“I spoke to Inler’s agent and have asked for a meeting to finalise everything. If Inler does arrive, then Vidal will not”—Aurellio De Laurentiis speaking to Radio Marte, more here http://www.football-italia.net/jun24u.html
It has been a fantastic season to be a Napoli fan. A Europa League run, Champions League qualification, Edinson Cavani breaking out. So many excellent performances and a few which could do better. Here is my rundown of the squad from the 2010/11 season.
Morgan De Sanctis 8.5/10 - My favourite player this season and for me Morgan was the best keeper in Serie A last term. The custodian went three months unbeaten at home during the season and kept the 3rd highest number of clean sheets in Serie A, never mind this, at the post season party De Sanctis proved to be a star turn taking to the mike and singing much to the shock of Aurellio De Laurentiis
Salvatore Aronica 5 - After a decent season last term Salvatore has went backwards this term, a number of costly errors (AC Milan away?????) and awful tackles (David N’Gog’s leg is lucky to be in one piece) yet somehow he keeps his position in the team. Shocked he has not been sent off once in the league.
Victor Ruiz 6 - Bought in January and not started many games for Napoli, in each game he has played he has started jittery and then looked comfortable after 20 minutes or so. Thrown in at the deepend against Villarreal in February and was solid. With a summer to prepare I think we will see the real Victor Ruiz next season
Paolo Cannavaro 7.5 - Captain fantastic has enjoyed an excellent season. He has been a rock at the back for Napoli this season alongside Hugo Campagnaro. Has improved his timing and positioning in certain situations such as corners and even scored twice this term. It will be interesting to see how he gets on the Champions League next season against real quality forward lines
Hugo Campagnaro 8 - One of the most important players in the team. Hugo Campagnaro is essential to Napoli’s attacking play, yes he is a centre back but he so many times has been the extra man bombing forward on the left and the right starting attacks and helping outnumber the oppostion in midfield. He is an excellent reader of the game and has made more interception than any other Napoli defender, so underrated. Really missed when suspended or injured as the replacements can’t fill his role in full.
Gianluca Grava 6.5 ‘Gr-avatar’s season ended early after sustaining a knee injury half way the season. He is more than just a hacker. Playing on the right he does much of the dirty work which allowed Christian Maggio to concentrate on attacks. Prone to the odd error and awful challenge but his season will be rememberd as a good one while it lasted.
Emilson Cribari 5 You could sum up Cribari’s season with one video, how on earth did he miss from one yard out?
Fabiano Santacroce 5.5 Frozen out the side earlier in the season and was a bit part player throught, coming in for injured or suspended players. His agent did threaten to use Article 17 to free up his client if he didn’t play. He played but did nothing to enhance his reputation.
Christian Maggio 8 What a season for ‘Super bike’. One of the few to come back from the World Cup in South Africa any sort of untarnished reputation and has went on from strength to strength. I was worried after his serious knee injury last year how he would cope with a World Cup last summer and a full Serie A season but he has been tremendous, causing problems against virtually every side he has faced with his pace on the right and his passing. Now a Italy regualar under Prandelli and fully deserved.
Andrea Dossena 6.5 He may well be a Liverpool reject but for the most part Dossena has peformed well. Yes he did go missing in both games against Liverpool and against Inter Milan in January but his crossing has been excellent. Often finding the head of Edinson Cavani, slightly lacking in the defensive part of his game I feel but he had a decent season overall.
Juan Zuniga 6.5 A victim of being jack of all trades. The columbian international is a wonderful player to watch at times, sadly doesn’t get the chance to play as often due to those ahead of him. He has played left back, right back and in the Lavezzi role when ‘Pocho’ was suspended. Always has a trick just lacks a bit of pace. I feel an important team player for the Champions League next season. Scored the goal agaisnt Inter that secured Champions League football next term.
Luigi Vitale 5 Only started two games for Napoli in Serie A yet has scored two goals in the Europa League. Not good enough to start in Serie A. Was once a promising left back a couple of years ago. He has the ability just not at Napoli.
Walter Gargano 6 A season of two halves for the small Uruguyan. Before Christmas was excellent, after Christmas Gargano was awful. Dropped for part of the second half of the year. A player that looked out of his depth at times even though he has been at Napoli since 2007. Having said that his passing percentage is one of the best in the team at 83% and his form did pick up in the last three weeks of the season so all hope is not lost.
Michele Pazienza 6.5 I will get this out the way, I don’t like Pazienza. I feel he represents all that was wrong in the last days of Pierpaolo Marino, overspending on mediocrity…. HOWEVER he has not performed as badly as I make out. Despite what I see with my own eyes he has a pass completion percentage of 84% and obviously was a man Walter Mazzarri trusted. Now off to Juventus on a free.
Hassan Yebda 7 I was a little underwhelmed towards the back of the Summer 2010 mercato when Napoli announced they had signed Hassan Yebda. I had seen him at Portsmouth and thought he was OK but not suited for Serie A. Started off slowly to begin with making sub appearences but has now overtaken Walter Gargano for a starting spot. He is strong, commanding and he is the best passer in the Napoli side (87%). He has won over the other players, fans and Mazzarri with his work rate. Thankfully signed on a permanant basis from Benfica
Jose Sosa 4.5 ‘The Prince’ as he is known has totally underperformed. I had seen a number of times and was excited by his arrival. Seeing him in the past I thought he would be perfect if we wanted to give Marek Hamsik or Pocho Lavezzi a rest but he has looked totally out of his depth. Only started 7 games for Napoli. A return to Argentina is on the cards.
Cristiano Lucarelli N/A Injury struck before the Serie A season started but he regained fitness and came back towards the end of the season and scored a goal against Juventus on the last day.
Beppe Mascara 6 Signed in the January transfer window. I was Sceptical at his purchase and he looked like a small fish in a very big pond at times but he found his feet and performed well against Bologna when called upon in the abscence of Edinsion Cavani.
Nicolao Dumitru N/A Signed from Empoli in the summer but will end up returning. Not quite sure what Napoli planned to do with him. He made nine sub appearances in Serie A (all in the first half of the year) and then was shipped off to the Primavera, baffling.
Ezequiel Lavezzi 8 El Pocho’s best season at Napoli. When he isn’t playing you can tell as we all saw when he was suspended following a spitting incident against Roma. Has twice as many assists as his nearest rival in the team with 12 in total. Scored from six yards out…sitting on his bum and chipping the keeper against AC Milan. Infuriating as he is brilliant, that is Pocho….
Marek Hamsik 7 I can’t criticise Marek can I? All he did was score more goals this season than he has done in previous seasons with Napoli (11). Its not been a vintage year though. Missing in big games (again) and looked tired towards the end of the season. Chipped in with six assists though. We know he has the talent, for goodness sake show it more often Marek.
Edinson Cavani 9 The sensation of the season. Five hat-tricks since he joined Napoli (one at International level), 26 Serie A goals, 31 in total for the season, thats his goal scoring but he has the joint second highest number of assits for Napoli with six and who can forget his cameo’s in defense. Blotted the notebook with a sending off againt Lecce at the end of the season however. Extended his contract with the club at the end of the season.