Why Napoli Won't Win Serie A This Season
It's a bit of a foregone conclusion, but for those of you late to the party, Napoli won't win the scudetto this season.
No need to convince you of the fact that they won't. It's a task far too easy, as Juventus are nine points clear of Napoli with only eight games left in the Serie A season. Unless Juventus undergo a monumental collapse the likes of which we haven't seen and Napoli continue to score five goals a game, it's highly unlikely they'll be able to bridge that kind of a gap.
Now that that's out of the way, here are a few reasons why Napoli did not and will not contend for the scudetto this season.
First, there is not a consistent scoring threat for Napoli. Yes, Edinson Cavani leads Serie A in goals, but during his insane goalless drought, no one else was able to answer the call for the Partenopei. This is a glaring issue for Napoli, especially since Cavani may well be on his way out the door this summer.
Next is the team president's mentality. Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has been quoted many times, especially in January, discussing Napoli's position in the standings compared to last year. He felt there was no reason to make a big move as they were better off this year in total points than they were last year at the same point in the season.
Unfortunately for De Laurentiis, the objective in soccer is to beat other teams, not yourself.
There is plenty of merit behind what De Laurentiis says. But with clubs like AC Milan adding Mario Balotelli, and Juventus having the tremendous amount of depth that they have, at a certain point an organization has to look to the competition for the standard rather than inwardly.
A successful mentality wants to be the absolute best they can be. Napoli seems to have a small-time mentality when it comes to measuring it's success, and with the knowledge that Cavani could move this Summer, that may spell doom for the Partenopei faithful.
Another point to consider this season, is that Cavani didn't start against Torino. More than likely, this is of little significance. If it becomes a trend, Napoli may need to worry over their position in the league table as it pertains to Champions League qualification. More than likely, it had more to do with his recent International appearance with Uruguay than it did some new crazy tactic from Coach Walter Mazzarri.
The good news for fans is that Napoli are likely to qualify for Champions League, and even if Cavani leaves this Summer, his exit clause will allow De Laurentiis to spend big and bring a handful of great players to bolster this team.
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