Emergency In The Eternal City: Roma – Palermo

The biggest dilemma facing Palermo on Sunday isn’t how to recover from last week’s debacle against Milan or how to overcome the eternal road woes that have hounded the club for years.

No, the biggest dilemma rests on the shoulders of Devis Mangia, a young coach with relatively little experience from which to draw upon, with an experienced and temperamental president in Maurizio Zamparini looking over his shoulder. After a midweek summit in which Zamparini, Sogliano and Mangia all sat down to discuss the state of the team, the inevitable question was whether Mangia would keep his preferred 4-4-2 formation or switch to a 4-3-2-1 formation backed by Zamparini.

During training this week, Mangia experimented with a 4-3-2-1 and 4-3-1-2 while also incorporating the standard 4-4-2. Yet, during his pre-game press conference, Mangia was adamant that whatever formation is employed on Sunday will be because he thought it was best and not due to any outside influences. And thus, it will be extremely interesting to see how the Rosanero take the field versus the Giallorossi.

Up until now, Devis Mangia has proven to be better than possibly imagined – even with the poor showing against Milan. He has instilled a style within a team that looked dazed and confused under Stefano Pioli. Furthermore, Devis has insisted that his preferred system is the 4-4-2. Rigidity in Calcio is almost always a death trap; adaptability, though, is often found in successful coaches. The problem is if Mangia employs the 4-3-1-2, will he be seen as one who adapted to the situation or succumbed to external pressure? It may seem trivial in retrospect, but for a young coach, the feeling of control is imperative for success.

Probable Lineup

pisano – silvestre – migliaccio – balzaretti
acquah – barreto – della rocca
iličić – zahavi

Bench: benussi; cetto, mantovani; bačinovič, bertolo; miccoli, abel hernandez

With all the discussion surrounding the formation, it certainly seems that Mangia will opt for the classical Delio Rossi formation featuring the dual trequartista. It’s a bit ironic considering Zamparini wanted to change the lineup at the end of last season (three man defense). Nonetheless, Migliaccio is likely to remain at the heart of the defense while Balzaretti returns from suspension.

In the midfield, Acquah will make his first start of the season as Bertolo and Alvarez are sacrificed due to the formation change. Somehow, Della Rocca will keep his spot in the starting eleven, even though he looked awful against Milan (but who didn’t?). Iličić also stays in the lineup, albeit moving into a more central role as a trequartista. Zahavi will be inserted in order to inject some life while taking some of the pressure off of the Slovenian to perform.

Up top, both Miccoli and Abel Hernandez will head to the bench as Pinilla will be subjected to lone striker duty. It will be imperative for him to hold the ball up and draw in the center backs in typical Pinilla fashion. If he can wreak havoc and create space for Zahavi and Iličić, goals should be the result. Naturally, any of this is entirely speculative until the starting lineup and subsequent formation is revealed.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, Palermo isn’t afforded the opportunity to forget last week’s road loss while playing in the comforting confines of the Renzo Barbera. Instead, they will be thrown in the fire straightaway at the Olimpico. Both teams are angry – Roma just lost a derby at the death while Palermo were embarrassed in Milan. The outcome of Sunday’s match is pivotal to restore confidence for two sides whose mental state is the picture of fragility. If Mangia is right about anything, it’s that the game starts first psychologically and Palermo will need to get their minds right – above anything else – if they want to achieve anything in Rome.

Roma – Palermo Preview by Pietro Falanga


33 thoughts on “Emergency In The Eternal City: Roma – Palermo

  1. I want to see us storm off the blocks at full tilt. Hammer them early and take control of the match. No Kjaer for Roma is a good thing.

  2. Well he’s gone for the 4-3-1-2 – it’s a lot of pressure on Zahavi – it should be tense in the early going… Forza Palermo !

  3. Roma backed off after the goal and we came back into the game nicely – Zahavi should have equalized. Strong effort from many players – we’ve got a chance in the second half.

  4. Having only seen the last 30 minutes, I thought we played pretty well. Just that same old problem of conceding before we can really settle into the game.

    Glad to see Mangia at least made attacking subs to go for the goal in this game, as opposed to just accepting the defeat at Milan.

  5. I am really annoyed with this loss but what is really bad is seeing mangia starting with zahavi untill 70 minutes of play while illicic is stronger than zahavi behind the strikers. But talking breifly this is the best match i saw for palermo this season in the kind of formation when mig went to midfield and saw a perfect pairing with cetto and silvestre
    No problem wish to have another good matches which will forget us this

  6. As for the game: Miccoli needs to play a bigger role. We need to commit to one formation. Losing on the road is getting old, but at least we looked competitive in this one. I just got back from sea and watched my DVR of thye Milan match yesterday…other than Nocerino being a class act, there wasn’t a single thing I liked

  7. The stats will show that we’re scoreless in 3 of our 4 last games but we must have had at least six quality chances. All in all, except for the first 7 minutes it was a half decent road game ( by our usual standards) Always the optimist there are things we can take from this game Migs for Della Rocca for one. With 3 games in 10 days does anybody else like the idea of introducing Aguirregaray at home v. Lecce on Wednesday ? Not that Pisano has played badly but we could use a jolt up the right flank – just a thought.

  8. What annoys me about this game is that it was eminently winnable… These games are the difference between mid table obscurity and Europa or Champions League. Last week we were totally outclassed which is fine… It happens, but this week this game should have been won… This was the kind of game we won last year

    • If Iličić wants to regain his reputation he could start by scoring goals that are presented to him on a red carpet with an open net. He really pissed me off this weekend. After all the moaning and groaning he goes and stuffs up his golden opportunity. For a player of his alleged calibre that is not good enough.
      The Bacinovic situation is simple to me. He’s not good enough. No reason why he could not fit into the central duo of a 4-4-2. Obviously his training form is lacking and Mangia is not convinced. Nor do I see other clubs knocking on our door for his signature.
      I want so much for these guys to do well and exceed at Palermo. But they need to be humble and fight for their spot with all their hearts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *