Hey, are you a Fiorentina fan? If so, then you're familiar with the specific futility of supporting your chosen team: always praised by neutrals for playing good football, but never really threaten for the top spots in the league. If Serie A were a band, Fiorentina would be the ultra-talented bassist who never quite makes it into the big time as a solo act even though Rolling Stone gave the debut album and the follow up 4.5 out of 5 stars each. Oh my god, Fiorentina is Alex Chilton: every critic and every musician you like cites him as a genius, but nobody's actually heard any of his songs.
But things sure seem to be turning around right now. After the summer window opened and the Viola responded with all the immediacy and decisiveness of Hamlet, things have started falling into place over the past week. The arrival of midfield destroyer/excellent depth signing Carlos Sanchez was the first step. Cristian Tello's return on loan is another. Finally, the Vedran Corluka move, believed to be dead as recently as this weekend, is back on and inching closer to completion. Along with the news that Corvino's looking at future stars and backup defenders, it feels like everything is starting to go Fiorentina's way. But you and I, we know better.
With two weeks left in the mercato, there's plenty of time for something to go catastrophically wrong. Corluka's plane gets hijacked and he lands in the Tuscan hills to sign with Poggibonsi, and no more defensive reinforcements arrive. Borja Valero 's medical visit goes haywire, leading to a season-long recovery for a hair-plug operation gone awry. The vaunted "new grass" at the Artemio Franchi turns out to be nano-technology designed by the Mole People to speed them towards world dominion. Rooting for Fiorentina doesn't exactly make you paranoid, but you do learn to expect not just the worse, but the inexplicable. How else to explain the Bayern Munich screwjob or the Delio Rossi/Adem Ljajic bout or Mohamed Salah being, well, Mo Salah or the demonic possession of Mario Gomez or the thousand natural shocks the Viola are heir to?
No, there's nothing else for it but to bunker down, wait for the next apocalypse, and keep on supporting Fiorentina, even though we know it'll end badly. We are survivors, well-equipped to handle the privations that we know we must absorb on our journey, and we'll keep trudging down it, even though we know that the road in front of us gets longer each day. So settle back for a bit before you continue the march. Relax. Enjoy these golden moments. But keep an eye out for the Mole People, because you never know where they'll come from.
Here are the preliminary squad numbers for this season. We'll update this list once the dust has finally settled on the mercato.
Fiorentina have signed Colombian international Carlos Sanchez from Aston Villa.
And a new top-notch defender may be arriving soon as well.
Check out our full report on the long-awaited return of Cristian Tello.
Comment of the week
Bill4 knows how to handle this Milan Badelj and agent balderdash. Be more like Bill4.