The fading entertainers – Atalanta
League position after Matchday 7: 8th (11pts)
Top scorer: Duvan Zapata (three goals)
Early star: Duvan Zapata
Key man in title charge: Ruslan Malinovskyi
Finally, it seems that Atalanta are feeling the effects of Papu Gomez’s fallout with Gian Piero Gasperini.
The diminutive Argentine was the fulcrum of the Atalanta side that wowed the masses with their innovative style and relentless attacking thrust in the 2019/20 campaign amid their remarkable progression into the Champions League quarter-finals. The likes of Matteo Pessina and Ruslan Malinovskyi had mitigated Papu’s departure, but they seem to be missing a spark this time around.
There’s a distinct malaise lingering around Bergamo, and this analysis depicts their decreased efficiency to start the 2021/22 season. Have things gone stale under Gasperini? La Dea have won just three of their opening seven games, scoring a mere ten goals in the process! That’s a significant drop off for a side that hit 98 and 90-goal hauls in the past two seasons.
We’re starting to see a more pragmatic Gasperini as he attempts to cope with the departures of Gomez, Cristian Romeo et al, and it might take some time before we see this Atalanta side purr again. It’s a mini transitional period.