Scolari – the centre of gravity

Last Saturday’s 1-1 result in the away game against Santos was considered a good result by Palmeiras’ coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Again, Palmeiras showed evolution and players have clearly found their positions. Superior in the first half, the team left for half time with 1-0 (great goal by Kleber after a pass from Valdivia) which could easily have been 2-0 had Vitor’s long distance shoot struck the crossbar just a few inches lower. In the second half, Santos gradually took over and equalised with a weak shot that deflected on Danilo and left Deola with no possibility of reaction.  The end result can be considered fair, although Palmeiras was closer to the second goal at several occasions. Watch the highlights here.

With 5 minutes left of ordinary playing time, Scolari put Lincoln on Valdivia. The Chilean, not happy with the substitution, was seen repeatedly shaking his head while walking off the pitch. Scolari, when questioned about the episode by journalist after the game, made it clear that he couldn’t care less and sent Valdivia a clear message: “I will substitute players whenever I believe it has to be done. If anyone is unhappy about this, there’s a door that serves both for entering and leaving (the club)”.

When asked to comment on Santos’ young player squad, Scolari expressed a certain degree of frustration with Palmeiras’ junior players: “Here, there’s nothing. I’ve promoted Patrick and Vinicius, but that’s it. There’s nothing else”.

Also, Scolari again stressed that the G3 is unattainable, indicating that the Brasileirão this year will serve as training for obtaining a good result in the South America Cup, as well as for forming a strong team for next season.

— ooo —

Palmeiras’ coach tonight stands trial before the judges of the Brazilian Supreme Sports Tribunal, with headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Remember Scolari being expelled in the game against São Paulo on 19 September for “disrespecting the referees and/or his decisions”? Well, if convicted, Scolari will face anything between 1-12 games of punishment. However, Palmeiras’ lawyers seem confident, claiming they have proof (videos) showing that Scolari did not address the referee with the words that has been attributed to him.

— ooo —

On Thursday Palmeiras receives Avaí from Florianopolis, hopefully with Scolari coaching from the bench. Avaí drew 0-0 at home with São Paulo on Saturday and currently occupies 16th position in the tables.

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