So farewell, Delio Rossi. After six months at the helm of my beloved Fiorentina, the frustration he, his players and all of us who shout for the Viola share, finally blew into violence when he took several swipes at insubordinate young forward Adem Ljajic in full view of the world. Today, he finds himself fired, by no means for the first time in his career – only this time, with a reputation that he’s as mad as cheese.
As the video shows, Ljajic deserved what he got, sarcastically applauding his gaffer’s decision to substitute him after half an hour, at a time when Fiorentina were 0-2 down to second-bottom club Novara. As it turned out, a 2-2 draw semi-vindicates Rossi’s decision, and the result leaves the Viola a point from Serie A safety with two games remaining – against fellow relegation candidates Lecce and Cagliari.
To be perfectly honest, it’s been a rubbish season, the worst since our last relegation in 2002. A rubbish three seasons, actually, league-wise at least. The final season of the Prandelli era may have included a thrilling Champions League run but the Viola lost the plot in the league. The inexplicably bad decision to replace the great Cesare with Siniša Mihajlović in 2010 only served to highlight how crazy things had gone. Up until then, Fiorentina had been bit of a force in Italy’s top division for four seasons, with a great array of players all over the field: Frey, Gamberini, Vargas, Montolivo, Santana, Toni, Pazzini, Mutu, Gilardino… it all seems such a long time ago now.
Still, if you’re going to go, Delio Rossi certainly went with a bang. And a smack. And a wallop. He’s now been banned from management for three months and, who knows, he could end up back at Palermo, who have sacked him about a dozen times in the past few years.
As for Ljajic, he’s an underperforming, underachieving, smart-arsed little git who was asking for a slap. It’s terrible that Rossi lost his job because of such an infantile muppet. I do have a residual affection for Ljajic, since his name adorns the back of my daughter’s Fiorentina shirt, but that’s sentiment for you. Hopefully he’ll be next out of the door and Fiorentina can get back to not breaking our hearts next season.