In the first two parts of this series exploring the future of the club I focussed on the youth setup both in terms of the facilities but also the networks we need to make the most out of our position as the only top flight club in the South of Italy. In this final part, I’d like to look at engaging with some of our current and past players can help to create a strong, local identity that can re-excite partenopei in the citta and beyond.
Despite the dip in enthusiasm this season, the past ten years of relative success has brought a sense of identity to the club. Even the useless commentary team of Eleven Sport talk about the ‘Napoli style of play’. Sarri has a huge amount to do with this but so does the thrusting team of Lavezzi, Hamsik and Cavani. In order to maintain, improve and develop this identity, we need to keep the icons of the club involved with the club.
Hamsik must return from China in a role with the club once he retires. The Maradona situation needs sorting out – despite the legal ramifications, the stadium should be named after him or, at the very least he should be made an honorary president. If we can’t re-sign him, Cavani’s first non-playing role should be at SSC Napoli.
Our current squad is also full of intelligent, mature players who could bring something to coaching staff. Thought should be given to see if we can keep Mertens, Callejon and Albiol involved with squad with a mixture of playing and coaching. Dries, in particular has looked statesman-like recently stood up on the touchline!
Part of this identity, for me, is being fully based in the city. This means that the San Paolo needs fixing. Yes, it’s falling apart. Yes, it’s not safe but… it’s an icon – just like Maradona or Hamsik. ADL and the council need their heads banging together. Let’s give it a facelift and make it, like the team, something which Naples can be proud!
Stage 4: Keep the icons/legends of the club involved and central to current, future and public face of SSC Napoli. Keep the San Paolo.
Conclusions: An Alternative to Juve
Juventus are going to win their eighth consecutive Scudetti this season. A variety of clubs have tried to beat them at their own game – invest heavily in players through the mercato. Milan (24 points off 1st) and Inter (25 points off 1st) have singularly failed to become the ‘anti-Juve’ by these means. There is a growing voice of discontent amongst partenopei for the club to copy this method and spend more money on transfers.
I hope this alternative model is something which people can think about – I’d rather have a club that speaks to the citta than a bankrupt club again which has tried, but failed to win a Scudetto. Let’s innovate and try a new way of thinking. The final goal, however, is very clear:-
Stage 5: Knock Juve off their f*cking perch!
By Frank Sidekick