Frederico Varandas admits Silas was not his first choice for manager
Sporting president Frederico Varandas has admited that former Belenenses manager Silas was not his first choice to success Marcel Keizer as manager of the club.
Silas arrives at one of the biggest clubs in Portugal with just 18 months of football management under his belt, having coached Belenenses throughout the entirety of last campaign.
They went on to finish 9th in a strong season, though ended the campaign in a terrible run of form, winning just one of their last 10 games, losing 1-8 to Sporting and 5-1 to Guimaraes in the process.
He also started this season in charge of Belenenses, overseeing 4 league matches and 1 cup match before being fired, with Belenenses failing to score in any of those five outings.
Silas’ appointment is therefore intriguing but far from inspiring, and Varandas himself has made no secret of the fact that he attempted to bring in one or two other very high-profile managers before he settled on Silas.
Speaking in an interview with SIC, he said: “After firing Keizer, we looked at alternatives, preferably a Portuguese coach with a great European background. We tried. One said that he wanted projects where he could fight for the Champions League, another that also refused - and I can say this without any issues - said ‘I don’t have the patience to put up with a crazy club like Sporting.’ This is the view of many coaches today and we, the Sporting universe, have to work to change this.”
Going into more detail about who these managers were, Varandas said: “Mourinho wanted to embrace a project that fights for European competitions. He believes Sporting does not fight for the Champions League; and this is the Portuguese reality.”
“Other great Portuguese coaches (such as Jardim) refused because they don’t have the patience to put up with a club like Sporting.”
He went on to make it sound like Sporting had to settle for Silas, stating “We chose him because he has a profile, and in November 2018 we had a tough time choosing a coach because people should realise that Sporting was not very attractive.”
“Now it is better, not much better, but more attractive.”
He also failed to paint a picture of a club coming to an end of the turmoil. Despite having sold players in the summer and replaced them with loans, all he could say with regard to the financial side of the club was “We are better of financially than a year ago, but still far from desired.”