A Return To Winning Ways

Sunday’s match marked the return of things not seen in Palermo for a long time. Most importantly, the Rosanero earned their first win since November 27th of last year – nearly a two month drought! Secondly – and perhaps just as important, the team played with the pride and passion that had been lacking during previous performances. It was vintage Palermo – entertaining, high-scoring and, of course, rift with defensive lapses. From Rossi to Mangia to Mutti, Palermo has never been a team that grinds out clean sheets and they may never be that way. But a win is a win and all that matters is scoring one more goal than your opponent.

Mutti finally earned his first three points since taking over. He did so by thrusting the two newest members of the club into action immediately. While Viviano is still shaking off the dust from a long injury layoff, it is apparent the talent is there. He also has a cannon for a leg – did anyone else notice the booming punts that travelled the full length of the pitch? As for Massimo Donati, the skeptics rightly wondered whether the ex-Bari player was the best fit to fill the void left by Armin Bačinović and any previous regista the team had been lacking. Well, Donati had what can only be described as a dream debut on Sunday. Inserted straightaway, Donati looked and performed like he had been playing with this team for months, not minutes. He injected further personality into the midfield while dictating the tempo and play. His passing was superb – there were countless passes he made on Sunday that had the crowd (and his teammates) applauding him. The question is whether or not he can maintain the performance he put on for successive matches, but Massimo did more in one game than any of those in the same role before him did combined.

The five goals scored on Sunday were the highest total in a game for Palermo since May of 2009 when the Rosanero beat Cagliari 5-1. Interestingly enough, that game also had a goal apiece for Miccoli and Migliaccio. Fabrizio proved, once again, that he is decisive for this team. He was inspirational on Sunday, registering a goal alongside three assists. Not only did he set up Migliaccio for the fifth goal, but he served up Budan for the Croatian’s first goal in Rosanero since February 2010 and provided Mantovani with his first goal in Rosanero. Yes, Miccoli must be on the pitch when he’s fit. There is no other player on the roster that can provide what he does.

As the team moves forward to face Novara, the Rosanero must put out the same type of effort and desire they displayed last Sunday. After such a terrible run of results, one win allowed Palermo to jump all the way to eighth place. There is still half a season to play and the table is short. For continued success, the players need to lay it all on the pitch in every game.


13 thoughts on “A Return To Winning Ways

  1. Good write up dude. I’m just on my way home from the airport now. What an incredible way to see my first Palermo game and visit the city. Was literally fantastic. It was interesting watching the game from the stands and seeing for one how fucking amazing miccoli is. His skill, determination, passing, movement, positioning and leadership skills were brilliant. Ill give you my take on personal player performances whilst I sit here.

    Viviano – 6.5 2 great saves towards the end of the second half but a little rusty as expected. Distribution was good, seemed the aim was for him to hit miggs who pushed up everytime we had a goal kick.

    Munoz – 7 solid uncompromising but not a fullback. Never let anyone behind him though and we relied on a ilicic for the width on the right

    Silvestre – 8 no nonsense with fantastic communication and a barn storming header which raised the roof and shook the nearby mountains. Surprising it didn’t burst a hole in the net.

    Mantovani 7 – good finish, good interceptions, good pace to recover once or twice too but needs to put his foot through ball sometimes

    Balzaretti. 6 – if he had received the ball as much as his movement and positioning warranted he would of got 8 but he was ignored time and again and left unused. Seemed a bit uninterested at times especially pre game.

    Ilicic 6.5 – silky touches, won free kicks, great cross for silvestres goal but really Moody when subbed

    Miggliaccio – 8.5 commanding performance. Won every header, tackle, kept passing simple and then popped up with a goal.

    Donati 9 – perfect regista performance. Made one rash pass at the start but worked hard to get the ball back which set the performance and then was brilliant.

    Barreto 6 – good on ball but terrible passing. When balzac wandered up helped cover well but wasn’t a good game

    Budan 6 – it would be a 4 if he didn’t score. Touch was awful, ran aimlessly and squandered lots of good passing opportunitys. Miccoli never showed his annoyance but his knock Downs rarely met the little man. Good quick pass which freed micco for goal actually so maybe 6.5

    Miccoli 12 – 3 assists, 1 goal, 900 dribbles 1000 defenders left for dead and silky skills. Perfect performance.

  2. Finally some enjoyment from a positve performance. Great write-up and I can’t disagree with much from the player assessments from Fozz. What a great match to have seen in person ! Not to take away from the euphoria but we still look vulnerable at the back – even against a weakened side like Genoa. Donati was surprisingly strong let’s hope we can build on that on the road v. Novara. Forza Palermo.

  3. So whats your guys perfect 11?
    I think mine is(without injuries):
    pisano (Munoz) – Silvestre – Mantovani ( Munoz) – Balzaretti
    Migliaccio – Donati – Barreto (Acquah)
    Ilicic – Vazquez
    Abel Hernandez (Miccoli)

  4. 4-3-1-2

    Viviano – Pisano, Silvestre, Mantovani, Balzaretti – Migliaccio, Donati, Barreto – Vazquez (Ilicić) – Hernandez (Budan), Miccoli (untouchable)

  5. Perfect 11?

    Cassani(Pisano)—Silvestre- Bovo(Mantovani)—-Balzaretti

    >> only…3 changes from our current line up. we would be lighting up the Serie A with that line up… annnyway, slip in the players in () and that will be my perfect 11 with the current squad.

  6. I think we can be good with the players we have, except for at RB. Pisano does not cut it.

    This formation doesn’t really show what I want in the midfield, but its close. Acquah as a defensive mid, whose main job is to win battles in our own half and in the middle of the pitch. I wouldn’t expect him to be putting in crosses on a regular basis. As fan a of Tottenham, I look at him like a younger, rougher, less talented Scott Parker. He can’t shoot, he can’t really cross, but he can dominate the center of the pitch and stop attacks. I think Acquah can become that. Then Donati and Migliaccio as the pair who bring us out of the back. Essentially, Acquah would win the ball, then find one of these two as quick as possible, to switch from defense to offense . The top is as it should be

    –new player(pisano)–Silvestre–Mantovani–Balzaretti–

    I just worry that without a better RB, this formation, or any we could run, does not give us enough width. I would love to us wingers, but it almost certainly puts Miggs out of a place (I would want a more defensive and a more offensive mid in the middle, and he is in between both), as well as all of our trequartistas(unless they could adapt to the creative midfield role).

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