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Fiorentina: not unbeatable but hard to beat?

By Anthony  Lamb :  24/02/2008 :  Comments (15) :
I have just been watching the Roma-Fiorentina match today (Sunday) and it got me thinking about a number of points regarding our forthcoming Uefa Cup games against them.

While they did not by any means look an unbeatable team by any stretch of the imagination, I do feel that they nevertheless will be a difficult team to beat over two games. Firstly, defensively, they look a typically well organised Italian team and seem capable of retaining possession for prolonged periods even when under pressure.

An issue here for Everton, coming up against better opposition than we have encountered so far, is that the passing and ball retention incapabilities of players such as Hibbert and Neville are likely to be exposed. In addition, much as I admire and congratulate Lee Carsley on the job he does so consistently, I do hope that he calls on all his international experience to curb any reckless tackling ? especially during quick counter-attacks near the box.

Neville I feel is a real liability in this area and the Italians will be only too ready to exploit his tendency to give away the most stupid of free kicks in vulnerable areas around the box. And while Everton's pressing game will undoubtedly disturb the Italians, they are past masters at taking the sting out of this by going down too easily and prompting the inevitable yellow/red cards.

I am sure that Everton have enough in their attacking armoury to win the tie, but I just feel that players such as Neville, Hibbert, Carsley etc MUST be disciplined and that players such as Piennar, Arteta etc MUST avoid giving the former two too much possession and to prevent them launching aimless long balls which surrenders possession that demands wasting precious energy in trying to win it back again.

We have enough to win this tie, but it will be difficult and ? without real professional discipline ? could be very difficult.

Reader Comments

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Peter Bourke
1   Posted 25/02/2008 at 00:46:12

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I have just heard from one of my Romanian friends at work that Mutu picked up a knee injury and is doubtful for the clash with EFC.
COYB.
Jon Woods
2   Posted 25/02/2008 at 02:01:49

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Agree absolutely re Hibbert’s and Neville’s propensity for handing possession over to the opposition, a maddening habit that will very likely see us go out against Fiorentina unless it is either uncharacteristically curtailed by the parties in question (unlikely) or both players get dropped for the two games.
Jason Broome
3   Posted 25/02/2008 at 03:10:09

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With the exception of Mutu (who might miss the game), & a tired looking Christian Vieri, none of Fiorentina?s players stood out.

After Mutu?s injury they clearly lacked a match winner & chased the rest of the game. For me if we win the midfield... we win the tie.

Although he impressed, Krøldrop looked a bit shaky under pressure. I still doubt his Premiership credentials & I believe a relentless Johnson, Yakubu & Anichebe might prove to much.

We have more match winners, a better midfield, can play at high tempo for 90 minutes & a hungry Yak!

With caution we will win!
Daniel O'Brien
4   Posted 25/02/2008 at 05:52:38

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Just reading the news papers here in Bahrain and looks like Adrian Mutu got a bad injury yesterday against Roma.

http://www.tribalfootball.com/article.php?id=80204.

I know they still have a load of good players in the team but this can only be good news for the blue boys.

First job though City tonight. coyb

Norman Merrill
5   Posted 25/02/2008 at 06:26:01

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Anthony, I too watched the game, and one thing that hit me is that, on the night(s) we play them, our finishing is going to have to be really spot on.
Chances are few and far between, and you have to be clinical.
The Yak is starting to hit form, so lets hope AJ, is on the top of his game.
Jay Campbell
6   Posted 25/02/2008 at 09:06:15

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Just get into them!!!

They didn’t look that good in fact they sore on the eyes.
Joe Milner
7   Posted 25/02/2008 at 11:34:37

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I watched the game and it worried me. These are not world beaters but they are a very good team, solid at the back and quick on the break. For the first 30 minutes while Mutu was on the pitch they were the better team and could have had a couple of goals.
Another chance to see them next Sunday on Ch 5 away to Juventus.
Terry Smith
8   Posted 25/02/2008 at 12:38:19

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Moyes will play his best 4-5-1 in Fiorentina
Howard
Neville Yobo Jagielka Lescott
Arteta Carsley Osman Pienaar
Cahill
Yakubu

Soak up the pressure in midfield and get them on a set-piece or unleash big Vic in the last 10. A score draw would not be that bad but I do think a goal is a must.
Mick Wrende
9   Posted 25/02/2008 at 14:09:41

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Didnt see anything in that game to worry us and would certainly expect us to be able to beat that sort of side. They didnt seem to have any real attacking threat apart from a couple of headers from a defender. In fact I think there is only Spurs left in the competition who should give us a game. Bayern Munich look poor and Getafe are the only Spanish club left in and they only won last night because Real were pathetic.
Jay Wilson
10   Posted 25/02/2008 at 14:26:59

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Our chances of a win have greatly increased by the news that Mutu is out for a month with ligament damage.
Simon Walker
11   Posted 25/02/2008 at 14:28:12

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I know similar has been posted but this confirms that Mutu is definately out

http://www.channel4.com/sport/football_italia/feb25i.html
Richard Ewart
12   Posted 25/02/2008 at 13:55:12

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The news wires over here are reporting that Fiorentina's Adrian Mutu damaged knee ligaments against Roma at the weekend and will be out of action for a month.

That of course means he will miss both legs of the Uefa Cup tie. Mutu has been in pretty good form lately, so his absence can only enhance our chances of making the last eight.

Colin Grierson
13   Posted 25/02/2008 at 15:11:32

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I totally understand your concerns with regards to rash (often costly) tackles in and around the box from Neville and Hibbert.
I do think though that Hibbert has been showing a bit of an improvement recently. Neville is the one that worries me. He ALWAYS looks like he’s about to give a free kick away.
However, overall I think that they are probably more concerned about us than we are about them and rightly so on current form. They are on a good run in Serie A but its not the same standard as the Premier League. The redshite beat Inter, their league’s best team and we all know how poor the redshite are at the moment.
A good injury free performance and hopefully a win against City tonight will be the perfect tonic and keep confidence high. COYB IMWT.
Ray Said
14   Posted 25/02/2008 at 19:05:09

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The news that Mutu is out of Uefa cup tie (link http://www.channel4.com/sport/football_italia/feb25i.html) is hopefully a real boost to the blues chances of going through.

I watched Fiorentina play Roma and they seemed very slow at the back , lightweight in the middle of the park and any goal threat went when Mutu went off. They relied on getting crosses in to Vieri who looks like he is knocking 45 and played like it!

We can have this bunch!!

Jason Broome
15   Posted 28/02/2008 at 00:13:08

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Why do we always hype up Italian teams? With the exception of one or two they?re not that good. The last time I checked their best failed where Barnsley scored.

Fiorentina are the last Italian Uefa Cup representative and of them their best players are a knackered 34 year-old Vieri and a defender that couldn?t replace David Weir.

If they had our players and we had theirs, then yes that's a worry!

However, Krøldrup was pants against Premiership opposition, and even if he has improved... who gives a monkey?s... were bringing the YAK!

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