Repeating last Sunday’s wording: when you think you’ve seen it all…
Collective meltdowns are seldom pretty. Yesterday’s was one of the worst I’ve seen. Palmeiras weren’t even a shadow of the team that bravely stood up against all and everything last Sunday; Coritiba simply walked all over our men and crushed their spirit in a matter of minutes. It was sad. Personally, it hurt me the most to watch São Marcos: he looked tired, old, out of synch, out of energy. I make Conrado Cacace’s words my own: I fear we might have seen the last of him.
It’s almost surreal: 6 days ago – and featuring the best defence in the country – Palmeiras was the team to beat and considered a strong candidate to lift both the Paulistão and the Copa do Brasil trophies. Nothing of that remains. In the coming days and weeks, the task is to gather the pieces and see what can be saved. Who to blame I don’t know, but I do know that anyone who presents a simple answer and/or solution is dead wrong. However, it’s best to be prepared for rough times; this is Palmeiras, where visible political powerplays and personal interests only form the tip of the iceberg.
People reacted differently to yesterdays 6-0, with everything from the silent and resigned shake of the head to the spraying of protests on the walls of the Palestra. Many want to see the rolling of heads, but who’s? Director of football Roberto Frizzo and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari are obvious targets, in addition to several of the players that hit bottom the hardest yesterday (I don’t believe in hanging out individual players in a moment like this; watch the game recap and make up your own mind). Again: fear the worst as rationality and seeking what’s best for Palmeiras might go out the window when individuals scramble to save their own skin and, if possible, advance their petty ambitions for power, perks and kickbacks.
From the bottom of my heart: please God prove me wrong. Literally, Salve o Palestra.