Fiorentina dropped to 11th yet the more pressing concern is the dismal home form after the defeat to Roma signaled the fourth loss in Florence. The Giallorossi did not deserve victory but such is the cruelty of the beautiful game with teams who are unable to finish often punished on the other end.
This has not been a typical season for la Viola with the successful European campaign garnering much of the attention in Tuscany while unwanted distractions became a familiar feature. The often mentioned legal battle involving Adrian Mutu and Chelsea was creating instability early on. Key players such as Mutu, Stevan Jovetić and Alessandro Gamberini suffered from various injuries, missing game after game. As if injuries and Mutu’s legal dilemma were not enough, the troubled forward got in further mess after failing to pass a test for banned substances. He claims he took herbal pills, which contained a banned substance without his prior knowledge as the label did not indicate its presence in the pills. Then came the January transfer window and the attempt to bring in the highly volatile but equally talented Antonio Cassano in a deal which could have propelled the team in the league standings. The move failed in the last hours, forcing transfer guru Pantaleo Corvino to slam Sampdoria and Coach Prandelli to lament a lost opportunity to add a talented forward.
The list of undesirable events does not end there as Prandelli has been continuously linked with the Azzurri job causing further instability. The Coach has denied these rumours, insisting he is focused on the task at hand in Tuscany. The latest to add his voice of support is former Azzurri Coach Arrigo Sacchi, who praised Prandelli and stressed he is one of the better managers in Serie A. Sacchi urged Prandelli to remain in Florence to guide the club as opposed to taking over la Nazionale given the national team does not require daily management due to lack of time spent with players. Sacchi did praise la Viola for the performance against the Giallorossi despite the unfortunate defeat. Prandelli is garnering the right kind of attention and his players have been trying hard to get back on the right track, as witnessed against Inter in the Coppa Italia. Striker Alberto Gilardino has struggled for goals in recent weeks while Mutu is serving a temporary suspension while awaiting the final verdict following his failed drug tests.
Montenegro’s Jovetić is still short on match fitness and is being gradually reintegrated into the line-up while the new signings are slowly blending in. Prandelli took the opportunity to urge the tifosi and the critics to give two of the January signings ample time to settle down given their tender age and their lack of experience. The astute Coach is referring to Brazilian Keirrison and Adem Ljajić. The young Ljajić is beginning to get some playing time while Keirrison made a cameo appearance against Roma. Prandelli is renowned for nurturing young and upcoming talents so his words must be carefully considered before passing judgment on those players.
Fiorentina’s management may have erred by introducing several players during January at a time when the current squad are struggling for continuity and consistency. The new signings will likely prove their worth with time but to bring in a number of youngsters could backfire in difficult times. Thankfully Corvino and the directors worked to bring in midfielder Mario Bolatti, who has represented Argentina and defender Felipe, who has made over 100 appearances for Udinese. Both players should be able to cope with the delicate situation in Florence as the Gigliati have stuttered in recent matches. Brazilian Felipe has not really impressed and the club might rue letting Dario Dainelli leave given his familiarity with the club, the Coach’s system and his loyalty to the Fiorentina colours.
Prandelli is facing a monumental task of having to catch fourth place Napoli, who have seven more points while the likes of Parma are just two points behind and hot on their heels. Nine points separate the Partenopei from Parma who are in 13th place. This shows the difficult task on hand and perhaps the situation will serve as the best test to Prandelli’s managerial knowledge. It will also affirm whether Corvino’s reputation as a great finder of talent is well deserved or not. Fiorentina could not have found a worse time to get mired in the current mini crisis as the European clash against Bayern Munich kicks off in just over a week.
Fiorentina Club Focus
Viola continue to grind out results – September 15, 2009
La Viola lose Gilardino and the points – September 18, 2009
Fatigue catching up with la Viola – September 22, 2009
Della Valle Resigns as Fiorentina triumph over Sampdoria – September 25, 2009
La Viola finally win away as De Silvestri makes debut – September 29, 2009
The beginning of the Jovetic era in Florence? – October 2, 2009
Two points lost and a wasted opportunity – October 6, 2009
Good news all round – October 9, 2009
International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
Transfer rumours abound as Gilardino fires la Nazionale to South Africa – October 13, 2009
Gilardino shines again as la Viola eye the Bianconeri’s scalp – October 16, 2009
La Viola holds firm against Juventus – October 20, 2009
Crucial win over Debrecen, Manchester United prepare bid for Jovetić? – October 23, 2009
La Viola going through a rough patch – October 30, 2009
Marchionni brace completes Fiorentina rebound – November 3, 2009
Prandelli and co. march on against Debrecen – November 6, 2009
La Viola edge Udinese as Marchionni and Montolivo earn Azzurri recall – November 10, 2009
Vargas to stay as Prandelli praises Jovetic – November 20, 2009
Injuries taking their toll as Lyon clash looms – November 24, 2009
la Viola through to the round of 16 in Europe – November 28, 2009
La Viola’s resistance broken from the penalty spot – December 1, 2009
Must-win game to remain close to Champions League spots – December 4, 2009
Race for fourth continues as Fiorentina travel to Anfield – December 8, 2009
Historic win as Tifosi give warm reception – December 11, 2009
Precious points dropped as fatigue and injuries mount – December 15, 2009
Viola prepare for Milan’s arrival and Mutu’s departure – December 18, 2009
Snow postpones Milan clash – December 22, 2009
Calm holiday period despite transfer reports – December 29, 2009
Reinforcements wanted – January 5, 2010
Ideal start for 2010 as the Gigliati begin a push to climb the table – January 8, 2010
Mutu’s timely return to form – January 12, 2010
La Viola continue on the right track on and off the pitch – January 15, 2010
A step back but Bolatti set to join – January 19, 2010
La Viola march on in Coppa Italia as Mutu strikes twice – January 22, 2010
Serie A inconsistency continues as Palermo are victorious in Sicily – January 26, 2010
Adrian Mutu in trouble once again? – January 29, 2010
The schedule only gets tougher from here on for la Viola – February 5, 2010
Bleeding points – February 9, 2010