He returns with three games in a week, but he still doesn’t know when Paulista will return, stopped by the restrictions measures in São Paulo due to the worsening of the pandemic. It is very likely that he will play matches in the group stage of the Libertadores and of the state encavaladas every two days. All because the CBF does not give up to start the Brazilian on May 30th.
An insanity that will test the resistance of the South American champion squad and the Copa do Brasil again. Without time to train, the Portuguese coach will live with the same problems as last season, only with the advantage of facing her from the beginning and now with experience in this absurd calendar.
Even more calloused, it is unlikely that Abel will achieve the “romanticism” he hopes to combine with pragmatism, as he told TV Palmeiras:
– We are a somewhat romantic team, but also pragmatic. Because that is what we are looking for, through the processes to achieve the results. We know that sometimes playing always beautiful does not always bring us results. We know that playing pragmatically does not always bring us results. This mix between pragmatism and romanticism leads us to what we want, which is success and winning titles.
Perfect placement. That’s what is done around the world, in the best teams, like Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Play according to demand and seek the best combination of performance and results, with an obvious priority for the latter. If it is not possible to play well, let him win to maintain the confidence and consistency of the work.
Palmeiras suffer the most when they need to propose the game. The ball circulates between defenders and defensive midfielders waiting for the gap for the long pass looking for the pointers at speed, Luiz Adriano’s pivot or working to reach the 4-2-3-1 central midfielder, usually Raphael Veiga, between the defense and the opponent’s midfield. If the spaces do not appear, the team hangs. Everything flows better by playing in quick offensive transitions.
It must go on like this. Not only because there is no money left for signings that further qualify the squad – until now only midfielder Danilo Barbosa, loaned by Nice, is the novelty. Nor will there be time to work on something more sophisticated, adding movements and expanding the offensive repertoire.
But, mainly, because pragmatism became culture in the club. Since 2015, with the winning of the Brazil Cup with Marcelo Oliveira. A hiatus the following year with the great first round of the Brazilian with Cuca, but also due to the obsession to win the title that had not come since 1994, embracing the result in the final stretch. The same with Felipão in 2018.
With the shock of Jorge Jesus’ Flamengo “hurricane”, the club sought new ideas in 2020, first looking for Jorge Sampaoli in January, then Miguel Ángel Ramírez in October. Abel’s success in playing a little differently, but still in line with recent victorious work, reinforced his identity. Difficult to change, especially when you are winning.
The complicated context, including the probable absences due to the many calls, will be in charge of pushing Palmeiras for more of the same. Without “romanticism”. And it is legitimate, with its pros and cons. Especially because fans, in general, only fall in love with the team that raises cups.
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