Fiorentina: Serie A’s Team To Watch
At the start of the summer, hopes for Fiorentina were relatively low. A disappointing 2011/12 season finished with them in 13th place and many of their fans feeling frustrated. Their season was hardly ideal, after manager Sinisa Mihajlovic was sacked in November, and replaced by Delio Rossi who steered them, well more like dragged them to a place in mid table mediocrity with a 13th place finish.
Fans of the Florence based club were hardly filled with excitement heading into this season. With big named players who helped them qualify for the prestigious champions league regularly in the mid to late 2000?s such as Alberto Gilardino and former Chelsea man Adrian Mutu now long gone, few felt Fiorentina had enough world class players to push the club into Europe again. However, the actions of the owner over the summer showed the club weren’t willing to accept another mid table finish.
Over the summer, in came Borja Valero from Villarreal, Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool, Emiliano Viviano on loan from Palermo and David Pizarro from AS Roma to name but a few. However, arguably the most positive news of the summer for Fiorentina was the news that the previous season’s breakout star Stefan Jovetic would be staying despite rumoured interest from most notably, Manchester City and Arsenal.
The season began well for Fiorentina, as they got impressive wins against, amongst others, Udinese, Catania and Lazio, and famously, a 3-1 win against AC Milan at the San Siro. So what is it about them this season that wasn’t there last season? Well, of course, the investment has helped. Borja Valero has been influential in central midfield, having played in all twelve of the club’s games so far this season, as has on loan goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.
Their defensive organisation has improved massively from last season, with the side having conceded a mere nine goals in 12 games, significantly more impressive when you consider Fiorentina have played Internazionale, AC Milan, Juventus and Napoli already this season. As expected, Stefan Jovetic has been an integral part of the success enjoyed by the club this season. His guile, energy and trickery have helped him to six goals this season, a record that will only lead to more speculation in January or the summer over his future.
As long as they can keep Jovetic, I am confident Fiorentina can remain in the top six, or even four, as they are now. With the new signings settling in well and the squad looking settled and confident, Fiorentina are the sort of side that look like they can defeat anyone on their day. Another huge advantage that Fiorentina have is the fact that they are not in any form of European competition, unlike their rivals at the top of the table.
They could well be a team to watch for the remainder of the season.