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Pledge of Allegiance

I am well known, I hope, as a dedicated fan of Fiorentina. But no more! It’s true that I’ve long followed the team, been entranced by their attacking style, their storied history, and their ability to play the game with dignity, led by great Cesare Prandelli. It’s true I also love Florence, perhaps the most beautiful city in the world, a city filled with more treasures of western art than most nations. But all of that is in the past. For I leaned something today, something as I lazily lounged on the couch, long after the Fiorentina match had ended. I learned, while watching AC Milan play Udinese, that they had signed a formidable WORLD SUPERSTAR of football named David Beckham! God, that’s so exciting! And apparently the bigwigs who run football on TV think that as well, because they were much more interested in showing Beckham’s reaction to Milan’s goal fest than any of the players on the field. Well, count me in! I’ve thrown my Batistuta, Toni, and Jovetic shirts in the trash! Tomorrow, I’m getting me a brand-new Beckham shirt in those snazzy red-and-black stripes!

OK, I’m kidding. (As if you haven’t figured that out by now.) I can’t stand the smug prick. To be honest, I used to like Beckham, when he played for Manchester and Madrid. I thought he was good people, deep down. But after watching him half-ass it for the galaxy for two years so he wouldn’t get hurt for the upcoming England friendly vs. Andorra or whomever, I’ve had it. (I’m an MLS season-ticket holder and saw this in person; last season he was avoiding tackles the way Ronaldinho avoids the dentist.) Every time I think of him in the Milan shirt it makes me want to throw up in my mouth. It makes me dislike Milan even more, if that is even possible. Anyway, that club and him deserve each other. They give up a 22-year-old midfielder who has blossomed into what is probably one of the 15 best players in Europe (Yoann Gourcuff) and then turn around and sign Beckham? Go on, then. I don’t care how much ching they make selling Beckham shirts to a bunch of dopes.

Er, anyway, this is a Fiorentina blog. And aside from restating my never-ending allegiance to my beloved Viola, I should at least comment briefly on the massive win we had today, beating what I thought (in the preseason, anyway) was a formidable Samp team 1-0 at their place. I thought it was a good, solid performance by the whole team, even if the back line gave me a few scares. I’m glad Monto scored, as I think he will really have his head in the game when he returns from break, and I loved the play of Mutu up front today. The mazy run with the ball he had in the box right after the half was one of the best moves of the season, and he deserved to score, but the ball clanged off the post. I also liked the look of Melo and Vargas today (in spite of the fact that the former needs to keep the fouls to a minimum) and hope that their play will continue to improve after the holidays.

Things couldn’t be better as we go into the break, probably at exactly the wrong time as far as we are concerned. We are back in 4th place (a Champions League spot, of course) and sit only a point behind Milan. Three of what we all believed would be our most formidable challengers for that spot, Roma, Udinese, and Samp, all sit at least nine points back. There’s a lot of football left to be played, and lots of things left that could happen (Lazio and Napoli are both right there as well if we slip up) but right now I am very happy with where we sit as we enter the Christmas break.

This may or may not be my last post before Christmas on Thursday. After the holiday we will talk about transfers, the UEFA Cup, and the tricky start to the back end of the season before the games start again.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a happy and, especially, a safe holiday season. I hope Santa (if you believe in that sort of thing) is good to all of you and leaves everyone a little Fiorentina gear under the tree or whatever. Most of all, I wish peace and happiness to you all this holiday season. Even any Milan fans who wandered over here inadvertently at the sound of the name “Beckham.”