Saturday, April 17, 2021

Benfica slim title hopes are over with loss to Gil Vicente

With their 2-1 loss today at home to Gil Vicente, we can say that the clubs slim chances to capturing the league title are all but done and this rests heavily on the shoulders of the clubs current manager Jorge Jesus. What many Benfica fans saw as the clubs saviour, (I did not) has led the club to one of their more disappointing seasons in some time, this after spending a record €115.50M in player acquisitions over the summer transfer window.

Benfica's season should be considered a disaster after spending those sums of money to bring in the managers preferred players only to see a run of poor results. Those results have Benfica in third spot in Portugal with their Champions League aspirations hanging in the balance. Benfica trails second placed FC Porto by three points and a guaranteed place in the group stage but are also three points ahead of fourth place Braga and could fall out of the Champions League altogether.

Although Benfica does hold the tiebreaker on Braga if the clubs finished tied in points the slim margin with seven games left in the season puts the pressure on the club to not drop points further, but with upcoming clashes against FC Porto and Sporting waiting in the wings, the clubs final seven games could be Jorge Jesus final days if he can not hang onto a Champions League spot.

Benfica's leadership decided to trust in Jesus' vision, a vision that saw the exodus of the majority of the clubs youth via loans and for those that remain, the manager has little or no use for their services. Jesus is a tired dinosaur that needs to be sent out to the pasture to enjoy his days and the club would be better off starting next season in a new direction. The next seven league games may decide Jesus' future with the club but I have already decided win or lose the club is better without him, will Luis Filipe Vieira agree?

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