FEARS OF SPORTING CONFLICT
Since the arrival of Jorge Jesus, the enthusiasm of Sporting fans towards the new season seems to have gone through the roof, but previous public disputes between him and club president Bruno de Carvalho prior to this season has led to fears over a potential bust-up in the future.
De Carvalho was one of many who criticised Benfica and the leniency referees had towards them last season, sparking accusations of match-fixing on Benfica’s behalf.
Managing Benfica at the time, Jesus voiced his displeasure at de Carvalho’s comments, but the two now appear to have settled their differences as Jesus looks to start a new episode in his life in command of Sporting.
Just how long this honeymoon period will last, however, is now in question, with many tipping a fallout to occur between the two Sporting figureheads sooner or later.
Speaking on live radio yesterday, football journalist and television pundit Joaquim Guedes explained the various ways in which he could see the two clash.
“Firstly, it’s important to establish that although Sporting and Benfica both have the same aspirations, to win the league title, the way in which Jesus did so at Benfica is completely different to the way he’ll attempt to achieve success with Sporting,” suggested Guedes.
“At Benfica, Jesus was able to sign almost every player he wished, he had total control of the way his staff functioned. Everything seemed to be set out for him, but I don’t think he’ll find much of the same at Sporting.
“A manager of his calibre needs to deliver titles, as he’s promised, but Sporting doesn’t appear to have the financial power to match Jesus’ requisites in the past.
“Should he fail to win trophies at Sporting, the blame game will commence behind the scenes, and that’s something Bruno de Carvalho, a big character himself, won’t tolerate.
Jesus welcomes the hard work on Monday for the club’s first training session of the new season, with many licking their lips at the sight of this 'new Sporting' going up against the manager's former club for the Portuguese Super Cup on the 9th August.