What many have expected for weeks transpired this morning. After a 4-1 loss to Roma last night, Fiorentina finally pulled the cord on the relationship that seemed strained and lacked results. Here is their statement:
“ACF Fiorentina announces that Vincenzo Montella has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the first team.
The decision was taken following a long and detailed analysis of the team’s performances and results.
Given the need to rediscover the necessary grit and determination on the pitch and produce an immediate turnaround, the owners and management decided that a change of coach was the best option.
The club would like to thank Vincenzo Montella for his efforts and commitment in recent months and we wish him every success in the next chapter of his career.
A new head coach will be announced in the coming days.”
Timing is everything as it applies to these situations which is most likely why Fiorentina waited until now to make a change. After facing two of the top four teams in Serie A over the past five days, Fiorentina now has more than two weeks off until it returns again to play Bologna and SPAL, both bottom half teams in the table. In that time we expect them to announce their replacement - most likely will be a couple days until we hear anything - as well as intentions for the January market.
Obvious next question would be - who is next? Many names are speculated: Beppe Iachini, Luciano Spaletti, Cesare Prandelli, Davide Ballardini and a new name that may excite many is Luigi Di Biagio. With the amount of names being discussed there are just as many scenarios that include paying termination clauses, 6 month contracts, long term contracts, and on and on and on. One scenario that seems as likely as any is signing Beppe Iachini to a 6 month contract with a look towards bringing in Luciano Spaletti in June.
So with a lot to still be considered in replacing Montella, there is a looming January market approaching, one that is as important to the future of Fiorentina as any in recent memory. This market has to be approached with regards to both the club’s short term and long term goals. Hopefully the days of cheap, journeymen purchases are gone. Under the Delle Valle, Fiorentina had a history of these gap-fill purchases and many of them still sit on its benches today (Dabo, Cristoforo, Rasmussen, Eysseric, Ghezzal, Thereau, etc).
Understanding the rules of Financial Fair Play and how it ties into the future of the club it is paramount we spend wisely, for today and tomorrow. This isn’t an easy task unless Daniele Prade and Joe Barone have strategies for the coach(es) they want in both January and June, as well as the systems Fiorentina will implement. Rocco Commisso has come to the club with open pockets towards infrastructure, but even a man of his economic resources has constraints from Financial Fair Play laws. Now, more than ever we need strong and fiscally wise purchases/loans that will tactically fit our plans for the next 18 months and beyond. Missing now could be very problematic for the growth of our club and the team that ultimately takes the field opening a potentially new stadium in four years time.
I would be remiss if we didn’t wish Mister Montella well in his future. He never reached the success of his first stint with the club. His tactics and choices could be legitimately be criticized and he failed to connect again with the local fan base. However, in the couple of times I have met and interacted with him in an official capacity he was nothing short of kind. He may not have been the most personable person, what manager is with the media, but he was always respectful. With this separation, we wish both Mister Montella and the club lots of success in the future!