Late in last week’s 1-0 loss at Parma, Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella had a bit of a meltdown. After yelling a bunch of mean things at the referees, he punched the bejeezus out of an advertising board, which flipped around and struck one of the stadium stewards. Since that’s obviously a no-no, Serie A has handed him a 2-match ban, which will begin with the season finale/relegation superfight against Genoa on Sunday.
While the cynic might argue that, given Fiorentina’s winless form since Montella’s arrival, having Cousin Vinnie sit out the most important game of the year is perhaps not exactly a negative. The truth is, though, that having a coach is always going to help, and now the Viola are temporarily shorn of theirs. That’s not great, Bob, especially since Montella has previously demonstrated a knack (albeit not this year) for tactical decisions that can turn things around when his squad is struggling.
To add insult to injury, top Montella lieutenant Nicola Caccia was also cautioned and is at risk of a suspension as well if he can’t behave himself. Too, the club was fined €3,000 for a plastic bottle tossed onto the pitch, which is obviously a far more pernicious offense than, say, racist abuse directed towards black players for an entire match; don’t forget that Lazio and Cagliari have both completely gotten away with this sort of filth this year without any repercussion. But yeah, a plastic bottle is a Very Big Deal.
Anyways, it’s unclear who will take charge in the technical area for Fiorentina on Sunday. Caccia is the most likely option, assuming he can keep his cool, but it’s hard not to hope for a cameo from the undefeated Vincenzo Guerini (he’s not employed at the moment and could surely find time), or even a touchline appearance from Giancarlo Antognoni. No matter who takes the reins at the Artemio Franchi, though, it’s a negative. It gives the players that much more to think about, and they’re plenty distracted already. All in all, it looks like we’ll all be big fans of Inter Milan and Cagliari come Sunday.