Garcia Facing Scrutiny over Different Use of Lobotka

One of the early criticisms against Rudi Garcia is that Stanislav Lobotka hasn’t been utilized in the same fashion as under Luciano Spalletti, thus not enhancing his skillset. The midfielder admitted to having different tasks in a recent interview.

Per La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Virgilio), the new gaffer wishes to play more vertically. However, it’s not true that the Slovakian playmaker is less central. He has had 79,5 touches on average so far, three more than last year.

Lobotka has been operating more on the left-hand side of the pitch. While it can’t be measured, it feels like the ball hasn’t moved as quickly as last season. That has hurt the maestro in particular.

Garcia alluded he wished to spread the ball-handling duties in a broader reflection.

“A team that leans on just one man, regardless of his role, is weak. Because if the opponent stops him, he won’t have other solutions. I want my squad to have a plan A, B, and C. Switching things up can be decisive to win games.”

Our Take on Lobotka and Napoli

An adjustment period is normal after a coaching change, and it would be unfair to expect the exact same game plan with a different man in the dugout. Still, Garcia would be wise to touch as little as possible, given their insane level of efficacy in 2022/2023.

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