PortuGOAL podcast 89 focuses on club football. Vitória Guimarães, Paços de Ferreira and Belenenses have all made strong starts to the 2014/15 season. What is the secret of their success?

It was a superb week in the Champions League for Portugal's three representatives, Benfica, Porto and Sporting. We take a look at the state of the nation at the Big Three in more detail.

Finally we discuss just how competitive the Portuguese Primeira Liga really is.



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  • Great work as always fellas.

    Agreed on most of your points. I have to speak first on your observations about Jorge Jesus. I know the Benfas are supportive and domestically he has been decent (2 titles in 5 years, is ok considering the squads he's had). But in Europe, I am shocked to see the lineups and the formations JJ chooses on a consistent basis. That first CL game against Leverkeusen was awful. He seems to have learned nothing about the CL in his 6+ years. Shocking.

    I agree 100% with Vasco's assessment of Sporting's CB's. Mauricio is positionally unaware and error-prone. Sarr is tall but a klutz with the ball in possession. Neither are capable of launching good attacks from the backline. Neither is aware of what an "offside-trap" actually is. Paulo oliveira is excellent and should be the #1 CB for Sporting if he isn't already in the coach's eyes.

    Porto. Julen has really gotten the team to carve out an identity. He does need to rotate, but over-rotating is never a good thing. See rafa Benitez, Liverpool, 2009. Julen has done well tactically and has all the players understanding that the team is the first priority.

    Finally, a word on Paulo Fonseca. His resurgence at Pacos has proven something very important to me. He is unquestionably a high-quality coach. One of the best in the Liga. But I agree with Vasco that he is unlikely to be given another chance by the big 3 for one simple reason. Ego. Anyone who has heard Paulo at a press conference or being interviewed can see that he is a humble, likable and jovial character. In my opinion, the humility and down to earth qualities are what screwed him at Porto. Every coach in charge of a high profile club needs a certain level of self-confidence that nears arrogance. Paulo was too nice and too forgiving. He did not know how to manage the super-egos as he called them and he was unable to adjust to the tactics needed for different fixtures. Good coach, wish him well.


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"Singing the national anthem at the end was so beautiful - it was brutal. This communion is brutal. We will try to give more joy to the Portuguese people because they deserve it."

Fernando Santos
(Portugal coach in post-match press conference after win Switzerland)


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