After Maurizio Sarri’s departure, Napoli confirmed Carlo Ancelotti will be replacing him as they seek to build on their recent improvement. This season Napoli gave Juventus a real challenge for the Scudetto before they stumbled in the last stretch with a loss to Fiorentina and a draw against Torino, resulting in them finishing four points behind in second place. However, this form didn’t translate to Europe, perhaps because they had one eye on the Serie A; they won two games and lost four in their Champions League group containing Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Feyenoord, leaving them in third which dropped them into the Europa League. They lost their first and only tie against RasenBallsport Leipzig 3-3, going out on away goals, ending their European campaign. Meanwhile, in the Coppa Italia they only defeated Udinese before being knocked out in the quarter finals by Atalanta at home 1-2.
In summary, Napoli did amazing in the league while still being largely disappointing as they wasted a rare chance to win the Scudetto, they fell way below expectations in Europe, and failed to make a run in the Coppa Italia. Considering the talent within the team and rumors of top European club interests continuously circulating, Napoli faces a challenge to maintain their squad and continue improving.
The arrival of a coach like Ancelotti who has had so much success at so many clubs brings a sense of optimism to the club. Such a signing may convince some of the clubs starts to stay another season rather than leaving to a new club. Ancelotti is a winner and taking into account how close Napoli came this season to wining the league, maybe he is the man to lead them over the line. In addition, some big players are leaving Juventus like Gianluigi Buffon so they will face the obstacle of maintaining stability and bringing new players into the squad who can perform well enough to cover for those who are departing.
Aside from domestic competition, Ancelotti has a history of success in Europe which may assist Napoli in doing better in the Champions League. After witnessing Roma make the semifinals, Napoli will surely believe themselves capable of making a similar, if not better run.
The best aspect of the hiring of Ancelotti is perhaps the backing by chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis. Although the club doesn’t have the money other top sides have to buy players, Ancelotti will certainly be supported in his chase for transfer targets and with enough smart buys, he can add some squad depth to the team which will allow for rotation which will be key for both challenging for the Serie A, Coppa Italia, and the Champions League.
If Ancelotti can keep the key members to the team and add some depth to his team, there will definitely be some more excitement around this strong Napoli side.