2022-2023 was about as emotionally destructive a season as a team can achieve: the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and the weirdest of weirds. Now that we’re solidly into August, though, it can only mean one thing: it’s time for Fiorentina to leave us quivering husks of human beings for another 9 months.
The question, of course, is how it’ll all end. The Viola semi-accidentally wandered back into the Conference League via Juventus’ exclusion, so they’ll be competing on 3 fronts again, which is a significant stress on clubs that aren’t backed by sovereign wealth funds or generational, multi-billion dollar infrastructure.
What I’m saying, of course, is that this could all go pear-shaped at any moment. Every team is a hostage of fortune over the course of a single game, much less an entire season, but the smaller ones have even less recourse to hostage negotiators, and Fiorentina’s history of self-demolition means that catastrophe is always lurking around the corner.
Even so, there are reasons for optimism, too. Daniele Pradè has done a pretty good job of adding talent this summer, addressing the biggest hole on the roster with the additions of M’Bala Nzola and Lucas Beltrán while snapping up some exciting players in Fabiano Parisi, Arthur Melo, Gino Infantino, and Oliver Christiansen. He really needs to add a central defender, a rightback, and a midfielder, but his history of deals late in August provides reason for optimism.
That’s also why it doesn’t really make sense to make predictions for the season yet. There isn’t a team in Italy that’s completed all its business, and additions or subtractions will invariably change the calculus of wins and losses. Every forecast for the Viola goes out the window if, for example, they sign Erling Haaland. Why even bother until the window’s closed?
Making sense, of course, hasn’t been a principle of this website since I took over the reins, so that’s not what we’re doing. We’re going to make idiotic predictions, bombastic prophecies, and then ignore them when they’re inevitably proven wrong a month later, refusing to acknowledge our own failings as we careen towards the subsequent hyperbole. If that’s not how sportswriting works, well, I don’t know how to do it.
Where will Fiorentina finish the 2023-2024 season?
This poll is closed
1-4: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFICATION THIS YEAR, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TROPHY NEXT YEAR BAYBEEEEEEEEE
5-7: European qualification, tangible progress, a circumspect glass of celebratory lambrusco
8-10: solidly mid-table and occasionally threatening the European places but ultimately forgettable as a fart in the wind
11-17: lower mid-table, disappointment, doom, bottom shelf liquor
18-20: RELEGATED AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH