Oswaldo de Oliveira – eye of the beholder

Horrendous away against Joinville, odd-goal defeat at home to Goiás, then a goalless home draw against third-division ASA.

To quite a few, the above is spelled Disaster, just like that, with a capital D. Coach Oswaldo de Oliveira is utterly incompetent and the squad dubious, at least. Another year down the drain, fighting relegation, unless the directors take immediate action. Some tilt into extreme positions: “would be good if Palmeiras lost the derby to speed up the sacking of Oswaldo”.

To others, our coach is on to something that hasn’t yet materialised. “Give him time”, they say. “Let’s not commit the mistake of decades before us, firing the coach after only a few disappointing results line up”. To this bunch, Palmeiras are creating working hard and creating chances, but that last bit of quality/fluke/magic is yet to happen. But when it does…

It’s extreme, one way or the other, as always with Palmeiras. Sensible people watch the same scenario unfolding, but arrive at completely different conclusions. “Palmeiras have no pattern/Oswaldo never changes the pattern”.  “The 4-2-3-1 is rubbish/the 4-2-3-1 is irrelevant”. “Our squad lacks quality/our squad is going through a phase”.

Considering the scenario and recent results, a devastating defeat against “the team that would go far in the Champions League” led by “the best coach in Brazil” would not only be natural, but also decree the beginning of the end for coach Oswaldo.

Not quite yet. For some, a stroke of luck. For others, proof that the mesh is finally happening. Either way, Palmeiras yesterday dominated Corinthians completely, from start to finish, perfectly executing a clear gameplan: aggressively advanced defending positions, mobility, alternation of tasks both offensively and defensively, mental strength and discipline. 0-2 and Corinthians were let off the hook.

Oswaldo has an attacking DNA. He has been pushing the squad hard during training: those following Palmeiras’ practice sessions report Dudu full throttle always and Leandro (the one from Grêmio, just back after foot surgery) doing extra time. Motivation doesn’t seem to be a problem. And some of the lost confidence was certainly recovered yesterday.

Thursday night, Internacional visit the Allianz Parque for the first time. 18.000 tickets sold already.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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