Walter Mazzarri’s Complex History as a Manager and Why He Might Not Be Such a Bad Pick for Napoli After All

In the intricate tapestry of Italian football management, Walter Mazzarri emerges as a seasoned tactician whose journey through the echelons of Serie A reveals a narrative marked by both triumphs and tribulations. Here’s how it began and how we got to Mazzarri being chosen as the replacement for Rudi Garcia as head coach of Napoli.

Mazzarri’s Managerial History

Beginning his coaching odyssey as Renzo Ulivieri’s understudy at Napoli in 1998, Mazzarri’s initial foray into the managerial realm came in 2001–02 with Serie C2 side Acireale. Subsequent sojourns with Pistoiese, Livorno, and Reggina showcased his ability to navigate the tumultuous waters of lower-league football, culminating in Serie A survival for the Calabrian outfit amid an 11-point deduction.

Mazzarri’s zenith, however, manifested at Napoli, where, following his appointment on October 6, 2009, he masterminded a resurgence. His debut season concluded with a commendable sixth-place finish in Serie A, earning him a renewed three-year contract. The apex of his Napoli tenure materialized in the 2011–12 season, marked by a scintillating third-place league finish and a memorable triumph in the Coppa Italia Final against undefeated champions Juventus. His departure in 2013 left Napoli with a second-place Serie A finish, securing a coveted spot in the Champions League.

The subsequent chapters of Mazzarri’s managerial journey unfolded at Inter, Watford, Torino, and Cagliari, each chapter laden with its share of challenges and accolades. The rollercoaster trajectory reached its denouement at Cagliari, where Mazzarri, appointed in September 2021, faced the harsh realities of relegation trouble, leading to his dismissal in May 2022.

What to expect from Mazzari

As Napoli contemplates life after Luciano Spalletti, the seasoned Mazzarri emerges as a compelling candidate to steer the ship. His tactical astuteness, honed through a diverse array of managerial experiences, could provide the stability needed to build upon Spalletti’s successful title-winning campaign. Mazzarri’s proven track record at Napoli, particularly the transformative 2011–12 season, attests to his capacity to navigate the challenges of Serie A and propel Napoli toward sustained success.

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