Napoli have captured the hearts of fans and neutrals with their performances in Europe this season, but in their domestic games they have conspired to shoot themselves in the foot again and again, and again. In Serie A they have beaten the best but have been beaten the weaker sides as well. So why are Napoli enduring such a mediocre season?
Serie A is boring, again. Last season saw an end of season run-in where four sides were potential candidates for the Scudetto. Post-World Cup seasons can often throw up surprises, perhaps because players in the top sides will have exaggerated schedules.
The league enthralled neutrals worldwide as Napoli, Udinese and Lazio chased Milan all the way to the title. This season, though, we are seeing a return to the normality of the pre-Calciopoli era – at one point Inter even threatened to re-assume the position of perennial losers.
Genoa fans must be the most confused fans in the entire Italian peninsula. Take for example the protagonists of our story: Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo. Here is the recounting of a conversation had between the three of them at the last Genoa home game.
Today marks the 35th anniversary of Luciano Re Cecconi.
“Every Lazio mediano, sooner or later, has to be compared to him [Re Cecconi]. He was the most generous, the most loved and, sadly, the most unlucky.” (Cristian Ledesma, Lazio vice-captain)
Re Cecconi won the title with Lazio in the 1973-74 season. His death was an awful accident that perhaps portrays the general mood of day-to-day Italian life. It should never have ended like this though, you can read more about the event in a piece I wrote for Equaliser Blog in May.
Juventus currently hold the longest unbeaten streak in Europe’s top 5 leagues. The bianconeri have gone 18 games without losing now and have made some dramatic comebacks along the way. Questions still remain though regarding whether or not they have what it takes to win the league.
As Atalanta signed off for the winter break with a 4-1 thrashing of Cesena, coach Stefano Colantuono could look back on the season so far work with a degree of satisfaction after all he has contended with. The club had it’s proud name dragged through the mud in the Calcioscommese match fixing scandal that initially cost them six points at the start of the season and continues to drag on, with former Nerazzurri hero Cristiano Doni again implicated for fixing Atalanta games in their successful Serie B promotion campaign last season.
They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and all that glitters is not gold. You should also be wary of jumping to conclusions about the league season before the first 10 games have been played. “Dreaming isn’t forbidden” mused Cagliari owner, Massimo Cellino, as his side enjoyed a magnificent start to the season. Since then wheels have well and truly fallen off the wagon for the Sardinian side and they go into the Christmas break in 15th position having already sacked two managers this season alone – so what has gone wrong?« Previous Page — Next Page »