What is the catalyst for this change in attitude and performance? Well for one, a break was much needed after a poor summer transfer window followed by an inconsistent first half of the campaign. They did end on a high note, winning Italian Super Cup in late December.
With four straight wins in Serie A action, it’s safe to say Napoli have hit their stride and are now aiming for a second-place finish. As we’ve seen this season, much like many others, Napoli tend to play up to their opponents’ level – up for the challenge of big matches, but struggling against mid-table clubs.
They’ve certainly had their ups and downs this season in terms of results that even speculated the departure of Rafael Benitez after just a few matches played. The Partenopei impressively sent 12 players to the World Cup a金沙正网nd tiredness was evident early in the term. Going out in the Champions League qualifying rounds did not help team morale.
Given these results, where does that leave the Partenopei for the rest of the season?
It’s these results that demonstrate the side’s ren澳门赌城ewed focus for a Champions League spot and consistency similar to Rafa’s debut season.
Napoli currently sit in third, four points behind Roma and seven points ahead of Fiorentina. With 16 matches left to be played, the next few months will be crucial in cutting the gap with Roma. But if the club continue to perform as they have this January, it may not be impossible to achieve.
It must be said that although Napoli’s summer transfer market did not adequately fortify the squad for the season ahead, their recent January window patched up some leaks. Ivan Strinic joining from Dnipro on a free transfer was an excellent coup for Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon. The left-back covered for Faouzi Ghoulam’s AFCON absence and has integrated seamlessly into the side, impressing on his debut against Lazio.
However, the club’s 2015 results thus far chronicle a changed tune for the Partenopei – they’ve shown healthy consistency, registering seven out of eight wins in all competitions.
This has resulted in great victories over the likes of Roma, Lazio and Fiorentina but also disappointing defeats against Chievo and Udinese. It’s a factor that has consistently haunted the club.
More importantly, they’ve hurdled their mental roadblock when facing smaller365bet手机投注 sides by recently defeating Cesena, Chievo and Udinese in both the League and Coppa Italia. Barring Cesena, these clubs took six points from the Vesuviani in the first half of the season. Before the recent Udinese contest, Napoli had only beaten them once in their last five League encounters – truly illustrating their mental fortitude.
Meanwhile, Lorenzo Insigne’s horrific injury this past November also increased the demands of Napoli’s attackers. Because of this, the club chose to invest in Manolo Gabbiadini and that has certainly paid off as he’s netted twice in four League appearances.