James McGhie – A Call for Calm

And so, as the flare clouds cleared and the De Kuip faithful made their way to the exits, Napoli’s Champions League campaign was over. A sad end to a campaign which many had hoped would yield more magical nights like those witnessed with the visit of Real Madrid last season.

Alas, we have reached a juncture in our season where Europe’s elite go one way while we take another path; the Europa League. For me, elimination from the Champions League was always going to happen tonight, because Pep Guardiola for all his lavish praise and borderline sycophantic behaviour, could not and essentially would not allow Napoli to return further down the line to punish him.

Despite the promises of a strong travelling squad, it would very much be second string that took on Shakhtar and the Ukrainians made them pay, romping to a 2-0 lead and never looking back. We could have scored ten in Rotterdam, it would have meant absolutely nothing.

I’ve seen fans label the team as “an embarrassment” on social media, a team which has lost just one game domestically this season, a team which has lost just three times in forty five Serie A matches, a team which has given us all something to cling to, a vision that we dare to dream can become reality; the Scudetto.

If we win the title, and there is still a long way to go, no-one and I mean no-one will remember that time in December we went out the Champions League after losing to Feyenoord. The focus now must be on Fiorentina this weekend and a likely return to the summit of Serie A depending on events in the Derby d’Italia in Turin, and it is there where our focus must remain.

We can’t afford to lose sight of the fact the title is within our own grasp. Unlike tonight, we don’t need anyone to do us any favours to succeed, the job is clear and the objective is real.

We, as a support, cannot and should not come crashing down on the team with such negativity given what they have given to us this last 16 months or so. We owe it to them to stick by them, to show appreciation of the special season we can have regardless of going out of the Champions League, by being mature enough to recognise that our squad has issues, issues which should be addressed come January.

The doom and gloom must pass, fans must pick themselves up and stop acting like the season is over. The Champions League is gone, but the anthem will play once again and the San Paolo will roar once more, only this time with Napoli walking out proudly as the 2017/18 Serie A champions.


By James McGhie

One Comment Add yours

  1. Giuseppegennaro says:

    Great article James. I do too believe the fact that while we tried our best we were never going to qualify regardless of the result against feyenoord. We lost this champions league group stage in the first group stage game at shaktar and to me that’s what really resonates here with our team. We are giving up on ourselves way too easily. The scudetto is of course the most important thing and we have been churning out results in the league in recent weeks. However where has our passion gone?. I love him but Insigne going off against Juventus has to be one of the lowest points of our season. The second things are not going our way our players are looking for holes to hide in. We should not be that team. We need leaders on the pitch and Hamsik has not lead the boys in the past few games when things are going against us. I feel like this has been happening a lot recently particularly since ghoulam has been injured. The boys have lost faith in themselves and there is no true leaders on the pitch to get them out of this current rut. I hope that we can secure the points against fiorentina but we really need leaders on the pitch to pull us together and I do not feel like we have that at the moment. The passion Allan has shown in recent weeks has not been amplified. I thought he played really well against Juve and has been our standout player this season. I love this club and I love all the players but we need to get back to the attitude from the start of the season when we knew if we kept everyone that we would win the scudetto. It feels like that has gone away somewhat.

    Cheers and love your guys podcast

    Giuseppe

    Liked by 1 person

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