Napoli 2018/19 Season Review

Date:29th May 2019 at 11:30am
Written by:

Even if this season hasn’t delivered a proper Scudetto race, Napoli confirmed themselves to be the second team in Serie A by another wide margin, though were some way away from winners Juventus.

Carlo Ancelotti’s first season on the Partenopei bench was pretty good, with a remarkable start in the first part of the campaign before grabbing the spotlight during the Champions League group stage.

Napoli’s exit at Anfield against now finalists Liverpool, and Marek Hamsik’s departure have been arguably the two turning points for a team that, from then onwards, have been inconsistent in their performances. A positive campaign in terms of results which also gives the team a starting point to work from next season.

Player of the Season: Kalidou

Koulibaly’s performances have been crucial all throughout the season, as he was the most consistent performer in his team, completing 66 percent of his total tackles and playing the most passes out of everyone in the entire league – 2959. His elegance combined to his speed and power made of him to deservedly win the title of best Serie A’s defender this year. His fine performances also in Europe against Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool were perfect amid speculation over his future at Stadio San Paolo too. While that goalline clearance against Inter sums up his season: impeccable.

Best Signing: Fabian Ruiz

The former Real Betis has been the real surprise of Ancelotti’s Napoli, showing his qualities in the midfield and soon integrated well into the team. With an 88.8 percent pass success rate, and scoring seven goals in 39 appearances in all competitions. All that despite a difficult spell mid-season, especially in the European encounters against Arsenal, he nonetheless demonstrated his value which will only increase.

The Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

It wasn’t easy to start on a new path after Maurizio Sarri’s departure, as his Napoli were the best Partenopei incarnation of all time – in terms of numbers – and given also his strong relationship with the fans. Overall, there were bad predictions and low expectations of Ancelotti’s first season at Napoli. However, he easily made second place, impressed with an international mentality to the team (see Champions League group stage) and gave space to most of the players at the club. His strength has been to build a cohesive and motivated group.

Memorable Moment

It has to be the amazing performance against the current Champions League finalists Liverpool at Stadio San Paolo. Back in October 2018, the visitors didn’t have one shot on target, they were unrecognisable – and think for a moment where they are now – as Lorenzo Insigne’s late winner delivered the most emotional game of the season.

The Bad

On the contrary, Napoli’s exit from the Champions League against the Reds essentially started the team’s inconsistency. They lost some confidence and motivation in the Scudetto race, as well as competing in the Europa League. The departure of captain Marek Hamsik in January, and Raul Albiol’s injury didn’t help much either as performances during the second part of the campaign dipped.