Bar Sport: Will Short Bench Limit Napoli Ambitions?

Warning! The Bar Sport is not a place for sportsmanship. If you are looking for a well-balanced, objective analysis of the latest Serie A matches, then skip to the next posts: This is a place where supporters can vent freely, and unleash their most visceral passion for football. Any views or opinions represented here are personal and belong solely to the post author.


Ok, we didn’t win today. Still, Napoli are on a non-losing streak in Serie A since 20 matches, with three draws and 17 wins. Today, Inter didn’t get more than a draw either, and Juventus got three points against Benevento winning only for 2-1. We go back home with one small point, but we still hold the first position with a +1 advantage versus Juventus, which are now second alone.

Today, Maurizio Sarri’s squad wasn’t a show to watch or a ticket to a Mozart concert. Our forward line didn’t shine as usual. Some TV commentators and newspapers have already start talking about Napoli’s crisis. On the contrary, people: Napoli simply missed to close a game against a squad, Chievo Verona, which is the reflection of anti-calcio: pure catenaccio and 10 lads behind the ball line.

Rolando Maran’s team performed their duty in the only way possible, renouncing to play football to prevent Napoli from being Napoli.

Overall, we demonstrated again to be a great collective capable of tactics, logic, and hard work. Dries Mertens & Co paid the efforts made against Manchester City in Champions League, and it is not a case that Napoli was held onto a goalless draw in both occasions following their matches against the Citizens: Napoli- Inter 0-0, Chievo–Napoli 0-0.

You surely cannot win all the games, and even if today one goal would have been enough, our shooting was neither intimidating not accurate. Still, this is not the main concern. The real threat to our season ambitions is rather related to our psycho-physic conditions: Can we keep playing as Napoli with this panchina? (bench line)

Mario Rui was called to substitute Faouzi Ghoulam, who, just like Arkadiusz Milik, may get back on the pitch around March / April 2018. He did play a discrete game, indeed. His football is not as nice as what offered by Ghoulam, but we believe it’s just a matter of time. He has a good left foot, and he knows how to move and read the game.

Today, what we really missed was a bit of courage on coach Sarri’s side. Considering the bad day of Mertens, who was evidently tired, why not risking Adam Ounas a little earlier in the game, or even from the first minute?

Again, we are still leading Serie A, and so far there is nothing to worry about – or at least to be desperate about. But our pain point is our short bench, which two bad injuries as those of Arkadiusz Milik and Faouzi Ghoulam are clearly exposing.

Forza Milik, Forza Ghoulam!