I haven't been blogging quite enough lately, in part because of the dark mood which seems to have taken hold here in Naples. The home team, Napoli, had a strong start to the season and was hovering around 3rd to 4th place in Serie A when "the streak" started - seven games without a win.
In fact, the town's beloved blue has earned just two points in seven matches and has slid down to mid-table, a place cemented by today's 1-0 loss to Genoa. From December to January, locals were talking about the squad playing in the Champion's League and now they are pointing fingers at players like German Denis (who promised 20 goals and a Champion's League spot). Denis has not quite lived up to expectations but he remains the only decent option for a target man up front.
It seems that things really started to crumble after the team dropped a home match to rivals Roma 3-0, a loss which left the coffee bars full of long faces and hushed tones. Meanwhile, it seems Roma has switched places with Napoli after the slow starting giallarossi have roared back are now sitting on 43 points and poised to grab a Champion's League spot. The most galling aspect for the Napoli faithful is that they've dropped so many points to some of the league's weaker squads including Udinese, Palermo, and relegation threatened Bologna. Now, Napoli faces a real uphill battle to claw its way back into contention as it faces Juventus, Lazio, Reggina, and AC Milan in the next four matches.
Elsewhere in Serie A, Romanian striker Adrian Mutu was the savior for Fiorentina, scoring an injury time goal to give the Viola a 2-1 win over the pesky Chievo Verona. Chievo players threw a fit and started their own shoving match since their own Davide Mandelli lay injured on the ground while Fiorentina cashed in on its final attack.
Today's goal of the day in Italy has got to be Catania's Ciro Capuano in his 34th minute left-footed net ripper against Reggina.
Check it out here (1:03 into the video):
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