Napoli were one of the dark horses in the Champions League last season and are potential title contenders for the Serie A. Sarri has been an integral part into this amazing transformation. You’d imagine a drop in the team’s form after Higuain left for Juventus but Sarri had his tactics on point and created a beast of a squad.
At first glance, you’d feel that Sarri’s Napoli is slightly similar to Pep’s Barça, but they don’t have the big names. He plays a 4-3-3 which can shift to a 2-1-4-3 in attack as the wingbacks attack really often. Insigne plays interior forward and is a gifted player who’s formed a devastating lesser known trio with Hamsik and Mertens. In midfield, Jorginho, one of the most underrated players right now controls and dictates play. They play a high defensive line which is prone to fast counter attacks, not different from Lucho’s Barça.
Napoli pass around waiting for the opponents to make a mistake and then attack from half spaces. Allan and Hamsik link the play from the midfield to attack and Jorginho feeds them. There are a lot of triangles in their positioning, not dissimilar from Pep’s Barça. The keeper plays as a ball playing keeper so the team now has 11 passers of the ball. And when Napoli lose possession, they press and aim to win it in a matter of 4 seconds.
As mentioned, Insigne is a good inside forward thus, the wingbacks can stretch play on the left. Callejon is really quick and has an anticipation to make good inside runs from halfspaces. So, the midfield is really patient with the ball and strikes at the right time.
All said, there are obvious shortcomings. Conceding on counters is one. Also, they haven’t proved to be big match winners and need to work on that to challenge in the UCL. Although, Serie A will be a delight to watch this season!