Preseason Q&A with Fiorentina blog Viola Nation

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Hi there, and welcome to another season of…well, it’s sort of still the preseason, but in a…special treat? Unexpected pleasant surprise? I don’t know what to call it, but I managed to have a chat with Tito Kohout, boss-type person of Viola Nation, SBN’s Fiorentina blog, in advance of today’s crucial really important legendary pressure-filled preseason game in the prestigious world-renowned International Champions Cup.
We talk about what to expect from the game, what preseason is shaping up like, and a trip to Italy. I answered questions about Arsenal from Tito, as well, and you can find those answers (and, crucially, the questions) right over here.
Let’s get to answerin’!
TSF: Fiorentina finished 17th, three points away from relegation, last season, after finishing 8th in 2017/18. For us non-Serie A watchers, what happened?
VN: Gah. Everything is a what, right? The short answer is that Stefano Pioli’s kick-and-rush tactics proved to be a dead end that the rest of the league completely figured out after a few months. The attackers (besides Federico Chiesa and, for a month after he arrived in January, Luis Muriel) were laughably ineffective at both finding space, dribbling, and shooting. The midfielders basically just ran in circles until they collided with each other. The defenders were great to start off, but then were overtaken by the same morass of awfulness that grabbed the rest of the team and were simply miserable in the new year.
Part of it was the tactics, but a large part of it was that the players just seemed to give up, especially once Pioli was sacked and replaced with Vincenzo Montella, who stuck with the same approach with even worse results over the final dozen or

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