OPINION: Franky Vercauteren Officially Out At Sporting. Jesualdo In.

Posted: January 7, 2013 in Opinion, Primeira Liga, Sporting Lisbon
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Sporting confirmed late on Monday that Belgian manager Franky Vercauteren has been relieved of his managerial duties and former Porto manager Jesualdo Ferreira has taken his place.

Vercauteren was appointed only in October to replace Ricardo Sá Pinto but the team has continued to fare poorly under his direction. A 1-0 loss to Paços de Ferreira seemed to seal his fate.

Ferreira, is a highly experienced manager who won three Liga Portuguesa titles with rivals Porto. He accepted a ‘general manager’ role with the club in December and now takes on full managerial control.

Ferreira will have his work cut out for him taking over a club that seriously lack cohesion and tactical discipline. Sporting had a poor European campaign this year in the Europa League and currently stand an embarrassing 12th spot in the Liga Portuguesa. They have only 13 points in 12 games.

Sporting is part of Portugal’s ‘Os Três Grandes,’ along with Benfica and Porto but since 2009 their performances have been poor.

Current Portugal manager Paul Bento was the last to achieve any kind of success with the Lisbon club, winning two Portuguese Cups and another two Portuguese Super Cups. Along with several second place finishes.

Since Bento was fired in October 2009, Sporting have had seven permanent managers, including now Ferreira. Team president Luís Godinho Lopes has been criticized for what many people claim has been a gross mismanagement of the club, both on the field and in the head office.

Former Sporting captain Daniel Carriço was recently sold to Premier League club Reading for a paltry sum of 750,000 Euros when many believe he is worth at least 5 Million.

In 2011, Godinho Lopes embraced the Porto/Benfica model of domestic success, that is buy young promising foreign players, develop them and sell them to richer clubs for a big profit.

This method however, has largely failed. Sporting has struggled in the domestic league and they are said to be in poor financial health. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Diego Capel, and André Carrillo have shown good form but the team has rarely been able to put together consistent performances.

Others like Elias, Danijel Pranjić, and Stijn Schaars have either been too often injured, surplus supply or just simply in poor form. Some like Bulgarian midfielder Valeri Bojinov, Brazilian defender Evaldo and Swiss International Gelson Fernandes have fared poorly at the club and have been loaned out.

Sporting Lisbon has one of the most famous youth academies in Europe, developing some of the most famous players that Portugal has produced including World Footballer’s of the Year Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In recent games, Vercauteren has been including young players from their academy like winger Ricardo Esgaio, midfielder João Mário (Brother of Wilson Eduardo) and Guinea-Bissau international Zezinho leading many to think that Sporting is starting to embrace youth development again.

They remain 6 points behind Rio Ave for the last Europa League spot for next season but only one point away from the relegation zone, which would be disastrous for a club of its size.

Ferreira takes control of a club that desperately has to regain form. Considering the country’s poor economic situation, the health of Portugal’s domestic game depends on his success. Ferreira and Godinho Lopes, I hope are aware of the lessons that the Glasgow Rangers could provide.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s