Since this is a soccer blog, let’s talk about the transgressive nature of man, shall we? All fooling aside, I bring this up because the Paulo Sousa edition of Fiorentina seems to be all about transgression. This team has figured out exactly where the line of behavior tolerable to fans is, and seems to take perverse delight in sticking a foot over that line without quite setting it down. It’s sort of like the "I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you" game that you played with your siblings.
Considering that the one of the first synonyms listed for "transgression" by Miriam-Webster is "offense," this word fits Fiorentina to a tee. After all, they’ve scored 3 goals in 3 of their past 4 Serie A outings. Of course, "breach" is another synonym for transgression, which is a perfect descriptor for a defense that’s allowed 3 goals in 3 of its last 5 league showings.
But we’re not here to quibble about derivations; that’s tantamount to arguing semantics, and we’d never do that around here. No, we’re after a deeper meaning here. We’re talking about that oh-so-human spark to push boundaries, to struggle against established norms, to figure out precisely what it is that people are willing to do or not do and locate that infinitesimally thin line that separates the two.
Because how else can you explain a dominant win over Juventus and spanking Chievo 0-3 in Verona, but then only taking a single point this season from a desperately flailing Geona? It’s obvious: Fiorentina have transcended football and moved into the sort of performance art in which they question what makes us human, what makes us demons, what makes us divine? Although it’s a messy and ongoing process, I eagerly anticipate what they’ll do next to make us question our love for the team, for calcio, for our very selves.
It seems like forever ago, but Fiorentina flamed out of the Coppa Italia against Napoli in a match that finished in bizarre fashion. The less said, the better. Here is our complete coverage, including our interview with the ever-delightful Conor Dowley of the Siren’s Song.
Mauro Zarate has officially moved to Watford for a pittance, and we’re sorry to see him go.
The rumors about French midfielder Jordan Ferri seem to have ended the same way, which is too bad; he’s a pretty dang good player.
If you like your strikers young, Polish, and compared to Robert Lewandowski, then you’re probably pretty amped up about the news that Fiorentina are closing in on Lech Poznan’s Dawide Kownacki.
We’d perhaps begun to doubt Pantaleo Corvino’s ninja credentials. Then he announced that Empoli star Riccardo Saponara was signing for the Viola on very reasonable terms and we realized we should never doubt him again.
Kevin Diks is returning to Vitesse Arnhem for the rest of the year, and everyone should be very impressed that the headline isn’t "Diks off to Vitesse."
Another out-of-left-field rumor that could have some legs is that the Viola are weighing up a move for misfit Atalanta striker Alberto Paloschi.
We’ve run down 3 of the likeliest options to replace Gonzalo Rodriguez this summer here, but don’t read it if you don’t want to cry about losing Gonzalo.
If that fulfills your quota for reading about the imminent departure of beloved stars, you should read our report on future Florence mayor Borja Valero, who quietly turned down filthy lucre from Chinese side Fortune Heibei.
And oh yeah, Viola Nation has some new writers who are all really, really good at what they do. Stop on by and say hey and get to know them a little bit.
Comment of the week
Former Viola Nation boss Mike-R, who’s familiar with our editorial methods, has a very kind welcome to the new staff. And it’s definitely not a subtle code. Definitely not.
That’s it for this week, folks. Don’t forget that the Pescara replay is on Wednesday, because the Viola desperately need midweek games to tire them out right now.