Naples changes coach before hosting Barça

While Walter Mazzarrithe coach of Napleswas directing the penultimate training session prior to the duel with the Barça this Wednesday (9 p.m.), the president of the club, Aurelio de Laurentiis He was meeting with the technician who is going to replace him. An example of the particular Vesuvian functioning of the entity, in the same way that there is its own volcanic eruption that takes the name of Vesuvius.

“Goodbye boys, goodbye everyone”, were allegedly Mazzarri’s words as he left the Napoli training center in Castel Volturno in front of the assembled journalists while others were waiting for the meeting of president De Laurentiis with Francesco Calzonathe one chosen to relieve the technician in a hotel on the Neapolitan seafront.

Napoli will present a new coach, the third of the season, to face Barça in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. De Laurentiis, fed up with the constant decline of the team, made another drastic decision, one more in the club of which he is the owner.

De Laurentiis first struck down Rudi Garcia, Spalletti’s replacement, the champion coach, in November.

Negotiate helpers

The greatest difficulty in hiring Calzona, a 55-year-old Italian, is that he is the current Slovakia coach and he should simultaneously perform both tasks until the end of the season. It doesn’t interfere as much the participation of the Central European team in the Euro Cup this summer as well as in the preparations for the national team break that will take place in March: on the 23rd and 26th they will face Austria and Norway in friendly matches.

Another point of negotiation, not minor, was the discussion about the assistants who would accompany Calzona back to Naples and those who would continue with their daily work in the national team. Calzona already belonged to the celestial club in the past, since he was an assistant to Maurizio Sarri and Luciano Spalletti. The job in Slovakia was offered to him, in part, because the good reports of Marek Hamsik, former Napoli player for 12 seasons.

Mazzarri tries to calm Osimhen during the duel against Roma. / EFE

Naples is ninth, 9 points behind the Champions League (Atalanta) and the Europa League (Bologna)

Two champions overthrown

The Naples-Barça duel represents the pulse between two fallen champions. So unless before the end of the year in which they were crowned (2023) they had already said goodbye to the possibility of revalidating it. Naples is doing worse than Barça, with the serious threat of not returning to Europe. Not even to the Europa League or the Conference League.

Barça is third and Xavi Hernández retains his position, between the weight of his name for the legendary career he signed for the Barcelona team and the respect that Joan Laporta professes for him. The president who fired Ronald Koeman and fired Leo Messi (and did not return him to the Camp Nou), admitted that if the coach had not been Xavi I would have already struck him down.

Luciano Spalletti, Italian selector, joined Federico Chiesa, Juventus forward. / EFE

Spalletti left for Naples, the genius who elevated him 33 years after the last Scudetto. The 64-year-old coach claimed that he wanted to take a sabbatical year at the end of last season, but in August he took over as Italian coach.

Naples, on the other hand, is in the ninth place in the table, with 36 points, nine away from the last place in the Champions League and the Europa League occupied, respectively, by Atalanta and Bologna (45). The relief aims, above all, for the reaction to propel the team to the positions that give access to Europe with 14 league days ahead.

Rudi Garcia leads Napoli on their visit to Salernitana. / EFE

Garcia won 8 of the 16 games he coached; Mazzarri has only added 6 victories in 17 games.

One more match

The draw with Genoa at home (1-1), which came after a defeat against Milan at San Siro (1-0), has definitively condemned the Italian coach, who has barely lasted three months on the bench. In November he replaced Rudi Garcia. The team’s progress, far from improving, has worsened substantially. His position was very weak and dismissal had been in the cards for weeks. The only question was knowing when it would occur. And the response was delayed until De Laurentiis found a substitute who convinced him and agreed to work with him and his peculiarities, among which were his inability to fire his people as God intended.

Garcia was killed first. It had lasted four months, since June. A defeat against Empoli, and at home as an aggravating factor, sentenced his chosen one. García won 8 of the 16 games who directed, half.

Mazzarri did not reach that bar even though the purpose was to raise it; In the end he counted one more game (17), but only obtained six wins, expelled from the Coppa and runner-up in the Super Cup after losing to Inter. His previous stage in Naples had been much more successful by winning the Coppa in 2012 and ranking second the following year in the league.

2024-02-19 21:10:26
#Naples #coach #hosting #Barça


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