Hi Everyone. My name is Ted, and I will be helping Tim keep everyone up to date on the goings-on at Fiorentina. Together we hope to bring you everything you need to know about the greatest sports team ever to wear purple. Yes, even greater than the Minnesota Vikings and the Sacramento Kings.
The Viola won their derby today vs. Empoli by a score of 2-0. Tim is bringing us a full match recap later this evening, but in the meantime I thought I would take a look at Fiorentina’s position in the league, look at the rapidly-closing transfer market, and address one or two stories going around about the team.
• Fiorentina, as I noted, won today (in their bright red third shirts, no less) and thus will spend another week in 4th place and still in position for a Champions League spot. Juventus, currently in 3rd, beat Livorno 3-1 behind a David Trezequet brace. They sit three in front of Fiorentina. Udinese had an excellent chance to stay close to the Viola after their opponents, Inter, went down to ten men early in their game, but could not get the vital goal. Typical Inter. The one time I am pulling for them to score they can’t get a goal. Regardless, Fiorentina are now four points up on their nearest competitors for that 4th spot.
The other team Fiorentina fans continue to watch closely is Milan, who still sits ten points back but also still has those two pesky games in hand. Milan won 2-0 today behind a Pato brace and are coming to the Artemio Franchi next week, a topic we will surely be discussing in the coming days.
In sum, it was a pretty good weekend for the Vila. We now have a little breathing room in 4th with the four point cushion and can even look longingly at 3rd, even if that is probably a tad over-optimistic.
• Federico Balzaretti, who recently moved from Fiorentina to Palermo, had his soccer shorts all in a twist over his time with the Viola. He seems particularly stung by the lack of playing time afforded him by coach Cesare Prandelli. This is all pretty standard stuff (he’s not the first athlete to take a shot at his former coach over playing time) but a touch more unusual because it involves Prandelli, a man about as universally admired as it is possible to be in the viper-pit of Italian football.
• Finally, and happily, it seems as if the rumored “Frey to Milan” move that was going around last week will not happen, at least during this transfer window. Goal.com has a pretty good article explaining the complications of the swap which can be found here. Hey, I’m as intrigued as the next Viola fan about the idea of Alberto Gilardino in the purple, but Frey has been the best ‘keeper in Series A this year (there, I said it) and I want to see if he can take us to the Champions League.
In the meantime, I will be watching the transfer window very closely over the next few days, and will report back every credible rumor I hear and, God forbid, especially if something actually HAPPENS.
That’s all for now. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Tim’s recap of today’s game. I will probably next be back on Tuesday and Wednesday with a preview/recap of Fiorentina’s Italian Cup match with Lazio.