Fiorentina beat Atalanta 3-0 on Sunday to stay on top of a serie a. Much of the praise must go to manager Paolo Sousa. I spoke of him when he took the job to Rex, Alan and Ivan. They said that he had managed at Swansea with success, less so at QPR and even less at Leicester City. Just as some managers can only manage small clubs with lesser expectations, others can only manage in a certain style. Swansea play an attacking possession game like Fiorentina and chairman Huw Jenkins insists every manager he appoints – Sousa, Roberto Marinez and Brendan Rogers – conform to it. I have to say I was ‘nervoso’ as I could not see he was a manager for what supporters expect to be an achieving club. I could not have got it more wrong as he has taken us to the top for the first time since 1999.
Of course there is long way to go. We Viola fans are an argumentative lot and already in a heated discussion the London President of the Viola Club felt that the team could win the scudettto to which I replied that we need to strength the bench. In any season you could lose a third of your squad through injury and suspension. We have strong players like Pepito Rossi, Suarez and Fernandez to return but it distresses to me to say that Juve bench is stronger. We also have to negotiate all the Europa league matches.
One player you may not know but will soon is Federico Bernardeschi. At 19 he is quite a prospect and in the number 10 traditions of Rui Costa, Robero Baggio and Giancarlo Antognoni. On Sunday he threaded through a delicious pass for Borja Valero to score. We have heard about him as an emerging talent for ages. Last season he was injured and this season he has won his place. The future is bright, the future is violet!