WARNING: The next thousand words are going to be pretty harsh and if you’re a diehard Fiorentina supporter, you may not appreciate them. Regardless the past few days have finally pushed me over the edge. Huge thanks to Tito and Mike for giving me this platform to sound off.
What the actual fuck is going on with this club? As I am sure all of you are aware, Cesare Prandelli stepped down and Beppe is back in charge of the team. There are tons of rumors surrounding Cesare’s exit, but it seems to have stemmed from a number of systemic issues within the club. The most notable of those rumors is the fact that numerous players have been unhappy with the Mister and some even got into a physical altercation with him.
Need a break to process what you just read? Yep, me too. Not only is that bad enough but management obviously sided with the players as they are still here and Prandelli is gone.
Let’s dissect this further for a moment, shall we? I’m not an idiot (well most of the time I’m not). I know Cesare wasn’t going to magically turn this season around. This team was drowning and he decided to come help them in a pinch. He didn’t do it for money or accolades, he did it as a favor to the club he’s loved for decades. He definitely made some interesting managerial decisions, but I would say the team is in a way better place than they were before he got there. Vlahović has really blossomed under his tutelage and the team is pretty safe from relegation now. So I understand that he isn’t the coach he may have once been, but whatever happened to a little thing called respect? Who was the coach the last time Fiorentina made the UEFA Champions League? Oh yes, Prandelli. Who was the coach the last time the Italian National Team made the finals of a big tournament? Oh yes, Prandelli. So to suggest anything other then him being a quality coach would be downright reckless.
Now let’s turn our attention to the players who are very much at fault here. We’ve all had coaches or bosses we didn’t agree with, but there are MUCH more mature ways to handle those issues. What I find absolutely hilarious is that these Fiorentina players (aside from Borja Valero and Franck Ribéry) actually think they’re something? None of them have won or accomplished shit. This team has been flirting with relegation for the better part of two seasons and they have the audacity to complain about a coach. We’ve had multiple coaches in the past few years and the issues still persists. That really on leaves two places to point blame: the players and the management. We’ll get into the ineptitude of the management in a second. Coaches implement lineups and tactics, but at the end of the day, the game is played by the players. Your opinion shouldn’t hold much weight when you can’t beat the likes of Spezia and other newly promoted sides twice in a season. Their performance hasn’t been nearly good enough and the city and fans deserve better. It’s pretty evident as our best players keep leaving to join bigger teams.
I promised we’d chat a little bit about management and we’re going to get into it. Siding with the players over the coach is never something I will understand. Players come and go, but a strong foundation is something very hard to come by. Take Lazio and Atalanta as examples, they have a strong coach and continue to be very successful. Papu Gómez was a faithful servant to the club, but they chose to stick by Gasperini over him in their recent spat. I am by no means comparing Prandelli 2.0 to Gasperini, but just showing how important coaching stability and trust can be. Prandelli was doing management a major favor by becoming caretaker. It would’ve been nice to see that respect given back to him by the club he’s given so much for. Can any of us really be surprised by this though? This is the same management that has stuck with Daniele Pradè for years even though he’s clearly shown he’s incompetent. The lack of loyalty is very concerning, but it’s just another example in a long list of missteps by the Viola brass.
I’ve been a Rocco supporter from day one and I will continue to be until he gives me a reason not to be. With that being said, it’s time for wholesale changes at the club. There needs to be a new sheriff in town and things have to change. We can’t afford another season of mismanagement and poor transfer business. It’s time to clean house and bring in fresh faces with more innovative and forward thinking ideas. Everyone from the President to the equipment manager need to be on the same page, buying into the same vision.
Firenze is the birthplace of the Renaissance, now we have mutinies at the Artemio Franchi. How the hell did we end up here? I truly never thought I’d write this article, yet here we are. Quite frankly I am pretty disgusted at the state of the club and all the players/coaches/staff should be too. It’s absolutely despicable what has happened to this great club. The fans, city, and former players deserve much better. This is a breaking point for the club, it could either spiral out of control and lose a bunch of fans or it can begin to claw its way back to the level we all expect.
As you can tell I am beyond frustrated, but I promise it comes from a place of love. All my family and friends support Inter, Juve, Milan, Napoli, etc. but I chose the men in purple. I love this club and would do absolutely anything to save it. I doubt this article will do anything to help, but I just couldn’t sit back idly and watch people make a mockery of her.
*This may the start of a new series called “Nutella’s Soapbox” where I just rant about things like an old man on his porch. If you like the idea, please let me know in the comments!