Evaluating Fernando Santos' new-look Seleção
Having reached the conclusion of the 2014 international football season (at least in Europe), Seleção fans everywhere will have no doubt prepared their individual critiques of a year of football that flattered to deceive.
From the disappointment in Brazil to the rather inauspicious beginnings of Euro 2016 qualifying it was a difficult year to be a fan of the Portuguese national team in many respects. Nevertheless, from the shadows of underachievement has risen a new era in Portuguese football. Paulo Bento is gone and Fernando Santos' reign has begun. But change should not be, I would argue, the greatest imperative. Change can also be bad.
In these situations it can be illuminating to compare the qualities of our current squad with those of the era that preceded it lest we repeat their mistakes and thus subject ourselves to further calamity. Additionally, I'll point out some of the positive and negative signs from the last few matches and what that means for the future, whether it be Euro 2016 glory, or something altogether less inspiring.