An apparent philosophy

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Well, long time no see guys. My last post at the site was published a couple of days after the abysmal defeat to Frosinone as Sinisa Mihajlovic had just been hired to save our season. The Serbian seemed a decent option at the time, but the mood around the club was not good.

Only two wins in 20 games under the tutelage of Filippo Inzaghi had taken its toll on even the most ardent supporters, but Mihajlovic’s return was still appreciated. He seemed the right fit to save us from relegation as his aggressiveness and what he demands from his teams was just what we needed after Inzaghi’s lack of energy and ruthlessness.

Now, after two games in charge, a few things have become apparent. For one thing, we got four points in two games, unprecedented this season. But, beyond the results, not taking anything away from the fantastic result at Giuseppe Meazza last weekend, a philosophy is becoming very much apparent under the Serbian’s reign. For those of you who have been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know that a lack of a clear way of playing, an apparent way of imposing ourselves on the opposition, has been one of the aspects of our game I’ve criticized the most.

This was true under Roberto Donadoni, who, nevertheless, was a good coach who never let us get anywhere near the relegation zone. Still, we never imposed ourselves on the opposition, we never had a clear way of playing, there was no apparent plan or style.

As Inzaghi was hired last summer, the hope was that the former Milan striker would fix this. No one were expecting scintillating football, but a specific way of playing football was the requirement. When Bologna enters the field, one should know how they will play. Most games anyway. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. As with Donadoni, Inzaghi struggled to set his mark on the team, and the results were as well worse than under the last coach.

But, now, a philosophy is finally starting to show. The game against Inter was all about shutting out the Nerazzurri. This we managed to do with excellence, especially in the first half. Inter grew into the game after the break, but we rode it out and secured the three points. That was, in my opinion, an a-typical game under Mihajlovic. Yesterday, however, against Genoa, we witnessed what I believe will be the prototype for our way of playing the beautiful game under the Serbian.

Let’s look at the statistics from the game:

  • 60% possession
  • 355 passes
  • 79% passing accuracy
  • 7 shots, 4 on target
  • 6 goal-scoring chances
  • 17 fouls made

These numbers tell a story. First of all, our possession. I cannot remember when we last had a such high percentage of the ball. Throughout the game, our passing game was as good as I’ve every seen it. We played our way through Genoa with ease at times with killer passes through the lines.

Andrea Poli was probably our best player, commanding the midfield with his work-rate. However, it was his passing that really stood out for me. He played some excellent direct passes towards the attackers, and his assist for Mattia Destro was nothing short of magnificent.

Our passing accuracy could have been better, but with the kind of intensity we played with at times, it’s very difficult to get close to 90%. Still, our midfield of the aforementioned Poli alongside Roberto Soriano and Erick Pulgar were brilliant at times. The way they combined intricate passes between themselves before suddenly surprising the Genoa defenders with a long ball was the best part of the game for me.

In addition to our passing game, we created a lot of chances, with the official number being 6 goal-scoring opportunities. We should have scored more than just the one goal from these chances, but still, very encouraging.

The last statistic I want to highlight is fouls made. Throughout the game, we fouled Genoa time and time again. 17 being the official number. We won the ball high up the field, pressing Genoa back towards their own goal. This helped us keep possession and create chances. In addition, this continued fouling also denied Genoa any real chances on the counter.

All in all, the game yesterday was very encouraging. If we continue in the same manner going forward, salvation should be no problem.

Until next time.

P.S: I’ve ordered a Destro-kit, as promised on Twitter yesterday if he scored.

P.P.S: Simone Edera was good yesterday. Did he remind anyone else of a certain other winger with the name of Simone?

Photo: http://bolognafc.it

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