Helder Cristovao analyzes Benfica’s season and the future of FC Da Luz.
The reasons for Benfica’s third consecutive La Liga finish are “given little by little”, former footballer and coach Helder Kristofau 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’s record holder in the puck with 37, closed the podium for the 2021/22 edition of the first league with 74 points, 17 points less than the national champion FC Porto, and 11 points for Sporting, secondly, “stamping” 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 someone to play further and start building safely, but I must admit that he has had an excellent season. Central defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen have had a lot of difficulties adapting to the tournament and with such a high mass “.
The “tactical shift” between Nelson Vercimo’s “4-4-2” and “4-2-3-1” systems “did not help”, as did the three-defender midfield adopted by his predecessor Jorge Jesus, with “many things” being lost or It hasn’t been won all season.”
“When you fire a coach, it’s because everyone has failed. Not only the coach leaves, but also the structure. Assuming new managers come in and trying to shorten the people who will join the main team, with more solid ideas, there is an admission from everyone that Benfica was not feeling well from structural aspect.
Hélder Cristóvão makes fixes for ‘too short’ quality of play from ‘Incarnates’, even though they ‘very well’ applied a ‘different strategy’ at ‘specific moments’ of the journey to the Champions League quarter-finals, without fear of ‘dominance rather than Dominate and play on a low transitional block.
“Now, this model is not fit for the championship. In addition, changing the slide from one game to another costs a lot and the team took a long time to provide this answer. It was not Benfica that was excited and there were some doubts between the I Liga and the Champions League about the goal, Although they always said it was the championship,” he recalls.
Jorge Jesus and Nelson Verissimo, both losing at home in the first Spanish league and the other in the Champions, have contributed to an unparalleled record since the opening of the new Estádio da Luz, in 2003, even equaling the Lisbon record set in 1996/97.
“Roger Schmidt is Rui Costa’s bet. Although 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 of 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 the time? I think so, because there is a two-year contract and the president has been appointed. After that, will the Luz court give him time to implement his ideas? We hope so, but there are many changes and this will be a very complicated season. What competition will give importance Bigger? 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 to the “prices” of the Copa de. 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 been striving for for many years, is very important for the club and the country, but it will not determine who will rise and remain in the first team. This goes through the player’s readiness when he gets there,” he shot.