Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Fiorentina: Struggling to get back to their best

Its been a difficult year for the Viola with struggles both on and off the pitch. Fiorentina have struggled in Serie A for the past year or so and their start to the season has followed trend with the Viola notching just one point in their opening three league games. It has been a turbulent year with several changes and a tragedy affecting the football club and the city of Florence.

Fiorentina had a largely disappointing 2018/19 campaign in more ways than one with the Viola finishing in 16th place with just 41 points from their 38 league games. The Viola notched just 8 league wins last season and for a side expected to challenge for at least the Europa League places, that is simply not good enough. Fiorentina also struggled on their travels winning just three league games with their overall away record showing 8 defeats. The Viola have been desperately poor on the road and in Florence, things haven't been much better. 5 league wins amassed at home last season and that is very disappointing for a team who are vital to the city of Florence.

Stability has also proved an issue at Fiorentina with the club going through two managers last season. Stefano Pioli was dismissed midway through last season after an inconsistent run of form and so far his replacement Vincenzo Montella has struggled to get Fiorentina ticking. Montella is under pressure but determined to get Fiorentina firing on all cylinders and to be fair to him, Fiorentina have faced Napoli and Juventus in their opening three league games so its understandable their season has yet to ignite but they must quickly find a winning formula otherwise a relegation battle could become all too real for one of Italy's biggest football clubs. On the other hand, another aspect of their struggle last season was the tragic death of their captain Davide Astori who died in his sleep ahead of a game with Genoa last season. A tragedy which rocked the club and Serie A as a whole and his tremendous leadership skills and attitude has been sorely missed at Fiorentina but the club is determined to move on but they have struggled since especially in terms of tightening their defence.  

Fiorentina's transfer business has also come into question with the club making several changes to their squad as well as some surprise decisions on who stays and who leaves the club. The Viola have brought in 13 new signings this summer in a determined bid to improve on their disappointing campaign last time out. But, with a whole host of new signings comes a period of struggle where the team takes time to gel meaning results aren't necessarily the best and certainly that is the case with Fiorentina at the moment. Their biggest acquisition is Franck Ribery who arrives after a trophy-laden spell at Bayern Munich and the fans are extremely excited to see the veteran Frenchman cause some waves in Serie A. Others to arrive include Pol Lirola and Erick Pulgar who have been excellent during their time at Sassuolo and Bologna while experienced Serie A regulars Martin Caceres, Milan Badelj and Kevin-Prince Boateng have also arrived in Florence. Boateng brings flair to their attack and will always score a goal but he isn't the more prolific striker so there cause for concern especially when Fiorentina decided to let last seasons' top scorer Giovanni Simeone leave the club. A decision questioned by the fans with the striker impressing in his first season at the club. Fiorentina has also completed an interesting swap deal with Inter Milan with Dalbert arriving in Florence and Cristian Biraghi heading to Milan. Dalbert has struggled in Italy following his tremendous spell with Nice in France and he will be aiming to seize his opportunity and make an impression in Serie A. Biraghi is considered a bright talent so it will be a loss to Fiorentina but Montella will no doubt believe in the players at his disposal.

Fiorentina desperately need to get their season started after another busy summer and their new look squad needs to quickly gel and start getting results on the board. The Viola's struggles of last season have trickled into this and the pressure is mounting on Vincenzo Montella. The Viola need to click and certainly they need to get the best out of star man Federico Chiesa who is a gamechanger and exciting player who can win matches for the Viola. Chiesa is in high demand but has struggled to capture his best form. Of course time is on their side, but results have to drastically improve otherwise it really could be a season of struggle for a side expected to gatecrash the European places.

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