José Peseiro sacked as Sporting manager after shock defeat
It is widely reported that manager José Peseiro has seen his contract with Sporting terminated after a 2-1 home defeat to Estoril in the League Cup proved to be the final straw for president Varandas.
Peseiro's appointment came just over three months ago after Mihajlovic was sacked just 9 days after his appointment, meaning Sporting are set to sign their fourth manager in just 5 months, with Jorge Jesus the man at the helm for the whole of last season before making his move to Al-Hilal.
Sporting have had a season of mixed fortunes. Sitting fifth in the league table, behind Porto, Braga, Benfica and Rio Ave, they have already dropped 8 points from 8 games which could prove a crucial blow in their title push. An unspectacular 1-0 loss against Braga and a shock 4-2 defeat to Portimonense were two low points of the campaign already, and their narrow 2-1 victory over third division Loures in the Portuguese Cup was greeted with boos.
The only real saving grace for Sporting this season has been the Europa League campaign, with Sporting sitting second in their group on six points, only behind Arsenal who have 9 from nine. But even then their 2-1 victory against Vorskla only came thanks to two goals in the last 5 minutes.
Their loss against second tier Estoril was therefore the final push for the president, who has acted quickly in response to the disappointing showing where he witnessed Sporting throw away a lead in the process.
Less than surprising
Peseiro was always an uninspiring - and generally very safe - choice of manager. Having seen him pretty much fail at his last three jobs in Portugal, at Porto, then at Braga, and then at Guimarães, all in the space of the last three years, the fact Sporting looked to give him another chance was surprising and disappointing for a lot of supporters who had hoped for a bigger name to steer what was a club teetering on the edge.
It's far from a crisis though and, to be fair to Peseiro, having seen Sporting lose three or four crucial players in the summer, they've settled down quite quickly and have got on with the job at hand, and actually only sit a single point behind Benfica in the league table, and two points off leaders Porto.
But with less than exciting football week in week out, the acceptable start is seen as insufficient to save Peseiro's job, who only last weekend managed to finally oversee Sporting win a match by at least three goals, the first time they had won by such a margin this whole campaign.
The fact that his sacking comes after a League Cup match though is rather more unexpected, even if it was against a second tier side.
The question on everybody's lips now though is who will be his replacement? One thing seems pretty certain; it will be a Portuguese manager. But who will they be able to get? Fans will be dreaming of the return of Leonardo Jardim, others will be hoping for Braga's young coach Abel Ferreira. Neither seem likely though. An interesting few days are now in store to see what road Sporting go down. The early favourite, however, appears to be Paulo Sousa, the former Leicester, Basel and Fiorentina manager. Clubless Carlos Carvalhal is another possibility.