MarekiaroBy: Neil | February 8th, 2013
Dave Taylor celebrates the sublime footballing talents of Napoli’s Slovakian midfielder Marek Hamsik.
Marek is the man
Marekiaro has enjoyed an outstanding campaign so far and Dave Taylor pays homage to Napoli’s own science-fiction Cesar.
Marekiaro is Napoli’s third longest serving player after Gianluca Grava, who was probably around when Jesus played for Jerusalem United and of course Captain Paolo Cannavaro. He is certainly the longest serving straniero and despite being consistently linked with some of Europe’s so-called bigger clubs, he refutes any suggestions of leaving. “I’m happy to be at Napoli where we are re-writing history,” insists the 21st century hero. “This is the club who wanted me the most and we still have a lot to do and win.”
Well that cannot be argued with and like finding a fossil fuel fountain on your side of the fence, Marek is a treasure. According to TuttoNapoli it seems he has earned Napoli 14 points out of a total of 49, which is 28 percent of the total, no explanation of how mind. Furthermore every time he scores, Napoli win, proving that he is as dangerous as a loaded pair of Joseph Heylin designed Judas flintlock pistols. Witness the games against Chievo and Cagliari, where he scored the only goal, while he was also integral in the wins over Fiorentina, Udinese, Parma, Palermo, Genoa, Pescara and Catania leaving opposition defenders looking like players controlled by a three-year-old on a Playstation. One stunner after another.
Marek is part of a bigger story of course, an element of an inter-connected web of fans, crowds, players, officials and the club itself, that helps make up an entire eco-system. He is the quintessential human embodiment of homeostasis and manages a multitude of highly complex interactions to maintain balance or return systems to the normal functioning as soon as possible, within specific time lapses of course, after all he is only human. These connections with his colleagues facilitate compensatory changes supportive of a physical and psychological functioning, a process essential to the survival of the team’s personality, especially within the environmental framework of the San Paolo.
One mercurial move from him, one quicksilver thought whipping through his slim frame and the crowd start focusing on that same deliberation. Subsequently all the occurrences of that current of contemporary contemplation begin to merge as one and the culmative mass of this starts to grow expedientially. After reaching noetical maturity it therefore becomes physically tangible, exerts actual force and has a measurable exponentially positive effect on the game at the San Paolo. The proof in the pudding is that Napoli have scored twice as many goals at home than away.
Even that mendacious miscreant Sepp Blatter agrees: “…..seeing Napoli at the San Paolo is an experience everyone who loves football ought to have. In Naples, football is passion, football is a religion. I have always been touched by the warmth of the San Paolo crowd, as the Neapolitans are extraordinary fans and bring so much to their team. Seeing Napoli play at the San Paolo is an experience everyone who loves football ought to have,” insisted FIFA’s perfidious president. Marek certainly shows that to be verifiable and displays it with an utterly relentless enthusiasm and it is something you measure not so much in artistic impression but practical effect.
There have been countless examples of this as the Slovakian magician shows every week not only is he the heart and the spirit of the team but most crucially its brain. The statistical evidence of this can be seen in his hurricane of assists, 13 so far, which compared to the same time last year is excellent, hey don’t take my word for it: “I believe that this is my best campaign up until this point of my career,” his omniscience told us just this week. It’s the same with goals with just three more to go he can overtake his previous personal best of 12. Together him and Cavani have scored 27 goals of Napoli’s 45 so far a whole 60% of our goals. And when Marek doesn’t play, neither do Napoli. In the Europa games he missed, we lost all three, two thanks to his ban and one where Mazzarri must have temporarily lost his mind not picking him.
Undoubtedly Marek plays with a confidence that is only matched by his awesome authority. His footballing ability as noted above is almost noetically direct and he has an immediate access to knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses and power of reason. He plays the kind of football that apart from being as quick as a Zeman riposte to a Coboli insult, draws attention away from others invariably announcing a positive result while his tactical understanding has come even more to the fore with the arrival of Inler. Today Mazzarri’s formation sees the Swiss ace in front of the defence in a more central role with the departure of Walter Gargano. It is a position that seems to suit him better and it has enriched Napoli’s midfield options, with Marek relieved of his defensive duties of yesteryear.
This almost free role also permits Hamsik to move into a three pronged attack along side Il Matador and Pandev, whenever he feels it best. It also allows him to be the integral link between the forwards and the midfield and as such become the spare man who the opposition have not sanctioned for, leaving them running around like electrified cockroaches or longhorns skulking up a canyon on roundup day. Their carefully laid plans left looking like a selection system featuring a hat, several scraps of paper, another long strip of paper, some tacks and a big drawing of a donkey. His shrewd acuity of insight is a gift with which he has blessed us all with and enhanced the whole hermetic experience of watching Napoli play, thanks to his finely-honed football skills. His new role means he is much more prevalent in attack and the stats bear this out. Obviously he is the best in Serie A and according to WhoScored.com he is second overall in Europe only to the Maradona of Barcelona, Lionel Messi.
He and the team have benefited from the departure of Lavezzi with Napoli now scoring 1.96 goals every match compared to 1.73 last season. Marekiaro’s total of 21 ratings above a 7 from WhoScored this season, matches that of Messi and van Persie, as the most in Europe. Out of 23 games his two ratings below that standard came in defeats at Juventus and Inter, while his best rating (8.98) came having scored and assisted a goal in the 4-2 win at Genoa back in November. The latest figures I can plunder from Transfermarket and WhoScored is that Marek has completed 82.3% of his passes at an average of 46.4 per game with a goal coming every 2.5 games. Factor in an average of 1.4 tackles per game and 2.4 shots per game (last season 1.6) and key passes 2.1 (1.6) per match.
Napoli apparently do not enjoy the majority of possession, averaging just 52% per game, so it is crucial they maximise their chances. Marek certainly likes to make the most of his opportunities and keeps on doing it with an unambiguous delight for the action. It is this that separates him from the merely good and talented players and pushes him into the relatively exclusive realm of someone who is determined to leave his imprint on every game he plays in.
Yet it could all have been very different. In his first two seasons his future was perhaps not all that clear, after all he was subbed no less than 29 times in 49 games. However, subsequently we have seen that it is possible to meet the highest demands, if you have sufficient levels of self-belief and natural-born nous. And if there is one thing that Marek has proved in his six and a half seasons it is that he has this self-belief and it has helped produce Serie A’s most prolific player, stranieri or not. Vero.
words: Dave Taylor