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De Laurentiis gives Rafa his vote of confidence

Whether or not this is the "dreaded" vote of confidence has yet to be seen.

Giuseppe Bellini

A vote of confidence from a team owner for their manager or head coach or whatever equivalent that particular sport has is a tricky thing, especially when that team is struggling. Often it's meant and intended as encouragement, a "hey, you can do this!" sort of pick-me up when things aren't going so hot.

Then the next bump in the road comes, and that statement of support becomes a lead weight, often forcing the owner's hand and leading to the manager filing for unemployment benefits. Thus the term "dreaded vote of confidence."

It certainly remains to be seen if this one will be "dreaded" or not, but Aurelio De Laurentiis has apparently expressed his faith and belief in Rafa Benitez in the wake of yesterday's loss to Young Boys in the Europa League. While De Laurentiis is certainly not happy with the last two results, he still believes that Rafa is the man to lead Napoli to success.

The next three fixtures will be a stern test of that belief. Napoli should beat Hellas Verona this weekend, but then they should have won a number of matches that they haven't this season. The midweek fixture away at Atalanta has long been a bogey match for Napoli, and then Roma come to town next weekend. Roma are very good this season. Napoli are not. That match will not be fun. At all.

If Napoli get four points from those three fixtures, that might be acceptable enough to leave Rafa in charge for awhile longer. If not... well, that's when "belief and support" becomes "the dreaded vote of confidence."