Palmeiras exited the sold-out Allianz Parque humiliated by Goiás. Humiliated not so much due to performance, but the end result. Ball possession does not win games, especially if you do not take the shots but only do crosses. Halfway into the second half we finally saw some vertical passing action, but it proved too late. Another disappointing result, and displays on the stuttering machine have gone from yellow to red. Yes, it’s early in the championship, but seven (considered easy) points are lost and Palmeiras are flirting with the relegation zone.
Before I forget: the referee was a disaster, but that does not excuse the poor result, neither how our players acted and reacted on the pitch, seeing the yellow all the time. Emotional stability is key.
On paper, yesterday’s starting eleven is good. And should improve further as two fundamentally important players – Arouca and Cleiton Xavier – return from injury this week. And if there was one positive flash yesterday, it is spelled Kelvin. That being said, a few tweaks are urgently needed:
# Removal of Valdivia from the squad: it’s crystal clear he will not renew his contract and the sooner Palmeiras learn to live without him, the better.
# Signing of a star quality centre-forward A.S.A.P.
# Signing of a seasoned centre-back, a “sheriff”, as one says in Brazil.
# Signing of a quality playmaker.
# Tightening of coach Oswaldo de Oliveira’s thumbscrews: the “go-deep-cross-the-ball” routine is not working – at least not with the pieces currently in the squad – and he needs to develop other tactical options. Personally, I’m against his dismissal at this point, but another three rounds without results and Oswaldo is toast.
Wednesday night, the first clash with ASA in the third phase of the Brazil Cup. Allianz Parque. The 10 pm kick-off time will certainly spoil chances of any larger audience. A solid victory is imperative to boost confidence ahead of Sunday’s derby against Corinthians.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!