Palmeiras are good at creating their own headlines. Three cases rocked the boat these last couple of days:
This week, twitter could take credit for one more “kill”, as Kleber joined the league of football players that has been exposing their (at best) half-baked arguments on the virtual arena. It all originated from Scolari’s provocation after Wednesday’s game against Noroeste, when the coach insinuated that Valdivia knew how to enjoy carnival AND put on a splendid performance on the pitch, while Kleber apparently still needed time to “recover”. Scolari’s sarcasm made many a sport journalist’s day and was soon out in the press. Kleber disapproved of the boss’ wording and let some steam off online, claiming that Scolari never protects his players but rather prefers criticizing the likes of Lincoln, Valdivia and now also himself, Kleber.
Obviously, this is nothing to discus in public and both Scolari and Kleber should know better. Scolari however acted quickly and in a brief press conference yesterday stated that everything was alright, that anyone has the right to an opinion, that Kleber was almost like a son to him and remains Captain of the team. Also Kleber later on recorded a statement, where he apologised to the supporters and the club in general.
— ooo —
The second case involves the administration. President Tirone (or is it Contursi?) decided to break the contract with Tessler, the firm in charge of supervising the construction of the new Arena and reporting back to Palmeiras on the progress of things. The justification? None whatsoever. “The contract was signed under the previous administration. I thought it pertinent to break it”, Tirone said.
The new Arena is a main brick in the political struggle for power within the club. Losing out on the independent progress evaluations periodically provided by Tessler is a major blow to transparency on all matters regarding the construction of the Arena.
— ooo —
Then there’s the matter of the friendly games in Spain, scheduled for the end of this months. On Friday, vice-president of football Roberto Frizzo announced that the games had been cancelled. It is likely that Scolari requested this, as one would imagine that he needs time to focus the squad on the Brazilian Cup and the Paulista, instead of flying halfway across the globe for some friendlies with less distinguished Spanish teams. I tend to believe it’s a good thing they were cancelled, although it wasn’t presented quite that way in the press.
— ooo —
Today, Palmeiras play São Bernardo at the Canindé Stadium. Kleber is still recovering, but with Valdivia back and hungry, I expect a tuff but good game. AVANTI PALESTRA!