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Daniele De Rossi is the X-factor for Fiorentina’s coaching job

The former Roma star has yet to manage any team at any level, but his record as a player speaks for itself.


Fiorentina are clearly struggling under current manager Giuseppe Iachini, just as they struggled under Vincenzo Montella the previous year, Stefano Pioli the year before that, and Paulo Sousa the year before that. With Beppe seeming less and less likely to be the long-term solution in the technical area, we’re looking at some of the top candidates to replace him, starting with the ultimate wild card: former AS Roma star Daniele De Rossi.

Of all the potential coaches who could take the helm at Fiorentina, DDR is probably the most interesting one. While no one can doubt his acumen as a player, he has never coached before at either the youth or senior level. Other teams in Serie A have shown the willingness to give inexperienced coaches their first jobs so that does bode well for the ex-Roma man. The last golden generation of Italian players are now getting into coaching and that is a very exciting prospect. The heroes of the 2006 World Cup are all starting coach from Pirlo and Gattuso to Inzaghi and Nesta.

As we’ve seen, being a phenomenal player doesn’t always translate to being a great coach; a lot have tried and failed like Diego Maradona. However, when you put in a former player who’s respected by all fans and players alike, it’s easier for them to gain the respect of the locker room. DDR is one of those players who would do anything it took to win and I think that will earn him a lot of fans from the boardroom to the Curva.

As a player he was a hard-working defensive midfielder so you can assume that he would want his teams to play that way. Tenacious, gritty, and very tactically astute. In terms of a formation, it’s hard to say exactly what he’d line-up with, but you can be certain there will be an emphasis on toughness and winning the ball back.

With Fiorentina’s wealth of midfielders and lack of forward options, I could see a scenario with a 4-3-2-1. Ribery and Callejón as the left and right forwards respectively with Cutrone or Kouamé at the top. That allows for one of the midfielders to stay in front of the back four and then have one run box-to-box and gives the other the freedom to be more attack-minded. It worked well for Roma in his latter years with Nainggolan, De Rossi (himself), and Strootman anchoring the midfield with Džeko as the target man with Perotti and Ünder on either side of the Bosnian. Again, it’s really tough to predict a formation for a coach who has never really coached before, but it’s easy to say what style of play he’d prefer. If he is half as good of a coach as he was a player, Fiorentina would be very lucky to have him. Regardless of whether it’s De Rossi, Sarri, or Spalletti, it would definitely be an upgrade.