Posts Tagged ‘dorival júnior’

Santos’ coach Dorival Junior was pleased after Saturday’s classic against Palmeiras at the Allianz Parque. “This was the team’s best performance this year, no doubt” he declared, adding that only Palmeiras keeper Prass had stood between Santos and the three points.

Fernando Prass did indeed have a splendid night, but the game wasn’t all that that Dorival saw, neither was Santos particularly superior: both teams created chances, as Marcelo Oliveira again tried something new, this time with Matheus Sales starting instead of Arouca. Using three more defence-oriented midfielders, as also against River Plate, might be an interesting option. Highlights below.

Dorival has been at Santos since July 2015. His current squad is at large the same that lost the Brazil Cup final to Palmeiras. So far in 2016, Santos have played 5 games, computing 2 wins and 3 draws – 60% of possible points won.

In the last five years, Dorival has bagged one title: the Rio Grande do Sul state championship (the Gauchão), with Internacional.

Marcelo Oliveira has been at Palmeiras roughly the same time as Dorival at Santos, arriving in June of last year. He also works a similar squad as last year, although now with more options: six new players have arrived and most of these can enter a starting eleven. So far in 2016, Palmeiras compute six games, being 1 victory, 4 draws and 1 defeat: 39%.

In the last five years, Marcelo has won 3 state titles (the 2011-2012 Paranaense Championships with Coritiba and the 2014 Mineiro Championship with Cruzeiro) and 3 national titles (the 2013-2014 Brazilian Championships with Cruzeiro and the 2015 Brazil Cup with Palmeiras).

Palmeiras have played 4 games in the last 10 days. I repeat: 4 games in 10 days. The ignorant would say “well, that’s plenty of opportunities to get things right”. I refuse to comment.

Palmeiras have a good squad. In addition to Brazil’s currently most merited coach (might want to throw Tite in there as well). Naturally, expectations are high and Palmeiras are not meeting them. Not yet. I believe everything will suddenly fall into place, and in a manner that will surprise us all. Patience.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!


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If there’s one thing we can conclude about Paulo Nobre’s style of management, it’s that he’s not keen on making adjustments on the go. He follows through, he persists, he keeps the direction… Even against better judgment. For example, he refused to accept that no master sponsor were to be found paying the amounts he had in mind, and thus, Palmeiras have been without for the last two years. Actually, Palmeiras’ marketing division has been heavily criticised almost from the start, but Nobre took ages to promote change, sacking Giannubilo and putting Brunoro there instead, removing the latter from the even more heavily criticised football department. No, Nobre doesn’t like correcting the course, possibly because correcting indicates he wasn’t 100% on the money from the start. Never mind that a constantly changing scenario might justify correction along the way: our president is pig-headed. And that pig-headedness almost drove us over the cliff in 2014.

With this in mind, the more important to kick off 2015 with the right foot and a.s.a.p. Yesterday’s dismissals of director of football José Carlos Brunoro, manager Omar Feitosa and coach Dorival Júnior is a welcome change of pace: many of us feared Nobre would keep these walking dead for a few more weeks, especially as Brunoro’s and Feitosa’s contracts expire by the end of the year.

Alexandre_MattosAlthough not officially announced, Alexandre Mattos is expected to take over after Brunoro. In late 2012, with Cruzeiro finishing the Brasileirão just above the relegation zone, Mattos was brought in to reformulate the squad – rather successfully, one can conclude: he dismissed 25 players, signed 23 and turned Cruzeiro into Brazilian champions in 2013 before repeating the feat this year. Today, at a press conference, Mattos announced he was leaving Cruzeiro in search for new challenges. Apparently, Palmeiras have offered him one, in addition to a significant pay raise. Mattos remains at Cruzeiro until 31 December, and then “he’ll start looking around a bit”, as he put it earlier today.

Cicero-SouzaAlso Omar Feitosa’s replacement is apparently settled: Cícero Souza, with previous works at Grêmio, Criciúma, Sport and Bahia. In the corridors, the word is Mattos indicated Souza as his right hand of choice and the man who will initiate the cleaning up before Mattos himself arrives in early January. Souza is likely be announced before the end of the week.

If these pieces all fall in place, Palmeiras are on the right track, with a top-to-bottom approach where Mattos and Souza, together with Nobre, will find a suitable coach. The quartet will then assembly a squad for 2015 and beyond. Nobre, hopefully, having as little a say as possible in the process.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Dorival Júnior was not given any slack: two shorter training sessions, then off to Curitiba to face Atlético Paranaense, with several key players in the medical department: Valdivia and Prass since before, but now also Wesley, Wendel, Lucio and Allione. Mendieta, suspended.

Dorival opted for a cautious approach – the “arroz com feijão” we asked for in the previous post – but also showed some interesting innovation, placing Juninho and Leandro on the midfield. Palmeiras at times played well, got passes going, controlled the midfield and seemed rather solid in defence – not least with the early entry of splendid Victorino replacing Wellington beside Tobio as centre lock.

Atlético opened up the scorecard after an unlikely horse-like back-heel kick. The bucket of cold water, unlike previous games, did not make Palmeiras crumble: Diogo was taken down in the penalty area and Henrique converted with his usual cool.

The game was an open affair, with a slight Palmeiras advantage, until Josimar recklessly placed his boot in the chest of an adversary when trying to clear a ball, being sent off. The last 30 minutes that followed saw considerable pressure against Fábio, but in the end, Palmeiras returned home with a valuable and much deserved point, keeping Palmeiras out of the relegation zone for one more round.

With that, we’ve completed the first half of the Brasileirão. On Wednesday, Palmeiras receive Criciúma. Three points are fundamentally important to distance Palmeiras slightly from the desperate four and boost morale.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Atlético Mineiro breezed through to the quarter-finals of the Brazil Cup, once again exposing a Palmeiras squad in shambles. It took the mineiros less than 20 minutes to get the message across to Dorival – placed next to Paulo Nobre in a box at the Independência stadium – in case he had any doubts: your one and only mission is to save Palmeiras from relegation, that’s all there’s left in 2014.


Some have argued the team has been underperforming as of late in protest of Gareca. Others have anticipated Alberto Valentim’s return as interim coach, imagining he would repeat the success he enjoyed after replacing Kleina earlier this year. Both outlooks proved wrong: resent results is a direct reflection of the squad’s weakness. In fact, today’s squad is one of the worst that many of us have ever seen and even journalists, with access to all sorts of archive information, are hard pressed to come up with a weaker Palmeiras squad.

This coming Sunday, Palmeiras initiate a sequence of “favourable” games against direct contenders: Atlético Paranaense (away), Criciúma (home), Fluminense (away), Flamengo (home), Goiás (away), Vitória (home) and Figueirense (away). 3 or 4 victories, and we can start believing in the firing squad missing their target. Normally, a team with 46 point will escape relegation. Palmeiras thus need to bag 29 points in the remaining 20 rounds.

New players of rank will not arrive, this is the squad we’re stuck with. Dorival must get back to basics with these men, apply the Brazilian “arroz com feijão“, parting from the KISS principle and start rebuilding players self esteem. The now orphan Argentine players are of special concern: it’s crucial that they are embraced, encouraged, given opportunities.

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of keeper Prass and playmaker Valdivia: both recovering from injury and expected back within a week or two. If they perform like we know they can, and if they (read Valdivia) remain healthy, I seriously believe we’ll be “fine”.

“Fine”. Look at what they’ve done to us, done to Palmeiras. How can one even contemplate using “fine” under circumstances like these?

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Ricardo Gareca
“We may be criticised for decisions, but never for omission” Palmeiras president Paulo Nobre said when justifying the dismissal of medium-to-long term coach Ricardo Gareca. The renowned Argentine professional did not last three months at the Verdão, the club resorting back to the classical, Brazilian modus operandi described in a recent post: fire the coach.

True, Gareca wasn’t delivering. Or rather: Palmeiras, under Gareca, were not delivering. Gareca is partially to blame, as he was constantly testing players and line-ups (13 games, 13 starting elevens) and wouldn’t forgo his philosophy of always playing offensively, even when his limited squad was facing stronger adversaries.

That being said, Gareca’s failure must at large be attributed to Paulo Nobre, once again poorly making the bed we’re now all forced to sleep in. He kept Kleina much too long, taking Gareca on board – and players he requested – when most other teams in the Brasileirão were already tuned. He brought in a foreigner – who naturally would need more time to adapt – when there was little time available. He envisioned a medium-to-long term project – with the squad already partially cracking up due to the disastrous Kardec affair and growing influence from a few, spoiled fruit – when firm and urgent action was needed both from him and the new coach to arrive. In short: Gareca might possibly have been the right choice for Palmeiras, but he definitely arrived at the wrong time.

Palmeirenses kept the faith in a turnaround, including yours truly. Gareca enjoyed massive support – and respect – from the stands, all the way to his dismissal and beyond. Truly remarkable for a coach who delivered so little, at least in terms of points.

Anything Palmeiras wishes Ricardo Gareca the best of luck.

— ooo —

Dorival Júnior
wpid-dorival.jpgThis morning, Palmeiras announced their new coach: Dorival Júnior. Dorival is a former Palmeiras player, having pulled on the jersey 157 times for the club between 1989 and 1992. He also happens to be the nephew of legendary Palmeiras midfielder Dudu.

Dorival was runner-up as Kleina’s replacement earlier this year. As a coach, his previous clubs include Cruzeiro, Santos, Atlético Mineiro, Internacional and Flamengo. Palmeiras’ new coach has but one important national title on his curriculum: the Brazil Cup of 2010, with Santos.

wpid-dorival_int.pngDorival’s 2013 record of accomplishment does not still any nerves: he left Vasco da Gama in the relegation zone and worked the same magic with Fluminense (although he couldn’t really be blamed as he only took Fluminense on for the last five rounds, winning three games and drawing one).

So far, in 2014, 52-year-old Dorival has been, well, taking it rather easy. Studying football. Including apparently spending some time at Chelsea F.C. Hope he’s relaxed, confident and ready for what’s to come at Palmeiras.

— ooo —

The midfielder is free to sing a pre-contract. Although denied by the player and his staff, rumour has it that’s what he’s done. With SPFC. Can’t say I’m bothered. Especially not as Wesley isn’t cheap and has been underperforming, on and off the pitch, for some time. If fruit can be performative, that is.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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43 hours. That is how long Ricardo Gareca survived at 15%. Out the door are also assisting coach Sergio Santín and physical trainer Néstor Bonillo, both brought in by Gareca.

Alberto Valentim returns as interim coach while Palmeiras seek a replacement for the Argentine. Dorival Júnior is the most probable option, while former Corinthians coach Tite should be considered the (very expensive) ideal.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Interim coach Alberto Valentim on Sunday celebrated his third straight victory as Palmeiras beat Vitoria 0-1, Marquinhos Gabriel scoring the important goal to silence the Pituaçu stadium, Salvador, state of Bahia. Again, the game was of dubious quality, but that matters less: the victory propelled Palmeiras into 6th position in the league tables after five rounds, with 9 points, two behind leader Internacional.

Are there voices calling for Valentim as a permanent solution? Not really: most supporters seem aware of the fact that Valentim is still too fresh and inexperienced. His initial run has indeed been tremendously effectiv in terms of results, but that can at large be attributed to his healthy keep-it-simple approach, in combination with weak opponents and some luck.

Initially, Vanderley Luxemburgo seemed to be holding the strongest hand as Kleina’s replacement. Palmeiras initiated talks, but things cooled down rather rapidly. Same thing with Arce: the Paraguayan former right-defender turned coach, currently at Cerro Porteño, early on announced he would be loyal to his employer. Respect.

Leaves Palmeiras with three names on the shortlist: Jorginho, Dorival Junior and Ricardo Gareca. Jorginho could be considered nothing but a last resort backup, a Kleina 2. Dorival has some support from within Palmeiras, is a seasoned coach and apparently corresponded well to initial talks with Palmeiras last week. But it’s no doubt Gareca who’s heading the list. “The Tiger”, as the 56-year-old Argentine football manager is nicknamed, has already received an offer from Palmeiras and is expected in São Paulo tomorrow (Wednesday) morning for a second round of talks and – who knows – putting pen to paper. Palmeiras is offering Gareca something similar to Kleina’s salary: 90.000 fixed and at least up to double that amount linked to productivity/bonuses.

I’m thrilled with the possibility. Gareca is seasoned and I expect him to be motivated with the challenge to coach a top Brazilian team. He is three times Argentine champion with Vélez Sársfield, and these titles are recent. I believe Gareca would bring new blood, new ideas and a different fighting spirit into Palmeiras and Brazilian football. And with Valentim remaining as assisting coach… This could get very interesting.

Although always cautious, Brunoro is signaling a deal could be announced already tomorrow. And for once, I don’t believe in a dragged out negotiation process. Not with the Alan Kardec drama in fresh memory.

— ooo —

Midfielder Serginho is no longer at Palmeiras, having returned to Oeste. Palmeiras wanted to extend the loan period, but Oeste were looking for a buyer. Brought in by Gilson Kleina in April of 2013, the player came on the pitch on 29 occasions and scored 5 goals.

Another player who has left the squad is França. The defensive midfielder, rather popular with supporters and feared by adversaries, have been experiencing some very serious personal problems as of late and needs to get out of São Paulo. Franca is heading for first division club Figueirense, from Florianópolis, state of Santa Catarina. Coincidentally, Palmeiras’ Thursday night adversary in the Brazililian Championship.

Apologies for the rather short text and lack of formating: I’m on the road, on a tablet.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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