Benvenuto mister Bowen #WelcomeBowen
A press conference was called at the stadio olimpico grande torino, the home of Torino FC, as il toro announced that Englishman Marc Bowen has taken charge of the first team. Bowen has continental management experience, coming from the Bundesliga with 1.FC Kaiserslautern, FSV Mainz and Fortuna Dusseldorf, as well as spells in Spain with Espanyol and Romania with Steaua Buscharesti. Bowen informs the fans and the press that he wants to bring the glory days back to the right part of Turin.
Bowen’s side kicked off the 2018-19 season in style; il granata’s opening game was in the Coppa Italia against Serie B side A.S Livorno Calcio, a brace from capitano Andrea Belotti and a goal from his strike partner Simone Zaza gave il toro a comfortable 3-0 at the stadio olimpico grande torino.
The Serie A kicked off for Torino in their own stomping ground, where they hosted ex Torino boss Sinisa Mihajlovic back with his new side Bologna. The game itself showed little attacking quality from either side and on the 24th minuto, Zaza was dismissed for a two footed lunge. Bologna didn’t threat il toro too much and the man disadvantage didn’t hinder their defensive performance. The back 3 sat narrow, whilst Bologna had no imagination or tactical ideas to make use over the one man depict. The game ended 0-0 and in fairness, both sides probably came away please with it.
Next up for granata was Chievo; il gialloblu were already deducted 3 points due to their fraudulent accountings, this already put their side in a psychological disadvantage, and one which Torino took full advantage of. A brace from capitano Belotti gave Bowen his first Serie A victory with a comfortable 2-0 win.
Back to back away games saw Torino win in style against Sampdoria, Simeone Zaza, back from suspension hit a first half brace, beating Samp’s high line and the offside trap on both occasions. Jakub Jankto went from hero to zero as he pulled one back for Samp with a 25 yard screamer, but was sent off for a second bookable offence after the break. The tie was confirmed when Belotti headed home from a De Silvestri cross late on; the final score was 3-1 to Torino.
Bowen tasted his first defeat to a rejuvenated Napoli. Following Maurizio Sarri’s departure to Chelsea, the legacy has been taken over by calcio legend Carlo Ancelotti. But it was il toro who took the lead for young Italian striker Vittorio Parigini, who blasted the balling into the top corner within 5 minutes. Torino sat back putting on a defensive masterclass, with Napoli huffing and puffing but unable to break them down. Things finally changed when Spanish midfielder Fabian drilled a shot into the bottom corner on 62 minutes. That’s when the confidence drained from Torino and within 3 minutes Mertens had put il partenopei into the lead. From that moment on you could see the life being sapped from the Torino players as they showed no signs of getting a late equaliser. It stayed 2-1 and Bowen’s Torino tasted a loss for the first time.
That defeat had more of a confidence blow than people though, also with a 3 week knee ligament strain to capitano Belotti, the side lacked leadership and inspiration. This showed as il toro drew a blank against Fiorentina only to follow it up with a 1-1 draw with Udinese .Daniele Baselli the goal scorer from the penalty spot.
Next up was Inter at the San Siro; Inter themselves were sitting high up in 2nd place. With Belotti still out, Bowen opted for a slight tactical tweak; he moved Falque from the number 10 role and placed him in the middle of the park along side Rincon and Baselli. Baselli would act as the deeper of the 3, dictating the play, Rincon would be the engine as the box to box midfielder, whilst Falque would drift into the half spaces out wide, in what the Italian’s call a Mezzala. This tactical switch up proved to the doubters as to why Bowen was the right man for the job. Belkheir and Rincon gave il toro a comfortable lead and it wasn’t until late on when experience winger Candreva pulled on back for nerazzurri; the final score was 2-1 to Torino.
Bowen opted to stick with this tactical change and with Belotti returning from injury, granata fans were optimistic. However, Roma proved to be too strong and their pacey wingers with overlapping fullbacks were too much for il toro to cope with. El Shaawary scored a brace cutting inside from the left, Belotti pulled one back but it wasn’t enough. A second defeat for Bowen’s Torino at home.
October proved to be a tough month for Bowen and Torino as they failed to score in the next two fixtures. The positive to this was that neither did their opponents. A tight defensive shape and discipline kept AC Milan and Sassuolo at bay, although, il toro felt they should have won against neroverdi with the amount of chances they created.
The following month and things started to change. Confidence grew in the Torino camp with three straight victories ending the month with a 100% win ratio. Empoli were il toro first victims as Bowen opted to move Falque into a role behind the strikers, posing more of an offensive ambition from the off. De Silvestri and Belotti got the goals but Falque was instrumental in most of Torino’s play, demanding the ball and being the linchpin to their attacks.
Caglairi were taught a lesson in how not to perform at home as il toro thumped the Sardinians 6-1 on their own turf. Zaza ending his goal drought and taking the match ball home with him, claiming his first hattrick in Torino colours. Falque, Ansaldi and Izzo all joined him on the scoring list; even De Silvestri scored for the second week in a row, this time in his own net, as Izzo cleared the ball in a goal mouth scramble which hit De Silvestri in the side and bounced in.
Newly promoted Parma proved to be tougher than expected, as they defended well and il toro had to maintain their concentration for the entirety of the game. Daniele Baselli got the goal, a beautiful curled free kick, gave il toro an important 1-0 win.
Granata continues their fine form going into the end of 2018, by dismantling Lazio 4-1, braces from Falque and Zaza proved too much for biancocelesti; Lulic pulled on back but by that point it was done and dusted. Simeone Inzaghi was dismissed following the disarray shown in front of their own fans.
Torino progress through to the next round of the Coppa Italia following a 1-0 win after extra time against Palermo. A fully rotated squad was saved blushes as super sub Belotti snatched the win in the 120th minute, breaking the hearts of the Palermo fans and players.
il toro’s form meant after 14 games they were sitting high in 5th place.
Come back for the next instalment, where we will see if Bowen’s Torino can maintain their positive start under his tenure.
Until then, Forza Toro
ForzaToro #SempreFrozaToro #SFT #TorinoFC #Toro
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