Tuesday, May 29, 2007

So long, and thanks for all the goals

It looks like the end of an era for Florence - a short-lived but highly prolific era. We'll call it the Toni Age. A total of 49 goals in two seasons and then off to pastures new.

In truth, it comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed his career. The big striker has never stayed long anywhere and it was a miracle the Viola kept hold of him after last season's Calciopoli verdict. A team that should have been in the Champions League found itself fighting against relegation. It is to his credit that he remained to help his team out.

Now Fiorentina have let it be known that he is free to move on but there will be none of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied the departures of, say, Baggio and Batistuta. They stayed much longer and influenced the team more deeply. Also, the Tuscan side finds itself in the relatively healthy position of having Mutu, Pazzini and Reginaldo to replace him. None of them are of his stature, but still, it is not a disaster.

So, I say, let him go. And if he happens to come back to the Franchi, whatever club it might be with, I reckon he should be greeted with applause. Not jeered like the sorry bunch in Palermo do. He did a great job for Fiorentina, but let's move on.

Also, just a quick mention of poor Chievo, dumped to Serie B. In the end, those donkeys flew too close to the sun. They defied the odds to stay up so long and entertain us so much - particularly in their first few seasons. It will be a hard fight for them to get back up but they will be fondly remembered by anyone who watched them play.

10 comments:

Aussie Romanista said...

I'm sick of the outflux of our players going to other European leagues. Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Di Vaio & Fiore (who are now back), Maresca, Tacchinardi, Miccoli, Tommasi. Get them all back, except Cassano who can stay there!

If Toni goes to Bayern Minchia, che vergogna! After the shit the tedeschi flung at us last year (then we wiped it on their faces) the least they deserve is a prolific pizzaiolo feeding them goals in brown cardboard boxes. But if he goes to Inter Merda, piu` peggio ancora!

Pat said...

Im suprised he's keen to go to Bayern. Obviously CL wasn't so important. I hope he doesn't do a Sheva and ruin his career and reputation by failing to adjust in a new league. Now over 30 Sheva doesn't have too many more chances to restore his reputation and Toni will be in the same boat.

It will certainly be a challenge for him. The pressure on Bayern will be huge after a horrible season.

martinobhoy said...

Ginkers

First I've heard this and it is sad news. I'll always remember him scoring in my first visit to the Artemio Franchi.

But just like every other club, we move on and get new heroes to live our dreams for us.

Forza Viola!

ginkers said...

AR

I dont like to see our best players moving abroad, we rarely seem to get the best out of them once they do. I must say, too, that Bayern don't seem the best choice of destination, if he ends up there.

Pat

See above. And as you say, there is a danger that you miss out on the Nazionale and see your fame decline by trying a different league.

Martino

Fine times indeed. Fine times...

Steven Van Duyse said...

'the sorry bunch in Palermo'? I agree, he did us a great favour getting us back in Serie A, but the man is a fuckin' mercenary! The reason he's booed when he enters the Barbera, is because he said things you don't say when a team has done everything to help you with your transfer. He's grateful to Fiorentina, things could've been the same in Sicily if he would've shown some gratitude there as well...

just my 2 cents...

ginkers said...

Steven

I find it hard to have a lot of sympathy with a club run by Zamparini. I know Toni's departure was a bit of a wrangle and he did little to ingratiate himself with the home support but I still think they should be able to move on. I'd be interested to see what reception he might get if he comes back with Bayern in the UEFA Cup!

Steven Van Duyse said...

I hardly ever agrees with the things Zamparini says, but for a journalist he's a fantastic person :)

Still, i'm a tifoso because of the team, not the president :)

Keep up the good work!

TrentToffee said...

Good luck to the fella. I wish more players - *especially* English/Scottish players - would try there hand at moving around the European leagues. They might learn a thing or three. It seems that only the South Americans truly have the wander lust. But that's clearly because of the money. Our lot seem to be a bunch of mummys boys by comparison.

However, Munich does seem to be a strange destination for Luca. I can't help but feeling that if he'd waited a while then Juve or Milan would have came knocking at his door. Or possibly one of Chelsea/Liverpool/Arsenal.

Still as I said, good luck to him. I hope it works out for him.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pathetic of Toni to leave. Bayern aren't even in the Champions League next season. Why did he have to leave at all??

Bah...let him go. Pazzini will be better than him anyway.

And, ginkers, I remember clearly seeing fiorentini abuse Batistuta on his first visit back with Roma in about March 2001. They had to change the game to a Monday afternoon because they were worried of trouble.

- Juventini.

ginkers said...

Steven

True, Zampa fills the papers, right enough. I've been in a similar position to yourself when Cecchi Gori was in charge at Fiorentina - especially when he got in tow with Valeria Marini. No matter if your President is an ass, you've still got to love your team!

Trent

Supposedly, Toni went to Bayern as a "last favour" to Fiorentina so he would not be playing against them in Serie A. Believe that if you will. And certainly, a lot of English players could learn a lot from going abroad. But why would they now when they can earn millions for mediocrity at home?

Juventino

I remember the curva was split over whether to jeer or cheer Bati on his return. I don't think there was the unanimous venom directed at Toni in Palermo but I may be wrong. And Fiorentina v Roma is always considered to be a "gara a rischio" not just because Batistuta was coming back. Certainly, I would never pretend the Viola faithful were perfect!