It may have been a disappointing Champions League week for Liga NOS clubs, but one Portuguese coach made an outstanding start to the group stage of this season’s tournament.
Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco travelled to London and beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in front of 85,000 fans at Wembley stadium. Director of the Portuguese football site Maisfutebol and journalist Luís Mateus believes the manager deserves to be given a shot at one of Europe’s major clubs.
PortuGOAL provides a translated version of the article published today on Maisfutebol.
When Leonardo left Sporting he was certainly unaware of what would happen to him shortly afterwards at Monaco: an almost total disinvestment, with the team’s best players, Radamel Falcao and James Rodríguez, both leaving.
After the good job he did at Chaves and Aveiro, getting promoted at both clubs, a third-place finish at Braga, a second-place finish at Sporting and two third-place finishes in the French top flight, the Portuguese coach now deserves something more.
It’s true that he was sacked by Olympiakos when he had a ten-point lead at the top of the Greek league, but it certainly was not for any reason regarding his side’s results. His work has the clear stamp of quality all over it.
One need only look at the starting XI he sent out against Tottenham this Wednesday in the Champions League. It contained Falcao again, but a less effusive Falcao, and it was evident Jardim was getting the most out of his team. It was under Jardim that most of those players have grown, many of whom are young and inexperienced.
Winning 2-1 in England against Mauricio Pocchetino’s Spurs, who were in the running for the Premier League title until the end of last season and who in theory were the big favourite to win the group, is a notable feat. He benefited, it’s true, from another superb Bernardo Silva goal, who also seems set on making up for the lost time of recent months and promises an excellent season.
After having defeated Arsenal in February of last year with a conclusive 3-1 scoreline, Jardim’s Monaco again pulled off a sensational result and will fight for a place in the last sixteen, in a very balanced group that includes Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow.
If we consider that this season Monaco have already beaten the “untouchable” Paris Saint-Germain and have made a flying start in the French league the idea gains even more weight: Leonardo Jardim deserves more. He deserves a better furnished team with which he can fight for trophies on a level playing field.
Until then, those who take Monaco lightly could be in for a surprise.
Article reproduced with kind permission of Maisfutebol. Translated version by Tom Kundert
Original author: Luís Mateus
Original article: Leonardo Jardim: tem de merecer mais!