Napoli's Rudi Garcia responds to Osimhen tirade

Napoli head coach Rudi Garcia and star striker Victor Osimhen | Imago

Napoli's Rudi Garcia responds to Osimhen tirade

Ayoola Kelechi 07:35 - 25.09.2023

French coach Rudi Garcia has defended himself and his team selection from criticism following a drab draw against Bologna in Serie A

Under-fire Napoli boss Rudi Garcia has spoken about the incident between him and star forward Victor Osimhen during the 0-0 draw between his side and Bologna in Serie A on Sunday night. 

Rudi Garcia in the spotlight after Osimhen shouting match

During the disappointing draw, Osimhen flared up after being substituted against Bologna and was involved in a shouting match with his manager, lamenting his removal when the team needed a goal. 

The Super Eagles striker remonstrated with Garcia and was adamant that the team should have had two strikers on the pitch instead of replacing one (himself) with another (Giovanni Simeone). 

The images of Osimhen and Garcia getting upset with each other went viral and Garcia’s man management was called into question after a similar incident already occurred with Napoli’s other star, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, last week. 

Garcia responded to questions about the Osimhen incident after the match, and noted that he had since spoken with the Nigerian forward, choosing to leave the details of their conversation in the team’s locker room.

Rudi Garcia responds to criticism 

The French coach noted Osmhen’s struggles during the game, including the penalty miss, but came to his striker’s defence before explaining the decision to take him off in the first place. 

He said, “Even the greatest players in the history of football miss penalties. As for when he went off, we talked about that, what I say to my players remains in the locker room.”

“We have a lot of quality in the squad and on the bench, so Simeone, Politano and Elmas came on, I still have Jesper available too. When we have this much quality, we can’t always have 90 minutes with the same men, especially as we have four games in nine days.”

Garcia also bemoaned the team’s bad luck, which prevented them from getting a positive note, saying, “If the ball hits the upright or if we do not convert a penalty, then it becomes difficult to win, even when we deserved it. This is football, the important thing is that the team overall made an interesting performance, we had some tactics that worked, but are not entirely happy because there is no victory.”

Despite his explanations for the Osimhen substitution and the overall performance, Garcia remains in the spotlight as Napoli fans continue to demand that he be fired from his position. 

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