First Five Quarters at Naples

It’s been around 15 months that I’ve been in Top100, managing Napoli all along. I think struggling is the best word to describe my adventure here at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, as I couldn’t avoid relegation in my second season. Not bad though, considering we are constantly predicted to be relegation favorites anyway…

At first, I had a bad squad in terms of ability compared to the rest of the division and even I couldn’t play the tactics I’d been using. I usually played with a back 3, but only had 2 85+ CBs. And on top of that, CBs are a hot commodity in Top100. So, a change of tactic was required… I was lucky enough to stay in division 3 in my first season with that condition.

Then, how about the potential? I had absolutely no idea. I had never heard of many players in my squad, and if I’m not wrong, youth players were rare. So I just sold some of them to make space and sometimes got critics. I remember once I sold Miles Robinson (he was 82), later Man City bought him, and the manager criticized how a player with potential like Miles could’ve sold to an external. Well, Miles is still 85 though, but still, it hit me as I always buy U21 players when considering potential, and that’s too difficult to find in Top100…

After experiencing that, I changed my approach and kept experimenting, especially in transfer. Sometimes I sacrifice potential youths to improve my squads, such as Valentine Gomez, and Vitor Roque. Sometimes I kind of overpay for a player who I rated high potentially like Salih Ozcan. Is it paid off? Well, haven’t, as I could have done many deals just lately. But in my opinion, compared to the squad I inherited, my current squad has improved in terms of stability and potential.

Currently, we have covered all positions with 87+ players with only 1 player over 30 years old. Besides, with the current squad, we could compete in a youth cup, despite losing in the group stage. We are also in the race for promotion for next season as we are just one point away from the playoff zone, if it’s not because of Perin’s curse (3W and 7L while he playing) we should have in a higher position. After the disappointment from last season, hope we could make it this time and take Napoli to the place it should be.

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