The managerial carousel spins round and round, and a whole host of names will be linked with the Napoli job by the time Rafa Benitez departs this summer and even more will be linked by the time Napoli actually hire someone. Today, the name being spat out by the rumor mill is Cesare Prandelli, and, uh, can we put this name back, please?
Prandelli certainly brings a certain name cachet with him, being the former boss of the Italian national team, as well as having been in charge of Galatassaray and running a long stint at the head of Fiorentina. He was also a longtime midfielder for Juventus in the 80's, helping them lift three Serie A trophies, as well as the 1984 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (the precursor to the Champions League), and the European Cup (now the Europa League) the year after.
When you look past the shiny names, though, Prandelli's track record as a manager is ... underwhelming. His only competition win as a manager was taking the Serie B title with Hellas Verona in 1999, and he won a promotion playoff two years later with Venezia. He won a Coach of the Year award with Fiorentina and had some decent campaigns and cup runs with the Viola, but those campaigns were in weaker years for Serie A and he failed to win any actual silverware.
Even as the manager for Italy, Prandelli was only ever OK. Yes, his Italy side reached the final in Euro 2012 and had a fair showing in the 2013 Confederations Cup, but they lacked many actual quality performances, instead tending to grind games out. Even the Euro performance seemed fueled more by several key players being in a vein of magnificent form more than anything Prandelli was doing. The entire last year of his time in charge of the national team was pockmarked with performances that were unimpressive at best, and the less said about Italy's time in the World Cup, the better.
Prandelli's stint at Galatassaray this season was little better. When he was fired in November, he'd lead the Turkish side to a decent league standing, but they had been absolutely disastrous in the Champions League, winning just one point in five matches and standing with a -12 goal differential. In four matches against Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund, Galatassaray lost all four times to a staggering combined scoreline of 16-3.
Tactically speaking, Prandelli has never been impressive. He varies between "rigidly counter attacking with a three man back line" and "rigidly counter attacking with a four man back line." His tactics don't inspire, and too often both at club and national levels, he shoehorns players in to roles that just don't suit them because his way is the only way and damn the consequences.
If Napoli want an Italian manager in charge of the team next season, there's better options out there than Prandelli. Names that are more creative, more inventive, more inspiring of confidence. And, well, competence. Prandelli was offered the Napoli job in the past, so the link is a natural one to make, but frankly almost decent manager would be better.