A Farewell to Sinisa + thoughts on Motta

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And so it all came to a close. After a little more than three years in the job, Sinisa Mihajlovic is no longer our coach. A collaboration that started out so well, but suddenly changed for reasons well beyond football.

The Serbian will be remembered fondly at Bologna, after two stints with the club. He took over in January 2019 after Filippo Inzaghi’s poor start to the 2018-2019 season, with Bologna firmly in the relegation zone. From game one, away at Inter, Bologna and Sinisa never looked back, and eventually ended up in 10th that season.

And optimism was high as we went into a new season. As pre-season started in the summer of 2019, however, devastating news hit Sinisa, Bologna and the football world.

The coach had been diagnosed with leukemia and had to undergo treatment. From that point on, football came second, and all focus was on beating the disease, something Sinisa eventually did beat it, and was cancer free in the autumn of 2020, before the disease came back in the spring of 2022, and Sinisa had to get treatment again.

There is no doubt in the world that everyone wished for a different ending to his second stint at the club, but the way in which the supporters and the club stood by Sinisa will be remembered for a long time.

His passion, drive and love for the club and the city of Bologna, no one can question. But, with results not up to the standards of Joey Saputo, now was the time for a change.

One can, of course, question the timing of the decision. Having revamped the squad with lots of new players in the summer, to then let Sinisa go after five games, can seem rash. But the truth is that results have been poor for quite some time, especially considering all the players that have come in since he took over.

With the sales of big players like Simone Verdi (sold in the summer of 2018, before Sinisa), Erick Pulgar, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Aaron Hickey, Bologna have gotten a lot of money, and strengthened their squad.

If you look at the squad now compared to that of, say, Roberto Donadoni, the squad now is much stronger, but the results have not been much better.

The decision to go for a new coach is therefore quite understandable, and the right one.

And now it seems as Thiago Motta will be our new coach. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, a deal is all but done, but the former Spezia-coach will not be in charge of the game against that purple lot on Sunday.

And in a press conference today, Saturday, Claudio Fenucci confirmed that Motta will be the new coach from Monday, whilst the Primavera coach Luca Vigiani, will take charge of the match this weekend.

That is a wise decision. The purple team have, unfortunately, been very strong the past couple of seasons, and Thiago Motta would, even if the deal was done already, not have had enough time to prepare for that game. Now the new coach will get a week to prepare for the home game against Empoli next weekend. A game, if we are being honest, is very much winnable.

Nevertheless, it will take time for Motta to implement his style at the club. The coach has been praised for his willingsness to attack, and his way of implementing his way of playing. When he was coaching the PSG Under 19’s, he became quite famous for wanting to revolutionize football with his 2-7-2 formation.

Interesting times ahead.

PHOTO: Bologna FC

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