Under the tactical guidance of Maurizio Sarri, S.S.C. Napoli have emerged as the quintessential heartthrob of Italian football. The Serie A mainstays, once inspired and enlightened by the spellbinding heroics of a certain Diego Armando Maradona, Napoli are now praised for the attacking flair indoctrinated within tactical game plans, inevitably showcased within each respective encounter. Naples’ footballing representatives are now a favourite among enthusiasts of the tactical side of the Beautiful game, and this is perhaps due to how Sarri’s tactical style contradicts the Italian football stereotype to such an extent. With a slight pinch of romanticism, what attracts analysts as well as supporters alike is how Napoli act within the transition phase of build-up play. But perhaps the most important component in regards to the progression of build-up (the continuation of flow, the excitement!) is the continuity and intelligence of the team, which are perhaps exerted by the midfield in particular.
When in possession of the ball, three separate aspects of overall build-up play exemplify how thorough, incisive and intelligent Napoli can be. Yet, the analysed aspects would in some cases prove to be incompetent for Napoli during transitional phases without the sheer significance of overall team and combination shape/s, as well excellent positional awareness.