Bologna started the season in a tailspin after the hiring of former Venezia coach Pippo Inzaghi and some heavy squad investment during the summer.
Things started off poorly and only got worse until the club replaced Inzaghi with their current boss Sinisa Mihajlovic, who is on a mission to save the Rossoblu.
Bologna are in the midst of their fourth consecutive Serie A season, but the club has experienced declining league finishes in each season. They finished in 14th, 15th and 16th place and decided to shake things up by firing Roberto Donadoni who had been with the club for those seasons and replaced him with Inzaghi while retooling their squad with the intention of improving upon their previous few seasons.
In the summer they sold important players including, Simone Verdi, Federico Di Francesco, Adam Masina, and Antonio Mirante. These were all key starters for Bologna and their replacements have not performed as expected.
Bologna’s most notable signings were Diego Falcinelli, Lukasz Skorupski, Federico Santander, Mitchell Dijks and Mattias Svanberg. Although Dijks and Skorupski have performed reasonably well so far, the rest have not made the impact expected of them.
This put them in desperate need of reinforcements during the January transfer window and they agreed a double loan deal with Villarreal for Nicola Sansone and Roberto Soriano, who was on loan at Torino, until the end of the season.
These new signings did little to change things and, after a disastrous 4-0 home defeat on January 27 to Frosinone, the team decided to part ways with Inzaghi and hired Mihaljovic to save their season.
Mihajlovic is no stranger to Bologna as they gave him his first managerial position when they hired him November 2008 as the team was battling relegation. He ended up getting fired in April 2009, but Bologna did survive relegation that season.
The Serbian would go on to manage teams throughout Serie A and the Serbian men’s national team before ending up at Torino in 2016. After some disappointing results Mihajlovic was replaced by Walter Mazzarri last season.
Now with Bologna he already has them playing much better than they did under Inzaghi. Mihajlovic led Bologna to a 1-0 away win over Inter in his first match back in charge.
He lined up the team in a 4-4-1-1 that match with Soriano as his trequartista but has not shied away from using other formations. He used a 4-3-3 in the following few matches, but it seems like he has settled on a 4-2-3-1 formation with Rodrigo Palacio and winter signings Soriano and Sansone playing as part of the three behind Santander.
Bologna have picked up seven points in their last six matches under Mihajlovic, while Inzaghi got only 14 points in their first 21 matches.
It won’t be easy for the Rossoblu to avoid relegation but with matches against Sassuolo, Chievo, Parma and Empoli remaining, coupled with their recent upturn in form under Mihajlovic, anything can happen.
Bologna will be traveling to Turin this weekend to face Torino in a match that has more than just three points at stake.