When the boss tells you do something, you pretty much have no other choice than to follow their word and do it. So when our fabled leader of SB Nation Italia and the founder of The Siren's Song, Kirsten Schlewitz, asked me to send her questions regarding Napoli and the upcoming Juventus match, I had no other choice than to follow boss' orders.
Since I actually get along with my boss, we've decided to preview the match in a bit of a different way than before. There will still be a regular match preview, but we figured we'd have a little bit of fun and ask about football — and cats. Hey, you put yourself in a niche, it's tough to get out of it sometimes. Ah, well.
So, without further adieu, here are the hard-hitting questions that I sent over to the boss lady and she decided to answer (for reasons unknown to me).
BWRAO: Hi, boss. How are your cats?
TSS: Ziggy is thrilled because José Callejón scored against Catania. JoJo is more depressed because Fiorentina lost to Milan, but I showed her the video of Stefan Jovetić scoring an overhead goal in Manchester City training and she cheered right up.
BWRAO: Is it true since your first cat is black and white you're secretly a Juve supporter?
TSS: Yes, that is exactly what it means. By all means, please invite more Juventus Twitter supporters into my life who then flee the instant I hint that maybe the bianconeri are somehow favored by a referee.
The fact that JoJo is a Fiorentina fan is really more worrying than her coloring right now. She was so damn smug on Sunday night, all Joaquín this and Vincenzo Montella that.
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BWRAO: Okay, a real football question. What makes Gonzalo Higuain such a good player?
TSS: The Hand of God rests on Argentine players at Napoli.
Pipita isn't our Matador — he's not rushing back to rescue goals off the line. He's more an out-and-out striker, and he's doing what he's meant to do, which is score goals. He's there to apply that final touch, but his speed will also pull away defenders, allowing one of the other players to rush in and get a goal.
BWRAO: How much do Napoli's fullbacks scare you?
TSS: I tend to hide under blankets. With Faouzi Ghoulam out against Catania, Rafa had Anthony Réveillère on the left and Henrique on the right, filling in for the recovering Christian Maggio. Note that both of those players were playing out of position, although Henrique hasn't been absolutely horrible when filling in at right back. It's all kind of relative, however — Rafa Benítez shifted the side way from a three-man defense, so players who'd been converted to wingbacks had to return to fullbacks, with some pretty sad results. So to say Henrique, who's likely to start against Juventus, wasn't atrocious, is not to say that he won't cause nightmares for Napoli fans when going up against Kwadwo Asamoah.
BWRAO: Has Rafa's first season in Naples been a success?
TSS: Eh, I guess that depends on who you ask. One of the primary reasons for his appointment was due to his success in Europe. To be fair, Napoli could've moved to the next round of the Champions League had they been in almost any other group, but their lackluster performance against Swansea and inability to meet Porto sure didn't scream of Rafa's success. I think he's had a hard time with a squad that's not really his own, and he wasn't quite sure yet how to best use the limited players available, leading to a few select players being used again and again until they're totally exhausted. But hey, Napoli are almost certainly heading to the CL again, so I think that Rafa will really be judged on next season.
(Thanks for the time, boss!)