Written by: Massimo Sampaolesi. Translated by: Carlotta Belluzzi
There is nothing heroic in playing well for 70 minutes, only to then lose 0 – 3. That’s true. It is also true, however, that much of the criticism that poured on the team before the season started, has no leg to stand on. This Bologna is a very interesting team, with much to improve – but the improvements need to start happening soon. For example, to concede another goal like the first one Napoli scored, would be unacceptable; the opposing striker bypassing Masina, and then finding himself half a metre away from the goal – such mistakes cannot be tolerated anymore. However, it is also true that until that point, Masina had sustained a very solid performance and had successfully kept Napoli’s attack in check (and who would have thought that a full back could cover Napoli’s whole flank!). De Maio’s spite as he entered the pitch was also unacceptable (perhaps he was bothered by the fact that he was not one of the starting XI?), as was Pulgar’s youthful arrogance, that eventually lead to Napoli scoring a second goal. Even so, these are human errors, and they are more easily solvable than technical and strategic shortcomings.
In short, Bologna played well for 70 minutes, until a couple of distractions from a few players became the determining factors of our defeat. This is not a matter of fundamental problems, the structure is still firm, and for this we also have to thank two new entries, who appear to be crucial for the growth of the team: Poli and Palacio.
Thanks to the latest plan put in action by Donadoni, the team seems to have found its firmness and support – its spine. The moves of the whole squad are determined by those of the striker and the midfielder, and these moves are accepted with a pragmatic attitude by the rest of the team, and with gratitude by the coach. The strength of Bologna in the nearest future, will be the ability to follow the lead of those who have played in the Serie A for a long while. Poli and Palacio, Palacio and Poli – those two provide wise advice while on the pitch, and they play with the same grit and ambition of a young, energetic player. I would even go as far as to say that we have found a substitute for Dzemaili: for the sake of improving the team, the Palacio-Poli duo is indeed the ideal substitute for the Swiss player.
Can Bologna face Fiorentina (and the next few opponents) with the same plan? Maybe. But what really matters, when covering the right areas on the pitch in a coordinated and cohesive way, is that spine that is now starting to grow, and that will grant the right impetus to our beloved team.
To conclude, Palacio and Poli might make us reach our dreams and finally complete that upgrade that has been long due, and that might make us see the situation under a less negative light.
It feels good to observe this power on the pitch: our Double P-Power.