Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeFootballTitle-less season takes shape: Schmidt probably has two chances

Title-less season takes shape: Schmidt probably has two chances

Roger Schmidt was satisfied with his team’s performance in Marseille, but Benfica were still eliminated from the Europa League. The coach now has five games left for two options

He is the coach who led the Portuguese record champions to their first title since 2019 last season, but Roger Schmidt no longer has much of that at Benfica. The setbacks just won’t stop, and the associated dissatisfaction even less so.

“I don’t have to justify myself,” the 57-year-old told Sport TV+ after Benfica’s penalty shoot-out exit in the Europa League quarter-final against Olympique Marseille. The former Bayer Leverkusen coach added that he saw his team as the better side at times, although he openly criticized their failure to take their chances

The Mourinho rumors speak volumes

It’s hard to tell from the outside what it’s like inside, but Schmidt hardly has the backing of large sections of the supporters. He was recently pelted with objects from the stands – he also threw them back – and his playing philosophy in particular, the offensive approach with risky pressing, is increasingly being called into question.

Fittingly, rumors that José Mourinho, who is currently without a club, could soon take over from Schmidt have recently been denied by the club. Of all people, “The special one”, whose playing philosophy is anything but similar to Schmidt’s. Mourinho had already briefly coached Benfica in 2000 as Jupp Heynckes’ successor

Conviction or silverware: Schmidt has two chances

Nearly every week, there are fewer and fewer indications that Schmidt will fulfill his contract, which is still valid until 2026. The decision on how to proceed lies primarily with Benfica president Rui Costa, who recently seemed to be playing for time. However, with the next title opportunity falling through – Benfica were defeated by arch-rivals Sporting in the cup semi-finals two weeks ago – the likelihood that a visibly unnerved Schmidt will have to leave prematurely increases.

The well-known Portuguese soccer newspaper A Bola wrote after the defeat to Marseille that missing out on the EL title did not change the main issue. Because it was more about Schmidt’s soccer, which must convince Costa and Co. in terms of sustainability. But he only has five match days left to do so. And, of course, for his second chance to close the seven-point gap on Sporting. You probably have more patience with a master coach.

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