Fili's Corner

Filipower

Bunburyist
From Artur Jorge to Villas-Boas. What's next for Porto?

May 27th, 1987. A quarter of a century ago, after 94 years of existence, Porto were crowned European Champions for the first time. Artur Jorge, the moustache-wearing tactical mastermind hand-picked by the legendary Pedroto was behind it. The following season Ivić finished Jorge's job and got the Supercup and Intercontinental Cup for the best club in the world in that year. From then on, Porto consistently continued to produce back-to-back Portuguese titles, Cups, and most of all, talent.

But not internationally. It wasn't until 2002, when some guy from Setúbal named José took the job at a club who seemed to be losing gas after the amazing "Penta" (1995-1999). How he built a team of mostly rejects into a back-to-back Uefa Cup/Champions League winning side is well known and nothing short of Historic. But it also led to probably the worst aftermaths of Porto's history. Managers were fired, talent was wasted, crappy players were being bought and sold (and loaned!) left to right.

Only for a year, though. Adriaanse and Jesualdo got things back on track once again.

And then it was André's turn; the one who got his "dream chair" and gave us what was probably (and in many cases factually) Porto's best team ever. And he gave us European glory again. The Europa League was almost too easy, and a great sign for things to come. But he got off his chair to get a more comfy seat in Roman's golden arms, so it was time to rebuild again.

This time Pinto da Costa had learned from the Mourinho case. This time the transition was softer and Porto won the league again. But Porto disappointed in almost every other aspect. Specially in the European side.

This is all well and good. This is all known. But what happens now?

Porto's supporters for the past 25 years have gotten used to nothing but success, increasing success. And they want nothing less than that. Now, Vítor Pereira is arguably doing a better job this year, but you have to ask yourself the question: is he really another Mourinho? Another André? Or just another Jesualdo, another Fernando Santos?

Porto will never lack the talent, our scouting network will always make sure of it. Juan Iturbe, Kelvin, Atsu and the new crown-jewel James Rodriguez are set to keep the well known financial success of the club, and certainly its domestic sporting success.

But Porto's supporters miss the European nights. We miss having a shot at the big money. Arguably it's hard for any team at the moment to compete with the Spanish giants, but surely last year was an indicator that it's possible. Surely if Chelsea can do it, we can do it. If Bayern can do it, so can we; after all a quarter of a century ago it was Bayern who got burnt by Madjer's heel. (sorry Shifty) Surely we can do it again.

Or can we? This may seem like a rich boy problem: "I want MORE!", "Yes I won the league, but I want the TREBLE!". But I'm speaking of a longer term. Pinto da Costa's incomparable leadership is coming to an end, will his closest workers continue to do his amazing job? Will Pereira, who is now starting to get some praise, be able to build a squad solid enough to win against Bayern? Against Manchester United? With the Spanish duopoly? Or will we have to wait another 94 years?



I thought of this from a conversation I was having with some friends about how Porto seem better this year, yet how we all intimately only expect the team to really fight for domestic competitions, and was all I can think about for posting here. Since I had told Az I'd try to do as many as possible, I might as well start with something that's close to the heart!
 

Mandieta6

Red Card - Life
Life Ban
Good start, I honestly don't know anyone you've mentioned other than the current managers. This should be infortmative for me.
 

Filipower

Bunburyist
We'll see. Guardiola has generated a whole bunch of young coaches who think if they just speak about football like it's rocket science, they'll be better managers. Have you ever checked his twitter account? You don't really know if he's talking Football or Nietzsche.
 

Filipower

Bunburyist
Yeah you're right he literally wrote a book about it. Of course he's going to be influenced by Mourinho and Pedroto, he's Portuguese after all. But he loves Guardiola and his kids are starting to do a few Cruyff-y plays:

(Porto's u-13)



Vitor Pereira is also obsessed with Cruyff, his masters' thesis was about the Dream Team and it's methodologies, he actually got an 18/20. Great example of theory not always working in practice. :(
 

Filipower

Bunburyist
I'll try and do another on like monday. Was hoping to write it tomorrow but found out I have an exam on monday, so I'll do it after (Y)
 

Filipower

Bunburyist


What's happened to the club that gave us Futre, Figo, Simão, Quaresma, Cristiano, Nani, Moutinho...?

November 6, 2009. Paulo Bento quits as Manager of Sporting after leading them to 4 consecutive 2nd places (always behind Porto), 2 Portuguese Cups and 2 Portuguese Super Cups.

The events since then have been nothing short of circus-like. Managers getting the sack, Presidents coming and going, Directors quitting, being fired, and getting involved in illegal shenanigans.

And because of all this circus, the once frowned-upon silver-medals won by Bento, now seem like heaven. Ever since Paulo Bento left, they have gone from 2nd place to 4th, 3rd, and then 4th again. Not only have they failed to win anything else in the process, they also managed to lose the Cup final last year against Académica.

Carlos Carvalhal, José Couceiro, Paulo Sérgio, Domingos and Sá Pinto have all tried and failed. What's more, three Presidents have tried, with the third now apparently doomed to fail as well. But why? Why is such a well-supported, once wealthy, home-grown-talent based club gone so downhill? Well this last characteristic might be the key to all of it. You see, Sporting CP has come from this:

(Paulo Bento's last game,05/Nov/2009; 1-1 against Ventspils for the Europa League)


To this:
(Sporting's game this week, Cup loss againts Moreirense)


That's right, they've gone from 8 Portuguese and 3 foreigners to 1 Portuguese and 10 (!) foreigners. Why? God only knows. What's more important, they've gone from having 6 home-grown academy players (more than half of a team), to having ONE!

We've gotten to the most worrying part of the entire novella. Sporting has COMPLETELY shifted its focus from using the best Footballing academy in the country, one of the best in the World, to having a salad of different nationalities where, surely, no one understands each other. Sporting, back in 2009, had 21 Portuguese players in the squad. Of those, 13 (I'm pretty sure) were from the academy. This season, they have 6 Portuguese, academy players in the squad.

Now, at first glance, the Portista in me would be laughing his ass off with ecstasy. The problem is what this means to my country. The Portuguese league as a whole is already grotesquely reliant on foreigners, mainly South Americans. This would be material for a whole other blog, really. But keeping on the topic of Sporting, these facts mean that the most prolific Football school in the country has stopped caring. They have stopped trusting in their own academy, so how can the Portuguese National Team rely on them? Sure, they still have very nice youth squads, who provide for the younger national teams; but less and less of those players are making it to Sporting's main squad, let alone the National Team who is now ironically managed by none other Paulo Bento himself.

Every day now we have news of Sporting shifting behind doors, directors losing their jobs, people getting hired and rumours of this manager and that. As I write this new facts come to light as to what Godinho Lopes (the current President) is doing next. Alarmists are saying Sporting might actually cease to exist all together; the footballing failure has given birth to the financial one, which can mean bankruptcy.

While I don't really think it will come to that, I do fear that this is already spreading out to the NT, as these two last games showed. It's kind of funny how this shift in mentality has led the club to less footballing success and yet the only people who seem to not notice it are the ones with any power to do something about it. Quo vadis, Sporting? As a rival, and as a Portuguese, I'm starting to get seriously worried.
 

Mandieta6

Red Card - Life
Life Ban
That's interesting. I was wondering about what the deal with Sporting was earlier this week. The change in diversity is probably a part of it, but it might simply be the fact that buying players instead of developping them is taking its toll on the club. Good piece, I'd definitely like to read about the South American invasion, which I think was brought up earlier this year in one of the threads.
 

Filipower

Bunburyist
Yeah this change is ******* them on both those sides. On one hand you have the sporting side of it which is failing because suddenly you have 20 new guys from all different parts of the world put together; on the other hand you have to buy or loan them and pay their salaries instead of using the free, amazing talent you have indoors. It's stupid on both counts.
 


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