The Danger Zone

Napoli Palermo

Welcome to the danger zone. What’s the danger zone look like? Well, it looks a lot like the performance, or lack thereof, that Palermo gave against Napoli on Sunday. While it was truly “mission impossible”, it definitely didn’t mean to play without dignity or urgency. After the heartbreak against Parma, it looked like nobody in Rosanero really bothered to play at the San Paolo. The games are coming and going and Palermo are still stuck on 15 points.

Obviously, nobody was expecting a win against this high-flying Napoli side but Palermo’s effort was pathetic. A team that is trying to stay in Serie A needs to show more desperation and hunger. It’s the trying times like these that show which players have what it takes and which ones should be sent packing. If we used Sunday’s game as a test, 80% of the team would have failed. Gasperini had done a good job of getting the squad to play well, but he needs to light a fire under these players to prepare them for the long haul. That is all that needs to be said about what transpired on Sunday.

In reality, a loss to Napoli changes nothing. The local media outlets and fans are almost overreacting to this match. The truth is that salvation doesn’t come with games against Napoli or next week’s against Lazio. The season is made or broken in the stretch of games against direct competitors: at Cagliari, Atalanta, Pescara, at Chievo, Genoa, at Torino and home against Siena. There are 21 vital points at stake in those seven matches. Yes, Palermo cannot forget about Lazio, but realistically, the seven games after this weekend will tell the story of 2012-13. Where does Palermo go from here?

As the losses continue to pile up, the pressure is mounting on the players, coaching staff and club management. The biggest issue is the need to intervene in the transfer window. As it stands right now, Palermo has too many holes that need fixing. They are not the worst team in Serie A talent-wise. They aren’t even the second or third worst, to be honest. Yet, the way the first half went, misfortune and all, means the Rosanero cannot simply hope for a better second half. Palermo needs some serious intervention in the transfer market in order to create a team that is capable of achieving safety without relying on some good luck to come their way.

The problem is the January transfer window is never easy. Lo Monaco has had several deals in the works, only to see them fall through after a weekend’s round of games. Ciro Immobile was promised to Palermo via a verbal agreement with Preziosi. Then, he went out and scored a critical goal for Genoa that resulted in him being pulled from the market. The same goes for his teammate Marco Borriello, who bagged a brace. Diego Buonanotte was enthusiastic about joining Palermo but had to wait for the final approval from his coach. Naturally, the Malaga coach gave him a start in a domestic cup match and the Argentine proceeded to score two goals. He was on the pitch last weekend and scored once again with a lovely free kick. On Monday, Malaga’s dS stated the team has no intention to sell him this January. And then there’s Sorrentino and those nefarious highway robbers at Chievo. The Rosanero have tried for almost two years to sign the 33 year old goalkeeper and at every attempt, they’ve been spurned by Sartori’s ludicrous demands. The current Palermo offer for the veteran keeper is almost 2 million over his market value; yet, Sartori has once again asked for more.

Where does Lo Monaco go from here? Seemingly, every deal has been met with great resistance after initial proceedings. Time is short. There are just over two weeks left in the January window and Palermo still need to make at least one key signing in the midfield and in the attack. The Sicilian destination is becoming less appealing with each loss and slide down the table. Yet, with all the bad that is occurring, Zamparini has surprisingly been optimistic and let Lo Monaco work. The fate of Palermo rests in his hands.


11 thoughts on “The Danger Zone

  1. A point from Lazio game would be nice motivation for crucial games that follow. But I am afraid that newcomers will need more time to adapt. Palermo was gameless against Napoli, that is frightening…..

  2. this is what happens when for years you sell talent and try to replace it with make weights. Our squad is simply not good enough, I don’t agree with you that ours isn’t the least talented squad in the league, I genuinely think we possibly are one of the three worst, and without Miccoli possibly THE worst.
    We cant spend years selling good players and replacing them with not so good and then proceeding to loan them out without giving them and chance and then signing someone else and never play him and sell him for nothing. Im talking Gonzalez, if we had 5million now to invest how much would that help? Loaning miggliacio, selling nocerino for nothing, letting balzaretti go without replacing him (until now with dossena) Pastore was never replaced, where the hell did that £24million go? Sirigu (the whole thing about him makes my blood boil)
    How much have we spent on hiring and firing coaches? We’ve wasted too much money and are left with a squad of players like Garcia, Munoz, Kurtic, Morganella, Budan, Viola, these players simply are not good enough, whilst I accept we are a selling club and im happy to see players move on our reinvestment has been shockingly poor. Vazquez was the best player in Argentina and now hes sat on the bench at rayo? Has every coach seen something we have not? hes hardly kicked a ball for us and when he did he looked good!

    • This. So much this. Also, im sick and tired of Gasperini’s 3-4-3 right now. 3-4-1-2! OUR STRIKERS ARE ISOLATED, WE NEED A TREQUARTISTA!

      Also, dont agree with you on Viola. I think he needs to be given a shot before we judge him. He looked very good when i saw him play for his old club.

  3. Sal – you didn’t exactly get your wish for a trequartista but if reports I’m reading are true we’ve landed Milan Baros from Galatasaray and FINALLY have a proven striker to play with Miccoli. As long as he’s healthy this is the best news I’ve heard so far this year.

  4. Don’t be too concerned. The way this transfer window is going the deal will probably fall through.. then again we seem to have a pension for bringing in players over age 30.

  5. Im seeing reports saying its a done deal for Baros.

    Why are we not trying to re-sign Cassani? I think his experience for fiorentina can count as a failure and we may be able to pull him back to our side. He would easily fit into the 3-4-3 system in Morganellas place and he is essentially a complete step up from Morganella. Better crosses, more defensively sound. only downside is hes older and maybe not as quick.

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