The outcome of today’s quarter-final against Guarani in the São Paulo Championship was sort of outlined if considering Palmeiras’ inability to defeat Comercial in the last round before the knockout phase. Against Comercial – already relegated to the second division, with an interim coach, players on strike due to unpaid wages and with two players sent off already within minutes of the second half – Palmeiras managed a draw, and this after twice having to fight back defeat. The team can at best be described as unorganised, nervous and even – at times – lacking commitment. Add Deola’s bizarre performance against Guarani to the mix… Palmeiras distribute slap after slap in the face of all palmeirenses and especially those few thousand brave souls that show up at the stadium come rain come sunshine.
Final score: Guarani 3-2 Palmeiras. Thankfully, also Corinthians were eliminated after suffering defeat against Ponte Preta and by the same score. The other semi-final will be composed by Santos vs. São Paulo.
The question is: how can a team with a streak of 22 undefeated games crash so completely? Some serious academic work needs to be carried out; possibly neuroscientist and palmeirense Miguel Nicolelis could take the lead?
Well, maybe the answer is beyond science, lurking somewhere in the occult and unknown. Scary thought…
Perhaps we needn’t look further than to the same old mix of ingredients we’ve learnt to distinguish in the crap cake served year after year: 1 cup of decent players; 3 spoons of mercenaries; 1 cup of weak players; 2 pinches of quality players; 3 cups of really lousy club management; 4 cups of archaic club structure; 3 cups of ignorant and selfish counsellors, 3 cups of supporter pressure; 2 cups of biased press; 1 cup of partial referees; 1 cup of injuries; 1 cup of plain old bad luck. Stir well, serve hot.
AVANTI PALESTRA? Difficult this way.