No beating around the bush: of course something is dead wrong. Palmeiras have continued creating multiple opportunities and, at least partially, dominate the opponent in every game as of late, but the outcome is never as expected. Yesterday’s clash with Internacional was typical, however also exaggerated: Palmeiras had 30-something attempts at scoring, Internacional only nine. An ever so inspired Leandro Damião – possibly the best striker currently in Brazil – is only part of the explanation for yesterday’s embarrassing defeat before the 9.000 head strong [sic] home crowd. Palmeiras are in a peculiar and bad shape. Game highlights below.
Fingers are being pointed in every direction. Some blame players for lack of dedication, some blame players for lacking skill; in the end, it all falls back on the directors who brought them to Palmeiras in the first place. Some blame Luis Felipe Scolari for not being able to get the team right or for employing the wrong tactics. Some blame it on the referees, some blame the media, others think Palmeiras’ directors are too passive on the political arena.
In the end, it’s all the above and more. Without a doubt, Palmeiras are no ordinary club. The political landscape and the structure of the stakeholders, the statute, the conglomeration of counsellors; everything comes together to form an ambience very ill suited for focusing on the essentials for any football club: building a strong and confident team.
While the political winds of change slowly pick up speed, a few thing need to be done on the ground. One of the most important is exposing those (unfortunately rather numerous) individuals within the club itself who first and foremost seek their own interest and are more than happy to harm Palmeiras if it serves their purposes.
In addition, true palmeirenses need to work ever closer together, find common ground and encourage those who strive for a better Palmeiras. One can even approve or disapprove of Scolari as a coach, but his dedication is indisputable; something which recently led a group of supporters from the political fractions Fanfulla and Pro-Palmeiras to address Scolari openly – not only to show their support but also to let him in on some less known strings-pulling happening behind the scenes.
The situation is complicated and currently going from bad to worse. Still, one need to have a look around, as it’s natural for any dedicated supporter to develop a bit of tunnel vision at times. Is there a crises at Botafogo, who on Wednesday beat Ceará 4-0 and yesterday were thrashed 5-0 by Coritiba? Is everything lost for Flamengo, who was the last undefeated team and in the top three for many weeks before starting to draw and now have lost four straight games? The Brazilian championship is a long competition, teams go through many phases, many ups and downs. We need patience. Let the man work. While we all stay alert, making sure that we’re pointing our finger in the right direction. And preparing ourselves for the days to come. Because they will. Oh, they will.
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Speaking of tunnels: at the end of ours there’s one beautiful light, for the time being called “New Arena”. We’ll address some very interesting prospects in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned!