Hello everyone and welcome back to Naples. Our first season with Diego Maradona back in town was a success as we manage to qualify for Europe finishing 3rd in the league table. As we enter Season 2 we look for some reinforcements and a trophy would be nice as well.
We have 3 signings for this season. First one in will provide backup at Centre Back.
Marco is picked up on a free transfer.
We then spend £875k on this lad who will rotate with Beto an Imbriani in the attacking midfield roles.
I’m hoping Cavaco’s passing and creativity will help Maradona get more chances.
Finally we have another free transfer who i’m hoping will form a fearsome partnership with Diego.
Very excited with this signing.
This is our opponent in the UEFA Cup 2nd round. I can safely say I’ve never heard of them before. They are from Malta according to the game.
First game of the new season and we are without Jardel who is out for a month with a broken rib. It’s Coppa Italia action and we ease past Piacenza. Bellucci opens the scoring when he hits home his own parried shot. D’Alessio then makes a fine run down the left before cutting inside and slotting past Marcon. Maradona then plays a ball through the middle which Asanovic clips over the on rushing keeper to make it an easy 3-0 win.
I’ll be honest I’ve never had a team play in the same colours as one of my teams before so this was quite bizarre and fun. Treviso are newly promoted and get a lesson in what it takes to be in Serie A. We batter them from start to finish but Falcioni keeps us out for the first half. Bellucci then scores after Maradona’s chip hits the bar. We then have a corner which Leoni brilliantly heads into his own net. Cavaco then over hits a pass but Mihali heads it into his own net from a seemingly impossible position. A good start but tougher games await.
A very impressive away performance here. Beto gives us the lead when he cuts inside and curls one into the far corner. Bellucci then hits the crossbar but Maradona hits a thunderous first time volley to make it 2-0. We then have another own goal go for us when Bonomi overhits a backpass and it flies past his own keeper. Beto adds a second in the second half after another deflected shot. Bologna get a late consolation goal but it’s another comfortable win.
Job done in Malta as we build a 4 goal lead to take back to Naples with us. Maradona plays a delightful one two with Bellucci before slotting past Zammit. Bellucci then fires home Maradona’s saved shot. Beto then scores from another deflected shot before Cavaco lashes one in from the left hand side to get his first goal for the club. Shout out to Jesmond Buttgieg who has one of the best names i’ve ever seen!
The thing about Bernd Meier is although he is one of the best goalkeepers on the game he absolutely loves a red card! Buonocore gets the opener after good link up play with Asanovic. Meier then takes out Otero for an early bath and Anderson converts to penalty. We actually batter Vicenza with ten men but Modini is stopping everything until the second half when D’Alessio smashes a cross into Mendez’s face which completely wrong foots Mondini and trickles in for an unlikely winner.
A frustrating draw here as we had so many chances to win. We take the lead after 20 minutes when Asanovic swings a free kick in and Artur Jorge heads it home. Juventus reply 10 minutes later when Deschamps picks out Ravanelli’s run and he fires home low past Meier. Maradona has 3 really good chances but each time hits it straight at De Sanctis. We hit the bar in the 92nd minute as well and have to settle for a draw. It’s a huge improvement from last season were Juventus dominated us in both games. Jardel made his debut as well.
A good game for the fans as we ease into round three of the UEFA Cup. Beto gives us the lead with another curling effort into the bottom corner. Laferla then breaks free and equalises which stuns us. Bellucci then makes it 2-1 capitalising on a defensive mix up. Jardel then opens his account straight from charging down the kick off. Laferla adds a 2nd after again losing his marker and powering it home.
Nothing to write home about here. Just two teams cancelling each other out for a bore draw.
This is an annoying result as we had much the better chances and again we were wasteful and in the 86th minute we get punished when Henry is slipped through and curls a beauty past Meier to snatch all 3 points for Parma.
Fantastic performance from us here. We control the game from the off and finally find our shooting boots. Bellucci opens the scoring by following in Maradona’s parried shot. Weah hits an instant reply after some good work from Effenberg in midfield. Cavaco then plays a through ball which Maradona hits first time past Rossi. Asanovic then gets in on the act with a curling effort before he sets up Bellucci for his 2nd to wrap up a brilliant 4-1 win.
Well that’s the European adventure over and done with. It was always going to be a tough draw against Atletico but to lose 4-1 at home is a tie killer. Vieri tears us apart time and time again and his two goals are fully deserved. Pantic adds a third before Maradona fires home Bellucci’s flicked past. Atletico aren’t done though as sub Vieira waltzs through to add a 4th and that ends the contest as a whole.
Knocked out of 2 cups in 2 games. Meier once again decides he has better plans by getting sent off in the first half. Baggio slots home the penalty. Reina then makes it 2-0 before half time. Asanovic gives us false hope as we whimper to another loss. a pathetic effort.
One word – Meier.
It’s clear we cannot count on Meier so in comes Chilavert.
We are back to winning ways but as it’s against a newly promoted team it’s not exactly back to our best. Maradona finally gives us a performance with 2 brilliant goals. His first is a powerful effort from range which gives the keeper no chance at all. His second is fired home after a lovely passing move which Maradona chips over the keeper. He then sets up Bellucci for our 3rd. Bertolotti gets a very late goal back but its far too late and we return to winning ways.
That’s it for this update. As ever let us check on the league table.
We sit in 4th just 2 points off the pace thanks to our fine league form early on. Our form in both Europe and the Coppa Italia have been beyond poor and leave a stain on our start to season 2. Join me next time to see if we can right this ship.