The Mihajlovic Affect
Three matches into this Serie A season, Bologna FC are currently sitting second place in the table and although it certainly is an all-around team effort, their Serbian coach, Sinisa Mihajlovic certainly deserves some of the praise.
Even before being diagnosed with leukaemia this past summer, Mihajlovic has been a warrior on and off the pitch. The former coach of Torino F.C, AC Milan and UC Sampdoria has this current Bologna squad firing on all cylinders even from his hospital bed.
It really is a great story of how this team seems to be playing their best football for their coach as he currently undergoes chemotherapy.
To some, it may not be too surprising that they currently own a 2-1-0 record and have scored a combined 6 goals over the 3 matches.
It seems as if the sad news of their coach has brought this squad closer and maybe giving them that extra push to pull out results. With that said, let's not take anything away from the impressive performances this team is producing on the pitch.
Who's stood out?
Mihajlovic has his team very well organized in their 4-3-3 formation thus far. The team also has a good mix of veteran players like Rodrigo Palacio, Gary Medel and captain Blerim Dzemaili. But the main focus of this team has to be on some of the younger players.
At only 22 years old, right-winger Riccardo Orsolini has been impressive so far this season, especially in Bologna's 4-3 win over Brescia Calcio on Sunday. At one point Bologna were down 3-1.
But Orsolini was the player to continue to create chances and was later rewarded by picking up an assist and scoring the match-winner.
Other important pieces to this Bologna team are left winger Nicola Sansone, central midfielder Roberto Soriano and new 20-year-old defender Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Sansone and Soriano both at 28 years of age still have lots to prove but they both have been influential to Bologna's early-season success. Since coming over in the summer, the young Tomiyasu who can play both centre-back and right-back has also been consistent since coming over from Sint-Truidense V.V. in the Jupiler Pro League (Belgian First Division A).
What to expect now
Undoubtedly, it will be very difficult for Bologna to keep these impressive results going throughout the season. However, collecting 7 points out of a possible 9 in the first 3 matches could prove extremely vital in where Bologna finish in the table at the end of the season.
Next Sunday, Bologna take on an inconsistent AS Roma team that just came off a 4-2 win over U.S Sassuolo Calcio. No doubt this will not be an easy task for the Rossoblu, but if they continue to play the way they have been so far this season they can definitely steal a result against the Giallorossi.
This hot start to the season in honour of their coach Mihajlovic has put Bologna in a good position to for the remainder of the season and hopefully should help them avoid the relegation zone.
These early results should also keep the team morale high especially for some of their youngsters like Orsolini and Tomiyasu.
Every football fan will hope Bologna can keep up this incredible form and continue to shock the Serie A world.