Back and Feeling Good – Reasons to be Cheerful about Napoli this Summer

I’m absolutely delighted that Ken and Raffa are back with the pod. It was very odd to watch Napoli without the opportunity to hear i ragazzi bring their thoughts to each game and all the craziness that comes with being a Napoli supporter. So, in tribute to the pod, I’m going to explore how we’ve moved on as club since the last Far From Vesuvius pod back on December 14th.

The Mercato

Comparing this mercato (so far) to the January mercato is like comparing Mario Rui to Diego Maradona. In January, Hamsik was on the way out, Rog was loaned and no one was brought in to boost the midfield. Ghoulam was back but a shadow of his former self but we kept faith with the Chuckle Brothers (US readers unaware of this UK cultural phenomenon see here), Rui and Hysaj. Ultimately, this lack of investment cost us – although things were looking fairly gone, Scudetto wise, by then.

Now the podcast is back we are linked with two high profile, stella talents as well as one of the best centre backs in the league. A Napoli team with James, Chucky Lozano and Manolas is one that can win a Scudetto – particularly one with Allan and Koulibaly contained within it. Let’s hope these rumours become a reality.

 Koulibaly is a Napoli Player.

He was with us on December the 14th and he’s with us now. He’ll be with us for next season, too. Go away Premier League teams. Now.

The relationship between the fans and the club.

Back on 14th December, things were not good between ADL and some sections of the fans. Maurizio Sarri was the still the toast of the town (despite being in London and managing another club) and the disillusionment in the city after the CL exit, together with some strange pricing decisions from ADL meant attendances were very, very poor.

Fast forward to June and things still aren’t rosey but there’s hope for the future. Sarri’s move to Juve could be the catalyst for a thaw between tifosi and owner. No matter how you try to spin it, it is very hard to stomach and tributes to the former Mister are being torn down all over Naples. I very much doubt there’ll be a ‘Uno di Noi’ banner at the San Paolo next season! This, coupled with the potential for a genuine world superstar signing with us mean that our average attendance could be back to normal for 2019/20. We’re going to need that 12th man for Scudetto No.3.

Allan is a Napoli Player

He was then and he still is but… December was the beginning of a substantial dip in form. He wasn’t the same for most of the rest of the season and that hurt us. Will he commit to the club or go to PSG? I sincerely hope he stays since I can’t see anyone out there who we could realistically get to replace him.

The San Paolo

Back in December it looked like any other aging Italian stadium. Now it looks like an aging Italian stadium but in our beautiful colours. I think it looks great and whilst this is more of a facelift than the urgent surgery our home needs it’s a step in the right direction and adds to the good feeling around the club at the moment.

A lot has happened in the past six months but there’s every reason to think that things could really come together next season. Even better that the only and best English speaking Napoli podcast is back for what could be an excellent ride!

By Frank Sidekick

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