Posts Tagged ‘tirone’

In the last match of the group stage in the Copinha, Palmeiras beat Barueri 3-1 and advanced to the knockout phase together with 31 other teams. Tomorrow night, it’s do or die – as it obviously will be all the way to the finals – against Desportivo Brasil from the city of Porto Feliz in the interior of São Paulo. In case of a draw, penalty shootout.

So far, centre-back Luiz Gustavo has made the strongest impression on me.

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From tears to all smiles, Marcos Assunção signed a one-year contract with Santos at the end of last week, making the veteran midfielder the seventh player to arrive at Santos pre 2013 season. Assunção certainly accepted a smaller pay check than what he demanded from Palmeiras a week ago, but such is life. He gambled a bit, hoping that Palmeiras would reward him for previous achievements, but stepped on a mine. With Santos immediately being responsive, Assunção decided to “return home” after 14 years. It will certainly feel a bit strange eventually watching the charismatic player setting up the ball against our side.

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It’s no secret that coach Kleina’s biggest need right now is for more centre-backs, as only Henrique and Maurício Ramos are available. While awaiting the Torres negotiation to conclude, Kleina has promoted 21-year-old Marcos Vinícius from the second team. The kid is tall, 190 centimetres, and has frequently been in the second team line-up. If Marcos continues to cause a good impression, he might be sticking around at least for the São Paulo Championship that kicks off the 20th of this month.

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While the Palmeiras youth are busy with the Copinha, the first team have a couple of friendlies on their schedule. The first one took place yesterday – gates closed – against São Caetano and Palmeiras won 2-1 after penalties converted by Barcos and Maikon Leite. After the game, the São Caetano coach told reporters that the impression he had of Palmeiras was a tactically disciplined team with a solid defence and fast counter-attacks.

What the São Caetano coach thought of messieurs Tirone and Frizzo – also present at the game – we will never know. I prefer not voicing my opinion, for more than obvious reasons. Thank God the countdown for the ending of their turn is in the single digits.
Frizzo&Tirone— ooo —
Palmeiras today received a call from Riquelme’s agent Daniel Bolotnicoff, but not with a yes or a no. The Argentine midfielder requests a (second) visit to Buenos Aires from a high-level Palmeiras representative to once again be assured that Palmeiras have serious intention both in regard to his own future and in forming a competitive squad for 2013. According to the agent, Riquelme “is inclined” to accept Palmeiras’ offer.

Tomorrow Tuesday we’ll know what step Palmeiras’ directors will take. Stay tuned on twitter (@anypalmeiras) for latest news and gossip.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!


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A Brazil Cup title – the club’s first national in 14 years – entitling Palmeiras to a Libertadores Cup spot in 2013. The New Arena under construction, on schedule, and under management of über-competent WTorre and AEG. Palmeiras supporters again and again showing their unconditional love for the team: at innumerous “home” games far from São Paulo; through several top-level book releases about the club’s history; by organising the most genuine and passionate series of events in honour of one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of Brazilian football, São Marcos. Club statutes under modification, setting the foundation for direct election of the president and a progressive instalment of transparency, accountability and professionalism.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? And yet…

2012 goes to the history books as one of the worst years ever for Palmeiras, the year when the glorious Verdão for the second time were relegated to the second division. But what truly stands out is the never before reached levels of incompetence by Palmeiras’ directors. Sure, Palmeiras are known for being a political powder keg and more often than not in the hands of people who place football far down on their list of priorities. That being said, in 2012, our directors made us feel ashamed like never before.

Ashamed for the pathetic attempt to purchase midfielder Wesley through crowd funding, several times lying the Palmeiras supporter straight in the face about the feasibility of the project.

Ashamed for the silent abandoning of a project – initiated under former president Belluzzo – to build a US$ 14 million worth new training centre for the youth academy, all paid for by tax breaks pre-approved to any participating private enterprise.

Ashamed for president Arnaldo Tirone’s complete lack of commitment, brains and leadership, which included the absurd visit to Copacabana beach the day after Palmeiras’ relegation.

Ashamed for vice-president a.k.a. director of football Roberto Frizzo’s senile ways, forgetting to attend important meetings and making untimely jokes that even have players think twice before signing with Palmeiras.

Ashamed for judicial director Piraci de Oliveira’s inability to minimally defend Palmeiras in the Sports Tribunal, but splendid ability of using social media to make passes on young girls or boast about his level of drunkenness on Christmas eve.

2012 has been an embarrassing year for us palmeirenses. We who thought 2011 was bad.

There was the miracle of young José Erasmo, but unfortunately the little soldier didn’t make it in the end, passing away a few weeks ago. Our thoughts go to his family.

2013 is around the corner, and so are the presidential elections at Palmeiras. Perin and Nobre battle it out. We have another 21 days of Tirone and Co. 21 days. Counting them down, one by one.

To all the rest of you, TRUE palmeirenses: a very Happy New Year. Stay safe, stay sane. Stay optimistic. And find joy in your hearts every single day. Because, in the end, we know that victory is ours.

Hope to see a lot of you all in 2013. Abraço!

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With age, I’ve naturally come to expect less from Santa. Less actually translating to nothing. Santa’s a great concept when you’re a kid, but with age comes responsibility and the understanding that anything that’s given comes at the price of somebody’s labour. The bigger the present, the harder somebody worked for it.

That’s why I’m not even bothering to sneak a peek in Palmeiras’ stocking this Christmas. Palmeiras have not been good and our directors have certainly not worked hard or competently enough to deserve any last-minute signings. While our competitors are negotiating players and preparing for the coming season, Palmeiras are throwing out the occasional bait (Riquelme) or ungratefully keeping one of last year’s MVP on hold (Assunção).

In addition, the absurd Palmeiras calendar presents us with a General Assembly – complete with elections for club President – on 21 January (more on this and candidates shortly). Ideally, in late January a squad should already be formed and in training. Palmeiras will be chasing leftovers.

Palmeiras’ three wise men Tirone, Frizzo and Piraci are exiting in 2013. Not a bloody second too early.

Merry Christmas, palestrinos.

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Exactly a decade after the painful relegation of 2002, we’re at it again. This time it hurts less, possibly because we’ve gotten used to the ultimate price of our archaic club structure and saw it coming from miles away. Still, relegation is undeniably a crisis that rocks the club and the Palmeiras brand in many ways – operationally, financially, emotionally – in addition to marking millions of supporters.

Recent events don’t keep president Tirone from repeatedly asserting that “we’re on the right track”, as yesterday night when faced with the fact of relegation. Although with tears in his eyes, he concluded that “the club today is calmer, the bookkeeping in order and that everything necessary has been done correctly”. Tirone sees no shadow over him or his directors.

One can easily imagine a dozen suitable activities for a president of a football club the size of Palmeiras indulge in the day after relegation: greeting players upon their return to São Paulo; set up meetings with directors, staff and associates; participate in press conferences; launch new campaigns and action plans; contact partners and sponsors; you name it.

President Tirone chose a different approach. He took a day off on the beach of Leblon, Rio de Janeiro. Now that’s what I call crisis management. No, wait, my bad: there is no crisis, right Tirone? Right.

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Of course you remember last Sunday’s game against Fluminense. You remember the script. Guess what: the same guy must have landed a larger contract than we thought, because he certainly wrote today’s script as well – or is there any other plausible explanation for Palmeiras opening up the scorecard with just-as-unlikely-hero-as-Betinho forward Vinícius, then having Maikon Leite blow the chance of his lifetime, then with only minutes remaining have former Palmeiras player Vagner Love see his shot deflected off man-of-the-match Correa and find the net behind a beaten Bruno?

And what about the three yellow cards distributed, surgically removing Barcos, Márcio Araújo and abovementioned Correa for next week’s game against Atlético Goianense? Not that it might matter at all: in less than an hour we’ll know if Portuguesa managed a point against Grêmio and mathematically pushed Palmeiras down to the second division.

Palmeiras were the better team today, even with the pressure of a ton on everyone’s shoulders. The result, a blueprint of this whole season of the Brasileirão.

President Tirone gave an interview yesterday. Questioned about what he could have done differently, he answered “I have responsibility. Guilt? I don’t feel any guilt. You might feel guilt when you’ve done something very wrong. What would be very wrong? If I hadn’t paid the salaries. The players have a private life, they depend on their salaries. That could influence performance on the pitch. We reinforced the squad. What must the president do? Visit, support, administer the club with honesty and competence, pay the bills and give attention to the club. That’s what I’ve done.” And he concludes, once again: “I think we got unlucky”.

Mr Tirone, I wish you were right. If it was only bad luck that had brought you to preside Palmeiras, things would change to the better as soon as your mandate expires end of December. But no: Palmeiras have been infested by incompetent directors for decades, e reflexion of our incompetent conseglieri, the archaic statutes, the lack of commitment, the vanity of the few. We pay the price, once again.

We pay the price.

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EDIT: With Bahia beating Ponte Preta 1-0 and Portuguesa drawing two all with Grêmio, Palmeiras are formally and officially relegated together with Atlético Goianense, Figueirense and another team yet to be defined only in the finals rounds. Next year we can look forward to clashes with the likes of Boa Esporte, ABC and ASA.

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…at the hands of our directors! As soon as the game against Millonarios was over, president Tirone, vice-president Frizzo and legal director Piraci de Oliveira gave conflicting statements regarding Palmeiras’ next “home” game against Botafogo: one confirmed while another denied the game had been transferred from Saturday to Sunday. One claimed it would take place in Presidente Prudente, while another confirmed it in Araraquara. It took a day before the final verdict: Sunday, Araraquara.

Barcos – the bright shining star in Palmeiras’ squad – recently has been rewarded with opportunities to pull on the Argentine national jersey: something likely to happen again as the superclassico between Brazil and Argentina has been rescheduled for the 21 November at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires. Barcos is a serious, hard-working professional, dedicated to his career and to Palmeiras. President Tirone should have thought twice before hinting that Palmeiras might contact the Argentine Football Federation requesting that Barcos stays in Brazil for the remainder of the Brasileirão. When a player is having his break of a lifetime, his shot at stardom, you can’t do that. And Barcos promptly let the word out that he wouldn’t consider giving up his chance of playing for Argentina. Hopefully, no major damage done. But again Palmeiras generating their own little tornados.  

More from president Tirone: yesterday it was announced that Rodrigo Geammal is the new manager of marketing at Palmeiras: for how long and at what price has not been revealed. I know nothing about Geammal and his skills, but apparently he’s been in the sports’ marketing business for approximately ten years. That Palmeiras needs professionals in the area is a well-known fact, but that doesn’t make the timing of the closure of the deal any less awkward. Tirone has a little more than two months left of his mandate as president.

Thursday was crowned by vice-president Frizzo’s absence from the São Paulo Football Federation’s meeting held to define the regulations for next year’s edition of the State Championships. 20 chairs with 19 representatives from competing teams. And then the one, empty seat. Frizzo, called up by a journalist, first seemed puzzled then asked if the meeting was already over. He proceeded with claiming it wasn’t that important, then recalled he hadn’t seen the invitation but believed the meeting was in fact scheduled for this week.

Can you believe all this took place in less than 48 hours?

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Last week Alex, the former Fenerbahçe star with glorious periods at Palmeiras and Cruzeiro, announced that he will sign a two-year contract with Coritiba – the club of his heart that raised him as a professional and to which he had promised to return to end his career. I believe there was little Palmeiras (or any other club for that matter) could have done to have him change his mind, perhaps tempting him into signing a one-year contract before ending his splendid career at Coritiba. But one cannot help but wonder how things could have played out if Palmeiras were in the top half of the tables and had good directors. Heck, not even good but average would suffice. Perhaps even lower than average… Anything but today’s.

Anyway: no doubt Alex made the right choice. He also kept his word, which is something rarely seen these days – particularly in the world of football and big money. It will be joyful to watch him up close again, although in the “wrong” jersey. Good luck, Alex!

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At the beginning of last week, Palmeiras’ mission was difficult: close the gap – then at six points – to the first team out of the relegation zone (Coritiba) and win at least six out of the remaining ten games. Now, after Thursday’s highly frustrating display against Coritiba and yesterday’s shortcoming against Náutico, nothing but a miracle saves Palmeiras from spending quality time in the Serie B next season.

With the slipknot around our neck and drumrolls filling the air, Palmeiras now leave for Salvador, state of Bahia. Wednesday, 7:30pm at the Pituaçu stadium, the Verdão throw their last chips in the pot as they take on Bahia – the team of former Palmeiras interim coach Jorginho (substituted by Muricy Ramalho in mid 2009, remember) and one of the best performing squads in the second half of the Brasileirão. It’s Bahia’s position we need to take, and beating them on Wednesday means closing the gap to six points with seven rounds to go. Mathematically possible. But is it even sane to believe in a resurrection of the Palmeiras squad?

The squad… What’s left of it, that is. Against Náutico, Kleina was without Valdivia, Barcos, Henrique, Maurício Ramos, Marcos Assunção, Maikon Leite and Daniel Carvalho. Some of these should be back against Bahia (Henrique and Maurício Ramos at least) while others continue vetoed by the medical department or suspended (Thiago Heleno and Juninho). Absentees, absentees…

President Tirone has been more absent than ever. No, absent doesn’t quite cover it: he’s actually gone into hiding. The weekend at the Palmeiras Club House was tense to say the least, with several verbal clashes – some of which escalated to a physical level – taking place between members of political opposites. We saw smaller groups of younger members walking the grounds and forcefully demanding changes; many a conseglieri – and especially those loyal to the current administration and/or tied to former president Mustafá Contursi – came under heavy fire. “Acabou a paz” (Peace is over) was the slogan: no counsellor or director can expect to enjoy a quiet moment at the club if perceived as part of the problem and not the solution.

Conrado Cacace of the Verdazzo is throwing the towel in relation to remaining in the top division and has already refocused on some complicated tasks ahead. How to achieve them he doesn’t know, but among the priorities are:

# the immediate removal of Tirone and the rest of the directors
# the dissolution of Palmeiras’ Deliberative and Fiscal councils
# the formulation of new statutes
# the creation of a transitory governing body
# elections through direct vote taking place in the first semester of 2013.

He continues: “Coupe? Revolution? The name doesn’t matter. Palmeiras can’t wait for the normal turn of events as set out in the current statutes – statutes written up by the same vermin that orchestrated the political scene resulting in the deadlock we’re in today. Out with Mustafá, Frizzo, Tirone, Piraci, Vergamini and all the rest of the responsible. Leave Palmeiras to the palmeirenses.”

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I’m away for the rest of the week, heading into the jungle without any access to communication. As there will be no updates in the following days, here’s a little something for you guys to think about:

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