Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Is Queiroz the Best Portugal Can Do?

With the departure of Luis Filipe Scolari, the Portugal job is probably the most attractive opening in the world. So why is Carlos Queiroz the only option bandied about? Queiroz is Sir Alex Ferguson's second in command, and has been in that seat off and on since the '02 season.

Prior to that, his glory came as a youth manager in Portugal, winning two world youth cups, a European youth cup and two second-place Euro youth finishes. He had a shot with the senior team in Portugal in the early '90s where he managed 31 games, winning 14--hardly setting the world on fire.

On the club level, he coach the MetroStars in MLS, Sporting Lisbon and Real Madrid before settling in at the right hand of the Man U. Man.

So now Portugal wants him back?

Not sure I get it. Where is his senior-level track record that makes him the perfect guy to lead this team into the 2010 World Cup? Seems to me his greatest value/contribution of late has been on the administrative level and securing talent from his former club Sporting. Ronaldo, Nani, and maybe soon Miguel Veloso--all wore Lisbon green and white--and Queiroz is in the center of that mix.

Is that it? Is that why he's the chosen one for the national team job? Hmm.

In recent days, he's gotten the backing of former Portugal manager Oliveira, and is generally considered a fan favorite at Old Trafford. Some guys, however, are born to be assistants, and when given the chance to lead the ship, don't exactly flourish. I get the sense Queiroz is one of those guys, his youth-level success notwithstanding. Let's not forget what a bust Queiroz's golden generation was in the 1994, '98 and 2002 World Cups--failing to qualify for the '94 and '98 tournaments and were bounced out of the '02 Cup in the group stage.

To me, Queiroz is Ferguson's natural successor at Old Trafford--granted, he may be starting to think the old man is never going to give it up, and who could blame him. I'd hate to see Queiroz come in too, in a caretaker role. The thinking may be that Portugal is solid enough to get through World Cup qualifying no matter who is on the bench, and that perhaps the federation could coax Jose Mourinho away from Inter Milan at the end of next season to take on the Portugal job.

Pipe dream? Probably. I'm just not buying the Queiroz love fest going on.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Starting Eleven Football Blog Roundup

Don't know how many of you have Sirius satellite radio or Fox Soccer Channel, but I love World Soccer Daily on Sirius and Fox Football Fone-In. Steven Cohen, one of the hosts, loves to call the summer transfer period the "Silly Season." Now that Euro 2008 is over, let the Silly Season begin. Our weekly trip around the football blogosphere looks at some of the transfers you're going to debate over the coming few weeks.