by Thomas Ricciotti
Fiorentina’s supporters are perceiving that this season’s dream of winning the National League may come true. The very first reason why this could be the right moment is the playing quality that the team has so far shown off. It has been years since the quality has reached the current level. Supporters were in fact skeptical after the selling of Cuadrado, Salah, Gilardino, Aquilani, Mario Gomez and the departure of coach Montella following a dispute with the staff. Even without any champions, the quality of the fieldwork has gone up.
The three months — November, December and January — are definitely favorable. Even though in October, Fiorentina lost two important games in a row against two direct rivals for the final victory, Naples and Rome, the team has maintained the leadership in the League thanks to the two away victories against Verona and Sampdoria.
November is the month that could give Fiorentina the possibility to consolidate its leadership with three games in a row. Two of the games will be played at the Franchi Stadium with the fantastic support of the entire city as the city feels that this could be the right moment. The first game is against Empoli, the second against Sassuolo (away) and the third against Udinese. After the three aforementioned games, the real ‘moment of the truth’ will come when Fiorentina will be playing in Turin against Juventus — a team that is not doing so well this year unlike previous years. A victory against the most heated rivals would have a double value for Fiorentina and its supporters: It could consolidate the leadership in the League, and give the players that sense of confidence that is often more important than results. After Juventus and before the Christmas break, Fiorentina will play Chievo Verona in Florence. After the break, in January, the calendar is all but forbidding with two home games against Lazio and Turin, and three away games against Palermo, AC Milan and Genoa. In short, even the calendar seems to be giving the necessary hand to the team to reach the final victory.
It is precisely this non-confessed dream of winning the third ‘Scudetto’ in the history of the club that allows Coach Paulo Sousa to preach calm to both players and supporters. Sousa, too, seems to have sensed that this could be the right year. Winning the League implies the converging of several factors, the most important of which being the quality of the playing and the poor performances of other major teams. Two factors that clearly have been present in the first part of this season as Fiorentina is showing solid and technical playing skills while other big teams having demonstrated something less desirable than the other seasons.