New England Soccer Today

Sporting Update


What a crazy week it has been.

Days after Sporting Lisbon won the Portuguese Cup in dramatic fashion, the club would experience even more drama. Cup-winning manager Marco Silva, with three years left on his current deal, was replaced by Jorge Jesus, who managed cross-city rivals Benfica since 2009, and led them to the last two Liga titles.

Jorge Jesus’s contract with Benfica had run out, and word on the street swirled that it was going to take a big salary contract to keep him at Benfica. With rumors in the past linking Jorge to teams outside of Portugal, like in Spain and England, Jorge decided to stay in Portugal and manage the team he once played for in his playing career.

As for previous the previous manager Marco Silva, a social media campaign has been started for Benfica to sign him as their next manager! Only in Portugal…
I myself as a Sporting Lisbon supporter, I was happy enough with Sporting winning the Portuguese cup after seven years without silverware. I saw no need to change managers, but team president Bruno de Carvalho had other plans.

It has been reported since last December that Carvalho and Silva were not getting along.  Silva, only 37-years-old, just completed his first season managing Sporting after three years at his first managerial position with Estoril.

At Estoril, he took over in 2011 when they were still in the 2nd division. In his first year, he guided them to promotion, winning the league second-division title. In his second season, with some financial backing from the new owners who had hired him, he guided Estoril to an impressive fifth place in the Portuguese league, good for a Europa League playoff spot, where they would eventually qualify for the group stages. In the 2013/2014 season, Silva would guide them to Estoril’s best top flight position ever – fourth. After that, Silva was hired at Sporting, and in his only year, SCP finished third, winning the Portuguese Cup, and earning a playoff berth for the Champions League. 

Silva is young, but has a lot of experience at managing for his age, and some silverware to prove his abilities. He will probably be managing soon at a good European team somewhere, if not in Portugal.
As for their new manager, Jorge Jesus, he is well-established in Portugal. In his six years at Benfica, they won they won three league titles, five League cups, one Portuguese cup, and one Super Cup. During his tenure, he also guided Benfica to back-to-back Europa League finals, losing both times to Chelsea and Sevilla.
As for transfers, only Nani’s loan from Manchester United is the only movement at the moment. Despite wanting to stay at Sporting, his salary is too high for Sporting to take on. Several other players have been linked with moves away from Sporting, but nothing is official as of yet.

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