Back in January, few actually believed Palmeiras would make it to the knockout phase in the Libertadores Cup. There were even question marks in regard to progressing in the Paulista. Suddenly, the squad reacted with a streak of victories and those dreams, oh those dreams…
But Palmeiras were eliminated from the São Paulo Cup, then from the Libertadores Cup. Obviously not on any palmeirense’s script, but… Surprising? Not really. Disappointing? Certainly. A reason for heavily criticising the Nobre management? Absolutely not.
What Nobre’s doing should be recognised: he’s following a plan. It’s a bit worrying actually having to point this out, but in the heat of the moment far too many supporters seem to have forgotten what’s been repeatedly damaging not only Palmeiras but most football clubs in Brazil since forever: a lacking mid to long-term strategy, paired with professionalism. Nobre was elected to bring exactly that. But now, many criticise him for keeping his promise, not giving in to quick fixes aimed at boosting Palmeiras’ chances in this year’s first two competitions.
Palmeiras’ financial situation is bad, very bad. “Spend yourself out of the crisis, buy top players, win trophies: revenues and bonuses will come!”. Right. That’s the mentality we’re supposed to fight, remember?
Nobre’s plan is based on careful diagnostics of Palmeiras’ situation and follows a logical progression. Some people with access say that implementation is running its course more or less as expected. The goal this year is one and one only: give the club best possible conditions to assemble a squad that will bring Palmeiras back to the first division in 2014. Nothing else matters.
Decades of amateurish management are not reverted in three month’s time. A whole mindset of do’s and don’ts are not easily reverted either. Some of the heaviest criticism of the actual administration seem to be coming from some of those most desperately desiring change. Is that desire fogging their reasoning? Are they really thinking that we’d see profound changes to Palmeiras on and off the pitch after three months of new management? I don’t know. But I do know that the current polarisation of opinions at large seems both unnecessary and counterproductive. In late 2012, when the direct vote was the hot subject, there was unity. Some of that, if not a lot, seems lost.
Freedom of speech is fundamental. Now, with speech comes responsibilities. We are all – in one way or the other, and certainly on different magnitudes – opinion-makers. Is my opinion well-founded? Am I working in benefit of Palmeiras by voicing it? What do I want to achieve? These questions and others should be reflected upon before pressing that “send” or “publish” button. As of late, I see a lot of gasoline being poured over perfectly manageable fires.
There are no guarantees Nobre and his directors will succeed. Time will tell. Remember, the primary goal is ascent. That’s the yardstick. Give the man some time, give the man some room to manoeuvre. And please, give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he was elected on those premises.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!