Helder Cristofau: “Benfica’s team was broad and old and it was a poor choice” – Benfica

The reasons for Benfica’s third consecutive place in the Bowen League are “given little by little”, former footballer and coach Helder Christofau assumes, anticipating “another perilous season” with the arrival of Roger Schmidt.

“The somewhat gray performances and the many athletes associated with the club largely justify the failure of this season. A lot of mistakes have gone and given the news that is coming in, President Rui Costa wants to hit the table. By changing everything or a lot of things, like about 50% of the team, it will be another season of risk,” the former Eagles defender (1992-1996 and 2002-2004), who captained Team B (2013-2018), told Lusa Agency.

Benfica, the record holder for a puck with 37 points, closed the podium in the 2021/22 Bwin League edition with 74 points, 17 points less than national champions Porto, and 11 for Sporting second, making it the worst record since 2005. 06 (In tournaments played with 18 clubs).

“The team was very broad, something old, and I think it was chosen poorly. There were two players in each position, but the first choice was not always much stronger than the second. For example, there was a lot of doubt about the right wing is to prove that Gilberto He was more consistent than Valentino Lazaro and Diogo Gonçalves,” he explains.

Helder Cristovao, 51, praised the performances of Alejandro Grimaldo, Rafa, Gonzalo Ramos and Darwin Nunez, the tournament’s top scorer, with 26 goals, but Adel Taarabt discovered a “loss of consistency” in midfield with Julian Weigl.

“I think Odysseas Vlachodimos is not a goalkeeper for Benfica. It takes a player who plays more and starts building safely, but I must admit that he had an excellent season. Central defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen had a lot of difficulties in adapting to the tournament and at a high level.”

The “tactical shift” between Nelson Verissimo’s 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 systems “didn’t help”, as did the three-defender midfield espoused by his predecessor Jorge Jesus, with “a lot of lost or unwinnable all season long.” “.

“When you fire a coach, it’s because everyone has failed. Not only the coach is leaving, but also the structure. Assuming new managers come in and trying to shorten the people who are going to join the main team, with more solid ideas, there is recognition from all that, structurally speaking, that Benfica He didn’t do a good job.”

Hélder Cristóvão is adjusting the quality of the Reds’ ‘too short’ play, even though they have applied ‘very well’ a ‘different strategy’ at ‘specific moments’ en route to the Champions League quarter-finals, without fearing ‘dominance rather than domination and play’ on a low transition block”.

“Now, this model does not work for the championship. Moreover, changing the chip from one game to another costs a lot and the team took a long time to give this answer. And the Champions League is about the goal, even though they always said it was the championship.”

Jorge Jesus and Nelson Verissimo, who both lost at home in La Liga and the Champions League, have contributed to an unparalleled record since the opening of the new Estádio da Luz in 2003, even equaling the record set in Lisbon in 1996 / 97.

“Roger Schmidt is Rui Costa’s bet. Although he is from a different school, he can be a positive for Portuguese football. We cannot forget that Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp are two of the best coaches in the world at the moment. Roger Schmidt drinks quite a bit from That school and we have to give him some rest. Once the coach is chosen, I am with him 100% and I believe in the ideas he can offer to Benfica,” he said.

Winner of a championship and three Portuguese Cups, Helder Kristofau raises “several questions” about the entry of the 55-year-old German coach, who is at the end of his contract with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven and has an agreement with the Eagles in the first.

“Will the coach have time? I think so, because there is a two-year contract and the president has been appointed. And then, will Luz’s ‘court’ give him time so that he can implement his ideas? But there are many changes and it will be a very complicated season. What competition will give More important? In a team under construction, you can never talk about attacking them all at the same time,” he warned.

And the former Portuguese international expects “Benfica roundabout, with possession and play of more than 70% in the opponent’s midfield” after the second consecutive season without titles, in which defeats with FC Porto contributed, in the “eighth” of the Copa de la vie. Portugal, Sporting, in the League Cup final, while the juniors won the unprecedented UEFA Youth League title.

“frequently, [apostar na formação] It is a necessity. I think in my time there was a three or four year plan that included a space for young people, but they have to beat it. This title, which I speak of from experience, which Benfica has sought for many years, is very important for the club and the country, but it will not determine who will go up and remain in the first team. This goes through the player’s readiness when he gets there,” he shot.

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