No chance Big Phil Scolari would back out of that Chelsea deal and retake his place on the Portugal bench?
That's the question fans and media are asking today, 24 hours after Portugal's humiliating scoreless draw at home in a World Cup qualifier against 10-man Albania. Yes, Albania!!
Carlos Queiroz is closing in on Public Enemy No. 1 status in Portugal--and it's well deserved. In the span of less than four months, he's dragged the Euro '08 quarterfinalists and World Cup '06 semifinalists down to also-rans in a very winnable World Cup qualifying group.
Portugal has one win in four matches and hasn't scored since its 3-2 loss to Denmark Sept. 10. The Sept. 6 4-0 win over Malta seems like a lifetime ago. Probably worse for Queiroz who was somehow the natural successor to Luis Filipe Scolari, by far the most successful manager in Portugal history. Scolari took this team to the '04 Euro final in his first major tournament, shook up the Golden Generation of Figo, Baia, Rui Costa et al and brought forth the best of the current Golden Children of Ronaldo, Nani, Moutinho, Maniche etc.
And in a flash -- it's gone.
Yesterday's dreadful performance is being damned as one of the worst in the country's football history. Maisfutebol writes:
“It hurts to write it but it has to be done. Portugal drew nil-nil against Albania… I’d like to end this piece with the reaction of the Portuguese Football Federation head, but he left the stands well before the end of the game. Indeed, after watching this display one felt like running away.”
Is it too early to make the move on Queiroz?