Spalletti: ‘Players who don’t work drive me crazy’

Luciano Spalletti

Luciano Spalletti praised Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa for his ‘tactical intelligence’ and warned Napoli will face tough times, so they must be ready to ‘sweat blood’ for the shirt.

The perfect start to the season continued with six wins out of six in Serie A, sweeping Cagliari aside 2-0 with Victor Osimhen scoring one and earning a penalty, which was converted by Lorenzo Insigne.

Not only have they won every game, they scored 16 goals and conceded just two.

In the three matches played over the last week, Napoli scored 10 goals and kept three clean sheets.

“We have already lost. We have already lost in previous years and know how that feels. We lost to Benevento during a friendly this season, because whenever we wear the Napoli jersey, that is an official match,” Spalletti told DAZN.

“What we need to improve is the final third, as we tend to reach the edge of the box and then not break through. That is something we have to work on, transforming all this possession into clear-cut shots on target.”

Spalletti said that there are seven teams in the Scudetto race and they are all on roughly the same level.

“We still need to do better. There is potential, we played well tonight and were always in control. If we had killed it off earlier, that would’ve been better.

“Now people’s expectations are high around us and we’ll have to see how we react when there are difficult moments. We must be aware of where we are, where we want to be and that other teams will kick into gear soon.

“You can see there are teams that are still moving up the gears, they need to find form and when they do, they’ll put together six wins in a row too.”

Anguissa has already won over the Napoli fans and brought balance to the midfield after his loan move from Fulham, but Spalletti assures it’s more than just brawn.

“That kind of physicality and stamina is normal in the Premier League, whereas in Italy we tend to favour other characteristics. We were lacking that aspect at Napoli, so he stands out here.

“He always comes into the locker room and talks about what happened in the first half, what was going on around his position, paying close attention to the movements that the opposition do. He is very tactically intelligent.

“He’s also a very sweet guy who immediately made friends with everyone in the side.”

This kind of attitude is precisely what Spalletti wants and he has a sharp warning for anyone at Napoli who doesn’t have the right team spirit.

“Anyone who does not feel they are an important player if they come on in the second half rather than start the game, then they are not suited to starting the game either. Because that means they are focused on themselves and not the team.

“We have five substitutions now, players who come on for 10 minutes can change the match. This is the attitude they need to have. We have so many games this season, we will need everyone.

“We need players who are ready to sweat blood for the shirt, not someone who is in a huff because he didn’t start the previous game.

“I have always been quite a bad player and quite a bad coach, but I worked from morning until night, and with that attitude I managed to win trophies, beating coaches and teams that are superior.

“So when I see someone who does have that talent and then doesn’t put the work in, it drives me crazy.”

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