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Queiroz heavily criticised.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The day after the night before; a decent amount of sleep and hindsight should allow for more accurate reflection on yesterday's game.

It was without doubt a poor performance from Portugal against a team "with explosive players" according to Sporting's Paulo Sergio. Jorge Jesus expected us to win, "Portugal are a much better team. African teams are kilometres away from the Europeans". It proved that perhaps they're closer than we think.

Fabio Coentrao was expected to feature in the attacks, Jorge Jesus the Benfica title winning manager pointing out that "our fullbacks did not get involved in the offensive play, we need to review our positioning". With two defensive midfielders a greater amount of defensive support was expected, too often the fullbacks were left unprotected having to work too hard.

Jesus was rightly critical of the attacking midfield. "Deco and Danny had no fixed positions and couldn't organise [the game]. They were out of the game." Great things were expected from Danny, and prior to the match Queiroz highlighted the importance of holding the ball, "He who dominates the ball, dominates the game" he yelled at his team as they marched onto the field. Yet his tactical decision to force Deco onto the right wing backfired, and the player himself was heavily critical of his manager in the post-match interview "Everyone knows I'm not a winger and have always played in the centre". He went on to criticise the manager, "the manner in which we approached the 2nd half wasn't the best; we wanted to play a more direct passing game but that didn't materialise".

Yet again it appears that apart from not being able to score goals, it was the manager's tactical decisions that cost Portugal the 3 points. "In the 1st half we were controlling the game... if we improved a few aspects we would've won. But the manager decides."

A damning indictment, which coupled with the rumours of a rift with Nani points to problems in the Portuguese camp. Has Queiroz lost the dressing room? Did he ever have it?

Only time will tell of the internal issues surrounding Portugal, and as both Sporting and Benfica managers pointed out, it's imperative to "change as North Korea can surprise".

posted by teedoubleyou


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