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Pioggia Viola : AFC Fiorentina

Started on 20 November 2019 by OohAhCantona
Latest Reply on 3 September 2020 by OohAhCantona
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A better month after a strange one in September. Pedro is certainly a key player this month with those goals, hopefully he can keep it going throughout.
Despite the high volume of injuries, the results have been largely unaffected. The indication of a very good side!
2019-12-30 16:58#264467 ScottT : Despite the high volume of injuries, the results have been largely unaffected. The indication of a very good side!

Yeah, about that...

NOVEMBER : INJURIES MOUNT AS INVINCIBILITY MELTS AWAY

Serie A (H) : Fiorentina 0 - Udinese 1


At this point in the season you could see the stress radiating off Vincenzo Montella. October ended with a closer-than-it-should-have-been 2-1 win over Hellas Verona that saw Montella start Leonardo Taddei, a substandard CB for the U-20 team, who represented a roster low-point as injuries and suspension ravage the team. More bad news would come earlier in the week as Pol Lirola would be out for 3-5 weeks with an abdominal strain, a dire injury blow that would leave Montella threadbare at RB. You would never know they were 4th in the league, just 4 points back of Inter in 1st.

“Things are getting hard for us” said Montella during a ViolaChannel interview before the game “we have a lot of players, players that are hurt.”

Maybe it was a trap game, or maybe it was just the culmination of all the injuries, but Udinese had an easy go against a mentally defeated Fiorentina. While they did enjoy nearly 60% of the ball, they weren’t doing anything with it. Things got really bad at 30’ when Rolando Mandragora deflected a corner toward goal and the ball glanced off the back of Franck Ribéry’s calf and into the net. That was all Udinese needed to beat this Fiorentina team, they were flat and just never really looked threatening.

Serie A (A) : Atalanta 2 - Fiorentina 1


Fiorentina came into this game looking more like a hospital ward than a football team, Montella desperately needed a long break so players could get rested and come back from injury. Facing Atalanta on the road was not a recipe for relief here, and things got really bad really fast.

In what would literally be the highpoint of the game for I Viola Dušan Vlahović scored less than a minute into the game. Already up 1-0 it was understandable that spirits were high, but at 7’Simon Kjaer scored off a Fiorentina back line that looked confused and uninterested in stopping anyone. Things got even better at 19’ when Valentin Eysseric, who just returned from injury, went down injured to force Kevin Prince-Boateng into the game.

The game limped into the half and Montella would end up wishing they had stayed in the locker room. At 49’ Germán Pezzella would go off injured, and then at 63’ Dalbert would show everyone how it’s done. A collision with Josip Ilicic, where Ilicic stepped on Dalbert’s foot, resulted in a broken foot that would rule him out for 3-4 months. After being up a minute into the game it would be a miracle if they could escape with the point they had in hand at the moment. At 78’ Duván Zapata ended that dream with a display of defensive ineptitude as Zapata collected a long ball from deep in Atalanta’s third and ran right past all of the Fiorentina defenders. Bartłomiej Drągowski had a chance to stop him, but Zapata was too smooth and put the hosts up for good.

Serie A (H) : Fiorentina 2 - Bologna 1


The Derby dell'Appennino was probably not the time for Montella to be coming off a three game losing streak. A 1-0 loss at Brescia last week would continue to misery, it didn’t help that the team put on one of the most listless performances of the season and deserved to lose by more. Montella’s headache would spread to off-field issues as Germán Pezzella would pick a three game losing streak as the right time to demand a new contract, and he managed to get a number of players to back him. Inside sources report that Montella asked to discuss the contract at the end of the season, and while that didn’t sit well with Pezzella it did satisfy the players who were initially backing his demands. Pezzella took to the media with the help of his agent, but Montella wasn’t going to engage on the issue.

It only took 8’ for things to get worse for Fiorentina, Montella looked defeated as Luca Ranieri went down and had to be stretchered off. With Ranieri literally his last LB Bryan Dabo went on as a warm body tasked with not breaking his leg, the bar was low as he just needed to make it through the rest of the game. Riccardo Orsolini would leave injured at 10’ so things seemed a little more level, but just seven minutes later Nicola Sansone would put the visitors up 1-0. Montella could only stare blankly after yet another defensive break down, and he didn’t even flinch when Pedro missed a penalty at 23’ after being tripped by Mattia Bani in the box. He did manage a reserved fist bump when Ribéry scored at 25’ to level things at 1-1.

Despite having a warm body at LB Fiorentina managed to resurrect their attack and started to pour it on after pulling level. Nothing went in, but 60% possession and (15) shots set the tone for the rest of the game as Bologna couldn’t get much going on their end. Federico Chiesa finally broke the stalemate at 64’ and Fiorentina continued to dominate possession as they inched toward 67% and continued the barrage of shots. Somehow the back line held and Bologna surrendered the derby, breaking a streak of losses and giving Montella some minor respite.


Montella can only scream so much.

After the game it would be announced that Ranieri had damaged his cruciate ligament and would be out 6-7 months, ending his season. The transfer window can’t come fast enough, if Montella was unsure about recalling players on loan the Ranieri injury sealed it.
Wow. The number of injuries at the moment is concerning. Certainly having an impact on results now and that's understandable.
Really going to be an important January window for the team in purple
2019-12-30 21:11#264496 ScottT : Wow. The number of injuries at the moment is concerning. Certainly having an impact on results now and that's understandable.

If anyone knows how to prevent injuries, if that is even possible, I'd love to know. Every save I do I go through a period of just getting absolutely slaughtered by injuries, it doesn't matter if I'm Fiorentina or Man United so throwing money at it doesn't seem to work. Even using my two squad approach to limit workload doesn't seem to help much.
A shame about the ridiculous number of injuries atm, hopefully the transfer window can help solve it slightly with a bit more depth.
Getting very worrisome on-field with the injuries being picked up and the results that could potentially derive from that fact.

DECEMBER : ANYONE WHO WANTS TO CAN COME START IN THE BACK LINE

Coppa Italia - TIM Cup (H) : Fiorentina 2 - Lecce 0


A slow month, only four fixtures, might be a blessing for the broken remnants of I Viola. Montella is pulling anyone with a pulse into the side, starting 16-year old Romaric Guedegbe at LB is as bad as it gets so far. Facing Lecce in the Coppa Italia is probably the best place for this to happen, even if Guedegbe is the youngest player to even start in the Coppa Italia, it’s better to get this out of the way here instead of the league.

Franck Ribéry would make things easier with an early goal at 7’, and then the frustration of dominating an opponent without scoring started to settle in. Getting off (14) shots by the half with only a single goal doesn’t look good, but being up 1-0 can ease the pain. Lecce did manage a few solid chances, most of them coming off deep passes to Diego Farias streaking through the central defense. Farias’ day would end at 66’ when the frustration of Pol Lirola’s defense boiled over into an unnecessary tackle on the sidelines. The hard tackle left Lirola limping and Farias saw straight red for his efforts.

Pedro would manage an 85’ goal on a low cross from Lirola, his second of the game, and the victory was sealed. Fiorentina would draw Atalanta in the next round, a much harder test.

Serie A (A) : Sassuolo 4 - Fiorentina 2


On the road at Sassuolo turned out the be the time to pay the piper. If playing Guedegbe was a low point this would be a steep drop off from that as he would make another start at LB and be joined by 17-year old Jonathan Spedalieri at CB and a tired Jacob Rasmussen. Backup RB Lorenzo Venuti would be the best defender on the field, Sassuolo would be licking their chops at this matchup.

“We are dealing with some injuries,” said Montella, managing to smile through the pain “we will have new players, they will have to do their best.”

Right away things looked bad, especially at the back, and the cobbled together roster looked a little lost. Spedalieri was easily the worst, being dropped into the senior squad wasn’t something he was ready to handle. He played players onsides, didn’t push forward at times, booted the ball into Sassuolo’s defense instead of playing passes to Fiorentina’s wings or Erick Pulgar dropping deep to receive the ball, and threw himself into tackles in a desperate attempt to avoid being beaten. Grégoire Defrel was the first to get the better of him, being played onside he was released by a through ball and scored easily with Fiorentina’s defense on its heels.

Dušan Vlahović would be handed a gift not long after Defrel’s goa, it literally came off the ensuing kickoff. Riccardo Sottil lost control of the ball as he hit a clump of Sassuolo defenders and Manuel Locatelli tried to clear the ball but it flew back and hit Sottil to send the ball flying back toward Sassuolo’s goal. Normally this wouldn’t have an issue, Vlahović was well behind the central defenders after making a run for Sottil, but Federico Peluso was playing Vlahović onside and well wide so he had no way of intervening. Vlahović was there just as the ball hit the ground and stroked it past a confused Andrea Consigli who immediately began yelling at the ref along with manager Roberto De Zerbi. After a long break that involved a lot of yelling, gesturing, and finger pointing at the refs the goal stood and things were level 1-1.

Defrel would add to Fiorentina’s woes after terrorizing Spedalieri when he baited the teenager into tripping him in the box. The tackle was so bad it earned a straight red and because it was in the box a limping Defrel got to sit by and watch Francesco Caputo give Sassuolo a 2-1 lead. Montella wouldn’t even look at Spedalieri as he left the pitch, bringing on Martín Cáceres for Vlahović and setting up a 4-2-3. With a man advantage Sassulo took over the game, Fiorentina were lucky to head into the half only down 2-1, but it wouldn’t last long. Defrel would score again at 56’, Cáceres wasn’t doing much better than Spedalieri to contain him, and the rout appeared to be on. Sottil would manage to score at 61’, providing some hope, but the game dragged into stoppage time with Fiorentina never looking like finding an equalizer before Defrel completed his hat trick.

Serie A (H) : Fiorentina 1 - Lazio 1


With the transfer window looming Montella threw everyone who could still stand at this game. Having essentially the first team squad at his disposal looked good with the exception of being forced to play Martín Cáceres at LB. He might as well have put a training dummy out there, but the rules don’t allow for that (yet).

Lazio folded rather quickly, a surprise considering their roster, but Fiorentina couldn’t put anything together. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was a ghost, perhaps he had his eye on a move to Manchester United, but it really allowed Fiorentina to control possession in the middle. A bad omen would be Pedro missing a penalty at 16’ after he was knocked over in the box by Bastos, the pleas for a red card as he had a great opening to score were ignored. Even after 16’, a 1-0 lead could swing this game, and Pedro never really seemed to recover from it. It wasn’t until the second half that Fiorentina found their 1-0 lead, Kevin Prince-Boateng would be in the right place at the right time as shot from Erick Pulgar bounced off Thomas Strakosha’s fist and went right to Price-Boateng for an easy goal.

Dominating shots, possession, and getting fouled left and right on Lazio’s way to having (7) players booked made it look like I Viola had this in the bag. Even Cáceres looking lost didn’t seem to be a problem right up until it was a massive problem. At 83’ Joaquín Correa received the ball just barely on Fiorentina’s side of the half, ran around wide with Cáceres in his dust, rounded the defense and took a shot to the far side of the net that went in. Just like that, the lead was gone and Fiorentina never got it back. A draw against a team of Lazio’s quality is a bit of a win, but those (3) points would have been big.


Martín Cáceres is a terrible LB.
"Martín Cáceres is a terrible LB."

Well, that is straight to the point haha
Another rough month there with the only win coming in the cup. Missed a chance to beat Lazio with that penalty miss, but that’s football!
I'm surprised Montella is doing as well as he is with the number of injuries in truth!

TRANSFER WINDOW : GETTING THE GANG BACK TOGETHER

With barely any money to spend and injuries piling up Daniele Pradè and Vincenzo Montella needed to be creative. Luckily for them Fiorentina had a number of players out on loan that would fill in at desperately needed positions. While they were somewhat tempted by offers for German Pezzalla, all from Chinese clubs in the £18-25M range, they couldn't afford to lose him right in the middle of the season.

Senior / Major Transfers (Out)
None

Senior Transfers (In)
Filip Jagiello (CM, Genoa) £2.5M
Federico Ricci (RW, Spezia) £1.8M
Gilberto (RB, Fluminense) Loan
Maximiliano Olivera (LB, Olimpia) Loan
Aleksa Terzić (LB, Trabzonspor) Loan
Tòfol Montiel (RW, Cosenza) Loan


Jagiello provides much needed depth.

Jagiello was a lucky catch as Genoa placed him on the loan list but Fiorentina swooped in to buy him before anyone could bring him in on a loan. The addition of Ricci, along with the return of Montiel, helps Montella reorganize his wing players. Moving Chiesa to a more natural LW position and pushing Franck Ribéry to the second squad gives him more depth and puts Chiesa in a better position to succeed.
It'll be interesting to see how things continue onwards.

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