Team Overview: Napoli managed to stay afloat in Serie A for the 2nd straight year, though they did not improve on last year’s 8th place finish. Though they are two-time winners of the Serie A scudetto and three time winner of Coppa Italia, they have had no major success since Argentine playmaker Diego Maradona left the club.
Top Performers: Marek Hamsik is no Maradona, but he did lead the club offensively with 9 goals, and he added 6 assists. Ezequiel Lavezzi was the “straw that stirred the drink” though with 7 goals and 8 assists. Finally, Luca Castellazzi was simply impenetrable in goal, ceding a mere 1.11 goals per game and keeping the Azzuri alive.
Highest Highs: It was a strong September and October that kept the team in Serie A, as they picked up 20 points over that two month period and notched six wins, one draw and only a single loss. Napoli also won three straight matches during that span over Juventus, Reggina and Lazio, so they proved they are an able Serie A competitor.
Lowest Lows: Napoli struggled in February and March, only picking up three points and notching a mere three goals over the two month span. The draught was part of a hideous streak of fourteen games dating from January until April. Fotrunately, the terrible turn of events ended with an uplifting win over Juventus.
Future Outlook: The season ended on a sour note as Lavezzi, the “straw” that stirred the aforementioned drink, is apparently leaving for brighter pastures, liks Man U or perhaps Liverpool. Such is the nature of pro soccer at the top level. But, if he does leave, Napoli will need another young striker, or they will be hurting come 2010.