Bortolo Mutti saved his job as Palermo’s coach by not losing to Lecce. But what’s next?
After three losses in a row and a disastrous amount of goals conceded in those three games, Lecce was expected to be the victim of Palermo returning to it’s winning ways. An early penalty (again, Munoz), a retarded red card (Bertolo) and a lot of absent regulars made sure none of that happened. 1-1, Palermo’s fifth point away from home after another four draws and no wins, resulted in a 1/12 and Mutti being still on the bench. The team still remains in 10th at 9 points from the drop zone, but if you look at the standings, you’ll see that Fiorentina in 16th are only 3 points away. If Mutti and the boys don’t clean up their act very soon, a finish below 14th may become reality. Very frustrating, also when we look at Catania having a hell of a season, already 6 points away from the Rosanero.
The roller coaster season so far has seen anger, optimism, pessimism, optimism again and now we’re back to pessimism. The only thing Palermo needs to do now, is focus on avoiding relegation and start working towards next season. 2011-2012 is a lost season, now it’s time to start rebuilding.
A start to that rebuilding process was given by the announcement that Arab investors are planning on investing 200 million into the team over the next 5 years. Not exactly PSG or Man City amounts, but enough to give the team a good base and build that new stadium. A second improvement could be the acquisition of Christian Panucci as the team’s new technical director. The former Roma defender and Sky analyst already said he’s very eager to start working for the team and is happy to be given a chance at a warm club. Added to that, there are rumors that Palermo is also after Siena DS Giorgio Perinetti. It sure seems like Zamparini wants to avoid another horrendous season like the one we’re going through now.
One thing we can be sure of is that Bortolo Mutti will not be coaching Palermo next season. Not only are the results not what they need to be, he also doesn’t seem to have the full support of the fans and of Zamparini. Panucci also spoke of new coaching possibilities for next season, and one name frequently returns: Zdenek Zeman. Zeman has been doing a very good job at Pescara, leading a newly promoted team to the top of the league while playing very entertaining football. He knows Sicily and knows how to motivate people, but it would take a lot of improvement to our defense to make the Zeman style of attacking football really work. Other names that are mentioned are Edy Reja, doing a good job at Lazio but definitely leaving at the end of the season, and Giuseppe Sannino, Varese’s former miracle worker and now leading Siena to a quiet season and a great Coppa run.
In the end, it’s all just a lot of talk for now. With ten games left, the only important thing is that the squad get their shit together and start playing for each other. The 40 point mark is still 5 points away, and it needs to be reached as soon as possible. But the least we can say is that the offseason is going to be very interesting…