Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Dona departed

It seems to me that Roberto Donadoni's tenure at Napoli is an instructive tale about the shortcomings of Italian football. The moral to the story, I think, is that if you don't know what you want, you will never get it. Certainly, the lack of direction in the San Paolo seems commonplace across the country.

I remember voicing my misgivings at the time of Donadoni's appointment. Not because of his mediocre time in charge of Italy but rather because I did not feel Edy Reja deserved to go. Results were not brilliant but you could see an undercurrent of quality in the Azzurri's displays. He paid the price for the raised expectations fuelled by some impressive early performances.

Dona is a victim of the same process. This time, expectation levels were raised by a transfer campaign which everyone agreed was outstanding - some even described it as "sumptuous". The end product on the field of play, however, was anything but.

It left Napoli in a quandary. They brought in the former Milan and Italy star to usher in a period of stability. This is a long-term project, they told the fans and Coach. But at the first sign of adversity, they sent him packing and called in Walter Mazzarri.

I like Mazzarri fine as a Coach, don't get me wrong. I suspect he will do more to turn results around than Donadoni did but that misses the point. I reckon Napoli could just as well have stuck with Reja and probably be further up the league table already this season. And it certainly would have given a greater impression that the club actually knew what it was doing.

1 comment:

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