Coach Cesare Prandelli has been linked with a summer move on a consistent basis in recent weeks but the latest rumours seem to indicate he could be set to take charge of fallen giants Juventus.
The charismatic Prandelli featured for the Bianconeri during his playing career so he is no stranger to the winning mentality which used to define the prestigious club prior to this disastrous season. His departure would significantly hinder the progress made in Florence over the last few years, as Prandelli along with transfer guru Pantaleo Corvino have been the architects of Fiorentina’s revival.
This season has been an exception to the rule with the club’s form described as erratic at best. The Tuscan outfit cannot seem to muster a win in recent weeks with the club suffering from the temporary suspension imposed on Adrian Mutu. The Romanian was scoring for fun prior to failing tests for banned substances and his absence has left a void with Alberto Gilardino going through a dry spell. Gilardino was on form prior to the Winter break yet he has struggled to convert the opportunities which have come his way since the beginning of 2010. He did receive encouragement from former Italy forward Giuseppe Signori who stated he is confident Gilardino will get back to his scoring ways. The Gigliati are struggling for goals and certainly cannot afford to waste opportunities against Bayern Munich when the sides clash in Germany next Wednesday.
Prandelli is hoping Gilardino rediscovers his scoring touch in time otherwise he will have to call upon Stevan Jovetic who is on the mend after being sidelined with various injuries. Jovetic has been inspirational whenever asked to perform yet his lack of match fitness might be a concern unless he can put in a good workout against Sampdoria. The struggles in front of goal cannot be solely blamed on Gilardino’s lack of form, Jovetic’s gradual return to fitness or Mutu’s absence. The Gigliati’s wingers Juan Manuel Vargas and Marco Marchionni are going through a slight dip in form which has limited the quality of supply to the strikers. Against Roma the players did have a solid performance but the final touch was missing so a goal against Sampdoria could open the floodgates and restart the Gigliati’s season.
The unsettling reports have not been limited to Prandelli’s future or Mutu’s fiasco as two of the club’s key players are being linked with transfers. Alessandro Gamberini, who is returning to full-fitness after missing ample time with injury, is said to be heading to join Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City. It is highly unlikely Fiorentina will let go of their trusted centre-back particularly after the way former skipper Dario Dainelli was offloaded. Gamberini’s agent Francesco Romano denied the reports insisting the defender is happy in Florence and focused on winning a place on Marcello Lippi’s squad headed to South Africa. Besides the struggles in front of goal, the Gigliati backline has been error-prone as shown against Inter in the Coppa Italia when the league leaders were gifted the winning goal. Fiorentina conceded three goals in Sicily against Palermo while Cagliari, Lazio, Bologna and Chievo have all managed to score twice against the team in recent weeks.
Another valuable member of the team continuously linked with a transfer is Peruvian Vargas who has been a delight to watch this campaign. Real Madrid have supposedly been after Vargas for several months yet nothing happened in January, but now Juventus are interested. Holding on to the Peruvian will be key to showing how determined Fiorentina are to build a solid foundation with quality players such as Vargas and Jovetic. Rumours have not spared director Corvino whose name has been associated with Roma and Juventus. Corvino deserves as much credit as Prandelli because he has equipped the Coach with quality players. It is still early to pass judgment on recent signings Adem Ljajic, Mario Bolatti and Keirrison. Ljajic and Keirrison are young but the Brazilian striker has potential to be a pleasant surprise during the remainder of the season.
The best way to counter rumours and put behind a bad spell is simply to get back on track by winning matches. Going through a bad stretch can negate any previous wins (Just ask Milan’s Leonardo) so the only way forward is winning and then winning some more. Such is the beauty of football which can be a cruel sport at times. Prandelli will hope to get back to winning ways and make it to Europe next season so he can leave a nice parting gift in case he takes over Italy or Juventus next season.
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
Mutu’s timely return to form – January 12, 2010
La Viola continue on the right track on and off the pitch – January 15, 2010
A step back but Bolatti set to join – January 19, 2010
La Viola march on in Coppa Italia as Mutu strikes twice – January 22, 2010
Serie A inconsistency continues as Palermo are victorious in Sicily – January 26, 2010
Adrian Mutu in trouble once again? – January 29, 2010
The schedule only gets tougher from here on for la Viola – February 5, 2010
Bleeding points – February 9, 2010