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Written By Onyeka Daniel

Today, Napoli will face Atalanta away from home in what is a second debut for Walter Mazzari, who was appointed after Rudi Garcia was sacked as manager of the current holders of the Serie A.

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Mazzari’s appointment was announced during the international break and he will aim to start his second adventure on a positive note when the Partenopei face Atalanta.

According to Italian winger, Matteo Politano, Napoli players ‘feel responsible’ for Garcia’s dismissal and the poor start to the season means ‘we all failed’. It will be a decade since Mazzari’s last tenure. “When there is a change of coach, it means we have all failed,” Politano told DAZN.

“So we need to look at ourselves and get back to doing the things that allowed us to win a Scudetto. Evidently, the players didn’t give 100 per cent, or we would not be in this situation. “We feel responsible, we are the ones on the pitch and we have to do more.”


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Napoli won the title under Luciano Spalletti last season, but are currently 11 points worse off than their position at this stage in 2022-23. Garcia was given the axe after eight wins, four draws and four defeats between Serie A and the Champions League.

While Igor Tudor was also interviewed for the role before President Aurelio De Laurentiis picked Mazzarri for a surprise return to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

It should be noted that he’s supposed to be in charge until the end of the season, while the club look to continue their search for a permanent manager and it has been reported that length of contract is the main reason why Tudor didn’t get the job. While Mazzari was content to work on a short term basis, Tudor is said to have demanded for a contract until 2025.

Meanwhile…

All Serie A players, coaches and referees will sport a red mark on their cheeks as part of the campaign combating violence against women, while the captains also read out a statement. This is an annual campaign called ‘show violence towards women the red card’ and represents a lipstick mark.

However, this year the message has an added level of significance, as this weekend there are marches in cities all over Italy in protest at what has become a genuine epidemic of young women being murdered by their former partners. The most recent was only this week, 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin, killed by her ex-boyfriend.

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Data from the Italian interior ministry shows 106 women have been murdered this year and 55 of them were by their current or former partners. There is a hotline to call for anyone being stalked or harassed, with demands for police and the Government to do more to prevent crimes that too often were seen coming.

Unlike previous years, the captains of the two teams also read out a statement before every Serie A match reiterating that “it is no longer enough to just say I am different, that I am not like that, we must unite to combat violence against women.”

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