Once again Fiorentina was able to come on top following a hard fought 1-0 away win over Udinese courtesy of a late deflected free-kick by Juan Manuel Vargas. The Peruvian has been in decent form putting in another consistent display on the wing capped by the goal which secured all three points. His recent performances justify the strong interest from the likes of Real Madrid, one of the elite clubs linked with a move for the gifted player.
Former Fiorentina and Italy international Diego Fuser recently praised wingers Marco Marchionni and Vargas, reserving special praise for the Peruvian who has been moved further up front from his wing-back position in order to provide more of an attacking threat this season. Fuser insisted that Vargas is quite critical for Coach Cesare Prandelli’s tactics and that he is having a fine season. Following the victory over the Zebrette, Vargas declared he is happy to remain in Florence and distanced himself from links claiming a move to Los Blancos is on the horizon. He did admit he is flattered by the interest from others clubs, particularly Los Galacticos, while confirming he intends to remain with la Viola for now. This should serve as a psychological boost for the team’s morale with the club from Tuscany facing an injury crisis during a crucial period of the season outlined by a season defining fixture list. The solid performances of the winger have significantly contributed to the team’s recent victories and if he remains, he is likely to have a telling role in the Gigliati’s fortunes.
Going back to the clash with the Bianconeri, Fiorentina admittedly did not have the best of games and simply did good enough to snatch all points on hand. The Zebrette (with missing players as well) did not capitalise on the key absences from la Viola’s squad which included no less than five players through injury or suspension, namely Adrian Mutu, Stevan Jovetic, Alessandro Gamberini, Dario Dainelli and Cristiano Zanetti. The absence of Gamberini and Dainelli was perhaps the highlight since the two central defenders were supposedly going to work to neutralise Serie A’s top scorer Antonio Di Natale. The return of custodian Sebestien Frey was helpful in creating a sense of confidence for the makeshift defensive line and the fact la Viola was able to keep a clean sheet made the victory all the more impressive. The Gigliati occupy fourth place in the domestic league behind the stingiest defense which has conceded nine goals while the attack has managed a paltry 13 strikes. With 12 of the clubs in the league having scored more than Fiorentina’s total, it is perhaps Prandelli’s most disappointing and perhaps worrying aspect so far in terms of numbers. The club boasts the likes of Alberto Gilardino as well as the aforementioned Mutu and Jovetic amongst its attacking players, however injuries, a difficult run of fixtures, and the team’s congested and tiring schedule must all be assessed before criticising the scoring abilities of the team.
Prandelli commended his players after the winning effort in Udinese and reserved special praise for his midfielder Riccardo Montolivo referring to the midfielder as a difference maker and a quality player even on the international level. Montolivo was just recalled by la Nazionale’s Coach Marcello Lippi after a decent run of games and following Daniele De Rossi’s withdrawal from the Azzurri due to surgery after an injury suffered against Internazionale. La Viola’s midfielder performed well against Debrecen in the Champions League and was consistent against Udinese. While his performances may have earned him a deserved call up, Riccardo obviously did benefit from two strokes of luck with the unfortunate injuries to Zanetti (at the club level) and De Rossi (the Giallorossi’s soul) influencing his inclusion in Fiorentina’s starting lineup and consequently his international recall.
Montolivo was one of three Gigliati players called up by Coach Lippi with Gilardino joined by teammate Marchionni for the friendly encounters with the Netherlands and Sweden. Striker Gilardino has guaranteed his place in the Italy squad traveling to South Africa (barring a shock) while Marchionni and Montolivo will have a lot to do in order to earn their chance to represent the Azzurri in the World Cup. Both players may make the squad if injuries and selections go their way provided they maintain their decent form and play with relative consistency. While the international players will participate in the upcoming friendly internationals, the rest of Prandelli’s squad will welcome the break in matches after a hectic month.
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