All in the Game: Napoli fans - you’re going to need a bigger wardrobe

Pray for the Comoros Islands; John Sheridan looking for another Oldham great escape

Hirving Lozano celebrates scoring for Napoli - in their home kit. Photograph: Elisabetta Baracchi/EPA

Hirving Lozano celebrates scoring for Napoli - in their home kit. Photograph: Elisabetta Baracchi/EPA

 

Napoli fans need a bigger wardrobe

Football supporters with a fondness for purchasing replica shirts have long been disgruntled about their clubs changing jerseys every season or two, the business of keeping up with the latest gear proving to be a costly one. Spare a thought for the Napoli faithful, though.

After hiring Giorgio Armani, of all people, to design their kit, Napoli released their new first, second and third strips at the start of this season. Then they unveiled their home and away Diego Maradona tribute shirts, followed by a new red shirt, European home and away shirts and then a special Halloween shirt.

Were they done? Oh no. Last week, they released their 10th shirt of the season. Yes, 10th. It’s called the ‘Flames’ shirt, largely because it features flames, and will set supporters back another €125. It is, they said, “dedicated to the love supporters feel towards the Napoli shirt”. All 10 of them. A pricey love, that.

Quote of the week

“A skinny boy from Ireland. Standing in his big goal. It was like, ‘okay, it could take a while until he fills it in’.” Jurgen Klopp on first seeing a 16-year-old Caoimhin Kelleher at Liverpool. He’s filling his big goal rather nicely this weather.

Number of the week

0 - That’s how many goalkeepers the Comoros Islands have available for their African Cup of Nations game against Cameroon after a Covid outbreak. Pray for them.

Word of mouth

“It is hard to be a sexy name when you are called Potter, especially if your first name is Graham. Add to that a long face and a ginger beard.” Brighton’s Graham Potter ruling himself out of the running for a glamour Premier League job because, he humbly reckons, he lacks sex appeal.

“I guess we should be flattered that there are rumours with a player of his qualities. It’s the same with all players out there - Messi, Mbappe, Eriksen. If they fit the criteria of ‘no dickheads’, they can play for us.” Brentford’s Thomas Frank on the club’s very excellent transfer policy after being linked with signing Christian Eriksen.

“I got a private message on Instagram from the man himself ..… he basically called me a donkey.” Jamie Carragher on Lionel Messi not taking kindly to him doubting the wisdom of PSG signing the fella.

I am the Shezurrection

Since hanging up his boots in 2004, a few months short of his 40th birthday, former Republic of Ireland midfielder John Sheridan has had, well, an interesting managerial career, one that has taken in 16 jobs in 19 years.

In that that time his gaffer travels have taken him to - ready? - Oldham, Chesterfield, Plymouth Argyle, Newport County, Notts County, Fleetwood Town, Carlisle United, Waterford, Wigan Athletic and Swindon Town, with more than one spell at a couple of clubs.

Like a moth to a flame, though, he keeps getting drawn back to Oldham where he finished his playing career. Last week, the club appointed him manager for the …. fifth time.

He’ll have his work cut out, though, with the club sitting bottom of League Two, seven points from safety. But twice before he saved them from relegation, fans dubbing those reigns the ‘Shezurrection'. Shezurrection III now required.

More word of mouth

“At some point you sit on the bus and think, where are we going? What time do we play? And when is the next game?” After 18 games in 59 days, Thomas Tuchel professes to not knowing what planet he’s on.

“I’ve heard Martinez has been linked. Is this some kind of joke? Last time there were protests to get him out of the club. You’re going from one toxic situation to another.” Everton old-boy Victor Anichebe stopping just short of welcoming a potential Roberto Martinez return to Goodison Park.

“Sometimes, even I don’t know why they are supporting me so much.” Timo Werner puzzled by the Chelsea faithful’s patience with him after scoring just the one Premier League goal all season.

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