*This is going to be a simple new writing series based on own interest. It will cover the surprises in world football, and I hope it will be an interesting and enjoyable read!
Juventus are top of Serie A – something many football fans will be rather used to by now. Likewise, Roma and Napoli bring up the rear (at time of writing) in second and third respectively. With the drop of Milan and Inter over recent years, this has been the case for quite a while.
As such, years can go by without changes in football. But, in the north of Italy, just 25 miles northeast of Milan, lies the ancient Roman city of Bergamo. In it, however, is a new-found energy in the form of Atalanta.
For years, Atalanta has done its bidding in mid-table Serie A, but in the 2016-17 season has hit new heights. After a shaky start to the season with four losses in their first six, it wouldn’t have been crazy to disbelieve that they’d be in fifth with four games to go; eying up that second Europa League spot.
The main catalyst for the teams success has come in the form of Argentinian forward Alejandro Gomez, who joined the club in 2014. He’s having a fantastic season, scoring 14 goals in 33 appearances, assisting 9 in the process. He’s helped his side see off Napoli, Roma and Milan, as well as drawing with Juventus. We’ll ignore the 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Inter, though…
This begs the question, then, come the end of the season: How well would Atalanta do in the Europa League? It also raises the question of whether the success is simply a one-time thing, and whether Gomez can carry this form into his thirties.
One thing is for sure though, Italian football does not hold up to the stereotype people like to give it. It’s not boring, or slow, or entirely defensive. If you think so, I hope I’ve convinced you to watch the blistering pace of Gomez.