Naming another manager at Napoli to replace Rudi Garcia
When Napoli hired Rudi Garcia, de Laurentiis admitted the Frenchman was not his first selection. The already-ruffled relationship cannot bode well for Garcia’s confidence in a Napoli side ripe with expectations. Moreover, it may spell an early exit from the Italian club.
If de Laurentiis sacks Garcia, there are several candidates he could bring in. One of the names circling the rumor mill is 2006 Ballon d’Or winner Fabio Cannavaro. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Cannavaro has long sought after the manager role at Napoli. Cannavaro spent his youth career and four seasons at the senior level with Napoli. After moving away in 1995, he had spells with Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid. He is the last defender to win the Ballon d’Or, doing so in 2006.
Importantly, Cannavaro has a close relationship with the passionate de Laurentiis. The Italian executive would, therefore, have increased support for the former defender.
Another potential name is Igor Tudor. Recently, Tudor was the manager of Marseille. However, he parted ways with the French club when he cited his ‘tiredness’ with Marseille. He led the French outfit to a third-place finish in Ligue 1, which got it into the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League. The Croatian manager previously managed Udinese on two occasions and served as an assistant at Juventus.
Walter Mazzarri, who managed Napoli for a handful of seasons in the late 2000s, is the third name that could take over at the club. Gazzetta reports de Laurentiis is not overly fond of a previous manager coming back, though.
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