We are in the middle of Carnival season, that holiday that lasted about five days and now takes up half the month even in São Paulo. And all the carnival partygoer wants most is partying.
Other clubs want to party too, despite the prophecy of the new president of Corinthians, Augustus Melos, the man without a plural. The phrase “Palmeiras and Flamengo’s spree is over” was uttered at the end of 2023, but it will already enter the annals (of Augustus) in 2024. All Corinthians has to do is lose a game and the hashtag “the spree is over” appears in full view on the networks social. And it has appeared frequently.
While the party continues (to Ituano, São Bernardo, Novorizontino…), Augustus makes another decision that, now, perhaps seems a little hasty: he fired Mano Menezes. Bro was never Augustus’ bro, it’s good to say. The now former Corinthians teacher was a (cursed?) legacy of the previous administration, led by Duilio Monteiro Alves.
Even though he was about to leave his position, Duilio signed a contract with Mano in September valid until the end of 2025, with a termination fine of around R$20 million.
Duilio does it, Augustus pays.
But if this mess doesn’t add up to Augustus’s account, the others do. The new Corinthians president completed a month in office on February 2nd, which was Iemanjá Day, but also Groundhog Day, or the “Spell of Time”. And Corinthians seems to be the victim of some spell that makes the team repeat mistakes in signings and in any type of announcement in general, one after the other.
This humble scribe’s favorite trick was the loan signing of Flamengo full-back Matheuzinho. After taking a photo, handing over the shirt and getting the guy to train at CT, they discovered that the loan contract wasn’t cool, they didn’t sign it and sent poor Matheuzinho back.
Mano complained subtly, or not so subtly, about the board. He cited mathematics and it is difficult to contradict mathematics. More than ten players left, not even half of that. Mano also spoke about not creating illusions. Augustus must not have liked it.
Right now, as these lines are being written, “leaked” news has emerged that the club is looking at Márcio Zanardi, from São Bernardo, as a replacement — and at the time of writing this text, nothing had been made official.
But Augustus and his minions must not have read this year’s Paulistinha regulations. Or they read it but didn’t understand it. Or they read it, understood it, but don’t care. The fact is that the regulations say that no coach can lead two different teams in the tournament. This means that, even if Zanardi leaves the ABC team (which has 8 points, 5 ahead of Corinthians overall), he could not sit on the bench of the black and white team as a new teacher.
The total score after Sunday’s games leaves Corinthians in second-to-last place, with 3 points. As two fall, they are in the relegation zone, ahead of Santo André, with 2 points.
And, cruel irony, Augustus’ team faces Santos in the next round, this Wednesday (7), in Vila Belmiro. The coastal team is not only the overall leader (12 points, with one game more than São Paulo and Palmeiras, both with 10 points), but is coached by Fábio Carille and has Gil and Giuliano in the squad, released by Corinthians. It’s a lot of ex together.
Losing at Vila wouldn’t be good, but it’s still not a total disgrace. After Santos, there are still six games left, or half of the first phase, and any two victories could take the team from relegation to the classification zone.
But, as philosopher-professor Tite (another former Corinthians fan) said after the draw with Vasco, “in the land of short-termism, those who have patience are king”. But Augustus is not king. And the fans no longer have patience with other people’s partying.
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