A warrior on the touchline and a Swedish prodigy in midfield

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Cheers guys, hope everything is well for all Bologna fans out there. We come from a narrow one-goal loss against the champions, and a deserved loss it was. Still, it still felt as a lost opportunity at the time as Federico Santander got two huge chances at the death. Even though the result were no points in that game, encouragement can be taken from it.

A couple of days ago, I was asked by a Daily Mail journalist what I thought of Sinisa Mihajlovic and his importance for Bologna. You can read the great piece on our warrior here, but it got me thinking. The team has played well in several games this season, but there seems to be a more invigorated team out on the pitch in the few games in which Mihajlovic has been on the sidelines.

Three games, two draws and one loss. At first glance, not impressive at all. But behind these numbers, lie a different story. Bologna may have failed against Verona in the first game of the season, in a game which they had a whopping 75 percent of the possession and 16 to 5 shots. Against Lazio, Bologna were again the best side and created chance after chance versus a defensively strong team. Juventus may have dominated and did win deservedly on Saturday, but the attitude and intensity of the team was telling. To have Mihajlovic on the sidelines, is a huge moral boost.

After the horrid news came this summer that our coach had become ill, all focus has been on him getting well. He has been given the time and opportunity by the club to get treatment and still manage the team. That he still feels able to do that, and wants to do just that, is nothing short of incredible. His assistent coaches have taken charge of most games after that, but Mihajlovic’s ideas are still what shapes the identity of the club.

Therefore, one could not see a much changed side when the season commenced versus Verona, but after a few more games, it became quite apparent that in the few games which the Serbian have watched from the sidelines, the team seems invigorated, more aggressive as well as having a more rapid way of playing the beautiful game. The players step up when he is there to show him what he really means to them all. Long may it continue.

Another thing I have noticed lately is the emergence of our young Swede in midfield, Mattias Svanberg. It is not news that we have a talented player on our hands, he has played strong matches previously as well. Still, he has started the last couple of games against strong opposition in Lazio and Juventus.

After arriving at the club last summer, Svanberg did have a run of games in the side from minute one under Filippo Inzaghi. However, as Mihajlovic took over in January, he had to be content with a place on the bench as it seemed as the coach wanted experience as he sought to secure another season in Serie A. This season, however, it seems as though Svanberg has been given a more important role, and given how he plays whenever called upon, we should be seeing more of him in the weeks to come.

As always, thanks for reading, and do let me know if you agree with my notion that we seem more invigorated with Miha on the sidelines.

Until next time.

Photo: Bologna FC

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