Napoli

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Serie A

Round 37

Internazionale 2 - 0 Napoli
2020-07-28 21:45 More Reports
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Round 38

2020-08-01 20:45 More Previews
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Serie A
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Napoli

In


Giovanni Di Lorenzo (def)(Empoli); Kostas Manolas (def)(Roma); Lorenzo Tonelli (def)(Sampdoria, end of loan); Eljif Elmas (mid)(Fenerbahce)

Out


Amadou Diawara (sp)(mid)(Roma); Raul Albiol (r)(def)(Villarreal); Vinicius (att)(Benfica); Marko Rog (mid)(Cagliari)

When Napoli hired Carlo Ancelotti, last season, they hoped he would have helped them to reduce the gap existing between themselves and Juventus. Unfortunately for them, they finished second but they never really managed to pose a serious threat to the Old Lady’s reign. The coach was obviously confirmed at the helm for the new season and he will be expected to lead them closer to the top, especially considering that Juventus are currently facing some problems. First of all, they lost Albiol over the summer. The Spaniard has been one of the two pillars in the heart of the defence for the past 6 seasons. He was very properly replaced by Manolas, coming from Roma. In fact, the solid Greek might even be an improvement at centre-back, alongside Koulibaly. Napoli had an abundance of full-backs, although not all of them were given relevant playing time to tell the truth, but the management opted to sign also Di Lorenzo, who did well at Empoli. He might be given a start at right-back with Ghoulam, fully recovered from injury, being preferred at left-back. Napoli also let Diawara go to Roma. After all, he had not been given many opportunities to shine last season. At the same time, though, they signed in the promising 19-year-old Elmas, from Fenerbahce, who is going to add some depth to the midfield. For the attack, they are about to invest lots of money in the impressive Lozano, a winger who has been impressing at PSV. And he might become one of the supporters’ favourites. However, they are still looking for a centre-forward.

Target


Napoli will be fighting for the Scudetto but, at the moment, they seem to be one step lower than Juventus and Inter.

Season Review
2019/2020

№7: Napoli

After finishing as runners-up last season under Carlo Ancelotti - there was optimism in Naples that they could go one better under one of the greatest managers of modern times. Unfortunately things quickly soured under Carletto both on and off the field. The season started in kamikaze fashion with a 4-3 win over Fiorentina followed by a 4-3 defeat against Juventus. Ancelotti managed to steady the defence with a solid run of 5 clean sheets in the next 9 games (W6 D2 L1) but problems began to arise towards the end of the year. Napoli went 9 games without a win across all competitions. Within that poor run there was the infamous "civil war" within the club. President Aurelio De Laurentiis wanted the squad to be put into a training retreat - an idea that didn't sit well with the players and one which Ancelotti himself publicly disagreed with. The training retreat went ahead regardless but the players publicly embarrassed Ancelotti by staging a mutiny and leaving the camp. The manager's relationship both players and the president was strained to the point that it soon became untenable. Despite his troubles domestically, Ancelotti still showed his nous in the Champions League - including a memorable win over European champions Liverpool but he was sacked immediately after achieving qualification from the group stage against Genk. Gennaro Gattuso was a surprise choice to replace his former Milan boss and it didn't look a good one at first. Napoli lost 4 of his first 5 league games in charge and looked likely to miss out on European qualification. The Coppa Italia proved to be a saving grace for the Partenopei - with Gattuso masterminding narrow wins over both Lazio and Inter Milan. Napoli went on a run of 7 wins from 9 games - including a victory over champions Juventus and a respectable first leg draw with Barcelona in the Champions League last 16. And then the Coronavirus pandemic struck. The lockdown looked like disastrous timing for Napoli given the form they were in but they returned to the comfort of the Coppa Italia where they finished the job off in the second leg of the semi-final with Inter and then overcame Juve on penalties in the final - giving Gattuso a quick and unexpected first piece of silverware. Winning the cup also meant that the club qualified for the Europa League and with no realistic chance of getting into the top 4 - their league form inevitably dipped towards the end of the campaign. Meanwhile, their slim chance of success the Champions League was ended in Barcelona despite a spirited effort. All in all, given the situation that Gattuso arrived into - he did about as well as he could have done and arguably overachieved with a trophy. All indications point to him being given a new contract Gattuso woll need to address an ageing squad in the summer. Dries Mertens is in the twilight of his career but still managed to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer this season - ahead of the likes of Diego Maradona and Marek Hamsik. Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne are also getting on in years - with neither having a vintage season. Kalidou Koulibaly had another solid campaign but big clubs continue to circle for his signature. Arkadiusz Milik ended the season as top scorer in the league but has also been angling for a move away. While the big club record summer signing Hirving Lozano proved to be something of a letdown - there were other shrewd pieces of business done - including January recruits Stan Lobotka and Diego Demme - but it was Giovanni Di Lorenzo who made the biggest impact after arriving in the summer. The former Empoli right-back displayed great versatility throughout the season by playing in almost every position except centre-forward! A few more signings in his mould could see Napoli be challenging for the top places again.


Player of the Season: Giovanni Di Lorenzo

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