As Fiorentina fans try to make sense of Cesare Prandelli’s sudden resignation from his post as first team manager, the club has moved quickly to appoint his replacement. As per the rumors at the time of San Cesare’s departure, the new man for the job is a familiar one: Giuseppe Iachini is back in Florence.
In a lot of ways, this is the smartest possible move. Iachini is under contract with the Viola until season’s end despite his sacking back in November. Besides serving as a cost-effective short-term coach, he and the players know each other’s tendencies and systems, which should help prevent Fiorentina from a late slide.
With the club sitting in 14th place in Serie A and holding a 7 point lead over Cagliari and the final relegation spot, Iachini’s job should be well within his wheelhouse: keep it together and don’t let the team drop into Serie B next year. That will likely require a return to his beloved 3-5-2 despite the club’s recent, positive performances in a 4-4-2 shape.
The real challenge for Beppe will be to maintain the momentum Fiorentina have built up in the attacking third of late; led by Dušan Vlahović, the team has scored 13 goals (more than a third of its total on the season) over its past 5 matches. Given his rigidly defensive approach, it’s a question that will likely weigh heavily on the minds of the players and the supporters.
If nothing else, this should signal a dour but reasonably effective final 10 games. What comes next, though, is a complete mystery. Iachini won’t have his contract extended again, so Rocco Commisso and the Viola brass need to kick their search for the long-term manager of this club into overdrive if they haven’t already if they want to prevent the organization from becoming a bigger laughingstock and greater perennial disappointment than it already is.
For the second time in as many years, Iachini is replacing one of Fiorentina’s best coaches ever. While BeppeBall isn’t what any of us wanted to finish out this campaign, let’s remember that the mister has been nothing but a faithful and hardworking servant to the club and that he fully deserves our support, even as we try to make sense of the Prandelli’s exit. Forza Beppe.