Cheers good people on this beautiful Monday. We come from a strong 2-1 win at home against Sampdoria, which has resulted in us being well-positioned in 10th, only three points behind 6th. We are really beginning to find our stride point-wise, but more importantly performance-wise.
Against Sampdoria, we witnessed a resilient midfield which continued their aggressive press for most of the game. There were a period of 10-15 minutes where we lost the ball quite a lot, but the team managed to get back into it, and we eventually won deservedly. We created more than the opposition, made them struggle at times with our precise passing and rapid attacking moves.
It is beginning to sound boring to mention him, but once more Rodrigo Palacio was our best player. The ever-young attacker time after time made life difficult for the Samp-defenders. He got a goal, but his importance for the team goes way beyond goals and assists. The opposition can never take any risks in defence with a player like Palacio nearby, he is absolutely brutal to face.
At 37, he seems to only be getting better, and although I’ve previously called for the club to acquire a new, first-choice striker, Palacio is all we need at the moment. We are very lucky to have him.
I would also like to give a shout-out to Ladislav Krejci. A player which over the last couple of years has struggled to make an impact at the club. This season, he has had to be content with playing in defence, at left back. With Mitchell Dijks our only pure left back, and him being out injured, Krejci has lately been our only choice.
But that has not impacted us negatively. It was telling that Krejci earlier this season was moved from midfielders to defenders on the official site of the club. The transition to defence has been in work for a long time, most likely since Sinisa Mihajlovic took charge. Dijks has been immense in that position since the Serbian came in January, but he is, at the moment, not missed.
Because, Krejci has adapted to his new position with ease. In defence, he really makes a bad judgement. He is difficult to get past for opposition attackers, and he is always positioned correctly in the box. However, given his career has been all about being a winger, he also contributes going forward. In the last games, he has provided width a pace down the left hand side. He often gets into the box in dangerous areas for crosses and the occasional finish. Even though Dijks will soon enough be back from injury, he cannot expect to walk straight back into the line-up.
All in all, there are lots of positives at the club at the moment, and it is quite exciting to watch games. There is a clear path in which the staff seems to follow. We have an evident vision, and the results and development of the players are positive because of it. Long may it continue.
Until next time.
Photo: Bologna FC