Walter Mazzarri admits that his Napoli side are in a difficult period, but insists his players must be protected against excessive fouling. The Partenopei manager was speaking in his pre-match presser, and pointed to the rough treatment his players have received in recent league matches:
“What would I like from 2024? I would like to reverse the course, especially from the point of view of results. In the last match we played well, but only collected one point. I hope we can do better in the new year.
“Mazzocchi? He is an exceptional boy and very motivated. He has the desire to rock the world, whoever comes here must be motivated and charge up the environment. I like him technically, Di Lorenzo didn’t have a deputy, but Pasquale is a wild card and covers various roles.”
“Injuries? The injuries started in Bergamo, but I’m a bit worried. Let’s see if we recover Juan Jesus, but many Italian players are missing and also in doubt like Gaetano .”
“Possible change of formation? I don’t agree with the idea of a 5-man defence, the mechanisms are the same. If things hadn’t gone well, I would have opted for this hypothesis. Things must be seen as they are, we played well with the Monza and created many scoring opportunities, granting only one opportunity to the opponents. Simeone created an opportunity like in the times of Cavani and Lucarelli, he provided a great assist for Gaetano.
“But it’s a negative period, the ball doesn’t want to go in. I hope that the team manages to create many opportunities. I deployed a 4-2-4 in the last match, we have never played 5. Zerbin is a right winger, he covered the entire wing like Politano during last season When it went down and Napoli played four at the back, Alessio carried out that kind of procedure.”
“Torino is a great team, especially with the inclusion of Zapata. If we want to score goals, we have to make use of our weapons. They play like Monza, we have to materialize better in front of goal. As for Simeone, he has different characteristics from Raspadori, as a manoeuvre. Giovanni or Jack could start based on the characteristics of the match and the appropriate game to express. Until Osimhen returns, I will evaluate them both based on when it is appropriate.”
“I don’t look at the average points, football isn’t compared in periods. I play the role of the coach and work on the performance. The team is more compact, plays well and takes fewer counterattacks. The team lacks finishing, against Monza we got in front of goal without scoring. If we concede little, we can only do well from now on. But we have to grit our teeth considering the many current injuries. However, the performances must be the result of the results, the same as the Brianzoli changes judgments and we must accept it .”
“Mazzocchi? He’s one of the most energetic guys, he’s the son of a coach. He’s a valuable guy for the locker room, I was curious to see him. He was very calm, even though he’d like to play more but he doesn’t even let it show.”
“Fouls on Kvaratskhelia? It is unfortunate to see that while the ball is in another place, a foul is committed without being punished on Osimhen and on Kvara in particular. When the Georgian reacts, he is immediately punished. All champions must be protected, otherwise the technology is useless. It is an analysis that needs to be explored further, Kvara and Osimhen take all sorts of things. We need to pay attention, in particular on the Napoli and non-Napoli champions .”
“Politano is better and gives me hope. In midfield today Gaetano will try to recover, even if he didn’t train yesterday. Anguissa is obviously in the African Cup. I will try to recover Demme, even if I tried some experiments with players used little.”