The hashtag #GarciaOut immediately became trending. There was no spark between the French coach and the Napoli fans who didn’t appreciate the Azzurri’s first outings. In fact, more was expected from the reigning Italian champions than what we had seen up until last Saturday. At the center of attention, especially the disappointing performances against Lazio and Genoawhich brought just one point (to Marassi, a comeback) and many doubts related to the type of football offered.
DOUBLE COMPARISON – Even if we have to go back to what was done in the year of the scudetto, it is good to remember that an overly strong comparison with Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli would be ungenerous for anyone. Because that team was a perfect machine, it is no coincidence that it won a championship by 16 points that had been missing at the foot of Vesuvius for 33 years. Spalletti’s impact was incredible, in fact, as soon as he arrived in 2021, he won the first 8 championship games and only lost in the 13th. Last year, however, it didn’t go exactly like that because in the first four races he barely managed to do anything 8 points, one more than Garcia. Despite this, we could see something important on the horizon and perhaps this is the big difference between the two coaches today, the famous vibrations that they make the environment feel. There is another comparison to have to make, given that Napoli have only collected 7 points to date. It hasn’t been this bad since 2015, eight years ago. Then there was Maurizio Sarri, in his first season on the blue bench. The positive aspect is that there there were 5 points, the criticism was fierce and the Tuscan coach was being asked to make his debut. At the end of the season Napoli finished second and what Sarri gave in the three-year period in Naples is there for all to see.
PROBLEMS – It will probably take Garcia some time, yet there are problems today and must be analysed. What immediately catches the eye is the statistic regarding the defensive department. Yes, because Napoli have already conceded 5 goals and to see such a start in terms of goals conceded you have to go back to 2019, under the guidance of Ancelotti. After Koulibaly came Kim, but Kim’s successor today is called Natan and has never been seen on the pitch. A bit like the attack which, yes, scored goals, but the numbers in hand are always less than in previous years. In the last four seasons Napoli had always scored at least 10 goals in the first four matchdays. Today there are “just” 8, but it still remains an average of 2 per game. So, there is quality. The main problem is from a tactical point of view and game ideas, given that Garcia’s team struggles to become seriously dangerous. Only sudden flashes with individuals good at coming out with flashes. Little harmony, little light when trying to bring the ball into the opponent’s area. To return to the topic of comparisons, it seems like we see a completely different team from the one greeted just three months ago by Spalletti, even made up of different players.
CHANGING ROOM PROBLEMS? – The locker room situation can also become worrying, because Garcia didn’t get into the players’ heads and the feeling with those who were key players also seems to be missing. For example the replacement of Kvaratskhelia against Genoa to bring in Zerbin. The Georgian was amazed and spoke to him from a distance with obvious gestures “What are you doing?”. A reaction that has never been seen in him towards Spalletti. A symptom, perhaps, of a relationship that has not yet taken off. And he might not be the only one, because Lobotka appears downsized and Osimhen risks not scoring like last year. In the meantime, Garcia relieves her of some responsibility, because he spoke about the physical condition that needs to be reviewed, about the attitude, about the team’s motivations, about a Champions League in prospect which has also slowed down Bayern and PSG. In short, the church has not yet been placed in the center of the village, now we need to unite and find the simplest and most effective solutions to start scoring points because Inter are running away in the league and the Champions League won’t give anyone any discounts.