Spalletti: ‘No Scudetto is won in September, a long way to go’


Luciano Spalletti noted the importance of his Napoli squad keeping their feet on the ground ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Torino.

The Partenopei have had an electric start to the season, sitting top of the league table with 17 points after winning five and drawing two of their opening seven games. Napoli have looked equally strong in the Champions League, picking up wins over Liverpool and Rangers, putting the Campania side in a good spot ahead of this busy six-week period.

Speaking in a press conference, Spalletti first discussed the state of his Napoli squad after this international break.

“When our players go to their national teams, we follow them day by day, it was also good for some to play these games because they had played a little less with us. 

“Some having played both games with the national team, playing good football, followed up with Napoli, the national team played two very good games. 

“We had no injuries and we followed up the work, then on the possibility of training together we have our discourse in focus and it takes little to recall it and this morning I saw them all very focused. Despite national teams and travel, we are ready for the game.”

He touched on if this game represented the first crossroads for Napoli after their strong start.

“Every match serves as a reminder of whether we are strong or not, it’s a discourse that goes beyond the evaluation of a match, the path will be long and difficult and every time we have to redo the same things. 

“We need constant commitment not only for the result but in terms of developing every single training session, with the correct attitudes to have consistency in the long run. I have never seen a Scudetto awarded in September, but always in June and there is a long way to go.”

The Napoli coach looked back at the win over Milan and what impact that has heading into the Torino clash.

“In Milan if a capable player like Pioli says they played a beautiful game, with many chances, I quite agree and this, however, gives value to this victory because the value is given to you by the comparison with those in front. 

“If you beat Milan who did some great things, we did them too. Then in general I say in summary that talent alone is never enough and I’m convinced of this, we must be executive even in what is not in our qualities, characteristics.

“When Pioli says that they had the balls to score he is right, but there is our participation in the sense that we did not feel that danger, even the offensive players when the full-back enters. 

“For example tomorrow Torino will have one of the defenders who is a former midfielder and will fit right into the midfield and we need to work all together, otherwise there is numerical inferiority. Then afterwards when you regain it you bring it back into your own quality.”

Spalletti commented on if he would play Giacomo Raspadori or Giovanni Simeone against Ivan Juric’s Torino.

“Both of them will play, then I’ll decide whether to make one a starter for 60 minutes or one for 30, if the one with 30 minutes then determines the match it shows a quality of choice and momentum that surpasses the importance of playing from the start for 60 minutes. 

“This talk about who plays more or less has to be approached in the right way, to get that long way we have to have people in condition, stimulated, it’s not easy then to play a game after months and they have to be used with the five changes. 

“We play on Tuesday, so even if you write down who is a starter and who is not, it changes little. We have them two for 90 minutes and then another 90 minutes on Tuesday and we will use them together, they are two starters. 

“Then when one tears it up for 70 minutes, we need another, the one who plays 20 maybe is the one who makes us win.”

He looked at the quality of the teams fighting at the top of the league table currently and if they can maintain their strong starts.

“Yes, they are all well-equipped teams. There are some further behind, but the teams that have a few points less were given as favourites by everyone and they will recover, they are those seven teams that we have repeatedly mentioned. 

“They can all do a top season and there is always some who then enter and disturb the balance, like Fiorentina last year. It’s too early to make assessments.”

Finally, Spalletti gave his thoughts on the introduction of Serie A’s first female referee, Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi.

“I’m convinced she’ll be able to assert herself, she’ll have the respect of everyone, as is the case with other referees.”

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