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Benitez under pressure of sack again

The Spanish manager of Napoli, Rafael Benitez is no stranger to being put into a heated up position in a squad and being rumored with the possibility of getting sacked soon unless positive results start picking up.

Rafael Benitez has been sacked on a number of occasions during his managerial career which has seen him being sacked from coaching Real Valladolid after only managing to claim 2 victories in 23 matches. He was later sacked once more but this time with Osasuna after only being able to win 1 match in 9 games.

He has also been removed from the managerial position of Inter Milan and Liverpool after a series of disappointing results.

After having gone through so many sackings, Benitez knows what it’s like to be in the last few months or even weeks in charge of a club and this is what is happening with him in Napoli.

Rumors and reports emerging from Italy are claiming that the president of Napoli, Aurelio de Laurentiis is thinking about replacing Rafael Benitez with Vincenzo Montella although this depends on the results that the Spanish manager is able to secure in the remaining matches of this year.

The start of the season was a rocky road for Napoli after suffering successive defeats against Chievo Verona and Udinese but the team of Rafael Benitez have been collecting triumphs from there on out.

Napoli finished the previous season of the Italian League by snatching the 3rd spot which allowed them on competing in the Champions League but in this current season Napoli are located in the 7th position and securing a spot in the top spots of Serie A is starting to look far-fetched.

There still is time for Rafael Benitez to restore his confidence with the fans of Napoli and more importantly the confidence that the president has with the Spanish manager but the club has to start playing like they did in the past campaign with consistently impressive performances.

Napoli Soccer – Real Limone 2 – 2 11/01/2009

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Napoli Misses Out On Champions League

Napoli have missed out on the Champions League group stages in the most stunning fashion after conceding three goals in the space of 13 minutes against Athletic club. After failing to reach the Champions League group stages through automatic qualification spots, Napoli have had to play in the play-off against Spanish club Athletic. This was viewed as a tough encounter given that Athletic also have the experience of playing in the Champions League proper. The first leg at Napoli was an even affair and it finished as a 1-1 draw, which gave Athletic an advantage of the away goal.

Napoli cancelled out the away goal in the return leg after midfielder Marek Hamsik scored just minutes into the second half. Just when it seemed that Napoli would hang on and reach the group stages, Athletic had a stunning 50 minutes in which they scored three goals. Aduriz scored a brace during this period while Ibai’s goal in the 74th minute put the result beyond doubt. After the match, Napoli boss Rafa Benitez has had to face a barrage of criticism. Accepting the blame, the manager said that he did not want to blame his players for this defeat.

Napoli will be hoping that the lack of Champions League will motivate them towards a potential league title. The team start the league campaign with an away match against Genoa.

“Athletic deserved to score in the first half and didn’t. We took the lead, but in a few minutes we made some important mistakes and lost control of the game. We made mistakes on all three goals. Those goals allowed Athletic to gain confidence and we lost ours. Do I blame anyone? No, mistakes happen – they are not normal, but they happened anyway. We had worked over the week on specifics like corners, but we still made mistakes and clearly we still have work to do,” said Benitez.

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United, Spurs urged to move fast amid Napoli interest in James Rodriguez

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have been urged to move fast if they want to secure the services of Colombian hotshot James Rodriguez after Italian giants Napoli stepped up their pursuit of the player.

According to the player’s agent, contact has already been made with the club and its president Aurelio de Laurentiis and he was impressed immensely by his vision of the club for the future.

But he has also claimed that the Serie A giants are not the only club monitoring the progress of the prodigious 22 year old playmaker with English powerhouses Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur also reportedly keen on bringing him to the Premier League.

According to the player’s agent, he has spoken with the president of Napoli and went on to add that Aurelio de Laurentiis is a great person and is definitely one of the great club presidents he has seen and worked with.

He then went on to add that Neapolitans are not the only side that is keen on the player with some other clubs also expressing their interest in the player and he will have to wait and see what happens.

Rodriguez is currently in Brazil for the World Cup with Colombia and he has been one of the stars of the tournament with his three goals helping the team secure passage through to the second round.

The former FC Porto player, who is currently contracted to French club AS Monaco, was closely followed by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before he made the move to France. But after one season with the principality side, he is keen to move on with many of his close aides expecting him to choose Napoli as he doesn’t rate English football much.

But whether the club has the finances to push such a deal is a different question.

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