ALMOST ALL THE BASIS OUT OF THE GAME
Atalanta is in a fever – three of the last four matches in the championship, one of the most productive teams in Serie A, ended in a 0-0 draw. Gradually, for various reasons, Atalanta lost almost its entire base. Therefore, head coach Gian Piero Gasperini blocked Alexei Miranchuk from loaning to Genoa.
In the last match with Lazio (0:0), two main forwards could not play – Muriel and Zapata (he has been treated for a long time), midfielders – Malinovsky, Ilicic, Pashalic, De Ron, Kopmeiners, Gozens. All of the above have scored nearly all of the team’s goals this season. They also determine the very attractive football that the team has been playing in recent years.
That’s why Miranchuk went to the base in Rome, before that he went out from the first minutes on January 12 in the cup game against Verona (2:0). But Aleksey did not play the whole match, he was replaced in the 71st minute. Not because of complaints about his game – he pulled the back of his thigh in the first half. In the second half, Alexei came out with a bandaged thigh, but in the 71st minute he limped. And in the end, Gasperini was forced to release youth players on the field.
WHEN ILICIC IS RECOVERING
What did Miranchuk look like in the game against Lazio? Worse than Verona. But here it is necessary to take into account what kind of partners the Russian had. When the entire midfield is out, it’s hard to get the game going. Atalanta didn’t have a game as such, the bet was clearly placed on the result. However, Lazio in its strongest squad looked toothless. Gasperini in this situation was pleased with a draw in Rome. In any case, after the final whistle he smiled, which is rare to see.
So, Miranchuk’s loan to Genoa is postponed. Alexei got a second chance at Atalanta. The fact is that if all of the above midfielders dropped out due to covid or injuries, then Josip Ilicic has moral and psychological problems. This happened with the Slovenian a year and a half ago. After a great season, he did not return from his native Slovenia from vacation and said that he would probably quit football due to family problems. What problems were in the family is not clear, but it seems that Ilicic’s problems are in his head. Now the Slovenian has again fallen into depression: he cannot play – he is afraid that a new wave of the epidemic will affect his family. Gasperini even said that he does not yet know when Ilicic will be fully ready.
Recall that the Slovenian and Miranchuk have approximately the same positions on the field, and the Russians were acquired precisely to replace Ilicic when that first moral and psychological crisis happened to him. No one then could say when Ilicic would return to Bergamo, or if he would return at all. Therefore, Miranchuk was urgently bought.
While the competitor is “ill”, Alexey got a second chance to gain a foothold in this unusual team, showing excellent modern football. And it is necessary to cling to it with all the teeth and other parts of the body. How? Take over the game more, show good sports impudence.
True, it is not at all by the way in the Italian championship, as in other leading championships, a two-week break was formed. Atalanta will play the next Serie A match only on February 6 with Cagliari. But on the other hand, Alexei has the opportunity to put his thigh in order.