“Let all the players know. Winning the title last season does not give you immunity.”
“The Napoli Ultras (a hardline fanbase) have issued a warning to SSC Napoli,” Italian outlet Football Italia reported on Sunday (April 22).
Last season, Napoli won the league title for the first time in 33 years under Diego Maradona after a dominant early and mid-season run.
Ahead of the 2022-2023 season, Napoli fans were concerned. A number of key players had left the club, including Kalidou Koulibaly, Fabian Luis, Lorenzo Insigne, and Dries Mertens.
In particular, central defender Coulibaly and flankers Insigne and Mertens left the team at the same time, and their replacements were Kim Min-Jae and Hvitsa Kvaracshelia, who have yet to prove themselves in Europe’s top five leagues.
However, the duo have put fans’ concerns to rest in one fell swoop. Kim Min-jae became Napoli’s “blue pillar” with his impressive defense throughout the season, while Hvitsa’s good individual skills, daring dribbling, agility, and powerful shooting ability led to 14 goals and 17 assists in 43 official games. Then Victor Osimhen exploded, scoring 26 goals to lead Napoli to the league title.
In the 2023-2024 season, Napoli is faltering. They parted ways with coach Luciano Spalletti and lost Kim Min-jae to Bayern Munich. A feud between Osimhen and the club then broke out, and the aura of the previous season disappeared.
Napoli currently sits in fourth place in the league with six wins, three draws, and three losses in 12 league games. It’s not a bad result, but it’s not as good as it was last season.
“Napoli are in the midst of a chaotic season, with Spalletti, president Cristiano Giuntoli and center back Kim Min-jae all leaving. Spalletti’s successor, Rudi Garcia, failed to create magic at Napoli and was sacked.”
“With Walter Mazzarri at the helm, Napoli are now 10 points adrift of league leaders Inter (31 points),” the outlet continued.
Football Italia reports that “Napoli Ultras have put up a large banner at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Napoli’s home ground, which reads: ‘It is the coach who has paid the price, but I want to inform all the players. Winning the title last season does not give you immunity’,” read the chilling text.