Although constantly on the move as of late, I’ve fortunately been able to watch Palmeiras’ last three games. And come to the conclusion that everything is more up in the air than ever.
The debut in the Brasileirão against Portuguesa was horrific. Scolari made some bad choices in the starting lineup as well as during the game and Palmeiras played badly, even though managing to open up the scorecard an controlling the game for most of the time. However, instead of securing the three points by going after a second and third goal, Palmeiras awaited the final whistle. The punishment came, as usual. 1-1 at home against one of the most obvious candidates for relegation in 2012 is not your dream start.
Then there was the do or die game against Atlético Paranaense. Palmeiras resembled in no way the team we saw against Portuguesa and came out guns ablaze. Especially the second half filled palmeirenses with joy and the result was more than fair: 2-0 and the Verdão through to the semi-finals against Grêmio, first leg taking place at the Olímpico stadium on the 13 June at 9:50pm. The return game takes place at the Barueri arena at 9pm on the 21 June. The other semi-finals feature Coritiba vs. São Paulo.
Last Sunday Palmeiras could get a feel for the upcoming semi-finals as the second round of the Brasileirão saw the Verdão travel to Porto Alegre to face exactly Grêmio. The gaucho team, with many a player in the medical department, had no problem against Palmeiras and the 1-0 doesn’t reflect the script. Again, Scolari made some hard-to-understand choices, keeping Barcos isolated up front and when finally letting Maikon Leite in on the action, doing this on behalf of Barcos. Frustrating.
Palmeiras’ next game is against Sport, in Recife, state of Pernambuco, on 6 June.
The Brasileirão is a long competition but every point counts from round one. By the look of it, the Brazilian Cup will be THE opportunity for Palmeiras to get something good out of 2012, in line with my pre-kickoff predictions for the Brazilian Football Blog. Even Scolari has become instable as the team itself, the damned bipolarity claiming another victim. Thus, we palmeirenses can do little but keep the faith and hope for the right mix of inspiration, dedication and divine intervention guiding us to the Brazil Cup title and next year’s Libertadores.
— ooo —
Ending on a high note: if you haven’t yet seen the new 3D video of the New Arena recently released by constructor WTorre, get ready for an emotional ride. Thank God at least WTorre and the progress on the New Arena remain as stable and predictable as anyone can hope for. That’s how it is when professionals are involved.