While Juve’s strong opening of the season was pretty much expected, Napoli’s ability to clinically pick up points (6W, 1D) was certainly not.
It seems that the Partenopei and their manager Walter Mazzarri learned their lesson from their previous season and changed their ways. The main problem in last year’s campaign was that Napoli’s focus was divided between the need to succeed in the local league and the temptation of the the top European tournament – The Champions League.
This year the management and coach took a wise strategic decision to direct their energies solely on the local league.
The team’s strongest players Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Gökhan İnler are in charge of the league while prospects such as Lorenzo Insigne and Eduardo Vargas, together with the squad’s fringe players, gain vital experience in the Europa League (which is basically a reserves league).
Winning the title would be huge for Napoli. They only did it twice before, in 1986/7 and 1988/9, under the reign of the legendary Diego Armando Maradona.
A once in a life time emotional connection
The reason for the amazing rise to powers of Napoli during Maradona’s time there was the great emotional connection between the mad-genius Argentinean – who grew up in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires - and the deprived southerners.
It was a once in a life time occurrence.
However, statistically speaking Napoli’s current start of this season is better than Maradona’s best seasons in the south.
Can the likes of Cavani and Hamsik, who might not be as emotionally connected to Napoli as Diego, be able to write their very own fairy tale? Well, Inter and Milan are not a threat this season while AS Roma is an unstable power and Lazio are not there yet. However, Cavani and his friends will have to beat Antonio Conte’s unbeaten and iron-willed Juventus to be mentioned in the same breath with Maradona.
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