Last season: Fiorentina2010-11 season review
The squad: Last season Sinisa Mihajlovic could blame injuries for the sides’ inability to remain consistent throughout the season. The squad which the Serbian boss inherited from the now national team manager Cesere Prandelli, severely underachieved though the club’s aim to cut the wage bill will test Mijahlovic’s man management skill and too the patience of the baying Viola faithful, who have been incredibly critical of their current manager. The top scorer last season Alberto Gilardino has been linked with Genoa and nouveau riche side Paris St Germain. His 12 goals were the sole reason as to why Fiorentina remained in mid-table but with the board wanting European football next season, the onus may fall onto the returning Stevan Jovetic to trouble the Serie A defences. His creativity and burst of energy was sorely lacking in a side deprived of zest and enthusiasm, especially in the first half of the season.
Troubled striker Adrian Mutu got his move to Cesena, club legend and vice captain Sebastian Frey is the latest participant in Genoa’s revolving door of goalkeepers whilst both Mario Santana and Marco Donadel have moved south to Naples. Riccardo Montolivo has also signalled his intentions for a move elsewhere.
The incomings have been few and far between. Romulo from Cruzeiro has impressed in pre-season. The right full back has been described as ‘the new Cafu’ by sections of the Brazilian press for his ability to cross and continually trouble the opposition with pacey runs. Andrea Lazzari joins from Cagliari for a reported €3m and Gianna Munari from Lecce which will add depth and industry to the Fiorentina midfield.
Coach: Sinisa Mihajlovic – This is Mijahlovic’s make or break season. Last season Mihajlovic favoured the 4-3-1-2 system which is played throughout most clubs in Italy. This season it seems Mihajlovic will look at a 4-3-3 system, with the emphasis on attacking coming from his inside wide players. The players signed thus far will slot straight into the system but it is what Mihajlovic wants which will be the decisive factor as to whether he remains coach of the club come ‘Panettone’ time. Games against Siena and Bologna provide the Serbian an opportunity to give his precise ideas and philosophy as to how he wants the team to perform. Thereafter, tough games against Udinese and Napoli away before the end of September will test the edgy Fiorentina fans should results not favour them.
Player to look for: Romulo has played in pre season in a wide right position despite being a wing back in Brazil. The role requires similar skills but if the Brazilian can quickly adapt to the tactical nuances of the Italian game, he could be one of the most exciting players in the league.
Prediction: Europa League qualification is achievable should key men stay fit and in form.
Average starting XI
De Silvestre– Gamberini – Natali – Pasqual
Behrami – Montolivo – Lazzari
Cerci – Gilardino – Jovetic