2008/09 – With Sinisa Mihajlovic at the helm Bologna started the season off in good fashion beating Milan 2-1 away from home. However the Rossoblu’s luck soon changed and after some lacklustre results found themselves at the bottom half of the table. Eventually finishing 17th after a long relegation battle. On a plus note if it were any consolation Bologna’s striker Marco Di Vaio finished second-highest top scorer, missing out on the Capocannoniere title by one goal behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
2009/10 – After Mihajlovic’s unsuccessful run as Coach of the northern club, he replacement for the new campaign is Giuseppe Papadopulo. Hired in April 2009, Papadopulo has managed clubs such as Siena, Lazio, Palermo and Lecce. He will bring far more experience than Mihajlovic something which Bologna clearly need this season if they are to avoid relegation again. Papadopulo may be the man for the job as he brought Siena from Serie C1 all the way to Serie A.
Transfer campaign – Bologna have been relatively active in the transfer market, despite it being suggested that the Felsinei has only £5m to spend this season, and new faces have already arrived with midfielder Giacomo Tedesco from Catania, midfielder Andrea Raggi from Sampdoria and the signing of goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano from Inter. Rafael Santos and Davide Carrus have also come in.
Rafeal Santos – Atletico Paranaense – loan
Luca Vigiani – Reggina – undisclosed
Emiliano Viviano – Inter – undisclosed
Giacamo Tedesco – Catania – undisclosed
Andrea Raggi – Palermo – loan
Francesco Antonioli – Cesena – undisclosed
Sergio Volpi – Reggina – undisclosed
Francesco Della Rocca – Brescia – loan
Davide Carrus – Mantova – undisclosed
Marco Bernacci – Ascoli – loan
First XI –
21 C. Zenoni – 19 Terzi – 84 Raggi – 10 Bombardini
7 Valiani – 26 Mudangayi – 20 Tedesco – 2 Marchini
22 Osvaldo – 9 Di Vaio
The Coach – Giuseppe Papadopulo brings to Bologna what Sinisa Mihajlovic could not offer – experience. Papadopulo has a proven track record and he has a never-say-die attitude which is what Bologna need if they are to survive relegation again this time around. Despite Papadopulo’s experience he will have his work cut out at the club as they really lack quality and depth in the back four and up front.
Team/reliable player – There is no doubt that Marco Di Vaio has scored an abundance of goals throughout his career, his campaign last year was no exception having raked up 24 goals and saving his side from relegation. Di Vaio has to be the first name on the Coach’s starting line up because he is such a prolific goal scorer who has hit great form with the Rossoblu. The 33-year-old is a true leader on the pitch and is club captain.
Creative force – Francesco Valiani seems to be Bologna’s creative talent attacking from the flanks he provides assists and opportunities for fellow teammates to latch on to.
Youth prospect – Pablo Daniel Osvaldo looks to be a promising youngster having been acquired from Fiorentina. Osvaldo is shaping up to be an exciting signing – his spectacular goal on May 2008 against Torino helped Fiorentina qualify for the Champions League. The 23-year-old Argentine could be the key to unlocking opponent’s defences and could provide a much-needed partner to lift the burden of expectation from Di Vaio’s shoulders.
The fixtures – Fixtures to watch out for include Bologna’s rivalries with their northern neighbours Milan, Inter, Juventus and Fiorentina. The Felsinei will face la Viola on the first day of the 2009/10 campaign. The Rossoblu also face a daunting string of matches from September 20 all the way to the October 25 where they will face Milan away, Livorno at home, Juventus away, Genoa at home, Napoli away finishing with Sampdoria away. This will be a key period for the side and could dictate how their season pans out.
Predictions – As hard as it may sound, Bologna lacks quality – they do not possess much depth as far as the squad is concerned and because of this they will be hovering around the bottom of the table and fighting to stay in the top flight. With the exception of Marco Di Vaio they lack another goalscorer and creative players, Osvaldo may be someone who can help them in this department. However, this writer still believes Bologna could achieve 14th and escape relegation yet again.