For the past two years, Fiorentina have been a dominant team in the Serie A and this is mainly because of the former coach Cesare Prandelli. Anyone who watched their European campaign last season knows just how lethal the squad is.
With the likes of Gilardino, Montolivo, Vargas and Jovetic in their ranks, the Viola surprised many early on in the season when their impressive play provided them with the rare pleasure of dominating the Serie A in the early days of the 09/2010 season. However, somewhere along the way, it all went wrong for Fiorentina.
Finishing the season in 11th place and missing out on the chance of some European action, Fiorentina were again dealt a hard blow when they learned that their coach Cesare Prandelli would be leaving them at the end of the season to replace Marcello Lippi as the Italy national team coach.
During his tenure as Fiorentina coach, Prandelli was named the Serie A coach of the year in the 07/08 season after he led the Viola to the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup where they lost to Scottish side Rangers.
Prandelli is also credited for ensuring a sixth place finish for Fiorentina in the 06/07 season despite them starting the season with a 15 point deduction for their participation in the infamous 2006 match fixing scandal.The following season, he led Fiorentina to the Champions League after they finished 4th in the Serie A.
Their 2009/2010 European season remains as one of their most successful ever after they reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League. It is this record which many are hoping will restore Italy as one of the big footballing nations.
A number of players and fans alike have expressed their satisfaction with the FIGC (Italian Fa’s) choice. Former Italy international Gianfranco Zola backed Prandelli for the job saying that he is the right man.
“I definitely like him,”. “He is a young manager with ideas and energy and I think it is the perfect assignment. I think he will bring the fresh air of youth to the team and that is a good thing, something we have to work on.”
If reports doing the rounds are true, then Zola should have his wish as Balotelli and Cassano have already been identified as possible inclusions in his squad.
That said, it remains to be seen just how effective Prandelli will be.
Photo credit: from Misko Lacarak