A Florentine renaissance?

In Fiorentina’s last home game of the season, the heavens opened and lashed down a rain so powerful, it was as if it had been sent by God to wash away the memories of the past ten months. The Viola started this term under the glorious Tuscan sun and showed they may have weathered last season’s storm with considerable guile.
The opposition for the opening game of the season was Bologna, this had, strangely enough, been the same team that had visited for the last game at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in May. On that day, in the rain and thunder the Viola had been lucky to edge a 1-1 draw to secure a mediocre mid-table finish. The home team were booed off the pitch knowing the game could have been much worse had Marco Di Viao not missed his second half penalty. The frustrated and soaking crowd trudged home deeply worried about the up coming summer, mainly because of the Viola’s patron Andrea Della Valle’s promises of a mass exodus in the transfer window.
During the summer the personal that had been told they would be on their way out were all of the club’s top earners. This left many fearing for the future of the team, and when Sebastien Frey and Adrian Mutu left the club many feared the worst. What happened next however was unexpected, Riccardo Montolivo, who many had tipped to leave the club to go to Arsenal, stayed and is currently looking at signing a new contract. Alberto Gilardino also committed his future to the club whilst Stevan Jovetic and Alessio Cerci also evaded the talons of the top European vultures. The Viola then went on to spend 13.4 million Euros on 15 low key but useful players.
Sinisa Mihajlovic had, to the surprise of many, also stayed. His poor finish last term had been blamed on injuries and the board decided to back him. It came to be that last Sunday his new look Fiorentina side, free from injuries and still boasting many of its big names, took to the field against Bologna. His side ran out 2-0 winners, courtesy of goals from Gilardino and Cerci, and displayed much more fluidity throughout the team. The fact that Fiorentina seemed much more organic was the most notable positive of the match and good performances from Gilardino, Cerci, Jovetic and Manuel Pasqual will certainly give the Viola a much needed boost.
Fiorentina look like they may be building a much more fluid team this year as they looked comfortable when on the ball and in attack. There were still problems as they looked particularly shaky at the back, with the post helping them keep a clean sheet on two occasions, while Montolivo was average at best, but these are all things that can be improved on and overall Fiorentina looked like a new outfit. Their fans will hope that they can move forward with much more expectation this year.
The main threat for the Viola is the January transfer window. A host of European clubs are after Jovetic, Montolivo and Cerci in particular and contracts need to have been signed before the winter window. Should they keep these players then come May the sun could still be shining over Florence.

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