Fiorentina won convincingly in the Olimpico to go through to the quarter finals of the Europa League. We are advancing on all fronts as we beat Roma there in the Coppa and defend a 2-0 lead over Juventus in the return leg in Florence on April 7th and should reach the final.
All this is impressive but my worry is that manager Vincenzo Montella will leave us. I have called him the young Roberto Mancini as he is a focused, capable achiever. It was not so long ago that Cesare Prandelli left us for the national side so in recent years we have appointed well.
I always looks for an angle that will interest British readers and I thought I would refer to the players who have been in the Premier. In almost every case they are doing better with us than with their English team. Captain last night Borja Valero was at West Bromwich Albion and epitomises the versatile talented Spanish midfielder; David Pizarro was on loan at Manchester City when Mancini was manager , he is a skillful Chilean holding player; Marcos Alonso was at Bolton and Sunderland, he plays left side midfield or fullback. He had a great game yesterday scoring an odd goal when the Roma keeper in stopping a ball at the bye line, dropped it at the feet of Alonso who dribbled in to score. Micah Richards played right back for Manchester City. He starts less often but when he does provides an athletically vigorous presence . Finally Mohammed Salah on loan from Chelsea has got off to magnificent start. Last night he hit the post twice. He is really quick with an eye for goal. Chelsea have demanded and got big prices for Luiz, Mata, Lukaku, and so I guess they will want €30m for Salah, the sum they paid for Caudrado so sadly he will probably go back to Stamford Bridge, although we might get him on loan for next season.
Given that his three forwards of choice, Rossi, Gomez and Bernardeschi are all injured, Sunday’s game against Udinese will be our third match in 6 days, Montella has managed his resources really well. He won the scudetto at Roma as a player and although Rudy Garcia has done a great job for them, they are faltering now and there is nothing like a local hero returning as manager. Unlike Alan and Ivan, I am supremely confident and happy.