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Posts Tagged ‘murtosa’

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Scolari out, Murtosa out. Galeano, technical coordinator and Felipão’s protégé, out. Narciso (at least temporarily) commanding the squad, including Marcos Assunção, back from a minor knee surgery. Enough to surprise, revert, bring havoc to the arch enemy in Sunday’s win or win derby? Not quite. It was a reprise. Itchy referees, stupid Palmeiras players (read Luan) not able to control their temper, nerves and more nerves, lack of attention leading to crucial mistakes, lack of skills (damn it how hard can it be to head the ball LOW) and the regular dose of bad luck. In the end, what we had was not such a small number of the 25.000 present Palmeiras supporters invading the VIP section at the Pacaembu, looking to give club president Tirone and vice-president Frizzo a good beating.

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President Tirone was supposed to open a football event today at the New Arena, entitled “The Future of Brazilian Clubs”. He didn’t show up, afraid of facing protests or something worse. I’d imagine finding Palmeiras a new coach has turned into second priority for Mr Tirone: he needs to find his spine before he crumbles to the floor.

If you’re looking for courage and spine, better look elsewhere. I suggest enjoying two minutes of the smallest largest palmeirenses of them all – Renan Barreiros – as he pays back his promise for Palmeiras winning the Brazil Cup anno 2012. Larger than life, our dear Renan. Larger than life.
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Figueirense are the next opponent. Saturday. A more than direct contender. Defeat is unthinkable if we want to have any hope whatsoever of remaining alive.

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Losing to Vasco da Gama last Wednesday was not the worst part, but rather how it happened. In stark contrast to previous games where Palmeiras concede the first goal and then, obliged to risk it a bit more chasing the equaliser, are punished a few more times, against Vasco Palmeiras opened up the scorecard midway into the first half. However, the Verdão showed no ability to take advantage of the situation: instead of carefully tightening defence and exploring the spaces to counter-attack, Palmeiras conceded the equaliser only minutes after the goal and the squad turned into a house of cards a la 2009/2010. We were “lucky” not needing to see Bruno scoop out the ball more than three times from the back of the net.

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Luiz Felipe Scolari is known for standing his ground but not even a World Cup champion coach, an outspoken supporter and winner of several titles for the club – the latest less than two months ago – will save you in the world of Brazilian football. Yesterday afternoon it was announced that the club’s directors and Scolari had reached an agreement where he leaves Palmeiras together with technical assistant Flávio Murtosa and without the club having to pay any fines (for prematurely terminating the contract). That’s the third major coach (Luxemburgo and Muricy previously) in a relatively short period of time leaving Palmeiras through the back door. Draw your own conclusions.

Scolari’s second period at Palmeiras was undoubtedly much less successful than expected: 69 victories, 49 draws and 45 defeats: a measly 52 per cent of available points concurred. His tactical choices have often been questioned, as well as some players brought into the squad (or left out, as the case with promising kids from the youth academy never given the opportunity). Even so, Scolari brought us the first national title in 14 years – the seventh title in his two passages through the club – and will always be intimately linked to Palmeiras, the club’s history and its glories. Felipão has always worked hard and with Palmeiras’ best interest in mind, including having to pick fights that wasn’t his. For that, he deserves our outmost respect.

No matter how you feel about Big Phil’s exit, the focus now must be on finding a replacement. There’s one candidate worse than the other being mentioned. Without having any idea about real possibilities, personally I’d go after Jorginho (ex Palmeiras, currently at Bahia). It seem however more likely that Tirone will opt for giving Narciso, recently brought in to take care of the Palmeiras sub-20 group, an initial shot at it. Depending on how things go, Narciso mighty even stay on the job for the rest of the season.

The non-spoken goal is for Palmeiras to win the remaining seven home games and nibble one or two points in the away games, summoning enough to stay clear of relegation. Considering Wednesday’s result, what are the odds Palmeiras will run all over Corinthians on Sunday?

As hope is the last thing that abandons us, Avanti Palestra! Or, as Gabriel Santoro puts it in his tasteful homage to Scolari and his legacy at Palmeiras below: as long as there’s 1 per cent of a chance, we’ll remain standing.
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Scolari continues having difficulties due to the elevated number of players in the medical department – the latest member is Daniel Carvalho who on Wednesday left the training session. Against Botafogo in yesterday’s first leg of Palmeiras’ debut in the South America Cup, our warriors in green were Bruno; Artur, Maurício Ramos, Leandro Amaro and Juninho; João Vitor, Henrique, Marcos Assunção (Márcio Araújo – 20’/2nd H) and Mazinho (Obina – 38’/1st H); Maikon Leite (Fernandinho at halftime) and Barcos. At least we got Maurício Ramos and Assunção back, but not even Scolari was to be found on his usual position: due to previous bad experiences with the two linesmen he chose to put assistant coach Murtosa in the frontline, Scolari calling the shots from the stands by radio.

As you can notice, Palmeiras came without a reference playmaker on the midfield as both Valdivia and Carvalho are injured. This was clearly felt as improvised Mazinho didn’t deliver and both he and Maikon Leite got almost nothing right in the first half. Botafogo were not dominating completely, but Palmeiras certainly weren’t on top of the situation. We went to halftime with a goalless draw, much thanks to Bruno’s inspired evening between the posts.

Second half began with Obina on Mazinho and Fernandinho on Maikon Leite, turning the game around completely. Palmeiras gradually took command of the midfield and created chance after chance. The efforts paid off twice and in similar fashion: Barcos taking down the ball on his chest, turning, choosing the angle, and netting. Two spectacular goals by the Pirate.
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Barcos’ two goals and the excellent performance put on by Bruno were the highlights of the night, together with the hilarious moment below. The basketball player in disguise deserves a medal.
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The return game will take place in three weeks’ time and Palmeiras have an important advantage, especially for not having conceded any away goals.

Now for the less positive aspect of yesterday’s clash: 3.833 paying spectators at the Barueri arena. “Less positive” is quite an understatement: utterly revolting is more like it. To your right, a picture taken by “ArqPalestrina” and posted on the Arquibancada Palestrina blog, showing the ticket box at the stadium less than 30 minutes before kick-off. Deserted.

Those responsible at Palmeiras for insisting on using the Barueri must be pressured every single moment and in every possible way to reverse this perversity and put Palmeiras back at the Pacaembu stadium. If that doesn’t help, hang’em high. This has GOT to change. Palmeiras are being clinically separated from the lion’s part of their supporters, with only the die-hard fans mustering enough energy to time and time again show up at the Barueri stadium. Enough!

AVANTI PALESTRA!

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As of this Sunday, Palmeiras enter the quest of seeking the team’s 23rd trophy in the oldest and most prestigious state championship in Brazil: the Campeonato Paulista, or just Paulistão for short. There are 20 teams competing and the teams play each other only once in the first round, with the top eight teams in the first round qualifying to the quarter-finals (the bottom four will be relegated). Quarter and semi-finals are played in one-legged matches, while the final is played home and away.

Assisting coach Murtosa

Palmeiras’ first opponent is a tricky one: Bragantino (banana skin, if you ask Matthew Burgess). Palmeiras come without Deola and Felipão , both suspended for a few games each after having criticised the referee in the end of last season’s edition. Assisting coach Flávio Teixeira, more known by his nickname Murtosa, will lead the men. Thiago Heleno is recovering from surgery and is back only in April. None of the new arrivals, with the exception of Juninho, should be fit to play. And Luan’s participation is also doubtful. My estimate: if we escape from the Nabi Abi Chedid (yes indeed) stadium with a draw, that’s more than fine.

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It’s tradition in Brazil having pretty girls in football jerseys competing for the title of “Muse of the Championship” – be it a state championship or the Brazilian national championship – and most major news portals have their own competition. At the end of last year, Palmeiras fans voted on the official website and elected Priscila Escobar as their candidate for this year’s edition of the “Gata do Paulistão” – the babe of the São Paulo State Championship – organised by the São Paulo Football Federation. Check out a few pictures of the 25-year-old model here, vote for her here and get familiar with the 19 other competing girls/teams here. Good luck to you, Priscila!

There’s more to come: stay tuned for an interview with last year’s grand winner of the news portal UOL’s “Babe of the Brazilian Championship 2011” competition, palmeirense Tassiana Dunamis!

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Five goals in two games: three on Thursday against Coritiba and this afternoon, two more. The Fluminense striker is on fire and Fred is indeed giving proof of why he’s been the choice of national coach Mano Menezes lately.

Palmeiras welcomed Fluminense without Marcus Assunção (the set piece specialist hurt his shoulder against Flamengo and will be out for the rest of the month) but with Valdivia. The Chilean put out a regular performance today, which is more than can be said for most. The spark is not there anymore, players show no spirit.

Fluminense could have killed the game in the first half but only Fred’s first goal marked the scorecard. Palmeiras came back stronger in the second half and Valdivia converted an inexistent penalty to level the score. We were heading toward another draw when Thiago Heleno, who failed miserably when Fluminense scored their first, pathetically allowed Martinuccio (yes, THAT Martinuccio) to cross a ball. Fred again. And Palmeiras’ first loss at the Canindé stadium this season. Watch the goals below.

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Experienced assisting coach Murtosa led the team today, as Scolari left for Portugal to attend a son’s wedding. The trip has been planned for months. Some critical voices are heard, but I think it’s bull: Palmeiras were not facing the game of the year, not even the game of the month. In fact, it was just another ordinary game in what is bound to be a very ordinary year for Palmeiras. In my opinion, it should take much more than that to deprive a man of the opportunity to see his son getting married.  

After today’s round, Palmeiras are found at 12th position with 41 points. With eight rounds to go, Palmeiras are nine points from the last Libertadores spot: practically unreachable. More importantly, Palmeiras are still eleven points from the first relegation spot: also that should be unreachable, thank you very much. Palmeiras need a few more wins before we all can shift our focus to the assembly of a competetive squad for 2012.

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