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Siena 0-0 Fior; All I Want For Christmas Is A New Midfield

Artur Boruc denies Gaetano D'Agostino his revenge and preserves a 0-0 tie.

The Tuscan Derby rarely fails to be a contentious affair and this season's Siena Edition was no exception as La Viola and the squad that plays at the other Stadio Artemio Franchi struggled to a 0-0 tie in a match that should've been played at the start of the season, but was pushed back due to the players strike.

Both Fiorentina and Siena came into the match coming off of losses, and needing a win to try to stave off the Relegation Zone. Increasing the pressure on the match were the bad feelings that former Fiorentina player Gaetano D'agostino has professed regarding the way he was treated in Firenze.

Ref Luca Banti was kept busy as he called 29 fouls and handed out 10 yellow cards, although most watching would consider two or three of those yellow cards to be a bit harsh. Most of the statistics favored Fiorentina slightly, but Siena had the better of the chances, with an Emanuele Calaio strike hitting the woodwork in the first half and only Artuc Boruc's heroics keeping D'agostino out of the net in the second.

Fiorentina's best chance in the first half was a turn by Stevan Jovetic, but Siena goalie Zeljko Brkic pushed the shot aside. In the second half, Alessandro Gamberini had two shots saved.

Missing in action, once again, was any sort of a midfield for Fiorentina, despite the return of Italian National and Media Darling Riccardo Montolivo. With out of favor Houssine Kharja left home and Vargas playing forward, only Andrea Lazzari was left to join Montolivo and Valon Behrami and Lazzari failed to impress again, prompting requests for a certain Jolly Fat Man to bring presents and joy back to sad FiorentinaVille.

Report Cards
Boruc - Had no chance on the ball off the woodwork and wasn't called on for the next hour. Saved the Viola's Pancetta twice in the last 15 minutes, however, and was Viola Man of The Match. 7
LDS - got a knock to his leg early, but fought off the pain and had a pretty decent half from the defensive point, non existent offensively really, got knocked in the same leg early in the second half, had to be subbed 6; Romulo - rossi switched to a 3 man defense, Romulo in the midfield added spark to the attack. had some great possession, but tired a bit down the stretch. 6.5
Gamberini - solid on defense, got a header on and another shot on. 6
Natali - The rest did him some good, although he got beat once or twice. 6
Nastasic - Pasqual couldn't go due to the elbow to the face by Schelotto, so nasty got the start at left back. totally solid on defense, maybe a bit out of place moving forward, had no continuity with Lazzari or Vargas, 6.5
Behrami - maybe the loneliest guy in Serie A. he's out there with a couple of ghosts and yet he fights and fights and fights all match. 6.5
Montolivo - invisible early, indecisive on the ball late, just take your husband and go 4.5
Lazzari - only involvement in the first half was to get in Vargas' way. second half he managed to get in some bad passes and give aways. a back up at best, maybe not even that 4
Cerci - had a few decent runs, but never seemed part of the team, vargas crossed a prefect ball that he would've headed straight into the ground were it not for his defenders shoulder. subbed for gilardino 4.5; Gilardino - didn't do much, but he didn't get much service either, so there you go n/a
Jovetic - Striker isn't his role any more than winger is, but he tries as hard as he can, got a great shot off before the half. once gilardino came in he looked more likely. 6.5

Rossi - this is a point I wouldn't have expected the last coach to get. Merry Christmas Coach 7

Coaches Quotes
“In terms of physique and spirit, we have improved and I saw a less frenetic midfield,” noted Rossi.

“We still don’t move enough without the ball. I had to deal with an emergency situation today, as many players were not in good shape.

“So far I have been an inventor rather than a Coach, having to work it out game by game. I do have ideas and need to find a system that can involve as many players as possible.”

“A Coach is paid to make choices and I never look at names when I pick my players. In other occasions I substituted Gilardino, while this time I introduced him after the break. Pasqual got a knock to the head two days ago and I didn’t want to risk him.

“There will be one or two changes in January, but no transformation or signing a saviour. We’ve got to work and that is all.”

Looking Ahead
Fiorentina will get another chance at their first road win January 8th at Novara.

Union rules require seven straight days of leave, so players will be off until late next week.

The Transfer window opens January 1st. Hopefully some players will be leaving through it (rikita, kharja) and some others coming into the squad.