Fresh Beginnings

Gattuso & Budan

The time for relaxation is over and the Rosanero are already taking part in the preseason in St. Lambrecht, Austria. Gattuso and his staff have been hard at work to instill the right methods and mindset in the players. Last season was an utter failure, but the preseason is a chance for a fresh beginning.

Now over a week into the preseason, some things are starting to surface about Gattuso’s Palermo. Firstly, Ringhio is motivated. Highly motivated. The kind of motivation and “grinta” that he was known for his entire career has quickly been on display during his short time in charge of the Rosanero. His enthusiasm is infectious. From Zamparini on down to the staff and players, the recurring theme is how much passion and desire Gattuso is bringing to the table. Given his inexperience, perhaps his spirit can make up for some of his other shortcomings. Time and patience will be the true determiner but one thing is sure, the players have quickly formed a strong bond with their coach. Gattuso has made it a point to train hard during practice – whether it’s having everyone run stairs in Zeman-like fashion or making every person who has any role at Palermo (players, coaching staff, medical staff, randoms) take part in post-practice strength and conditioning excercises. Even more so, Gattuso has put himself in the thick of it, often times performing the same drills and methods he’s imposing on his players. That isn’t to say there isn’t any fun going on in the Palermo camp. Far from it. All you need to see is Exhibit A and B.

Meanwhile, the club has added another player to its ranks in Alen Stevanovic. The 22 year old Serbian midfielder joined Palermo from Torino on loan with an option to purchase half of his contract. Alen can play in any of the three midfield positions in Gattuso’s 4-2-3-1 model, but particularly excels on the outside. Since his arrival, he has already played very well in the two friendlies the club has taken part in. Palermo were looking for a midfielder of his quality and after missing out on Steven Zuber, Stevanovic was the target they were after. Of course, any preseason success should be taken with a modicum of caution, but he did play a role in helping Torino get promoted to Serie A a couple seasons ago.

Palermo are not finished in the transfer market. Obviously, with over a month to go before the window shuts, there are still moves to be made, both in and out. Two players rumored to be close to arriving are Siena defender Claudio Terzi and French midfielder Granddi N’Goyi from Troyes, a club that suffered the same fate as Palermo last season, except in France. Neither deal is official, but the buzz has them joining perhaps by week’s end. Outbound, it appears Josip Ilicic is 24-48 hours away from finalizing his move to Fiorentina. It’s been a rather long wait, but then again, there’s no rush since the Slovenian wasn’t called up to preseason training given his pending departure. Ex-Palermo captain Fabrizio Miccoli finally fulfilled his lifelong goal of playing for his hometown club Lecce. The striker signed a one year contract which cut his salary by a million in order to play for the Lega Pro side. Best of luck to him in the hopes that he can restore his image and regain some good standing. Perinetti still must find a home for the increasingly unwanted Emiliano Viviano. After being rejected by his hometown club Fiorentina, the destinations seem sparse; yet, Villareal and Torino have emerged as possible options. Needless to say, Viviano will not be staying at Palermo. The futures of both Abel Hernandez and Stefano Sorrentino are still in the air as both have suitors despite the club’s hope that they remain. It’s something that will most likely drag out until a resolution occurs or the window closes. Such is the nature of the modern game.

Speaking of fresh beginnings, the agent of much-maligned defender Santiago Garcia released some shocking comments in hopes of securing a new beginning for his client. Garcia, who has not reported for the preseason after being given an initial extension, apparently wants out of Palermo. His agent said that Santiago was the subject of much ridicule last season and even had some ultras show up to his house and demand he leave. The agent also did not take kindly to Zamparini’s declarations that Garcia must return to the club and any requests to be sold will be denied. Failure to do so will result in Santiago spending a season watching Palermo games from the stands. Garcia’s agent scoffed at the notion, but the club released an official statement noting the legality of the binding contract the defender has with the Rosanero. It’s always funny how all the players who played a part in Palermo’s relegation feel like they have the right to escape Serie B and play elsewhere. Either they think that or they all need new agents.

Finally, it’s a new start for an old face. Igor Budan is the new team manager at Palermo. He has been taking part in the preseason and is happy to be on staff at the club. Budan recently gave a heartfelt interview to La Repubblica in which he talked about the death of his young daughter Amber, how he got through it with the help of Zamparini and his Palermo teammates, his retirement from the game and some choice words for Gasperini and Lo Monaco after he was sold last January: “Some insinuated that I quit because I never got over it (Amber’s death), but it’s a falsity that I want to deny. I thought I’d finish my career at Palermo and instead it didn’t happen that way. However, I’m happy to have worked with people who have more respect for money than human relationships because it’s the exact opposite of what I want to do. If Lo Monaco and Gasperini work in that way, I can only carry myself in the opposite manner. They came to say that I was Zamparini’s spy.” Looks like just another interesting revelation about Lo Monaco who seemed to have won over Palermo fans without them realizing what was really happening behind the scenes. Admit it, we were all sucked in.


20 thoughts on “Fresh Beginnings

  1. Thanks Lorenzo. You cleared up the Garcia snarl that I wasn’t clear on. If Claudio Terzi can play to his best form he will add needed depth and experience to the back line. I’m assuming he had his match fixing ban reduced to one year ?

  2. F**k off with Garcia. Was one of the worst players on the pitch for most of the season and he expects to be treated like hes Del Piero. Good riddance that hes gone. im happy. 2nd best move of the summer. First being Aronica left home.

    Was wondering if anyone knows about Monteleone. I saw he was a 2nd half sub in the first friendly, and a starter in the 2nd friendly (i think). Was Gattuso just mixing things up or is this kid a potential starter?

    Biggest disappointment so far is Viola being left home. Kid is quality and told Lo Monaco/Gasperini he wasnt leaving when they tried to freeze him out last season. He wanted to stay and prove himself and hes proven at this level.

  3. Like some of us had hoped Barreto is our new capatin… I hope what he said can be transfused to our players : ” io adesso cerchero di portere la fascia con onore ” Forza Palermo !

  4. Is abel hernandez going to rot in Qatar? I am not a huge fan of his but I think he could do better then that.

    ps. got my shirt ordered.

    • i have no clue. Roma should go for him, since they need a new keeper. I heard Sorrentino may leave and Viviano will take over the number 1, but all transfer speculations, as per usual.

    • I think maybe because he cost a fortune compared to other keepers of his ability. 8 Million euros/gbp? For him is not worth it, But Palermo must make their money back.

  5. I can live with Viviano. Interesting finalization of the Illicic deal today – we turned down 12 million Euro bid from Liverpool for Illicic and sold him to Fiorentina for around 8 or 9 ? Still, it’s a fair profit since I think we originally bought him for less than a million.

    • It’s a very good profit, especially considering he hasn’t been at nearly his best for well over a year, and he was never going to go to Serie B.

      Hope he does well, though not when we have to play against him in two years time.

  6. Dear Palermitani! It is a special day today for me- since Iličić is gone to Fiorentina (and that is a great place for him I think). Of course I will follow more closely Fiorentina now, but in this three years Palermo has come closer to my hearth and I wish it will return next year in seria A (that will be great moment when Josip returns to Renzo Barbera!).
    Anyway, Josip had one bad year and two good years at Palermo (end of this seson was simply amazing- and Palermo almost stayed in seria A). I think all of Palermo fans shoud be greatfull to Josip since he alone was leaving Palermo “alive”. Unfortunatly….the amazing happend.
    Bytheway.. what do you think- is Fiorentina where Josip will show all his skills and talent? I think that Montela is a great coach and Fiorentina plays wonderfull football last year….

    • I think they have an amazing squad. If they also take Sorrentino I think they have enough to make a challenge for the title and also Napoli.

      Notice. When Palermo sold Toni to Fiorentina they started their revolution, When Palermo sold Cavani to Napoli they started their Revolution. Pastore to PSG at the start of their revolution. If only Palermo had more stability over the years they would be a top squad rather then in serie b.

  7. We had a top squad that was dismantled as soon as our players were called to their National teams (Probably afraid they would want more money). Cassani, Bovo, Balza, Sirigu, Pastore, hell, even Nocerino couldve been a huge help last season. I leave off Cavani because he wouldve never played for us like he did for Napoli, since he was never alone up front for us. He really does not play well with a strike partner.

    As far as Ilicic goes…the only time he played well this season was when Zampa doubled the survival bonus. i think that says it all. Ever since we started making room in our squad for him, our team went downhill. Shouldve left Pastore playing behind Miccoli and Abel instead of making room for Ilicic.

    • You are wrong. He played well also at the end of the 2012 (Catania, Udinese…), and latter he was injured and was not playing or was coming back. Iličić played severly injured at the end of the seson and was also compromising his hole carrer- I think that says it all.
      I hope he was paid better for that, since he deserved it. On him alone Palermo was standing or falling this year, and I think Palermo fans own him some respect, even against the sad fact that he did not manege to keep Palermo alive.

  8. Our competition in Serie B for 2013-14 comprises the following teams:
    Avellino, Bari, Brescia, Carpi, Cesena, Cittadella, Crotone, Empoli, Juve Stabia, Lanciano, Latina, Modena, Novara, Padova, Pescara, Reggina, Siena, Spezia, Ternana, Trapani e Varese.
    What the fuck are we doing here!!!

    • I know some people say it will be hard but the league is really low in quality, I have researched a lot of the squads and even the signings some of them have made on loan from Serie A squads are poor. If Palermo does not self destruct they should walk into 1st place with no worries. It would be nice to see Trapani do well also but they have a very little stadium and small squad. Having said that, Sassuolo made it to Serie A so you never ever know what can happen in football.

      • I’ve watched Serie B game’s highlights since two years ago. The goalkeepers from most teams are terrible (not to mention some wrong passes and tackles from midfielders…), and as you said, considering the level of the league, Palermo should not have problems to go back to Serie A

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