In theory, the argument of Palmeiras president Maurício Galiotte, that it is necessary to define a concept beforehand, a style of play for Palmeiras, even makes sense. Although few clubs in the world can be said to have a DNA, a way of playing that goes beyond the coach who runs the team, this can be an objective to be pursued. But, consider that Palmeiras can become one of those. A question then arises: who will define this style of play. The president, the almighty sponsor, the advisers, the peanut gang?
This is not necessary. It is not a cannada or an office conversation that will decide the way Palmeiras play. There is only one way to achieve this, to create a palestrine DNA: it is the continuity of work, the persistence regardless of the immediate results, it is the investment in a base that aims to train talent, that plays as the main team and not to win titles and pay bonuses to underpaid coaches.
Is this all part of the script proposed by Galiotte? It is very unlikely. Much of it, in fact, is a mere repetition of what justified the hiring of Luxembourg so recently.
During the term of the current president, in less than four years, Palmeiras had eight coaches. People of different styles and personalities, renowned names such as Cuca, Mano Menezes, Felipão and Vanderlei Luxemburgo, the elite of the old guard of the Brazilian soccer. He hired the basins, most of the time without any technical criteria, without any balance in the assembly of the cast, driven only by the mercantilist view of Alexandre Mattos. Only in this last year, with the rope tightening the neck and pocket, did Palmeiras de Galiotte set out to enjoy the boys at the base, and discovered, yes, pleasant surprises like Gabriel Menino and Patrick de Paula.
Has the president really learned from his mistakes? Or does it just spill out a politically correct but empty and inconsequential falastrice as always?
In Brazilian football, coaches have always arrived and seek to impose their beliefs, their methods on casts that were often assembled by the predecessor or the predecessor of the predecessor to play in a very different way. They almost never have time to train, to try to pass on to the team a new philosophy of work and play. And when they lose two or three games, sometimes a single game against the main rival, they end up discarded, forming another link in this vicious circle.
That’s how the band plays around here.
Palmeiras need not go far to have an example of how much it costs to change this culture. Flamengo’s Jorge Jesus, offensive, with intense movement, high pressure during the 90 minutes of the game won everything he had to win last year. The Portuguese returned to the country. And the Spaniard who arrived with his very different ideas, a positional game, with a slower transition and more backward marking, lives balancing on the tightrope of the ill will of the critics, much of the crowd and the appetite of the hyenas that try to overthrow him it before it even shows what it came to.
This is not Flamengo’s way of playing, they complain. Now, what is Flamengo’s way of playing? Last year’s was from Jorge Jesus, not Flamengo. And, if they wanted to continue like this, in fact institute a style, a red-black DNA, that they hire a coach like the Portuguese, not someone who, notoriously, was known to pray for a different booklet. But once what mattered was the name and not the concept. As if you could squeeze an orange and drink lemonade.