Pandev (Is he done?); photo: sscnapoli.it

Another subpar showing by Goran Pandev

Pandev (Is he done?); photo: sscnapoli.itGoran Pandev started for Napoli and played until the 51st minute when he was substituted after being ineffective yet again during his time on the field against former club Inter.

Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri gave Pandev the start against his former club Inter but Goran failed to reward him and had another disappointing game.  Pandev even started on the left wing since he has been ineffective playing as the lone striker but that did not help.  The Napoli attack seemed out of sorts with Ezequiel Lavezzi also not looking comfortable playing as the lone striker.  Napoli did not create many chances in the 1st half but they caught a break just before halftime when the referee wrongly awarded Napoli a penalty.  Replays clearly showed that the foul on Napoli player Christian Maggio occurred outside of the box but the referee did not see it and pointed to the spot.  The penalty by Marek Hamsik was saved but his teammate Hugo Campagnaro scored on the rebound.

As for Pandev in the 1st half, his movement was not good as he made it very easy for the Inter defenders to mark him.  He also had a terrible moment in the 38th minute when he badly misplayed a good opportunity which led to him being mocked by the fans in the stands.  Napoli took a quick free kick and Pandev was in a good position but he tried to cut to his preferred left foot when he slipped and the ball went off Pandev for a goal kick.  Goran could have attempted a shot with his right foot but he is not comfortable with that foot so he tried to cut it to his left which led to the bad misfortune.  He also seemed to get tired very quickly and was not a threat to the Inter defenders.

Watching the game, there was a feeling that maybe Mazzarri would substitute Pandev at halftime but he decided to keep him out there.  However, after only six minutes, things were not changing so Mazzarri quickly substituted Pandev and brought on fellow striker Giuseppe Mascara.  Napoli started playing much better and added two more goals on their way to the 3:0 road victory.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Mascara overtook Pandev on the pecking order after today’s game.  How long can Mazzarri field Pandev if he continues this bad form?  There are no signs of Pandev snapping out of it as he looks nothing like the player from his Lazio days.  Pandev is still just 28 years old but could he be done as a player?  Will we ever see the Pandev from his Lazio days again or are his best days already behind him?  What do you think?  Send us a comment about your view on Pandev.

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