La Viola recorded a convincing 5-1 triumph over struggling Tuscan neighbors Siena in a match which saw Felipe Dias da Silva dal Belo make his club debut after joining on a season long loan when the January transfer window officially opened.
The positives for Coach Cesare Prandelli are not limited to the three points won and the decent first match by Felipe Dias but actually extend to Adrian Mutu’s successful return. The Romanian star marked his return with a goal as the Coach apparently moved swiftly to counter the rumours of the forward’s departure by including him in the starting lineup to compliment the latest reports claiming the Gigliati will extend Mutu’s contract to ward off interested parties. Prandelli reportedly wants to keep the often injured striker till the end of the season despite the distractions caused by his legal debacle with Chelsea. With Montenegrin sensation Stevan Jovetic suffering from various niggling injuries the pragmatic Prandelli acknowledges he cannot let go of his Romanian star before Jovetic is fully recovered and a decent alternative is brought into Florence. It is unlikely a striker of Mutu’s caliber can be brought in for cheap and transfer guru Pantaleo Corvino seems more focused on reinforcing the defensive line and the midfield area as opposed to the attack.
Fiorentina’s attack is beginning to fire on all cylinders despite the slow start to the season from the offensive end. The injuries have certainly hampered the attacking line but with the return of Mutu and Alberto Gilardino’s scintillating form it is hard to see the club struggle to score unless some unforeseen events begin to surface such as injuries or suspensions. Italy striker Gilardino marked the beginning of 2010 with a pair of goals to add to his impressive tally in the league, the Champions League and his impressive run with the Azzurri during the World Cup qualifiers when he saved Marcello Lippi’s blushes against the Republic of Ireland and Cyprus respectively. Coach Prandelli must be ecstatic with Gilardino’s form and is anxiously awaiting Jovetic’s return which is likely to propel the offence to another level given the extra impetus the young prodigy adds to the Gigliati’s attacks.
Against the Tuscan rivals Siena the astute Tactician had to do without the backbone of his defensive line with Alessandro Gamberini and Dario Dainelli out while the midfield was missing winger Marco Marchionni and anchorman Cristiano Zanetti. The four players are likely to start under Coach Prandelli whenever they are healthy and fully fit due to their experience and composure as well as the quality they add to the side. Speaking of both areas in the pitch, la Viola will remain in the market for midfielders given Zanetti’s proneness to injury and Marchionni’s absence. With Juan Manuel Vargas increasingly likely to remain in Florence until the end of the season the Coach will be looking to add central midfielders to the mix.
Keeping in mind the transfer window in January is highlighted by inaccurate reports it remains hard to bet against Prandelli and Corvino working together to draft in a midfielder and another defender besides Felipe Dias. The Tuscan club’s management is apparently targeting a number of central midfielders to bolster the side with Palermo’s Manuele Blasi, Lazio’s renegade player Cristian Ledesma and Atalanta’s Tiberio Guarente all linked with a move to Florence before the closure of the transfer market. Former Juventus player Blasi worked under Prandelli before when he was at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on loan a few years ago. Ledesma is certain to leave Lazio due to his standoff with the Roman club while Guarente might be the least likely option of the three as a figure close to €7 million appears to be needed to secure his services.
Blasi seems to be the cheapest option as he could be signed on a loan for the remainder of the season given he has been frozen out in Sicily where it has been made clear he has no future with the Rosanero. Prandelli might view Blasi as the ideal replacement for Zanetti in the short-term but the calculating Tactician is surely thinking about the future as well which implies a move for Ledesma would be the better fit on the long run. Securing Ledesma who is on the radar of a number of other clubs including Inter will not be as easy as signing Blasi. It has been reported the Tuscan outfit will have to cough up a decent sum to convince Lazio to cut ties with the rebel player.
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