I have previously played mainly in England, Italy and Spain, so I’ve
decided to give Portugal a go. The powerhouse in this country at the
minute is Porto but I decide to go for a bit more of a challenge and
chose to take charge of Sporting Lisbon who the media predict will
finish 3rd behind Porto and Benfica.
The Portugese Leoes (Lions)
My aim is to give this club at least 3 seasons and try and bring
domestic and European success back to the club. My style has always
been to focus mainly on the first team in my first season with a
club, then turn my attention to the youth set up and try and set the
foundations for the future of the first team there. I will setup a vast
scouting network so we have eyes all over the world to watch out for
any young talent.
I am given a meagre transfer kitty of £3.5m so I know there will be
no big marquee signings, which is probably for the best really as I find
bringing in lesser known players with smaller egos often works out
better if you are a club trying to improve yourself.
After looking at the playing squad at my disposal I decide I will play
a 4–2–3-1 formation with 2 wide attacking midfielders. The only real
problem with this is my only striker of note is Ricky Van Wolfswinkel
who was signed in the summer before I arrived. Although he has the
potential to score goals in this league I don’t think he is good enough
to be our sole leading striker. I decide this is my main priority before
the start of the season, I need to find a striker who can lead the line
for us, the problem is I don’t have a lot of money to spend. This forces
me to go into the loan market, this is not something I like to do too
often as our club will see no real long term benefit from this, however
my hand is forced by our lack of funds. The stand out candidate is
Man Utds Danny Welbeck, he has had previous Premier League loan
spells and Sir Alex obviously feels he is still not ready for the Man Utd
first team. We pay 550K to loan Welbeck for the whole season. He is a
hungry young player that I think will score a lot of goals in this league,
with a bit of success this season we might even get enough money
next season to make the move permanent.
I have pretty much decided on our first choice 11 now:
GK – Rui Patricio – a decent standard goalkeeper
RB – Joao Pereira – Portugal international and club vice captain
LB – Emiliano Insua – the ex Liverpool player is a quality full back
CB – Anderson Polga – club captain
CB – Alberto Rodriguez – good quality CB at this level
MC – Andre Martins – a young Portugese midfielder showing a lot of
MC – Elias – the Brazillian international can create a lot for us
AMR – Marat Izmailov – a big earner here so will have to prove his
AML – Diego Capel – a summer signing before I arrived but has bags
AMC – Matiaz Fernandez – most of our creative play will come through
him, a set piece specialist aswell
ST – Danny Welbeck – he is hungry and I am looking for him to fulfil
some of his potential this season with our club
In terms of squad players we have Jeffren, a former Barcelona
youngster who can play AML/AMR who looks a to have quality and is
still young, Stijn Schaars will also get some playing time in CM as he
looks a decent player. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel will be understudy to
Welbeck, he will need to take his chances when he gets them to prove
himself good enough otherwise I will have to go back into the market
when Welbeck returns to Old Trafford.
So we will be going on 4 fronts this season, the domestic league, 2
domesic cups (I assume a league and FA cup) and then the Europa
League. The domestic competitions are my main concern this season;
the Europa League is more of a welcome distraction. We first need to
get some sustained success domestically before we start aiming for
continental success, but the time for that will come hopefully.
as you can probably tell i haven't posted on a site like this before so it might take me a while to get the grips with the codes etc so bare with me
Keep up with the story, Sporting is my club :p
you also have Daniel Carriço that is a great CB and Adnré Santos a good MC/D
Also I prefer Stijn Schaars to André Martins.
I will be posting an update some time tomorrow, yeah your right about Carrico being good Dizmack
oh goody a sporting story!
carriço and onyewu are you're starting cb's i must say, and andre santos as an anchor man is a wonder. second season was sold to atletico madrid for 7.5million, i'm 3rd season now and he is worth 12.5million!!
and patricio is the best goalkeeper in the portuguese league!
go for it mate!!
will be interesting to see how Danny Welbeck goes for you. would have been good to see you perhaps sign a differnet strker though . because everyone that does stories signs him lol.
but will be following this story. time to knock porto off there perch
So in the first 15 games of our league campaign we win 12, draw 1 and lose 2. Our
2 defeats come in away games against Braga, 1-2, and Benfica, 0-1. In the Braga
game we were 1-0 up until the last 10 minutes when Nuno Gomes scored in the
80th and 90th minutes. Our only draw comes away at Feirense, 1-1, this is by far our
most disappointing result of the season so far, if we want to win the title we need to
be winning games like that. On the plus side we beat league favourites Porto 1-0 at
home. We currently sit in second place 1 point behind Benfica and 1 point ahead of
Porto, so it looks like being a 3 horse race that could go all the way to the final day.
We beat Norweigen side FC Nordsjlland 4-1 on aggregate to qualify for the group
stages on the Europa League, we are drawn in Group G alongside Besiktas, Austria
Wien and Brondby. I am confident we should be able to win this group, Besiktas will
probably be our main competition. From the 6 games in the group we win 3, draw
2 and lose 1, this is good enough for 1st place in the group. Our only defeat coming
away at Brondby where we lost 2-3, we were 0-2 down by the 10 minute mark in
this game but managed to go in at half time at 2-2, but then conceded in the last 10
minutes to throw away what would have been a hard earned point. However we have
topped the group which is the main thing, we draw Italians Roma in the 1st knockout
round, on the face of it this looks a tough draw but Roma have just sacked Luis
Enrique and aren’t in great form so I am quietly confident.
Taca de Portugal
To be honest I am not sure if this is the equivalent of the FA Cup or the League cup in
England (can anyone clear this up for me?) but we are currently 2-0 up going into the
second leg of the semi final and it looks like we will play Porto in the final as long as
both clubs avoid a disastrous second leg.
The biggest surprise of this first half of the season is how dangerous we have been
from set pieces, we have scored lots of goals from corners, free kicks from wide areas
and even long throws from Joao Perreira. Our 2 CB’s have scored plenty of goals
from these situations, Polga has 5 and Rodriguez has 4. Danny
Welbeck had a slow start but has started scoring goals now, he has 13 in all competitions so far and is our second highest scorer behind Matiaz Fernandez with 18, Fernandez is our penalty taker and has scored 8 out of 9 so far this season. Unfortunately Danny Welbeck broke his toe in the game
before the Benfica game (which is the last game I played before writing this) and will
be out for 2-3 months. My physios recommend sending him back to Manchester to
be treated but I still think he could have a part to play come the end of the season,
I decide to keep him at the club. This means Ricky Van Wolfswinkel will get his
chance, he has had only 3 starts so far this season, scoring 1 goal, if he is going to
have a future at the club he will need to prove himself in the next couple of months in
Welbecks absence. I hope the Dutchman can perform to be honest, not only to keep
our title hopes alive but if he does well my need to sign a striker in the summer won’t
be so desperate. Marat Izmailov who has been quite a creative force for us from the
AMR position this season has also picked up a knock, he will be out for 2 months so
Jeffren will get his chance starting games instead of coming off the bench.
On a side note about 10 games into the season the Malaga job became available, I
couldn’t resist the temptation of applying for the job, the lure of their new found
wealth I guess, needless to say the Sporting Lisbon board did not appreciate this, they
offered me an ultimatum but I apologized and my job was saved thankfully. Although
it took the fans a couple of weeks and a win over Porto, to get back on side all seems
fine now. Just goes to show how fickle the world of football really is! Andre Vilas
Boas got the job in Malaga in the end. Another big bit of news, imo anyway, was the
news that Alan Pardew was sacked from my home team Newcastle United. Although
the temptation to apply was high I knew it was too early in my career for me even to
be considered so I refrained from sending my CV. They picked the best man for the
job anyway though, the legend that is Alan Shearer took the job, I will be keeping an
eye on the Toon to see how Big Al does.
In the next 11 games in the league we win 9 and draw 2. In this time we have managed to pull 11 points clear of Benfica and are now 5 points clear of Porto. We still have to play Porto away in our next league game and Benfica at home in our last game. The Porto game is obviously a huge game, if we can win it then we will surely seal the title, even a draw would keep us 5 points ahead with only 3 games to go, but a defeat would bring Porto within 2 points of us and we would still have the 3rd best team in the league to play, a Porto win and the title race would be back on.
Porto 2 - 0 Sporting
An own goal from Daniel Carrico and another own goal from Rui Patricio give Porto the 3 points in a game they dominated to be honest, they were the better side and deserved to win. So now Porto are within 2 points of us, we have 2 games we must win before the Benfica game; Feirense(H), P.Ferreira(A).
Sporting 2 - 0 Feirense
2 goals from Matiaz Fernandez
P.Ferriera 1 - 4 Sporting
Goals from Schaars, Peirerinha, Jeffren and Fernandez send us into the final game with the 2 point lead intact.
With one game left the top 2 looks like this:
Sporting - 72 +51
Porto - 70 +57
We will play Benfica at home then the next night Porto will travel to Braga, so at least we can just concentrate on our own game as we play first, then if we fail to get a result Porto will have to deal with the pressure when they play.
Europ League progress
We play the first leg of the 1st knockout round against Roma in the Olimpico
Roma 2 - 2 Sporting
Borini (10) - Van Wolfswinkel (66), Verratti (83)
A good result in the away fixture, so the Italians come to Portugal knowing they are going to have to score
Sporting 1 - 0 Roma
Marco Verratti who i brought in during the January window has come up with the goods against Roma and his 2 goals in either legs have put us into the next round where we draw Rubin Kazan
The first leg will be played in Lisbon
Sporting 2 - 0 Rubin
Van Wolfswinkel in the 59th minute and Elias in the 70th minute give us a good lead to take away with us
Rubin 3 - 3 Sporting
2 goals from Van Wolfswinkel and 1 from Izmailov in his home country earn us a draw in this game, we were 1-3 down at one point in this game. We are drawn against Athletic Bilbao in the quarter final.
Athletic 3 - 1 Sporting
We are 1-2 down in the 70th minute when Evaldo gives away a penalty and is sent off, San Jose converts the penalty and we have a big task ahead of us back in Lisbon.
Sporting 2 - 1 Athletic
Fernandez(pen 37), Ekiza (og 40) - Gabilondo (76)
We were by far the better team in this one, unfortunately we concede late on and go out at the quarter final stage.
League Cup Final
Porto 6 - 2 Sporting
We are completely outclassed in this game, a hat-trick from Kadlec seals our fate.
Taca de Portuagl Final
We are without Patricio, Perreira, Welbeck, Van Wolfswinkel and Carrico as they are on international duty for the European championships, why this final is played so late i will never know?? Our opponents Porto have alot more South American talent so they are not hit as hard by these internationals.
Porto 1 - 1 Sporting
Porto win 4-3 on penalties
ALthough we had a much weakened team we did pretty well, played on the counter attack for alot of the game and hit the bbar in extra time.
you have done a good job so far with sporting lisbon and making htem giants once again. but would like to see some screenshots
Im trying to add a couple of screen shots, I have got to the point of saving the screens in paint and adding them to the "my files" part of the site, what do i do to add them into a post?
taça de portugal = fa cup.
if you want a striker try paloschi, i have him in tottenham he has 10(7) games and 17 goals. complete beast i must say and can play big games. the last game i played was liverpool home and he scored an 85' complete screamer! and as far it goes for porto, it seems you dont play against their players(some of them are absolute crap, i reckon you have better players) but porto has some bia in the editor that doesnt let win games against them so easy. also, the dutchman improves in the second season.
Sorry its been so long since my last post, been away for couple of days, will get end of season update on tonight or tomorrow. I will try and add some screenshots if I can work out how to lol
So we go into the final game of the league season against Benfica knowing a win would seal the league title for us.
Sporting 4 - 1 Benfica
Capel (40) - Carrico (og 88)
van Wolfswinkel (55)
Welbeck (83, 86)
We have put in a great performance against our bitter rivals and have sealed our first league title since 2002. Danny Welbeck has had injury problems in the second half of the season but it is nice to see him sign off from his loan spell with us with a couple of late goals.
So the league table looks like this at the end of the season
Sporting - 75pts
Porto - 70pts
Benfica - 62pts
Nacional da Madeira - 60pts
Braga - 48pts
P.Ferreira - 43pts
Maritimo - 40pts
Olhanense - 38pts
Gil Vicente - 38pts
Beira-Mar - 35pts
Vit. Setubal - 33pts
Leiria - 32pts
Feirense - 29pts
Rio Ave - 27pts
Vit. Guimares - 24pts
Academica - 17pts
So after a good solid first season here in Lisbon I am looking forward to this season with
excitement, we are back in the Champions League and are looking to retain our league
Unfortunately when I get by budgets through my excitement quickly disappears, I have
been given a meagre transfer kitty of 3.3m and the wage budget has risen by about 20k.
Without decent investment we aren’t really going to be able to go much further than we
did last season, especially with Porto and Benfica getting that much needed investment.
After losing Welbeck back to Manchester Utd I see they have put him on the loan list
again, unfortunately he signed a new contract at Old Trafford while on loan with us last
season in which his weekly wage has rose significantly, we can only afford to pay 10% of
his wages so that deal is never going to happen. On closer look we are almost 100k over
our current wage budget, this is because we had around 10 players out on loan last season
and they have all returned, so there wages have been added to the wage bill. My biggest
task this summer is going to be offloading this deadwood, the only player I consider
using is Florent Sinama Pongolle, the rest I need to offload asap. It takes until early
August but I manage to off load the majority of these players, including Sinama Pongolle,
recouping 14m in transfer fees in the process. We are now around 50k under our wage
budget. Unfortunately the majority of the 14m has gone into the clubs coffers and I
have been left with 4m to spend. If I had the money I would have gone out and bought
a quality young CB but I am not afforded this luxury, the position I need to strengthen
is ST. We only have Van Wolfswinkel and Deigo Rubio, Rubio featured in a few games
last season, around 5 including sub appearances; he did not score at all. I look to get
Welbeck back but he is not interested in returning to us, this is a blow as he was great for
us last season. I trawl through endless scout reports, every player that looks good enough
is going to cost us either too much in transfer fee or want stupidly high wages, until I
come across Wigan Athletics Hugo Rodallega, my scouts say he is at the same level as
Van Wolfswinkel and should be available for around 5m. After 4 weeks of negotiations
we finally agree a deal with Wigan, we pay 4m upfront and agree to give them 40% of
our next transfer. The negotiations with the player himself are resolved in a day and we
sign the Columbian striker. I think he will be good quality backup for Van Wolfswinkel,
he can also play AML/R so I can use him there aswell. Unfortunately that concludes our
business in the transfer market this summer, we are going to have to rely on the team that
did so well for us last season having an extra years experience in playing our system and
playing with each other to get the improvements we need this season.
I must admit I am a little downhearted going into the start of the season, I thought that
after having a season where we were in both domestic cup finals, the Europa League
quarter finals and won the league for the first time in over a decade I would receive some
financial backing. The club seems to be leaking money, on average 2m per month, but
I cannot see where from, our average attendance at the start of last season was around
33,000 but by the end we were regularly getting 40,000+, we are still under our wage
budget by around 20k and we have a net transfer spend of -10m, yet we continue to leak
money. Looking at it from a totally selfish point of view my aim at this club is to gain
a good reputation in the game to attract big jobs in the future, I am not in Lisbon for the
long term, I see it as a good starting point but I want to get into the elite clubs of Europe
and I feel without decent financial backing there is only so far I can go with Sporting. My
current reputation is Continental, I’m sure I could land a job at a mid table team in any
of the big 3 leagues, Spain, Italy and England, but I feel it would be wrong to leave after
just one season in charge. I decide to give everything I have to Sporting this season and
try and bring more success to the club and I will evaluate the situation at the end of the
You are reading "My Sporting Lisbon Story".