Thursday, February 19 th, 2015
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Garcia, what do you want to do with Destro? Higuain, an unfit leader for Napoli
Roma partially fill the gap with Juve and now trail one point only. Once again the young striker Destro was benched. Napoli are facing a identity crisis and needs more from their Argentinian top player
by F.F.
Juventus and Roma are a bit closer (one point only) and they keep fighting their duel for the title. This time Roma exploited the Juve’s second consecutive draw (1-1 vs Sampdoria) and beat Genoa at the Marassi stadium with a great goal by Radja Nainggolan after Liajić missed a penalty. But the Giallorossi still didn't give the impression of a hale and hearty side, as they struggled until the very last minute even if Genoa played with ten players for an hour, due to Perin's red card in the 30th.

One good reason why the Wolves banked three points is that they enjoyed a good performance by Maicon, who let the coach and the fans down last week in the Champions League vs Manchester City. His pace might be insufficient for a competition like the Champions League, but the Brazilian full-back's overlaps and crosses (including the assist for Nainggolan) can still make the difference in Serie A. Garcia started Liajić, Gervinho and Florenzi, a very dynamic attack that didn't give any point of reference to Genoa's defenders. Totti played only a bunch of minutes (and in a muddy pitch as Marassi's, it was a wise decision) and Destro was benched once again in Genoa.

There's something strange with that, as Garcia is showing little confidence in the Italian striker, especially in the last month. The 23-year old was basically sidelined in the entire Champions League campaign (110 minutes only) and it seems that Garcia has been punishing him for his last performances vs Atalanta and Sassuolo. Clearly, the young striker needs more minutes and Garcia should be clear with the management about him: Roma could still sell the striker for a pretty sum, but benching him for almost an entire season won't help monetizing. Does Garcia rely on Destro or not?

The rest of Serie A is definitely too far and simply inadequate to even dream of competing for the title. The team that reached the third place in the past season, Napoli, is struggling with discontinuity and a worrying lack of identity. Yesterday night the Partenopei made an under par performance against Milan and were blown away by Jeremy Menez and Giacomo "Jack" Bonaventura.

Even if losing at the San Siro might look like an acceptable result, Napoli is stronger than the Rossoneri on paper and have (had?) a better offensive strategy and better players. Napoli didn't meet the expectations and showed their worst face: no ideas, no pressing, no personality in the midfield (De Guzman definitely failed as vice-Hamsik), a too distracted defence (Albiol played as he was a rookie), and, especially, too much tension on the pitch. Many players - Higuain above all - were intolerant on every missed pass or team-mate's mistake, and they showed it with blatant gestures.

Benitez said he wants Higuain to be the leader of the team. But leadership is not about complaining and showing frustration. It's exactly the opposite. Maybe the Argentinian simply does not have the character to be the leader of the team. He has the skills to be the goalscorer, but he needs a leading figure beside him.

Monday, December 15 th, 2014
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