It has been a mixed season for Fiorentina on the pitch. It seems quite clear that coach Paulo Sousa will not be in charge next season, as patience with his flaky side has worn out.
On their day, Fiorentina play exciting, attacking football, as they displayed recently in first half performances against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Europa League and Torino in Serie A.
They also have a remarkable ability to switch off and fall apart, as they displayed in the second halves against the aforementioned teams, losing 4-2 and drawing 2-2 whilst 2-0 up, both at home.
If only there was some kind of cliche to describe Fiorentina’s contradictory performances in the same game.
Frustration has also been levelled against Fiorentina’s owner Diego Della Valle for some time now, as fans are tired of his thriftiness.
This week though, Della Valle provided an excellent excuse for his refusal to spend big, as the club announced it would be building a new stadium, dubbed by Della Valle as ‘the Purple Renaissance’.
— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) March 10, 2017
The new stadium, as shown here, will have a capacity of 40,000 ‘with perfect visibility of the field of play’.
The new stadium will also come with a museum, hall of fame, shopping centre, e-ticket system and wi-fi, all at a cost of about €420 million.
This is excellent news for Fiorentina.
They will swap their aged Artemio Franchi for a modern, purpose built, multi-use stadium that should increase revenue for the club and allow them to become more competitive in Italy, and perhaps in Europe too, as Arsenal fans will surely testify.
— Arup (@ArupGroup) March 10, 2017
Eighteen months or so ago, I wrote an article bemoaning Italy’s decaying stadiums that seemed frozen in time.
I finished that piece on an encouraging note, referring to Roma’s plans, Udinese’s modernised Stadio Fruili and AC Milan’s proposed stadium.
Since then, Roma’s stadium finally received the go ahead, Udinese’s ground was shortlisted for stadium of the year by Stadium Database, and stories of a new stadium for Cagliari and renovations by Empoli and Bologna seem relatively concrete.
Admittedly, AC Milan’s new stadium dissolved as quickly as it was announced, but its still encouraging progress.
Controversial refereeing decision involving Juventus no.34536842
The game of the weekend took place on Friday night as Juventus took on a resurgent Milan in Turin.
Juventus dominated the first half and led through Medhi Benatia, but were caught on the counter by Gerard Deulofeu, who threaded a pass for Carlos Bacca to equalise.
Juventus huffed and puffed but were denied by the brick outhouse that was Gigi Donnarumma. A draw seemed likely, until a Stephan Lichtsteiner cross found its way onto Mattia De Sciglio’s arm in the ninety sixth minute.
Referee Davide Massa awarded what could be mildly described as a contentious penalty, which was duly converted by Paulo Dybala.
Milan were apoplectic with rage, their CEO Adriano Galliani proved he was not undead by protesting vigorously on the pitch, whilst Bacca tried to attack the referee and the Milan squad caused damage to Juventus’ changing rooms.
Coach Vincenzo Montella was alone in his dignity, apologising for his team and saying that ‘complaining doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s pointless’.
Milan have every right to protest the decision, it was a very questionable call at the end of a hard fought game, and historically speaking, Juventus have history with influencing referees. Comments like Gigi Donnarumma’s ‘it’s always them’ though, betray a mental fragility that clubs have in relation to Juventus success, as Paulo Dybala said:
‘Milan fans have been complaining about Juventus for six years or so. We are used to it. They should try something else rather than always complain about referees’.
Complain about the decision, not the team that gets it.