Eternal loser or finally winner - Can Spalletti activate Vesuvius after 31 years?

Zlatko Ilijevski
07 Oct 2021
Eternal loser or finally winner - Can Spalletti activate Vesuvius after 31 years?

Napoli has a 100% performance after seven rounds and acts as the most serious candidate for the Scudetto, and the new coach Luciano Spalletti has an impact on the revival of the giant from the south.

 When Inter implemented the plan to end the nine-year rule of Juventus last season, several teams watched from the sidelines and took notes. Judging by the start of the championship race in Serie A, and it seems that they learned a lot. Milan learned lessons from the previous year, Roma was reborn under Jose Mourinho, Fiorentina became a candidate for the very top of the table from the struggle for survival, Atalanta more or less cured the pain of a very weak start that has seriously hampered serious intervention in recent years. in the fight for the Scudetto, Lazio is slowly taking over the ideas of Maurizio Sari…

 However, the race on the “Boot” leads - Napoli. Perfect, with seven wins from the same number of games, just like in the 2017/18 season under Maurizio Sari, the team from the south of Italy is the leader of Serie A. And after the defeat of Paris Saint-Germain by Rennes last weekend, with a one hundred percent performance in the domestic championship. On all that, it really looks terribly good, he received only three and scored 18 goals, and he saved the net for four matches.

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 A scenario few could have imagined during the summer break when Lorenzo Insigne, dissatisfied with the numbers in the contract, refused to sign a new one (still did not) and considered leaving the club, and Aurelio De Laurentis after another weak season (before two years finished as the seventh, last season fifth) handed over to Gattuso a dismissal. And in his place put -Spalletti.

 “He will never see the title,” could mostly be read on social media when the 62-year-old Italian officially sat down on a hot Neapolitan bench. Not without reason, because no matter how much he was underestimated because of everything he did years ago, Spalletti was never a winner. He always lacked something to make that last step and grabbed a significant trophy in his career, which the two titles with the most financially powerful Zenit in Russia certainly are not.

 He is not unfamiliar with the current scenario either. Arrival in the new team ruined by the previous coach, a fairytale start to the season, victory after victory as on the factory line, the leader of the table, dreams of winning the title ... Scenes so well known to the experienced Italian. And then an incomprehensible reversal, the relationship simply breaks, on the field or in the locker room, with the players or the fans, the harmony disappears, with it the victories, and the dreams of the title fade away in vain. An epilogue that the Neapolitans would gladly bypass. That is not unknown to them either, they lived it to some extent with Sari in 2018.

 Therefore, the current situation in Napoli is not too much of a surprise and calls on the fans to be careful. Although, De Laurentis certainly knew what he got with Spalletti. In the previous decade and a half, and especially with his mandates in Roma, Spalletti has shown himself to be a resourceful coach, capable of building a team from the ruins and extracting the best from the players. What he did for example with David Pizarro in Udinese, Nainggolan and Perotti in Roma, Brozovic in Inter, Spalletti did with a good part of Napoli's players.

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From the team that missed chance to qualify for the Champions League in the last round last season against the disinterested and stumbled Verona at the end of May, he made a group that bursts with self-confidence.

 He revived them.

With Roma, he stayed short four times (he finished second), so it seemed that he would show at Inter that the lack of Scudetto in his coaching career was not his fault, but the teams he led. However, at Giuseppe Meazza he failed miserably. In the south of Italy, he got a new opportunity to write a different ending to the story. For this team and himself. And as Maradona 31 years ago, he can “reactivate” Vesuvius.

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