Apparently things didn't go terribly smoothly at training today. With several big friendlies rapidly approaching in the next couple of weeks and the Champions League playoff matches just behind those, stress levels are almost certainly running high as the squad bears down to prepare for what's to come. Today, apparently, that became a little much for some, as tensions flared during two different training sessions.
In the morning, Jose Callejon left training with what was first reported as a minor knock, but was later reported to have been kicked off the training ground by Rafa Benitez. Callejon reportedly looked sluggish and unfocused, which Rafa did not particularly appreciate. Supposedly Callejon looked sullen and annoyed at having been sent off.
Then came the afternoon, which saw Valon Behrami supposedly argue with Rafa and other players before dramatically throwing his training bib to the turf and "storm off" to the locker room. Supposedly everyone just kind of carried on like nothing had happened, so apparently last season's falling out with Gokhan Inler and his poor performances have left the general opinion of the transfer-bound Behrami a little low.
The papers and blogs are all playing this up as Napoli "falling in to chaos", that Rafa is "losing the dressing room", and that everything is all doom and gloom and the end of the world is nigh and blah blah freaking blah. The papers and blogs love their clicks, though, and this is a wonderful way to generate them.
Let's just set things straight, though: there's no chaos. Rafa hasn't lost the dressing room (well, if he's lost Behrami, that's no big loss, and he was probably lost anyways). The club isn't about to come bursting apart at the seams.
This is preseason. Training camp. There's three high-profile friendlies coming up, and a massive tie right on the other side of them to determine the club's Champions League fate. And that's not even mentioning the expectations of a title push in Serie A.
There's a LOT of stress and pressure on these players right now, and sometimes that leads to flare-ups like this. They happen all the time in preseason training in every sport. Usually the training sessions aren't nearly as public as Napoli's are at Dimaro, so they don't get seen and reported ad nauseam like we're seeing right now.
This is normal. Expected. Heck, Callejon was already back in training in the afternoon, by all accounts looking more energetic and involved. Apparently, Rafa's harsh love did the trick. That won't stop the bevy of "[insert name of big European club here] is monitoring the deteriorating situation with Callejon at Napoli" rumors that are already springing up, but hey, who gives a crap about responsible reporting these days.
Things are fine. The world isn't ending. Napoli will go on, they'll win a bunch of games, and they'll be right in the thick of things again this summer.