With the craziness that has transpired over the past couple weeks, Palermo will have their third coach take charge of a match on Sunday against Genoa – or fourth if you consider Sorrentino’s performance and Ballardini’s present-but-absent display.
If a recap is necessary about Zamparini’s actions, sit down, grab some popcorn and read up here. The link between the old guard of Beppe Iachini and the new regime led by the Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto (while ignoring the disgraceful Ballardini stint) is Fabio Viviani. The man who would be coach after Iachini’s refusal only to find out he’d be a caretaker ahead of Schelotto’s arrival is a relative unknown. And yet, he was kept on staff despite Iachini’s sacking and even made it through the Ballardini period unscathed.
Viviani’s constant presence in Sicily is a byproduct of his high regard as an assistant by not just Iachini, but other familiar coaches such as Francesco Guidolin and Edy Reja. Now, he is tasked with an even bigger mission: to help Schelotto with the administration of the squad throughout the season’s second half. Given Schelottos’ unfamiliarity with the team and the league, Viviani is more than just a caretaker. And that is where he finds himself today, on the eve of what is expected to be his only match with Palermo as coach when the Rosanero take on Genoa.
In the customary pre-match press conference, Viviani shared his comments about all things Palermo.
On the Last Week:
“Last week was unusual. Tuesday, I quickly went to work on the team to prepare well for Sunday’s match. Now, a coach with good substance like Barros Schelotto is coming. Tonight I’ll speak with him, up until now, we haven’t met.”
“I prepared well for the match. I’m excited. I had great availability on the part of all the players. I had a bit of a stomach ache for a couple of days. Tuesday, the squad was calm. They erased the tension. They had a bit of a complicated week and therefore I gave them a day of rest.”
“The match against Genoa will be very difficult. It’ll be a safety battle. To play at the Marassi isn’t easy for any adversary. They’re pointing a lot on one-on-one matches in defense and in attack. However, our team has all of its papers in order to play it out paying attention to the fact that it’s true that they won their last match but they lost five prior to it.”
On New Arrivals:
“Technically, players that arrived this year are all of great quality. Balogh, in particular, struck me. He has considerable agility and technical ability. He quickly put himself at the disposition of the group, but he has a lot of talent. For these young players, though, time is needed. The same goes for Arteaga.”
On the Formation:
“In the last year and a half, the squad was accustomed to changing formation. They can easily play a 3-4-3 [formation expected under Schelotto]. Is Cristante ready to play? The player is good just like all the others.”
On Enzo Maresca:
“I’m happy to have him back in the team. He has unique characteristics in our group, as does Cristante. He was out, so he’s not in perfect physical condition; however, he’s available.”
On New Coach Barros Schelotto:
“I had the fortune to work with great coaches like Edy Reja. I’ll be available for the coach in every way possible this season, for those unknown players and not just that. He’s find in me and the staff a great availability. I’m ready. Did I expect to be head coach? I met with Zamparini. He knew that I was open to any possibility. I heard from Iachini. After a year of collaboration, it was only right to speak to him.”