Eyebrows were raised among the Napoli fanbase when, despite being in a rare positive spell of play on the pitch for Lorenzo Insigne, he was pulled off the pitch by Maurizio Sarri at the hour mark against Juventus. Those eyebrows will only be going higher after reading Sarri’s post-game remarks about that decision.
Insigne asked me why he was substituted, I got the feeling he had cramp. When he comes off, he has to shut up and not complain. If we have something to say to each other, we’ll do it tomorrow. He has to shut up.
-Translated quote source: Football Italia
Whoa. Harsh words from Sarri, who while he rarely holds back with criticism, but is rarely that direct and harsh about it.
Insigne has long been something of a lightning rod in the Napoli fanbase. When he’s not in top form, he draws immense amounts of criticism, and even when he is in top form, many fans still wonder why he’s not better. But in this match he was actually playing well, and in the minutes before being subbed off he was a near-constant danger.
So it was perhaps understandable this time that Insigne looked upset coming off the pitch, and he was seen protesting that he felt fine as he walked off the pitch. Insigne almost always looks upset when he comes off the pitch, be it because he’s disappointed in his own performance, or if he’s mad to be getting off. In this case it looked like the latter, and between that and Sarri’s comments, it’s only going to add to the growing discord between Insigne and Napoli.
With controversy growing around Insigne with his contract dispute, a mediocre season, and now Sarri starting to unleash on him like this, one has to wonder just how long before the home-grown son of Naples leaves Napoli.