The departure of Valon Behrami was not a pretty process, but it got done, and we thought that was the end of it when he went to Germany and joined Hamburg SV. Turns out, not so much.
Both Behrami and his agent have sniped at Napoli several times over the last month, and now Behrami's given an interview to Swiss paper Tages Anzeiger in which he fires a pretty hard shot directly at Rafa Benitez.
"When I arrived at Napoli Walter Mazzarri was in charge, who had great confidence in me and he knew how to treat me. With him, I had a perfect first year. Then he went away and in came Benitez, and there were problems right away. I never felt the same confidence as before. I never liked playing in his system. I lost my joy in playing."
That's, uh... huh. This is the first we're hearing of Behrami having "immediate" issues with Benitez, but it was definitely clear early on that he didn't fit well at all in Rafa's tactical setup. He never really settled in to his role, and that combined with his typical rash play cost Napoli on several occasions before Jorginho showed up and minimized Valon's role in the side.
There was also Valon's fallout with Gokhan Inler that damaged things, taking a once-solid midfield partnership and turning it in to a sloppy mess. Of course, he neglected to mention that in his interview. Not that he would have taken any blame for it if he had; the way he talked himself up in other parts of it, you'd think he was an ideal combination of Xabi Alonso, Frank Lampard, and Daniele De Rossi. Which, as any Napoli fan can tell you, is so far from the truth it blazes past funny and straight to sadly delusional.
He also took the time to whine about not getting a move to Inter some more, which, whatever. Napoli were never going to let him go to a team that's threatening to become a direct rival, especially not one led by Mazzarri. Deal with it.
Players go on about sour grapes all the time, but this just seems silly and borders on revisionist history. It's not like he's been all that impressive for HSV, or for Switzerland for that matter. In fact, his play has been near-disastrous for his national side in recent months, with him playing a huge role in their massive loss to France in the World Cup, being near-useless when Argentina knocked them out of Brazil, and again failing this weekend, deserving much of the blame for two of England's goals.
His complaining and carrying on might carry some weight if Behrami was actually half as good as he seems to think he is, but the fact is that he isn't. He's been a liability for most of the last 18 months and played his way out of Rafa's plans despite being given numerous chances. He didn't fit, Napoli needed to do something else, and now he's been replaced. That's the business of sports. It's a harsh reality, but it's what happens. No sense being bitter about it, especially with how things got to this point. Just leave the past in the past.