De Laurentiis finds new leading man for Napoli B-movie

Roberto Donadoni must feel like one of those characters who populate the Italian equivalent of the Carry On movie where Aurelio De Laurentiis made his name.

They are usually the fool wandering into all manner of cheesy situations, but this time it was even too unwatchable for the movie mogul and his leading man was consigned to the cutting room floor.

Donadoni’s fate was sealed at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday after a fourth away defeat from four – and it was only a matter of putting the final touches to a script for a new lead.

The man behind unforgettable classics such as Christmas in Love, Christmas in Miami and the follow-up Christmas in New York knows his winning formula: keep it simple, keep it cheap.

So who better to turn to than the perfectly-coiffed Walter Mazzarri.

His own credits are equally B-list, having coached the likes of Pistoiese, Livorno and Reggina before hitting pay-dirt of sorts at Sampdoria last season, only to be completely overshadowed by Genoa.

Del Rossi and intriguingly Roberto Mancini had both been linked with the job, although the latter’s name may have been thrown out there to create a bit of buzz around such a lame-duck part.

What Mazzarri can bring to the club in place of Donadoni is hard to gauge.

He can certainly get the best out of limited resources, taking Livorno up to Serie A and keeping Reggina in the top flight for three seasons.

At Sampdoria, his remit was to make sure Antonio Cassano was given free reign and that meant packing the midfield with the willing and able.

However, it is a much more complicated situation in the shadow of Vesuvius, where the team is packed with a number of 'big personalities'.

Local boy and, up until now, underperforming Fabio Quagliarella craves the spotlight in attack, but then so does the heavily tattooed Ezequiel Lavezzi.

And it is not as if there is a wall-full of shrinking violets behind the front-two.

Marek Hamsik and his scary hair can be found tussling it out with Italy’s bright one thing Luca Cigarini and the diminutive but snappy Walter Gargano for who can hog the ball most - and that includes taking charge of all dead-ball situations.

Donadoni favoured Hamsik and even handed him the penalty-taking duties much to Quagliarella’s irritation.

There is no doubt that Hamsik is the team’s brightest star - thoroughly deserving of his own dressing-room - so the new man will need to show a bit of authority and build the team around the young Slovakian, employing him in a free role behind the front-two, for example.

De Laurentiis will have his say of course, having already barged into the dressing room at half-time during the Siena game to impart his words of wisdom in front of a stunned Donadoni.

It has to be said, Napoli won that game but more out of fear one thinks rather than any amazing turnaround in the game plan.

Mazzarri has been wandering around on the small-budget landscape for many a year.

But now he’s in the De Laurentiis domain and, to use the Hollywood vernacular, is swimming with sharks.

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