With the international break coming at the end of a tough run of matches for Napoli, manager Rafa Benitez has decided to give his players a break. Those not joining their countries' national squads are being given four days of rest and recovery to help keep them from being overworked.
It's a sensible decision; for the last month, Napoli have been playing three matches a week, and with most of the first few of those matches going very badly for Napoli, the pressure was sky-high all month long. Now Napoli are riding a three-match winning streak with much improved performances, and with the drop in pressure comes a chance to sit back and get away from it all for a few days.
As for Rafa, he'll be using the time to visit his family in Liverpool, an action that drew massive criticism from fans and the media when he did it last month. Criticizing a man who just wants to see his wife and children when his team has time off is asinine, though, especially since he did the same thing during international breaks last season and barely a peep of discontent was uttered.
As for Aurelio De Laurentiis, who has been away in the United States on unknown business originally thought to be related to the potential sale of the club, he will return this weekend. He and Rafa will meet early next week to discuss how things have gone in his absence, and it's believed that De Laurentiis will use the time of the break to take care of other club-related business as well.
Hopefully all of this helps lead to a rested and refreshed Napoli side. A few players have been looking a little worn of late, and this break is a good opportunity to rest legs and minds alike. Given the stress and pressure Napoli have been under this season, Rafa giving his players a few extra days completely away from things is a smart idea in order to help them decompress a bit.