STADIO ARTEMIO FRANCHI (Florence) – It’s often said that winning is a habit in football, but ask any Fiorentina fan and they’ll tell you that not winning is too, and it’s an unwanted one that seems impossible for them to shake.
La Viola are now winless in seven Serie A matches this season and sit just four points above the relegation zone in 14th after falling to yet another defeat, losing 4-1 at home to Roma on Friday evening.
It could yet get worse
With just 17 points to their name after 17 games, Fiorentina are enduring their second worst season in since three points have been awarded for a win – second only to the 14 they had at this same point in 2001/02.
Then, La Viola went down. The ended the season with just 22 points from 34 games and finished the finished 17th of 18 sides.
Franck Ribery’s arrival in the summer had people feeling good again in Florence. Rocco Commisso had taken over at the club and there was a positive atmosphere, but that faded fast as they started the season slowly with no wins in their firs four games.
La Viola have won just 12 times in 55 Serie A games since the beginning of last season, and if things don’t start to turn around soon, they could well be playing in Serie B in 2020/21.
Montella wasn’t the only problem, quality is lacking
Vincenzo Montella has been made to pay for this season’s struggles, with the club sacking him on Saturday morning after a meeting late into Friday night, but their problems existed last year too and are ultimately what saw him replace Stefano Pioli early in 2019.
While the coach isn’t completely immune to criticism, it’s hard to imagine that all problems will be solved by his sacking.
Beyond Ribery, there aren’t too many players who look like they can pull Fiorentina out of their current mess.
Federico Chiesa has promise, but he has never delivered on a consistent basis and isn’t someone who can single-handedly drive a team on. He himself has to take some flack, having a shot conversion rate of just four percent this term.
Kevin-Prince Boateng showed at Sassuolo in the first half of 2018/19 that he can bring something to a functioning team, but Fiorentina aren’t that and there are doubts about whether or not Prince, Chiesa and Ribery can all operate in the same XI without La Viola becoming overwhelmed without the ball.
Gaetano Castrovilli has attracted interest and praise, but he was a Serie B player just last season and may not stay for much longer.
After that the squad is full of players who wouldn’t have much of an impact at any other top-tier Italian side and it’s no surprise to see them flailing around in the bottom half of the table.
Watching Fiorentina this season brings confusion. Trying to work out what they’re doing becomes tiresome quickly, and they don’t seem to have any real plan.
Simple passes are misplaced, some players try to do too much themselves and they’re seriously lacking a clinical edge in the final third to convert the chances that fall their way.
As has been said, Montella wasn’t the only problem at Fiorentina. He probably needed to go, but things may not improve overnight even now that he has.