The Gigliati’s last match in 2009 was delayed due to the weather conditions affecting the city of Florence and consequently the bad condition of the pitch. The ground staffers were unable to clear the field in time for the game to be played. The Italian FA announced the postponed fixture will not be played until late January or perhaps even another date.
The postponement of the clash with the Rossoneri left most of the club-related news focused on potential transfers during the January transfer window. La Viola director Pantaleo Corvino made it clear the club will be making some signings during the transfer window and took time to deny any link with Portuguese Tiago who plays for rivals Juventus. Corvino insisted the player will not be making the move to Florence as the midfielder does not fit in with the system employed by Coach Cesare Prandelli. The Director admitted it will be hard to improve on the starting lineup given the kind of funding which will be needed to do so, yet he stressed he will do everything possible to reinforce the side.
The success in the Champions League campaign still reverberates around Tuscany and Fiorentina’s players have done the region proud by exceeding expectations, including those of the tifosi. The campaign has certainly been defined by the run in Europe despite the mediocre domestic form which has been highlighted by inconsistency and dropped points. Coach Prandelli has had to contend with several injuries with Montenegrin sensation Stevan Jovetic missing ample time, midfield anchorman Cristiano Zanetti often sidelined by niggling injuries, defensive lynchpin Alessandro Gamberini ruled out for several weeks, and the injured Romanian star Adrian Mutu with his much publicised legal battle with Chelsea.
The return of these injured players will serve as a major boost for the club and will help the Coach by giving him more options when rotating his lineup. The injuries have probably been the sole negative feature of this season for the Gigliati besides the inconsistent domestic form. Given the budget and the injuries, the club has overachieved, particularly after winning five in a row in Europe. Bayern Munich’s management and Coach Louis Van Gaal have expressed satisfaction with the draw but they will be in for a surprise if they underestimate the Tuscan side. With Alberto Gilardino finding the net on a regular basis and more significantly his return to the lethal form (during his Parma days) when he struck fear in the hearts of defenders can only serve to highlight the danger posed by the representatives of Florence.
The former Rossoneri striker has been in scintillating form for the Azzurri scoring against Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland to secure automatic qualification to the World Cup and in doing so gave Coach Marcello Lippi some reprieve following the disastrous Confederations Cup showing by la Nazionale. Alberto is not the only shining star in Florence as emerging star Jovetic has heavily impressed when called upon by Prandelli. The Montenegro international has been blighted by injury in recent weeks but his early season form has served as a massive boost for the Gigliati. He will be fondly remembered for his brace which basically kicked-off la Viola’s successful run in the Champions League.
Other noteworthy players who deserve a tribute include the solid and reliable goalkeeper Sebastien Frey. The Frenchman has been an absolute rock and some of his saves were stunning to say the least. Frey’s presence provides the Fiorentina’s defensive line with an added sense of security. He has more than compensated for the absence of centre-back Gamberini. At one point when Frey was healthy (as he too suffered from injury!) his performances were as impressive and crucial to la Viola as Gianluigi Buffon’s were to the Bianconeri. Indeed this is how good the Frenchman can be despite the legendary Buffon’s remarkable start to the season during which he saved the Old Lady from dropping several precious points. Both custodians have made sure their respective clubs have more points in the bag prior to the Winter break.
Excluding Marco Marchionni and Juan Manuel Vargas from the list of achievers during this stretch of the season will be unacceptable as they have been influential and have contributed with their fair share of goals. Vargas has been particularly impressive attracting attention from across the European continent. Perhaps the one worrying aspect for the Coach has been the relatively mediocre scoring record of his side. The astute Coach is one other name worthy of honouring at this stage of the season. He has excelled given the circumstances and the congestion in fixtures. 2010 promises to be a positive one if the players continue to believe in Prandelli’s message.
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