|In a shock development, Italian champions Napoli has hired Walter Mazzarri to replace Rudi Garcia who was fired on Tuesday. (Photo credit: GOAL)|
What is happening at Napoli? How did you win the league last season and then decide to self-destruct the following season?
They had a situation with Juliano Spaletti leaving on his own accord after what he called a phenomenal season with the champions, but he eventually didn’t take a break as he replaced Roberto Mancini in the national team dugout.
Napoli has had an indifferent start to the season, but the home loss to Empoli on Sunday nailed the coffin of Rudi Garcia, and Walter Mazzarri has been hired, reportedly till the end of the current season with their title defence in shambles.
Mazzarri was Napoli’s head coach from 2009 until 2013, when he was relieved of his duties, and a club statement on Twitter, initially from the handle of club chairman De Laurentis, read “Welcome back, Walter,” before the club handle confirmed it.
"SSC Napoli has made the decision to relieve first-team coach Rudi Garcia of his duties with immediate effect," the club said in a statement. "The club would like to thank Rudi and his coaching staff for their hard work."
Napoli currently sits in the fourth spot, ten points behind leaders Inter Milan, and in particular, Garcia’s team struggled at home, with their last home win coming against Udinese on the 27th of September. It was the latest home loss against Empoli that broke the camel’s back.
Rudi Garcia may have had a turbulent reign, but hiring Mazzarri seems odd. The last time the Italian manager was around in management was as recent as last season at Cagliari, where he was fired with the club in the relegation zone.
It’s a baptism of fire for Mazzarri, as his first bow in his return to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium is a run of games against Atalanta, Juventus, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid in the Champions League.