The pressure is all on Maurizio Sarri right now, with the beleaguered Napoli coach failing to lead his team to a win after three matches in the Serie A season. While many are starting to think he's not up to the task of leading Napoli to glory, including club legend Diego Maradona, Sarri does have one major supporter: former Italy national team boss Cesare Prandelli.
Prandelli, who was considered by some to be a candidate for the Napoli job when Sarri was hired, gave two separate interviews on Tuesday supporting Sarri, both essentially saying that he feels that the only thing Napoli's manager needs is time to implement his vision. If he gets that, Prandelli says, Napoli can and will be a Scudetto contender.
Napoli have changed, and not just a little bit. Changes aren’t always painless, you often pay the price for having to adapt to new working methods, new systems and new ideas.
The fact that Sarri’s already on trial risks having a boomerang effect on the environment, because Coaches aren’t impervious to criticism and the more they’re grilled, the more they absorb the negativity they are surrounded by.
To make them follow you is different, you need charisma and footballers can sense right away if you have it or not. Sarri is someone who has it.
Sarri needs time, like all of us when we first arrive at a new job. Simple. He’s absolutely right when he says that if you choose somebody like him, then you mustn’t be in a hurry.
-Source: Il Mattino
Prandelli followed that up by telling Radio CRC that he is "convinced" that Napoli are still in the title fight, or at worst in line for a Champions League place, naming then among Juventus, Roma, Inter, and Milan as the teams fighting for the top prize in Italy. Of course, he also talked about how Sarri's projects also talk slow and that after "months," when players understand their roles and what Sarri wants, then the results come.
Let's set aside the fact that Napoli don't really have months to improve if they want to fight for the Scudetto. Prandelli is right that, once things are settled, Sarri's teams tend to perform very well. The trouble is that Napoli probably won't give him that much time, as they need positive results sooner rather than later.
How you feel about the specifics of what Prandelli said probably depends on how you feel about Prandelli himself. If you like him, you're probably nodding sagely. If you hate him, you're probably rolling your eyes asking him to tell you another one. Our perceptions are easily colored, but what he said does have a lot of truth to it -- though how likely it is to be allowed to come to pass is much more cloudy.
Wonder what Prandelli thinks of Lorenzo Insigne.