There’s no denying we’re broken. Financially (yes, that’s old news), in spirit (from bad to worse on the pitch) and, as of yesterday, also in regard to Prass’ right elbow: our keeper fractured it and underwent surgery yesterday (Monday) night. Pre-surgery, Prass posted an x-ray of his elbow on instagram. The forecast? Some three months of recovery…
Sunday’s game was yet another indicator that Kleina’s time is up. Palmeiras started well, but that was much owed to Flamengo’s experimental line-up. Flamengo coach Jayme de Almeida made adjustments in half-time and within 15 minutes, our opponent had turned a 1-2 defeat into a 3-2 superiority, later increased to 4-2. Palmeiras’ defence was in shambles, accepting four braces from a team who had yet to score in this year’s Brasileirão. Kleina chose defensive midfielder Marcelo Oliveira to form couple with Lúcio as centre lock: sturdy but too slow when paired up. Add weak Josimar and Serginho on the midfield, and our centre-backs were one-on-one with Flamengo’s forwards time and time again. Without players in the medical department, Palmeiras still have nothing resembling a fixed starting eleven, much less a pattern of play. Kleina has had plenty of time on his hands and excuses are running thin. Sure, we need to fill a few positions; this has been a topic in previous posts. Nevertheless, Kleina should have been able to work around some of the problems, not least by putting replacements into good use. Instead, we see the likes of Mendieta, Eguren and Wellington constantly on the bench or not even on it. From Kleina, improvisations, one after the other.
As of now, at least four factors help Kleina remain in the chair: a) Nobre dislikes attitudes that seem impulsive or reveal a lack of planning; b) Palmeiras could do without paying the two months’ worth of salary (roughly US$ 175.000) Kleina is entitled to in the case of dismissal; c) there are currently very few coach options available on the market; d) Kleina enjoys strong support from the squad.
Yesterday night the squad travelled to São Luis for the Brazil Cup game tomorrow Wednesday against Sampaio Corrêa. Understandable, Nobre sustains Kleina is not threatened, “guaranteeing” continuity. Let’s see if he’ll be humming the same melody on Thursday: there are whispers in the corridors regarding the possible comeback of more than controversial Vanderley Luxemburgo: four times Palmeiras coach between 1993 and 2009, winning four São Paulo Championships and two Brazilian Championships, among others.
Palmeiras: not for the weak of heart.