Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Lorenzo Vicini On June - 13 - 2011

Rosanero Roundup: Palermo Pick Up The Pieces

Once the final whistle blew in the Coppa Italia final loss on May 29th, Palermo have set out to answer many of the question marks surrounding the team this offseason.

Despite leading the Rosanero to success in the past two seasons, Delio Rossi and Maurizio Zamparini mutually agreed to go their separate ways. The decision came down to a divergence in opinion over squad philosophy and personnel. As a result, the coaching vacancy was immediately filled with now former Chievo coach Stefano Pioli.

The appointment of Pioli to the Rosanero bench is certainly a risk. Zamparini chose the young coach because of his focus on defense. Chievo boasted one of the best defensive records in all of Serie A last season, while Palermo had one of the worst. Pioli will have a tall task ahead of him as Zamparini demands immediate results. For a coach who will be entering his seventh consecutive season with a new club, Stefano will have to quickly establish himself in Rosanero.

Not only do Palermo have a new coach heading into the offseason, the Sicilians also finally have a Sporting Director - a position which had been vacant since December when Walter Sabatini resigned from the club. Zamparini had long hinted that the man who would fill the vacancy would be a young, up-and-coming dS from a lower division in Italy.

Many names were rumored but ultimately it would be the man who led Varese from the Eccellenza to the Serie B playoffs, Sean Sogliano. The ex-Varese director now gets the opportunity to shine on a bigger stage after achieving great results with the Biancorossi. Sogliano has now been in charge for just about a week, but he’s already been very active in the transfer market.

Yet, while a few pieces have been put in place, many question marks still surround the club heading into next season. First and foremost, the futures of two current stars in Fabrizio Miccoli and Javier Pastore. After a mixed season in Rosanero for Miccoli, the talisman’s future with the club is very much in doubt after his relationship with Zamparini became strained. Miccoli could be seeking a move to his hometown club Lecce - a place where he has made it no secret he’d like to play before he calls it quits. However, the player’s agent hinted that the player still wants to play for Palermo due to his love for the city and its fans.

Meanwhile, Javier Pastore has been one of the hottest names on the transfer market with many teams expressing interest in the Palermo starlet while very few have come forward with a concrete offer. After declaring him “not for sale” just a few weeks earlier, Zamparini now seems ready to listen to offers for his most prized possession. Yet, it will take a pretty significant offer for the Palermo patron to accept. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether or not Pastore has played his last game for the Sicilian side.

Beyond those two, the transfer market will be used to address key areas such as reinforcing the defense and providing alternatives to the starting eleven. The window officially opens up in July but Palermo have already been very active in securing the services of several players. If the club wants to repeat the success from the last two seasons, they’ll need all these pieces to fall into place.

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