The Gigliati have focused on recovering some of the injured players, trying to make the best out of a much needed break from matches, and dealing with the usual media rumours regarding potential transfers in January.
One of the biggest names continuously linked with a move is none other than the impressive Coach Cesare Prandelli who is regularly linked with the Azzurri job once Marcello Lippi steps down. Prandelli has taken time to address this issue stressing he is satisfied in Florence and not seeking a change of scenery. The well-spoken Coach did not completely rule out the possibility of taking over la Nazionale after Lippi’s departure admitting it is a sensitive topic to assess. For a young Tactician who has been receiving much praise in recent seasons it would be an honour and achievement to take over the Azzurri. In previous editions of this segment the subject was briefly discussed as reports claiming Prandelli will be the FIGC’s choice have been circulating for the past few months. The Coach is an integral part of la Viola’s steady rise given his astute leadership, his tactical knowledge and respected player management skills.
The Winter break saw young prodigy Stevan Jovetic named as Montenegro’s Football Player of the Year 2009 with his brace against Liverpool being the highlight of his year and in fact his career. Jovetic has received constant praise from various sources, including Coach Prandelli who is trying his best to keep the burden on the young man’s shoulders to a minimum. The Italian and European Press often puts ridiculous amount of pressure on emerging stars by using a player’s greatest achievement, such as the double strike against Liverpool, as the measuring stick for his success or failure. Jovetic remains a raw talent and Prandelli is doing a phenomenal job of nurturing his skills without adding unnecessary pressure on the forward.
Jovetic seems to be coping well with his meteoric rise as he continuously denies reports of an imminent move to Real Madrid or other clubs in Europe. The Montenegrin sensation needs time and space to mature and reach his full potential. This is unlikely to happen if he opts to switch to an elite club where results will be the priority and competition will be at its compelling best. At Madrid, he would have to compete with several established stars for playing time, in particular Brazilian Kaka and Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo who can play across the front line or attacking midfield positions. In Tuscany Jovetic appears to have carved a niche and only niggling injuries have forced the Coach to use him sparingly in the final weeks prior to the Winter break.
Speaking of player transfers, la Viola appear to be on the verge of signing defender Felipe Dias da Silva, simply known as Felipe, during the January window. The centre-back will make the move from Udinese once the window is officially open and is estimated to cost the club around €9 million. This may appear like a hefty price but the player is only 25-years-old and seems to have a bright future ahead of him. The Brazilian will provided much needed cover for the depleted Fiorentina backline and will certainly be given the opportunity to grow under the pragmatic regime of Prandelli. The Brazilian developed through the Zebrette’s youth system and will likely make his debut against Siena after the Holiday break as starter Alessandro Gamberini is still recovering from injury.
One player who will not be featuring at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on a regular basis is Milan custodian Christian Abbiati who was rumoured to be leaving the Rossoneri with Coach Leonardo sticking to Brazilian Dida in goal. The reports seem to be linked to the future of Sebastien Frey who was linked with a move to Manchester United given Sir Alex Ferguson would like a solid replacement for the aging Dutchman Edwin van der Sar. The Red Devils were reportedly willing to offer €18 million for the Frenchman’s services but Frey’s agent Giovanni Branchini insisted he has not been in negotiations with the English club’s representatives. The agent declared his client wants to remain in Florence where he is settled and enjoying his football.
The successful campaign in the Champions League has given the Gigliati a massive lift as key players such as Jovetic, Frey and Juan Manuel Vargas have all distanced themselves from frequent rumours linking them with a move away from Florence. The impressive run in Europe and the presence of a solid Coach have played a decisive role in keeping those players as well as other impressive performers grounded despite the demand for their services.
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