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Strange Brew... What Kind Of Fool Are You?

Not sure what Mr. Montella was thinking today...

Maurizio Lagana

Apparently Vincenzo Montella doesn't care about results in friendlies because he sure didn't do anything to help Fiorentina succeed today.

He started the match with a third of his starters on the bench, put an old stale goalie out on the pitch and once his team finally started to get into the match made another whole sale change that opened the floodgates and busted the game wide open for the home squad to end a road trip and an off season schedule leaving the worst possible taste in the mouths of his supporters.

Juan Cuadrado on the wrong side, Mario Gomez, Borja Valero, Adem Ljajic and Neto all on the bench to start, it's like he didn't even want to win.

i don't know how it works in Italy, but I've always been under the impression that you practice how you intend to play in real matches, other wise, why bother?

This was just a waste of my day.

Hey, who knows, maybe he didn't want to tip his hand for Grasshopper and Catania. They certainly won't get any training tips from this debacle.

Even though Fiorentina reportedly practiced the last few days in a 3-5-2 formation, Montella came back with the same old 4-3-3 that was ripped open and disgraced a few days ago by Villareal.

Instead of Neto in goal, Gustavo Munua got the start and played the entire match. Gonzalo Roriguez returned from injury to center the back line, with Ahmed Hegazi beside him. Nenad Tomovic and Manuel Pasqual played outside on the line.

Massimo Ambrosini started in midfield for Valero, with David Pizarro and Alberto Aquilani.

Up front, Montella made another unexplainable bad choice, with Juan Cuadrado out of position on the left, Guiseppe Rossi as striker and Joaquin on the right, leaving Fiorentina with absolutely zero offensive power.

Predictably, Sporting Lisbon came out strong and owned possession, had Fiorentina on their heels and it only took five minutes until a bad give away from Pizarro was turned into an amazingly long laser of a shot by Fredy Montero made it 1-0.

However, around the 20 minute mark, Fiorentina started to get into the match, got a few free kicks deep and seemed like they might actually make a match of it, but the half came with the match at 1-0

Second half, Montella brought in 5 subs, Stefan Savic, Mar vin Compper, Borja Valero, Mario Gomez and Oleksandr Iakovenko and it seemed as if the whole match had turned on a dime. Fiorentina out possessed the home squad and even looked dangerous at times as Gomez shanked a ball over the net with a wide open goal.

Even with the increase in Viola pressure, Sporting nearly doubled as a ball went off the crossbar, deflected off Munua but drifted just wide.

After that chance, Montella was at it again, bringing in Matias Vecino, Adem Ljajic and Juan Manuel Vargas, completely jacking the momentum and chemistry that the team had finally manged to begin to develop.

Not surprisingly, Sporting came back the next minute and doubled the lead and wound up with a third leaving Fiorentina fans scratching their heads, wondering just what kind of season they have in store.

As there are only 11 days before the first match that counts, a Europa League match in Zurich against Grasshopper, Montella better figure this out because I can't imagine this squad has any warm and fuzzy feelings right now.

I know I certainly don't...

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Hilights courtesy of

In other news, Coppa Italia matches were played today. In Fiorentina's bracket, Empoli beat Sudtirol and advance to meet Chievo next week. Trapani beat  Albinoleffe 3-0 and Padova beat Virtus Entella 2-1. Trapani and Padova will face off as well.