Relief. The season of sorrow can ultimately be laid to rest after the results of Week 36 confirmed Palermo would play in Serie A once again next year. There is no pride in that statement. It is just a confirmation of the facts.
This season was an embarrassment that goes beyond the final resting spot in the table. The Rosanero were only brilliant for brief stretches, at the beginning of the season and for a month of games between late January and February. Other than those stints, the overarching theme was “disappointment”.
Let’s be clear. Given the way the summer transpired, the aspirations for the club were never high. Yet, they were never as low as what eventually occurred with safety only being secured with a mere two games left in the season. Transitional year as it were, Palermo is always aiming for a spot on the left side of the table at a minimum.
And yet, Zamparini and his affiliates did not do enough to help this revamped club succeed. From Pioli to Mangia to Mutti, there were too many events that affected the continuity that would have brought about a more steady approach. It was clear from the start – and confirmed by several players – that the problems started straightaway, with the players not being ready from a physical standpoint, much less a mental one. As the club looks to rebound from this woeful season, hopefully they can learn from the lessons that were doled out over the last eight months.
Much can be said about those who did not do their best in honoring the shirt, but now is not the time. Rather, let us be thankful for the captain who kept us afloat, nearly single-handedly. Were it not for Fabrizio Miccoli, Palermo would assuredly be in Serie B next year. He continued to lead this team not only in his goal-scoring and assisting heroics, but also by example. And to think, he was so close to leaving the club during the offseason. As some have pointed out, he deserves a statue in his honor for his efforts.
Now, there are two games left and all can finally say goodbye to this cursed season. Enjoy the last two games for what they mean: nothing. The year was full of plenty of “nero” but the prospects of the “rosa” are just around the corner.