Club Focus – Palermo – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Palermo once again got in their own way on Sunday afternoon as they could only salvage a 2-2 draw at home against Lecce. Despite being the better side for the majority of the game, the fragility of the Rosanero defence led to them having to come from two down. A speculative 20 yard shot from Guillermo Giacomazzi put the visitors ahead after Salvatore Sirigu could only palm it onto the inside of the post. It was another case of a former player coming back to haunt the Sicilian club this season and with Edinson Cavani’s form for Napoli, will unlikely be the last. Undeservedly down at the break, they did not switch on after coming out from the half and were caught immediately by Corvia stealing a march and powering a header home.

Palermo28.09.10

The Rosanero are finding that all their mental lapses and mistakes are being exposed this season. But to be successful you have to be able to override these and still win or just stop making them, which doesn’t look like happening soon. After the concession of the second goal, Palermo did show some resolve and really started to penetrate the defence. It didn’t take long until the much travelled hit man Pinilla stepped up and pounced on a rebound to draw one back. This was his first goal for the club after his summer move from Grosseto, where he dominated the scoring charts. It was also a good response to having his goal in the first half ruled out incorrectly for offside. After the score, the Rosanero camped in the Lecce half but just couldn’t find a way through until the 90th minute, where Massimo Maccarone pounced on another rebound from Pastore’s shot and levelled the tie.
Palermo were unlucky not to win this game as their quality up front was the dominant force of the match. They are however struggling this season to be able to overcome their status as a scalp for most of the Calcio sides. The games where they have performed best are the ties against the Italian giants, in which they are not favoured to win. For Lecce to go 2-0 up in the Renzo Barbera was a huge achievement for them and it has to be expected that they would then pull out the Mourinho Inter tactic of eight men behind the ball. To be able to score two with an extreme goal line stand facing them was impressive but covers the cracks of another average defensive display.
The lack of continuity is really damaging this side as they attempt to reach European and domestic greatness for the club. Rossi has been positive following the result and remains optimistic, believing he can turn this defensive debacle around. As mentioned previously on this website, this season is probably the most challenging of his career and after this start it will be fascinating to see how he attempts to turn it around. He managed to restore a terrible season last year after Christmas and almost gained a Champions League place. Due to the level of parity in the league this year, it is likely to be a close race for the four top spots this season with a lot of dropped points, giving the Rosanero an excellent chance if they come back from these woes.
So Palermo failed to carry the momentum from Thursday nights performance in Turin in their season of unpredictable highs and lows. Given the opportunity to take off they have stalled again. This team has so far, had more ups and downs than most of the Calcio teams will have had by the winter break. There are positives to be drawn from Sundays game, namely that they just continue to score and are capable of netting five a game. The ‘New Zidane’, Javier Pastore is playing well and continues to lead the front, Zamparini maintains that he will not leave in the future. However, the defence really has to be worrying Rossi but not as much as the continual mental errors. A lack of focus can kill ambitions quickly and this will need to be remedied soon. Either way, the game against Lausanne on Thursday night will be a fresh chapter and another 90 minutes to gain some momentum in this crazy season to date.
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