After 3 long months Serie A returned with an explosive encounter at the Stadio Artemi Franchi which saw two sent off and a very controversial opening goal from Edinson Cavani. Sinisa Mihajlovic was left feeling bewailed and cheated after his first game as Fiorentina Coach finished in a 1-1 draw with Champions League hopefuls Napoli. The former Yugoslavian international said: “Fiorentina played well, and the players did what I asked them. All that we lacked was the victory. But playing like we did this evening will hopefully mean we can do very well for the remainder of the season.”
La Viola played with style and direction throughout, and even with the sending off of Juan Manual Vargas Mihajlovic feels that his side were unlucky not to toast his debut with a win. “The referees got the decision wrong, and only realised they had made the wrong decision afterwards, I don’t want to comment on the situation.” Mihajlovic also went on to slate their opponents’ approach to the match: “It is also disappointing because we were the ones who were trying to play a good game of football. Napoli only had a couple of shots on goal.”
One game in, and plenty for the La Viola boss to ponder over, as it appears he is not one to bite his tongue. Was fitness a problem or was it just a lack of cutting edge finishing that denied La Viola? Whatever the reason it must be considered that a draw with a rival side, along with some fine individual performances does not mean all is lost. The suspension of Peruvian international Vargas will not help cushion the blow of the opening day draw, and with the International break pending, Mihajlovic’s frustration will stretch until Fiorentina’s next fixture, when they visit Lecce. It is essential to draw upon the positives from the Napoli game as Mihajlovic must focus on marshalling his troops into battle next time out.
Despite Mihajlovic’s disappointment with Sunday night’s game, La Viola midfielder Marco Marchionni remained optimistic about the performance: “Fiorentina played well, as it was our aim to have a good start. Last season, we had an okay beginning, but the coach gave us the energy and confidence to do well this evening. I am a little disappointed in the result, because I think we could have done a little better. I was told that Napoli’s goal should not have counted, but on the pitch, I did not see it. Our objective this season is to do better than last season. We will take every match as it comes, and see where it leads.”
The comments from Mihajlovic and Marchionni just go to show the high standards set by both the coach and the players alike, as Fiorentina look to redeem themselves after last season’s disappointment and qualify for Europe’s elite competition once again.
With the transfer window on the brink of slamming shut, Bayern Munich’s Martin Demichellis has reiterated the fact he will not leave the Germans for Fiorentina or any other team across the continent. “I will be very honoured to stay at Bayern and fight. The coach gave me his reasoning and he said I had a hard decision to make, but I’ve accepted it already and there was mutual agreement.” Mihajlovic will be gutted to have missed out on one of his main targets, but the signing of striker Alessio Cerci has helped fill the void left by long-term absentee Steven Jovetic. The former Roma man signed for £3 million last week and has already expressed his desire to succeed in Florence. “Mihajlovic convinced me to come to Fiorentina. They made me feel important and I have taken this opportunity. Fiorentina for me is the right choice.”
Mihajlovic remains with a sour taste in his mouth but the fact is his team have showed a genuine desire to do well for the club and this will surely go a long way to putting a smile back on his face. The opening day draw has been frowned upon but comments from new signing Cerci will produce a real confidence boost with the fans and coach as the players coming in believe they are going to achieve good things this season at the Stadio Artemi Franchi.