After yet another defeat against Estoril Praia by 3-1, Sporting Lisbon dropped down to the 11th place in the table. Considered as one of the best squads in Portugal and standing above FC Porto and SL Benfica in the FIFA ranking, it is unexplainable and unacceptable for the fans. Especially after Godinho Lopes took over as president and financed the club with €100 million.
Last year the Lions started off rather inefficient, but in the end they managed to end fourth in the league and played the semi final of the UEFA Europa League against Athletic Bilbao where they lost by 4-3 aggregate.
It's clear that everything started to go downhill since Paulo Bento left the club after a disappointing season and since João Moutinho, captain of Sporting, left the club to join their rivals FC Porto.
With new elections coming up for president of Sporting, the fans are hoping for change in their club. Since Godinho Lopes was elected as president, the club hasn't been able to achieve anything and that has caused for the fans to chant for his dismissal during matches.
But the president is not the only one to blame. It's not the president who decides which tactics and which players are used, it's the manager. Since Paulo Bento left, there hasn't been a manager other then Domingos Paciência that has been able to lead the club to better days.
Sporting has had seven managers following the departure of Bento four years ago. That's a rather surprising amount and it's proof of Sporting's lack of success these last few years.
With the new boss, Jesualdo Ferreira, Sporting has a manager that is used to the Portuguese league considering he won it with FC Porto more than once. Jesualdo hasn't been there so long so it's rather early to judge him, but a defeat against a squad like Estoril Praia, who are considered much inferior to Sporting Lisbon, isn't something the fans were expecting.
With such a bad performance this season it's obvious that it's affecting the squad. They play without confidence, and when that happens there isn't much that a manager can do other than to try to raise their spirits. In the end it's up to the players to start believing in themselves and start off every match with a winning attitude.
This year is a year to forget for Sporting. There is no saving them, the only thing they can hope for is to rise a couple of places in the table, and maybe qualify for the Euro League. Other then that there is nothing they can fight for, as they have already been knocked out of the Portuguese cup and the Europa League.
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