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Wednesday, 02 October 2013 20:51

Pallid Benfica crash to heavy defeat in Paris

PSG 3-0 Benfica

ibrahimovic-20131002.jpgBenfica's disappointing season thus far took a turn for the worse with a 3-0 defeat against PSG in the Champions League tonight. First-half goals from Ibrahimovic (x2) and Marquinhos did the damage.

More than the result, the limp display by the Eagles in the Parc des Princes will raise further question marks regarding the future of coach Jorge Jesus.


Despite investing heavily to boost their squad over the summer, Benfica show little sign of matching the quality of their play for most of last season, let alone improving on it. After the disappointment of the 1-1 draw at home to Belenenses on Saturday, hopes were high that a return to Champions League football could be the catalyst for better days. André Almeida, Siqueira, Djuricic and Gaitán all returned to the starting line-up.

The Portuguese side suffered an early setback when a swift break down the right flank saw the ball worked to Van der Wiel, whose low cross was turned in at the far post by Ibrahimovic. TV replays showed the Swedish international was offside, but the fact he was left unmarked in acres of space was an early indication of what was to follow. 

Lax attitude

Benfica simply were not at the races, failing to string any meaningful passing moves together, and more worryingly adopting an incomprehensibly passive attitude as PSG dominated at will.

That said, PSG's second goal was beautifully worked. A corner kick came to Ibrahimovic, who back-heeled to Verratti, who in turn played a deft pass to release Matuidi. The low cross was too firm for Artur to intercept, leaving Marquinhos with the simple task of knocking into the net from close range.

Two-nil soon became three-nil as Ibrahimovic scored a header direct from a corner, easily outjumping his marker Garay. At this point one feared for a disjointed and dejected Benfica, who also lost Fejsa to injury, replaced by André Gomes.

At half time Jorge Jesus brought on Markovic for the non-existent Djuricic, and Benfica subsequently enjoyed their best 25-minute spell of the match. Garay stung the hands of Sirigu with a free kick, and substitute Sulejmani forced another sharp save from the PSG goalkeeper in the 68th minute. In between some lively Markovic running asked questions of a previously untroubled PSG defence.

Nevertheless, it was difficult to escape the idea that Benfica's improvement was more likely a consequence of the home team taking their foot off the pedal, and when the French champions increased the pace towards the end of the game the scoreline was much closer to becoming 4-0 than 3-1.

Artur prevents a rout

Some skilful footwork by PSG substitute Lucas Moura created a shooting chance, Artur did well to keep the ball out and was thankful that Ibrahimovic blasted the rebound over an unguarded net. Artur then produced an even better save to keep out Cavani's shot with an outstretched foot, although the former Napoli striker must still be wondering how he failed to find the net.

The final whistle was some relief for Benfica after a hugely disappointing display.

In a telling post-match interview given to TVI24, Jorge Jesus essentially offered a resigned admission that "PSG are a better team and we had no capacity to stop them" (to paraphrase). It was a remarkable utterance from a coach whose charisma and belligerence are hallmarks of an erstwhile unshakable belief in his abilities to produce teams to compete with the best.

by Tom Kundert

 

Paris Saint-Germian:
Salvatore Sirigu, Gregory Van der Wiel, Alex (Zoumana Camara, 78), Marquinhos, Maxwell, Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti (Adrien Rabiot, 70), Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi (Lucas Moura, 70), Edinson Cavani


Benfica:
Artur Moraes, Guillherme Siqueira, Ezequiel Garay, André Almeida, Luisão, Enzo Pérez, Lubomir Fejsa (André Gomes, 29), Filip Djuricic (Lazar Markovic, 45), Nemanja Matic, Nicolas Gaitán (Miralem Sulejmani, 66), Cardozo
 

Goals:
[1-0] Ibrahimovic, 5'
[2-0] Marquinhos, 25'
[3-0] Ibrahimovic, 30'



Comments (34)
benfica
34 Wednesday, 16 October 2013 19:23
jose/ portugal
ive been a fan of benfica all my life but as of now all benfica is a group of individuals with high salarys and no team playing capacity benfica use to be a feared and respected team but now all it is... is a name and a shadow of what benfica use to be.
Benfica
33 Saturday, 12 October 2013 07:02
Joao/uk
and this is why nothing changes and the guys at the top hang on to their positions (divide and rule). There is a structural problem at Benfica. It is designed to do the minimum to enter the champions league and benefit the few. The debate about Portuguese talent is irrelevant. Clearly the country produces high quality players and Benfica (if it was run properly) could afford to develop and retain such talent. I have many friends who have stopped supporting the club due to the complete lack of any national players and frustration with the administration. There is no excuse. Even a club like Chelsea with deep pockets is smart enough to make sure they have some key English players in the squad to ensure they have a healthy dynamic. Replace the administration and the rest follows.Imagine the financial impact of having a Ronaldo at Benfica in making Benfica a global brand (not to mention raising the chances of actually winning something one day). The club is still benefitting from Eusebio's brand impact and legacy, who are we going to look back to from the current crop of players?...
portuguese players
32 Saturday, 05 October 2013 02:38
oscar,australia
To say there isn't talent in Portugal is just simply ludicrous, some players take to time to find their straps in senior football, others to to like a duck to water. The handling of young players in the introduction to first team football can either make or destroy them. Benfica have been absolutely shithouse for the last 2 decades at doing this. You dont need to look any further than Miguel Rosa, Maniche. Cancelo is an absolute freak of a player and has the potential to be one of the best RBs in the world but he will no doubt rot in the B team for the next 3 years losing confidence in his own ability and probably turn out to be an average player. Im gonna stop now because as a Benfica fan I cant believe what we have allowed our side to become this season.

From what i can understand is that the team is completely fractured in the various ethnic groups with the serbs the only group that are currently happy with the status quo.
Since were digging up the past
31 Friday, 04 October 2013 21:29
Steve/Australia
We have some great squad depth and individual talent right now but I dont agree this is the best squad sinc vthe 60's.

i personally hate these comparisons because back then players lacked the training and sports science that players of today have. They just had raw ability whereas today they look for a range of things with the notable difference from then being physique stamina pace height. All these things were not as important in the past as they are now i.e. players like Best, Mueller, Maradonna, Pele etc are probably examples of players with raw skill but lacking the physical things.

Anyways my favorite players were Simao, and Nuno Gomes as they played with heart and loved the club.

My favourite game was in 05/06 champions league when we won 3 nil at Anfield over the then European champions liverpool. That was my proudest day.

The best goal has to be Simao's strike from that game against Liverpool. I used to dream about it and try to replicate on the pitch. Just amazing.

Worst defeat probably the game against Porto last year and also the game we lost to Barca in the Champions league 05/06 when Simao could have taken us through but fluffed his shot from in frontbin the 80th minute.

Worst moment - Miklos Feher R.i.p
I might be a bit disrespectful now
30 Friday, 04 October 2013 14:33
NJ/USA/SLB
Rui, who exactly am I disrespecting?
You say that I'm right about the 70's, 80's and even 90's. You also point out that Porto could have been a one-off.

Since you're in a quoting mood, you say;
"It was a different time and anyone will tell you that the country didn't produce the quality of players it does now. The point is, too many promising players are on the bench and out of loan that should be playing with the big clubs."

Can you please point out to all of us these promising players that are out on loan?
Benfica;
I will give you Pizzi, due to Salvio's injury. Roderick hasn't featured at lowly Rio Ave. You're not saying Nelson is ready, are you?
On the bench guys, maybe Vitoria but it would be hard to sit Luisao. Silvio was ineffective during the preseason and was injured. Gomes is 20 and there's quality in from of him. I do agree he should be given a chance ahead of Amorim. Djalo is worthless and came for free. We've actually made a mil off him.

Porto;
Tiago is showing flashes at Guimaraes. Castro is getting playing time in Turkey.
On the bench, is it Ricardo you think should be playing?

Sporting;
Only Lopes is out to Lyon and he hasn't sniffed the field.
According to Sportinguistas, all young Portuguese are getting a run, so that can't be an issue here.

Braga;
Rabiola has barely played in Poland. Anibal is playing at Academica. Yazalde is starting to play in Romania, Pedro Santos not so much. I'll even include Barbosa, who's 26, that's barely come on at Almeria.
On the bench, should Dabo, Luis or Rafa be featuring more?

Do I need to go on?
Please enlighten us, with these promising young players. We can agree or disagree on the players potential, but to make broad statements, isn't good enough. I like to think that people are more intelligent than that. We don't need pictures or crayons.

Benfica was able to finish 20th in revenue, world wide, last campaign. That is an incredible accomplishment for a club who's TV and Stadium revenue is nowhere near the other clubs on the list. The only reason that JJ is still the manager, is due to him being able to develop and gather attention for players that we sold.
You are correct that Benfica hasn't won a thing, but it's still a business. Truth be told LFV is probably very happy with the coffers, including his own.
Being a fan, I just want Silverware, but it's the business end that makes that possible. Whether we like to admit it, or not. Benfica and Porto have been incredibly successful, and hopefully it will continue.
I accept criticism, just make sure you know what you're talking about.

Forca,

The Silent Assassin, Nene, was a great player. I don;t know how many remember or know this, but he was heavily criticized for not working hard or getting his shorts dirty. His answer to that came in the form of goals.
I loved Simao, and I hope he comes back for one final match. He was fantastic for Benfica. By the way, a true Sporting product.
I also agree that Benfica's 09/10 league winning squad will grow in stature as time passes. Incredible players were in that squad; Coentrao, Ramires, Di Maria, Luis, Javi and mainstays like Cardozo, Aimar, including in form Luisao, Maxi and even Saviola.
Good stuff.
more names i forgot
29 Friday, 04 October 2013 11:29
Forcaslb29
Rui Aguas, Humberto Coehlo, Alavaro, and of course how did I forget our great captain Veloso (the real Veloso) and our greatest goalie ever...Grande Bento. Mix in a few swedes that I forgot...Thern, Schwarz, and the real Manniche...we had great teams...those were the days. To those who don't think Portugal had great names during those times are fools. How often we here about Figo and Ronaldo, but neither one of these guys did anything for their club compared to what Nene did for Benfica. How many players scored close to 400 goals for their club, none...but you hardly ever hear Nene's name. Nene was class...Ronaldo and figo were mercenaries.

I was thinking about our last two Championship sides...and actually the 09/10 was a great squad...DiMaria, Coentrao, Aimar near his prime, Ramires, David Luiz, Luisao and Maxi at their prime compared to the 04/05 team, where Simao won it on his own. I look back now, and think I really undermined how good Simao really was...he carried that team on his back, a winger carried our entire team on his back.
News flash
28 Friday, 04 October 2013 11:03
Canada
Portugal's national team success is dependent on players developing outside Portugal in top competitive leagues. While Portugal has generally done well in Europe in relation to its size, success it has mainly been due to SLB and FCP performances and the odd SCB and SCP year. After that, our league is generally B status compared to the big Europeans. So those who stay, generally get a third of the campaign or less that is real competition. Elsewhere, they get more and better competition and develop incredibly, that helps our Seleccao. Do you really think Ronaldo would have become what he is today had he stayed at SCP? While I am all for patriotism, lets also look at this honestly and realize that Portuguese players developing outside is what has brought Seleccao success. I'd take that ahead of the decades where we missed big tourney after big tourney and were left with cheering for an "adopted" country.
Marquinhos!!
27 Friday, 04 October 2013 05:23
Daniel/Canada
Hey guys I just wanted to throw something out there and maybe cheer some of you guys up. Do you know Marquinhos the CB who started for PSG well he's half Portuguese half Brazilian. After the game he had an interview with Sport Tv and he discussed the possibility of playing for Portugal.

«Tenho dupla nacionalidade, brasileira e portuguesa. É algo que tem de ser estudado, tem de ser analisado com o meu empresário e com a miha família. Se o convite para seleção portuguesa vier, por que não? Ficaria muito honrado e feliz», referiu Marquinhos.

http://www.maisfutebol.iol.pt/benfica/liga-campeoes/psg-marquinhos-admite-jogar-por-portugal

If you want to read the whole article the link is above. I suggest you check out some of his highlights on youtube. If Marquinhos decides to play for Portugal we will have what could become 2 of the best CB's in the world with Tiago Ilori and Marquinhos.
sack the boss
26 Friday, 04 October 2013 00:01
Azemiro/crawley uk
thats enough! poor start to the season and now this...not forgeting last minute defeats at the end of last season which cost three trophies. Sack JJ now
Response To (NJ/USA/SLB)
25 Thursday, 03 October 2013 21:43
Rui Miguel/Canada
QUOTE:(NJ/USA/SLB) ".....can you please let us know how many tournaments or Seleccao qualified for when it was all Portuguese in the league. Please let us know the years and tourney."


You're right that in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Portugal qualified for few tournaments. But you are wrongfully attributing this to the teams having alot of Portuguese players.

It was a different time and anyone will tell you that the country didn't produce the quality of players it does now. The point is, too many promising players are on the bench and out of loan that should be playing with the big clubs.

And pop quiz, here's a test even you could pass. What is the last Portuguese club to win the CL? That's right Porto in 2004. A club full of Portuguese players.

You could say that is a one-off, sure but neither Porto and Benfica have been close since.

And you talk about Benfica needing to buy cheap foreign players to compete and win trophies. And news flash, with the exception of 2010-11, Benfica has won nothing over the last five years. Nothing!!

It looks like that trend will continue this year too. And Im sorry to be the one to tell you but Benfica probably won't win the CL next year or the year after that.

We've had this discussion so many time. I'm getting tired on repeating myself. Maybe reading comprehension wasn't your strongest subject.

Tell you what, I'll go borrow my little cousin's crayons and draw you a nice picture. Maybe you're just a visual learner like him. And perhaps you could learn some respect in the process.
More points
24 Thursday, 03 October 2013 21:26
Andre/UK
Some interesting points allround from various people here, the issues of SLB always get people going, one way or the other lol!

I have to say that the post-match comments from JJ have only exacerbated everything, he said things like "PSG are better than us and we simply couldn't stop them...and we will now compete with Olympiakos for second place"...damn what kind of talk is that?

Talk of a coach who's lost confidence in his own strategy and in the ability of his team, that's what! He should rather be saying things like "We had an off-night, but it's only 2 matches played so far and there's still all to play for"! JJ has lost the plot, no question! Benfica is in the top 10 in the UEFA club rankings, and should be competing with PSG for first place.

To me, the biggest issue of all with JJ's Benfica is a continuous inability to defend well and it always costs us. Last night was further evidence. In the 4 and a bit seasons he's been with the club, the defence has always been shakey. If we could defend properly, then last season we would've definitely won both the Liga and the EL final.

Even in the 2010 title winning year, the defence was not great, and what bailed him out that year was how hot our attack was...Cardozo, Saviola, Di Maria etc were on fire and managed to outscore all the opposition. But season after season since, the defensive strategy just hasn't improved. This is the main reason why Porto won the last 2 Ligas, they were better defensively than us and didn't have to always outscore their opponents to win matches. Quite simply if you can't defend well you ain't gonna win major titles, and it doesn't seem like JJ's teams will ever defend well, period!

Lastly I agree with Forcas, no way is this the best SLB team since the 60s! The team in the early 90s (circa 1990-94) was way better. I recall reading an interview with Michael Laudrup (a legendary player by the way) who talked about the meeting of his Barca team and Benfica in a match at Da Luz in 1992 which would decide who went to the CL final, Barca only needed a draw and Benfica needed a win. It finished 0-0 but Laudrup said that that Benfica team was perhaps the best team he ever faced (and he's faced many) and he felt fortunate that his team had made the final.

2 years later in 1994 we had another superb title winning team with Rui Costa, Joao Pinto and co., that was some team too! So yes SLB have made strides in recent years under LFV, but this current team is still far off some of the great teams of the past imo!
Follow ups
23 Thursday, 03 October 2013 21:05
Chris(Canada)
Anonymous-Canada, yes I can see how many would perceive that, but VP was interviewed after he made the decision and he stated that the club gave him first option. The 1 year was an extension, and a significant pay hike. I believe VP was first option, but PdC wasn't too bothered if he chose to leave.

PdC had a lot of respect for VP, and said he was one of the best tactical coaches Porto has ever had, a point with which I agree. Remember, this is a guy who went undefeated in the league for 2 years.

That being said PdC had one eye of PF the whole time, prepared for all possibilities. We havent heard from VP anymore because he's busy running to the bank cashing in his 3 million per season for coaching Quaresma.

Considering the pay for the work and decrease in stress, I can't say I blame VP. I wonder if anything will happen with JJ this week. As Tom has said, the papers are all over him.

Joao/UK, I have to disagree. I think the administration has assembled the best Benfica team since the 60's, and the failure to produce and deliver sits directly with the coach. That said, there is also blame to be pointed at the President for resigning a coach that choked on 3 stages. Let's see what happens.

Cheers.
And it continues
22 Thursday, 03 October 2013 18:38
NJ/USA/SLB
Nishu,

Please supply the names of the Portuguese youngsters you want a chance given too.

Should Mika be starting or maybe Bruno Varela?
Vitoria ahead of...
Almeida has been starting.
Andre Gomes ahead of Matic, Fesja, Enzo or Amorim?
Or should we just bring up all the young ones from the B Squad and start them?

Let's go on.
The very much heralded Sporting has 8 Portuguese in the main squad. And of those eight, four of them were born outside of Portugal.

Porto only has five Portuguese players in the main squad, and one of them was born in Cape Verde.

Braga has 13 Portuguese players, but of those, four were born outside of Portugal.

Please realize that I'm not counting the Brazilian players with duel citizenship.
We can go on and on. Where is this great Portuguese talent, that the clubs are missing out on?
Before people go and point to Germany, be careful. Holes can be punched in that theory as well.

Lastly, would Benfica fans be any less upset if the starting 11 were all Portuguese players?
I say no. People would be as angry and disappointed in the teams performance.
Rebuttals
21 Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:27
Chris (Canada)
LHE, the defence is so-so, yes. Silva is one of the best in the world, and Marquinhos is very good but way too young to determine if he'll be world class yet. The price tag (over-paying) that PSG have done for him and others can make it seem like he's a world beater. I don't think anyone with common sense thinks it reasonable to pay $32 million for an 18 year centre back.

The wing defenders are good, but not great. Maxwell was never the prodigy most people said he was which is why he was shipped out of Barcelona and Van der Wiel is good, but was a huge whole in the Dutch defence in Euro 2012. Defensively, these two are poor. Offensively, they are better.

So, yes, it is so-so, but that is my opinion, which you are clearly free to debate.

ForcaSLB, I tend to exaggerate sometimes, so I retract my statement about the '60's. But it's the best Benfica team in a very long time, and certainly not one that should be expected to be PSG's whipping boy. A depleted Porto with limited resources and an arguably weaker team than we have this year, easily handled PSG last year, and lost the 2nd fixture because VP was worried about losing points in the Primeira Liga.

I believe Benfica could and should have done much better than that pathetic display.

Cheers.
...i think im banned
20 Thursday, 03 October 2013 15:57
Forcaslb29
Ive written a few posts lately and they don't make here...Im pretty sure Ive been banned.

Chris I don't agree with you on most occasions, and actually on this thread, I actually agree with you on most things.....except one thing....the best Benfica team since the 60's.

Not even close...although I was young at the time...teams from the 80's and early 90's would blow this team out of the water. Ricardo Gomes and Mozer are possibly the best centre back pair in Portuguese history, Chalana, and Nene in the early days, Dimantino, Pacheco, Vitor P, Magnusson, Valdo, vitor paneira, rui costa I could on and on, two proper European cup finals...for anyone to mention todays team in the same breath, especially LFV like he did not too long ago, should apologize to those players and teams.

We are a joke right now...JJ has to go. No one fighting for the shirt...no heart..disgusted!
Portuguese youngsters
19 Thursday, 03 October 2013 14:34
Nishu/india
Benfica, plz give Portuguese players more chance to play...! It will be proud to represent them to UCL
again
18 Thursday, 03 October 2013 13:52
LHE
SMH PSGs defence is so so yet they have two of if not the two best center backs in the world and two above average fullbacks. Give it up already and stop being so disrespectful.
Ouch!
17 Thursday, 03 October 2013 12:02
Andre/UK
Yep i agree witth everyone here, that was terrible, it really was. The worst Benfica performance since the huge loss to AVB's Porto a few years back. I actually thought they started the match well and in the opening minutes looked solid and organised...but the moment PSG opened the scoring, my goodness did the team fall apart.

Ok we were up against a very strong team, who could potentially go all the way in this season's CL, and up against probably the 3rd best forward in world football right now...but still, with this squad of players we have, to be 3-0 down and already beaten at halftime, is simply unacceptable.

I agree about JJ, this match was the last chance for him to prove himself, and I along with many others have now lost all faith in him. I would say seriously now, if we don't get 3 points against Estoril this weekend, sack him immediately before the damage to the season becomes unrepairable. Last week i was saying give him the rest of the season as a last chance, but that was before this unacceptable performance last night.

Anyway I repeat what i said in my post yesterday, given SLB's current form, a PSG win was the most likely result...and this result shouldn't change the fact that Benfica should still qualify from the group, as they are way more talented than Olympiakos or Anderlecht. Same goes for Porto in their group. So it's not the end of the world, and hopefully Benfica moves on and somehow finds some form.
Follow ups
16 Thursday, 03 October 2013 11:16
Chris(Canada)
Anonymous-Canada, yes I can see how many would perceive that, but VP was interviewed after he made the decision and he stated that the club gave him first option. The 1 year was an extension, and a significant pay hike. I believe VP was first option, but PdC wasn't too bothered if he chose to leave.

PdC had a lot of respect for VP, and said he was one of the best tactical coaches Porto has ever had, a point with which I agree. Remember, this is a guy who went undefeated in the league for 2 years.

That being said PdC had one eye of PF the whole time, prepared for all possibilities. We havent heard from VP anymore because he's busy running to the bank cashing in his 3 million per season for coaching Quaresma.

Considering the pay for the work and decrease in stress, I can't say I blame VP. I wonder if anything will happen with JJ this week. As Tom has said, the papers are all over him.

Joao/UK, I have to disagree. I think the administration has assembled the best Benfica team since the 60's, and the failure to produce and deliver sits directly with the coach. That said, there is also blame to be pointed at the President for resigning a coach that choked on 3 stages. Let's see what happens.

Cheers.
Some thoughts
15 Thursday, 03 October 2013 11:13
Dave/UK
@Joao: Disagree with your point that the squad changes are the cause of Benfica's poor form. Over the summer Benfica held onto all of their best players, even when Garay and Matic were linked away. Siqueira looks an improvement on Melgarejo at left-back (although admittedly the poor guy should never have been playing at left-back). Markovic and Djuricic both look like potentially world-class players. If you look at the team from last night, 8 of the starting 11 were playing for Benfica last season. Not a massive upheaval on the face of it.

Like many people, I would like to see a Benfica side with a core of young Portuguese players. However, I don't think the number of foreign players is the cause of the current poor form. JJ has an incredibly talented squad to work with, but just seems clueless when it comes to team-selection and man-management.

@Steve: Totally agree with you regarding the Cardozo incident. Cardozo was set to sign for Fenerbahce, but the two clubs couldn't agree on the fee and payment plan, so it fell through after weeks of negotiation. Benfica realised they couldn't sell him for the terms they wanted so performed an U-turn and put him back in the squad (after making him apologise). Very weak management in my opinion.

Also agree with you about the ridiculous number of bodies in the squad that never get anywhere near the first team. What is up with this? Every season Benfica sign about ten random players that are clearly never going to play a game. Is there some money-laundering going on or does LFV just suffer from oniomania?! How much money is this costing Benfica?

@Rui Miguel: Agree with your general point about the lack of Portuguese players being given a chance. However, I have to take issue with Miguel Vitor. People keep bringing up his name but in my opinion he was never good enough. He looked totally out of his depth in the second tier of English football. I hope he proves me wrong in the future but I'm not convinced.
My Rant
14 Thursday, 03 October 2013 11:09
NJ/USA/SLB
Rui, thank for not wanting to go on a rant and then going on a rant.
If people want to bring up the lack of Portuguese in the league, that's causing this failure and the Seleccaos failure as well, can you please let us know how many tournaments or Seleccao qualified for when it was all Portuguese in the league. Please let us know the years and tourney.
The reason the league has any notoriety is due to Benfica's history, Porto continuing that history in Europe and Sportings noted Academy.
Our big clubs compete due to the financial windfall of transfers.

Roderick, Miguel Vitor, Nelson???
Are we serious.
They have all failed. Actually that's not fair to Roderick.
Coelho, Djalo (free), etc... There's plenty of other failures.

Where's the great Portuguese talent that should be starting and excelling at Benfica, Porto, Sporting and I'll throw in Braga. Can you please fill up both clubs with that talent.
Moutinho should have been a Sporting legend, yet he was horribly dealt with. Yes he didn't want to go down with the ship, but Sporting should have handled it better.
Do people want Meireles, Almeida, or Micael starting at Benfica?
Be careful what you wish for.

Yesterday was an inexcusable and horrible performance. No excuses, and a response from the players is needed.
We can't afford lost seasons.
Still pissed
13 Thursday, 03 October 2013 06:02
Steve/Australia
I've had most of the day to think about it but I'm still pissed off. Does anyone else feel this way :(. So a few things that are still annoying me are.

Cardoso incident

First he wasn't allowed to train with the team and then months later after a forced apology he is suddenly back on the team. Is this because they couldn't sell him or he wanted to stay? I love Cardoso and I wanted him to stay but my point is the whole thing should have been sorted out straight away and the Cardoso apology should have been a few days after the incident.

What does that tell you about JJ and what message does that send to the other players on the team especially the younger ones who probably looked up to Cardoso. It tells them that the manager is either weak, will change his mind and not keep to his word, makes decisions on anger or he is not totally in control of the decisions in the team. Wether we agree with Cardoso or not if he makes a stand against the manager and then won't back down and admit he was wrong then plain and simple someone needs to go and if that is not the manager then it should have been Cardoso (personally I do not think any player can put himself ahead of the interests of the team with destabilising actions).

On the actual incident, I personally felt it was blown out of proportion. Cardoso just let his feelings of frustration get the better of him (we 'Benfiquistas' all knew what he was feeling) and displayed them openly in public. To me it only showed that deep down he loves the club and that loosing hurt him deep. Being a long standing, loyal player at Benfica I don't understand why JJ did not just sit him down privately tell him he understands how he feels but let him know he done the wrong thing and ask him to apologise so we could all move on. If at that point Cardoso said no then there should have been no doubt a quick sale and move on but it seems now looking back that the conversation did not take place like that. Instead what followed was this will he won't he rubbish and then in the end he ends up doing what should of been done at the start (apologising and been allowed back with the team)

Transfer policy

To be honest we seem to have forgotten about team chemistry and are just in the business of signing however we can in the hope that we might make a quick buck on the player down the track. Whilst I understand the team needs to buy and sell to survive I still think we have take this a bit to far.

Why did we buy the following players (who have hardly or not featured)?

- Yannick Djalo
- David Simao
- Franco Jara
- Rodrigo Mora
- Funes Mori
- Lisandro Lopez
- Luis Farina
- Michel
- Steven Vittoria

Why have these young players not given a proper chance?

- Nelson Oliveira
- Melgarejo (I say this because he was never played in his lw/lf position)
- Miguel Rosa
- Hugo Viera
- Ivan Cavaleiro (I know still there but destined to go the way of Miguel Rosa)

Why have we brought the following players who will never be good enough for the first team

- Ruben Amorim
- Miralem sulejmani
- Bruno Cortez (on loan I know but still??)

Anyways I'm off..... the Estoril game away looks very worrying
Reality of Benfica
12 Thursday, 03 October 2013 04:33
Joao/UK
Benfica is a team of tier two foreiign players and the administration's policy of cashing in on any up-and-coming player of any merit means that there is zero consistency. Time to get rid of the administration and create a club that its supporters deserve and in that respect includes the best of Portuguese talent. It's a disgrace Benfica loses to a bunch of mercenaries and the reason for that is not Jesus, but that our administration thinks they can get away with our latest group of less good mercenaries coming in the top 2/3 of the Portuguese league each year. The best supported club in the world needs to cut out the people sucking out the life of the club and put in place professional management that understand the heritage of Benfica. We own the club, lets not sit back and put up with inferior club management.
Chris
11 Thursday, 03 October 2013 02:46
Canada
The VP option to sign thing was just a save face myth. PDC didn't want him, so he concocted this 12 month offer that everyone knew was basically a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" move. If he really wanted VP, he would have given him more than 12 months and VP would have stayed in Portugal instead of moving to the desert into oblivion. Who has heard a whimper from him since? Exactly
Marquinhos
10 Thursday, 03 October 2013 00:22
jon/usa
Hey, I know this is a little off topic, but did anyone else hear about PSG's defender, Marquinhos -probably the most talented young defender in Europe - admit that he would be honored to play for the Portuguese national team.

He supposedly is of Portuguese descent, and at the moment, has dual citizenship.

His quote from that can be seen on abola, maisfutebol, etc:

«Tenho nacionalidade portuguesa, tenho dupla nacionalidade, brasileira e portuguesa. Tudo tem de ser estudado, de ser analisado com o meu empresário e com a família. Se o convite [para seleção portuguesa] vier, porque não? Vou ficar muito honrado e feliz», afirmou Marquinhos, em declarações à Sport TV.

Marquinhos is already a world-class center-back, and in my opinion, better than Pepe, Bruno Alves, and Luis Neto.

I doubt he'll choose Portugal if Brazil calls him up, but what if?

Hey, if I were Bento, I'd call him up for the upcoming qualifiers. Let's steal him from Brazil when we have the chance haha!
Taking stock
9 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 23:49
Chris (Canada)
Haven't seen the game, but heard the relato and it sounded like PSG played a junior high school team in red jerseys. I think this was a lost opportunity for Benfica. PSG have fire-power up front, but are still adapting to a new coach and their defence is so-so.

The Benfica of last year's Europa League would have faired much better and possibly come away with 3 points. As many on here have said, and I have said for a while, JJ is in over his head. It was tough before when he over-tinkered with tactics, but now that the team seems to have lost it's mojo, his motivational abilities come into question.

This is obviously just the 2nd of 6 games, and both Portuguese clubs are still in a position to finish top of their groups, but it is significantly harder now, from a morale perspective. Anonymous Canada, I have to make a slight correction about your VP comment; he was given first option to re-sign for another 12 months, but opted to take the pay day in Saudi Arabia.

I will personally miss VP, and wanted him to stay, as he showed that he was progressing and learning year over year. He was unfairly criticized by Portistas who are pampered with titles and European success, and have little patience. I want to give Fonseca the same chance to prove himself, and I have faith in him, but I feel that he is not on the same level as VP in tactical intelligence.

As for Benfica, I agree with some on here that knee-jerk reactions are no good, but it's also important to make adjustments while there is still time. Someone mentioned Rui Costa, which is not only crazy, but downright irresponsible. He has zero coaching credentials as far as I know, so I don't think UEFA would even allow him to be on the sidelines of a CL match.

I don't love the idea of stripping talent from smaller teams, but if I was LFV, I would chase Marco Silva from Estoril. Good, young coach, tactically astute and has done well over 2 years despite major changes in his squad.

Cheer up lads, there are bound to be lumps, but how the teams bounce back is what matters. To some of you here, I realize my comments are sometimes a bit overzealous and I apologize for that. I am passionate about our Liga, Seleccao and Porto. If that comes across a bit too strongly sometimes, my bad.

Cheers
Jon
8 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:45
Canada
Completely agree, too much talent to be playing this bad. It all boils down to leadership from the top. No confidence in coach or system equals no confidence on field. While not the best time to look for a new coach, it would be the best option to at least reduce the bleeding. Put in an interim (even Rui Costa) until you can find a good long term option. I think it will at least inject a little more life in this team. Now I happen to think Pinto DC is a corrupt sob, but I will give him one thing, he doesn't accept poor performance. Look at Vitor Pereira, won the league but did nothing in Europe, so still got fired. Too bad LFV didn't show the same intolerance for mediocrity.
Unhappy
7 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:38
Steve/Australia
What a limp d&$@ display. The players looked so dis-jointed. We have our best squad for so many seasons yet we are just terrible right now with such a down and out spirit around the team. We were never in this game.

I for one think that Jesus needs to go and right now as this season is looking like a right off already. He's done a great job during the time he has been at Benfica but the team has not recovered from last year and is now stuck in this lull. It is not just the poor results that worry me but the morale, look and demenor of the players is bad plus we have not dominated any games we have played this year inc pre-season. JJ also seems tactically inept and reacts either poorly or slowly to things that happen in the game. for example last nite PSG stuck two defenders out wide to counter our overlapping full back threat and this pretty much made our attacks useless. Why was Ola John and Rodrigo not on to exploit PSG with pace.

Anyways, a New manager, with new ideas, new attitude by players, new atmosphere and morale would be good. I hate kneejerkreactions but sadly if no action is taken then the season could already be over.

So any ideas on who is a free coach right now?

I just thought i'd mention Fatih Terim might be available although he is coaching the Turkish national team interimly
Pathetic
6 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:35
NJ/USA/SLB
This was just plain pathetic. We get to play an away match where there's a large Portuguese contingency in the stands, and we can't produce anything for them.

It's sad to see that all the intensity go out of the game by the 60th minute.
When looking at player ratings, only Siqueira rates, and that's after 10 PSG players.
Defending was poor, and we did nothing offensively. Dumbfounding display.
JJ could be out by Friday morning.
Porto/Benfica
5 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:25
Rui Miguel/Canada
Okay, I promise I won't go on a rant about why the big three should be developing home grown talent. Because those arguments usually don't resolve anything.

But I will say that I think Porto and Benfica's performances so far this season is down to a lack of chemistry and coesion because of all the changes in the off season.

There's no consistency from season to season. Both clubs made alot of changes this summer and the club is taking too long to gel.

A possible solution to this is, yup, you got it, develop more home grown players who know the club's psychology. Think Barcelona.

I'm not saying that both clubs should field all Portuguese players, but give the promising youngsters in your system a chance.

Benfica is by far the biggest culprit. There's no reason why Miguel Vitor and Roderick Miranda didn't get a fair chance. I'm not so sure Oliveira and Gomes will ever get a fair chance either. And where the hell is Steven Vitoria?

Serbians and south americans only want to stay one or two years and move on. Portuguese players tend to have more loyalty. Coentrao for example, never wanted to leave but he did because the team wanted to cash in on him.

Garay, Matic are great for Portuguese football but they'll leave as soon as they can. And when they do Benfica will have to worry about whether they have someone who could replace them and also learn JJ's system easily.

I hope both clubs pass the group stage. But I think at least one won't.
Something tells me...
4 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:22
João/Holanda
That the current poll will have a clear one sided result after tonight.
Money talks
3 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:18
SupremoGino
Benfica didn't play as a cohesive unit.. the ball pressing was too slow and ineffective.

After PSG's obviously offside goal, they were given authority to slow down the tempo and frustrate our team. We sat back and let it happen.

If this was JJ's idea.. his track record speaks for itself, please fire him now.

Markovic's done enough yet to earn a spot? Djuricic hasn't but starts anyway.

Where was the D? 2 tap in's for Ibra and co. Despicable performance all around.

I know Benfica has the player resources (if utilized correctly) to conquer P$G at home.

JJ's cautious approach yet again.. bites us in the back.
Melao Rougue
2 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:08
antonio/orlando/fl
Paris now has also melao rougue. I always cheer for Portuguese teams including benfica lol. But sad truth is PSG only played halftime, after that it was an exercise. and this weekend gets better at estoril. as a sportinguista im loving it.
Jorge Jesus needs to be fired
1 Wednesday, 02 October 2013 21:34
jon/usa
I honestly don't care where we finish in the standings. Jorge Jesus' just simply cannot continue as manager; his time has finally come to an end (he should have been sacked in the summer).

The terrible start to the season is unacceptable given the talent and depth we have on the squad. You could even say this is the strongest squad we've had over the past decade.

It's become quite obvious that the players have all lost faith in Jorge Jesus and his system. They look completely disjointed in both attack and defense. There's no cohesion, no chemistry, just a bunch of very talented individuals running around mindlessly, without purpose.

I just can't take it any more lol!

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