Uniao Madeira enjoyed serene progress under Rob Tait in season one. Promotion to the top tier in Portugal was achieved with minimal fuss, but how will they find mixing it with the big boys? Catch up with Part 3 here.
Season two begins well, the board recognise that I have spent all my money. Fortunately tourism was good this summer so they give me a little cash to strengthen (fortalecimento) the squad.
The money is burning a hole in my pocket, unfortunately there are very few regens in Brazil and fan favourite Serginho’s regen doesn’t want to play for us anyway, we were good enough for your “Dad” mate. I do manage to bag a few players though with Edinaldo Peu the pick of the bunch his contract had expired so I didn’t even need the extra cash.
I do however break the club transfer fee on Jefferson a highly rated DMC.
The strengthening didn’t go as well as I hoped. Turns out not many Brazilians want to play for Madeira United. It is about this time that I start to question how this plan of mine is going to work. I need to get into Europe to make some money to sign players, I also need to attract Brazilian players good enough to get me up the league table, which I’m struggling to do, even young regens don’t want to come. I can’t actually afford to buy many players even if they did want to come and I’m not really selling any players to make any money because they are all Brazilian and the game only seems to sign premium foreign status players. It’s mind boggling.
I decide I’ll give this season a go, see what happens and then alter my business plan if needed. The goal is still an all Brazilian 11 to conquer the league and europe but I might need to sign some other players to facilitate said dream.
Back to football and just before the season is about to start the excellent (well he was last season) Helcinho injures himself, bugger he was my creative spark. We are sticking with the 2-3-1-2-2 that got us here and again they are all Brazilian except Carlos the keeper.
It looks to be the perfect opener to a season, a sneaky 1-0 victory is ours until M’Jid scores a 89th minute equaliser.
We didn’t draw a single game last season so to make up for lost time we do it again the following week. Although against Boavista I consider this to be a good result. I was hoping we would take advantage of our extra man but that wasn’t the case.
Because the league fixture secretary loves us he or she decide our next fixture should be against Porto. Again I think a draw would be an excellent result here but at half time we trail 2-5 and old butter fingers Carlos seems to be struggling.
We really aren’t up to much and how we scored two goals?, a poor half for keepers. I start the second half not expecting too much, however Porto clearly think we are well beaten and we come storming back.
Hell yeah it was, this could be our catalyst to kick on. It’s not though and away to Braga we finally get a result that isn’t a draw. We are pretty dull and we don’t seem to have adjusted well to life in the top tier.
We play better against Vit. Guimaraes but can only manage another draw. Since we are not finding things hard enough at the moment we let them score in the first minute and have to chase the game. Last season it wouldn’t have been a problem but the step up has phased us.
It’s sixth game lucky for us and we finally record a win in the Taca de Portugal. A 2-1 victory against Felgueiras. The goal flatters them and I’m now really hoping we have got a bit of confidence together to move forward, the bare minimum I need to do is stay up. We are drawn against second division Alverca in the second round of the Taca so maybe a little cup run will help.
A midweek away tie at Leca is our 6th league game and what do you know back to back victories! We win 3-0 even though we only had two shots on target. Leca scored two own goals, I guess they just felt sorry for us.
To help us out Peu gets heartburn in training and is sidelined for 2 weeks, our central defensive cover options are limited so I’m not looking forward to Sunday as I’ll have to draft in Marcio and he could barely cope with league two. Fortunately Estrela Amadora are rubbish and we walk to a very easy victory. That’s three wins on the bounce, are we picking up? Laelson and Marquinhos are still getting the goals. The Zara injury is not good news though and 6 weeks out will seem like a long time.
We are flying high and our next game is against Felgueiras again, we just beat them away in the Taca and they were crap so here comes win number four. A goal after three minutes sees us 1-0 up but it is all downhill from there. We are woeful I can only assume left wing back is the pivotal position in this formation.
We’ve just won three of the last four games but the board decide enough is enough send me this message.
Are you joking? We are newly promoted and sitting in 12th place. If we don’t get relegated I will consider it a job well done. Unrealistic expectations is the phrase that springs to mind. Six days later and it’s the end of the month. The board send their appraisal through.
I really feel like I’m getting mixed messages here. Back to football and the 1st November sees Varzim come over to play at the Barreiros, we give them a right good spanking.
A week later and we travel to Academica looking to build on the five we scored last week. We can’t we are bad, very very bad. We only have one shot on target the whole game. Why are we so inconsistent? Maybe that’s what you get with a team of unknown Brazilians.
Mid November and we have our second round tie in the Taca, home to Alverca who we hammered 3-1 and 4-2 last year. I know you already know what happened.
This was one of those games. We had 21 shots, 8 on target they had 9 shots, 6 on target and that doesn’t even tell the story of how much we dominated. I never really mind these games when they happen, it is part of football but we are really struggling for form here and this just seemed a bit mean.
It never rains but it pours said some wise owl once upon a time, and they were right. We lose the next game to Vit. Setubal. They only have four shots on target the whole game and score two, one of them being an 86th minute penalty caused by Peu who got himself sent off. We had seven shots on target and only get the one. Confidence is low and I’m blaming the board for their negativity about our league position.
That is the end of this update and we are in 12th position, 16, 17 and 18 get relegated so I think we are doing ok. If we can just put another little run together we could move up the league a bit. We have shown flashes of brilliance but also a fair bit of dross all mixed together with some bad luck.
Join me next week to see how my band of Brazilians and Carlos fair in the middle third of the season. Our first game is away to current champions Sporting Lisbon, no biggie.
You can follow Rob on Twitter @Taitanator