Diego Maradona is one of the biggest legends in football, nowhere moreso than in Naples. With Napoli, he lifted two Serie A trophies, a UEFA Cup, a Coppa Italia, and a Supercoppa, which alongside his godly talents on the pitch made him probably the most accomplished player ever to pull on a Napoli shirt. Maradona also tends to be rather outspoken, though when asked about Maurizio Sarri managing Napoli on Monday, he kept his statement pretty short and simple.
I have so much respect for Sarri, but with him we will not have a winning Napoli team.
That's almost bizarrely blunt coming from Maradona, but if anything that bluntness emphasizes just how strongly he feels about it. If he wasn't certain, he'd have gone on a five minute wishy-washy rant over it. One sentence with an absolute statement like "with him we will not have a winning team" is, uh, pretty firm.
Part of Maradona's feeling might be coming from how much he liked Rafa Benitez, and indeed he went on at some length after that about how Rafa managing at Madrid shows that he's a top-rate manager. But Maradona's words also echo a growing concern in the Napoli fanbase -- just how much can Napoli win with a manager who has exactly one season of top-flight experience?
There was a lot of optimism and hope coming into the season that Napoli would do well under Sarri, but that has quickly evaporated in just three matches with the team struggling mightily. Only time will tell if Maradona is right, but for right now, he's definitely echoing the feelings and fears of the fanbase.