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Antognoni counsels patience

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The club manager reminded the press and fans that this squad needs time at his press conference today.

Italy U21 v France U21 - International Friendly
Thinking of positive things to say can be difficult.
Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

Along with the formal presentation of Jordan Veretout, we got the added bonus of a Giancarlo Antognoni press conference this morning. The legendary midfielder and current club manager talked about Fiorentina’s chances this upcoming season with the kind of unflinching honesty that makes it pretty easy to trust him.

His main point, which he repeated in several ways, was that the Viola “can’t expect to win the championship.” As much as it stings, it’s also good to hear that the club leadership knows it’s in for a rebuilding project with what he reminded everyone is the youngest squad in the league.

He did provide some optimism, though, adding that “all the kids are very good” and that “they only need a period of time to get normalized” to their new and larger responsibilities, which statement was probably an effort to preemptively ease the pressure on new mister Stefano Pioli if things don’t go well right out the gate.

When asked about what the team’s goals are, Antognoni only responded with, “We want to have a good year.” What that means is up for interpretation, but it was good to get this quick dose of realism fused with optimism from someone who knows calcio and Fiorentina better than just about anyone.