De Laurentiis

Gazzetta: ‘No one is untouchable at Napoli anymore’


La Gazzetta dello Sport suggest that no one is untouchable at Napoli any more, while president Aurelio De Laurentiis took the team to task during their 1-0 defeat to Empoli. The Partenopei look set to miss out on European football next season, having slumped to 8th place after their latest setback. Gazzetta write that:

“De Laurentiis has once again thundered against the team during halftime in the match against Empoli: he can’t stand seeing a Napoli without soul, without pride, without character. He wanted to bring everyone back for another punitive retreat, indefinitely, to try to stimulate the team’s pride. Then he changed his mind: but the night hasn’t completely passed. The president backed down, but he’s ready to strike back in case of another debacle on Sunday against Roma. Meanwhile, for the occasion, the team will go on a pre-match retreat from Friday. Then, in case of a negative result, they will return to the hotel in Pozzuoli where in January – amidst the Mazzarri crisis – they were forced to stay for a few days to try to turn the season around. There were no effects back then, and sending the team on a punitive retreat now would only worsen the already critical situation. Surely, De Laurentiis now expects a real shake-up because they’ve hit rock bottom. He demands five games of dignity and pride, then everyone is free to leave if they don’t care about the Napoli project, as long as they bring the right offer to the president’s desk.

The summer of revolution is approaching, and the experience of the first months post-Scudetto may have provided guidance. The season started with general dissatisfaction because the players expected recognition that didn’t come. On the contrary, as Lozano recounted in early March in an interview in the Netherlands, the club even wanted to further reduce the wages, which created a lot of discontent. “They said they wanted to lower salaries and other things. I understood that this wasn’t fair to the team. This could be one of the problems this year.” Here, Lozano’s words brought to mind those who spoke of “a dressing room of discontent” during the retreat in Castel di Sangro. A warning bell that evidently went unheeded. But the president is ready to change course, to rethink his Napoli from scratch if necessary: only the ruins of this disastrous Napoli season will remain, and a credible project will be needed to rebuild.

And so, whoever isn’t happy will be free to leave. From captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Stanislav Lobotka, through Anguissa, Politano, and even Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who will have to sit down with the club at the end of the season to seek agreement for renewal. Napoli no longer wants cases like Osimhen: the troubled negotiation for the Nigerian’s new contract – with the signature coming before Christmas – ended up becoming the final blow to the morale of a clearly very fragile group. Without Spalletti and Giuntoli managing the players’ grievances, all the problems remained unresolved, and the dressing room split.

The club’s choices did the rest. Two failed transfer windows, but above all, three changed coaches: a lot of confusion and zero benefits. This is the risk when you rely on a ferryman who can’t connect with the team: at the first difficulty, they’re abandoned. And there have been very few serene days at Castel Volturno, evidently, which is why De Laurentiis felt compelled to intervene often, with the idea of keeping everyone on their toes. He tried to save Garcia first and then Mazzarri, unsuccessfully. But now the attitude with the team has changed: no more excuses, in the next five games, it’s up to the players to prove they belong to Napoli. And deserve confirmation.”


Serie A obsessive.