It’s said to be a sure sign of foolishness, perhaps even mental illness, performing the same activity over and over again but expect different results. What’s my argument here? Putting Palmeiras back on the winning path in 2012 by swapping as many players as possible? Fire Luiz Felipe Scolari? Get rid of players AND Scolari?
Dismissing players and coaches are what Brazilian teams normally do without hesitation, Palmeiras being no exception. The last three coaches at the Verdão – Vanderley Luxemburgo, Muricy Ramalho and Luiz Felipe Scolari – are all considered top of the class. During their years at Palmeiras, a large number of players were tested, came and went. Squads, some even good, were put together and played decent football at times. At times. Results, i.e. titles, did not materialised with the exception of the São Paulo State Championship title in 2008. Thus, it is fair to say that they all failed. Well, Scolari is still failing, strictly speaking. Palmeiras have the third worse performance in the second half of the Brazilian championship and would run eminent risk of relegation was it not for the good first half of the season.
So, is it time to drop the axe, chop off some heads? No. At least not those of the usual suspects, most notably the coach. Palmeiras would be repeating history and rest assured that the outcome would be the same or even worse. The club doesn’t have pockets deep enough to sign major players in any larger scale, neither to get a “better” coach (a foreigner, anyone?) – and then there’s an important detail: much of Scolari’s salary comes from sponsors; he’s actually not particularly expensive at all, for Palmeiras that is.
Palmeiras make up a small universe of bad management, political feuds, incompetence and outright hostile attitudes toward the club and its aspirations to return to greatness. This is at the core of the problem, as everything sooner or later, in one form or the other, spill over on players. And when players realise that many of their bosses (i.e. directors) are incompetent or just full of crap, they too start to lose their focus. Some more than others.
Scolari makes mistakes. And perhaps there is truth in the claims that he has somewhat stopped evolving as a coach. Still, he has one unquestionable quality that in my opinion overrides everything else right now: he is palmeirense body and soul. Considering the times we are living in and the challenges we are facing, this cannot be overrated. I TRUST Scolari to always seek what’s best for Palmeiras and to do his outmost. Of whom else can I say the same?
Again: Palmeiras will only change when the direct vote is put to practice and when statuary change modify the composition of the Council. That’s where the axes – but of course in a legal and regulated fashion – rather sooner than later must drop. Repeatedly. And make way for contracted professionals able to efficiently run Palmeiras the way supposed to.
I say keep Scolari. Trust him to guide us through this season of horrors, securing our spot in the top division also the coming season. Then, give him enough room to plan for 2012 in an orderly fashion.
Trust us, supporters, to do what’s humanly possible to change Palmeiras from within.