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How Far Can Vincenzo Montella Take La Viola?

Tuesday 5th November 2013
It's the 20th October 2013 and Fiorentina are facing Juventus at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. In the 80th minute, Giuseppe Rossi strokes home his third, and La Viola's fourth, in the craziest fifteen minute stint of the European football season to date. The home fans had just witnessed an amazing comeback from 2-0 down. For the first time in far too long, the world was hearing about Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina.There are few worse feelings in football than having a mountain to climb, but when you're trailing by two goals against the champions with a little over twenty minutes to go, you just want the ground to swallow you up and to focus on the next game.

Everyone but Fiorentina, that is...

I'm sure the fact that it was Juventus, a team that they have, let's say, a frosty relationship with was on the other side made it all the sweeter. In fact, there are a number of reasons why this result will resonate well with the fans. Having won the game without summer signing and half of their strike-force in Mario Gomez, still absent after injuring his knee ligaments in September, they relied on his partner Rossi to score a hat trick, which, along with a goal from Joaquin Sanchez, gave Fiorentina their first home triumph over Juve in 15 years.

Also, both of the visitors' goal scorers, Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba, imitated Gabriel Batistuta's machine gun celebration, which the Argentine striker made famous during his time in Florence. Talk about “poking at a caged animal”…

As for Rossi, this is a huge season for him as he looks to put his career back on track after horrendous luck over the past few years with injuries. The former Manchester United and Villarreal striker returned to Serie A last January whilst still recovering from his second serious knee injury from his time in Spain. However, has certainly taken his chances this year, currently leading calcio's top division's goal scoring charts with nine and playing himself into international recognition once again.

With the American born Italian in the form he is, another striker in Gomez to come back, and a young manager proving himself in a big job in Serie A. Just how far can Fiorentina go?

I said in my first piece that, although you couldn't rule them out as outsiders for a title challenge, I didn't think they would go the distance. If you compare them to the likes of Juventus and Napoli, they don't have the same squad strength as those teams. Having said that, Roma don't seem to be having many problems with that, having just gone a tenth game withouut dropping a point in the league this season, and leading the way by five points. (At the time of writing.)

La Viola are currently in sixth, and, with a very talented squad and a good mix of youth and experience at his disposal, Fiorentina should enjoy a repeat of last season. They will hope to use the Juventus victory as a catalyst. However, one win in five since that result suggests they are currently struggling to do that.

39 year-old ex-Roma man Montella has followed on from his impressive career by proving himself in the dugout too. Having spent a few months as boss of the Giallorossi after Claudio Ranieri resigned in 2011, he then moved onto Catania, where he led them to a higher placed finish than Scicilian rivals Palermo for the first time in eight years.  ”L'Aeroplanino” then replaced Delio Rossi at the start of last season, leading them to the Europa League after finishing in fourth place, two points behind Milan.

Whether Fiorentina can push onto greater things remains to be seen, but it seems that they are one of the clubs hit hardest with Serie A having a Champions League place subtracted. Fiorentina haven't made it to the group stages of Europe's premier competition for four years. However, with the likes of Mario Gomez to return from injury, the future could be bright Tuscan club.
Harry De Cosemo
19 years old, Newcastle season ticket holder. European football enthusiast and aspiring football writer. Currently doing a Journalism degree at Teesside University. You can follow me on Twitter: @harrydecosemo

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