Football Sarri-2

Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Vieri Capretta

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5 weekend lessons: Chelsea too weak for long haul but Napoli are contenders

🕓 Reading time: 2 minutes

A tale of Italian coaches this weekend with a title contender in Serie A, another facing the challenge of scarcity and Ancelotti getting payback

Napoli can win Serie A

The best goal-to-game average in Europe, seven wins out of seven, a two points lead ahead of Juventus in second. Napoli are absolutely flying in Serie A, combining positive results with great football, entertaining crowds every week and piling on point after point. It’s early days, obviously, but it seems like the team has reached that maturity and calmness that all the best have – the final ingredient needed to properly challenge for the title.

Manchester City have absorbed Guardiola’s ways

The way in which Manchester City outplayed Chelsea is one to remember. The team has finally absorbed Pep Guardiola’s football – if not fully, almost – and are a real pleasure to watch as well as a machine that could potentially win every game this year, just as his best Barcelona was almost unbeatable. The way in which City were superior to Chelsea – way beyond the result – shows just how efficient Guardiola’s football can be when it works.

When football and politics intersect

Without delving into the events in Catalunya, seeing Gerard Piquè cry in front of reporters and cameras and announce he is ready to leave the Spanish national team says a lot about how important this political matter is to him and to the Catalans and Spanish in general, but also what an impact it can have on a national team.

Was Ancelotti really the problem at Bayern Munich?

It is understandable what Bayern Munich did to Carlo Ancelotti. When the players are against a coach it is always easier to get rid of one person rather than a whole team. But what Ancelotti was doing, a rejuvenation of the team at the expense of some veterans, was probably the right move.

Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Jerome Boateng, Matts Hummels and Thomas Mueller – the main anti-Ancelotti rebels according to reports – all played against Hertha Berlin, and whilst Ribery was forced off injured with an ACL rupture, Bayern blew a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2, just a couple of days after the sacking of the Italian manager. Only time will tell if this was overall the best decision, but for now Bayern’s problems are still there.

Chelsea’s squad depth is starting to be an issue

Going from such a great win in the Champions League like Chelsea did against Atletico Madrid, to such a bad home performance, outplayed as they were by Guardiola’s Manchester City, can only mean one thing: the Blues lack depth to their squad. The likes of Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard don’t have similar level replacements, and the hard work Antonio Conte requires from all players makes it tougher to perform at a top level every time. Last year Chelsea had a week to recover and prepare for the next game, this season there’s less time, and this could prove to be decisive come March.

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About the Author

mm

A freelance journalist and broadcaster focusing on European soccer and currently featuring on Uefa.com, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marca in English and more.



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