Marcelo Oliveira did not resist yet another disappointing result and received the boot less than an hour after the 2-1 defeat to Nacional at Allianz Parque. Alexandre Mattos announced the club’s decision and that Alberto Valentim takes over as interim coach while Palmeiras look for Oliveira’s replacement. Cuca, who led Atlético Mineiro to the 2013 Libertadores Cup title, is heading the bets.
The staff brought in by Oliveira – assistants Tico dos Santos and Ageu, in addition to physical trainer Juvenilson Souza – are also out.
It is of course wrong to sack the coach smack in the middle of an ongoing Libertadores campaign. In hindsight, the moment would have been December last year, right after the Brazil Cup title. But how do you sack a coach who has been with you for less than six months, just brought you a national title, and who was Brazilian champion the two previous years? The answer is simple: you don’t.
Last year’s cup title came despite Palmeiras’ wobbly performance: determination and dedication were the decisive factors, just as in the 2012 campaign. Marcelo Oliveira was clearly struggling, but with few months heading the squad, the more than fair assessment was that he needed more time, and he got it. Three more months, and Palmeiras did not evolve. End of the line.
Marcelo led Palmeiras in 53 games, with 24 victories 11 draws and 18 defeats: 52% of points won.
It will be interesting to see how the squad responds. Derby on Sunday, Palmeiras visiting São Paulo FC.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!