Building Brazil – Part 8: Can’t defend won’t defend

Rob is still plugging away in Portugal. His team of all Brazilians are starting to make progress though and, if they ever stop asking to leave, might be getting somewhere with Uniao. Catch up with part 7 here.

Part one finished with Uniao Madeira 3rd in the league after 11 games, however we have conceded a lot of goals, especially in the second half of games and for that reason Carlos is out and Ange Bug (Zenga) is in. This player tactical move makes an immediate impact as we lose 0-2, without even hitting the target, not sure Ange is to blame for that though.

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Bet they were thrilled!

Not to worry the Taca is backa with round three and for once we don’t throw away a 3-0 half time lead.

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It will be one of two Vitoria’s in the quarters and we are only two wins from the final, I don’t want to get excited about this, but I am.

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Vitoria G in the quarters then but before that we have some league fixtures to attend to. Benfica visit the Barreiros and despite playing them off the park it ends in a goalless draw, I didn’t realise we had one of those in our repertoire

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Three days before Christmas we travel to Vit. G’s to see what it will be like in the cup, the answer is hopefully not like this, that’s two games without a goal. I assume we have already wound down for Christmas.

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Boxing day really isn’t the best time for a tempermental team like us to be tested with an away trip to Porto and it looks like it will be back to back defeats until Nene pops up in the 88th minute to rescue a draw. It wasn’t deserved but so what.

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Hoping to get ourselves back on track after what has been a poor holiday period up until now we host Felgueiras. This time we are unlucky and concede a 90th minute equaliser, I am learning to take the rough with the smooth with this adventure but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

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We are away to local rivals Maritimo on the 9th of January, the halfway point in the season. Even though we play at the same stadium their capacity is 18,000 whereas ours is 14,000, strange. We dominate the game and 2-1 flatters them, we are so leaky at the back, they scored with their only shot on target.

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A big gap has opened up between 2nd and 3rd, we are best of the rest behind Porto and Lisbon but 3rd to 7th is only 2 points so it is tight. I really want a european place and with Laelson and Nene we have quite the strike partnership developing, 13 apiece at the halfway stage.

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A week later and we are taken to school by Academica’s keeper, he can save shots and ours can’t. It’s just one of those games, we didn’t play badly, you might even say we were the better team although the history books will say otherwise.

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The board aren’t happy and suddenly we are in 6th place two points off 2nd place. Leonidas and Da Silva decide it is all getting too much. Normally I would tell these guys to do one but they are both quite good and I can’t sign anyone else so… REQUEST DENIED.

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It’s another Sunday at the Barreiros, which, based on our defensive frailties is rather ironic considering it means barriers. To help prove this point we go 3:1 up by half time and despite them only having five shots on target in 90 minutes we concede three, fortunately we score six.

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In an inspired piece of business and about six months after buying him I’m fed up with Savio. He has once again flattered to deceive and I swear this is the last time I ever buy this guy. It probably won’t.

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Even though he wasn’t getting a game his presence was clearly missed and the team down tools against Alverca, we manage to get two shots on target and are punished accordingly.

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For once we play badly and win, Belenenses didn’t really deserve to lose this but Laelson is a beast.

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Two days later and is Taca time, we face Vit. guimaraes in the quarter final, I really feel like this is our chance to claim a trophy and increase our reputation, especially in Brazil where the Taca is a huge competition (it could be). Laelson bangs one in in the first minute and I just know it’s our day. Unfortunately it couldn’t have been less of our day, we peaked after a minute and it was downhill from there. Da Silva gave me a small glimmer of hope, maybe we could get an unlikely draw but his goal was nothing more than a consolation goal.

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The final game of the update is away to Braga, to really highlight how our awesome flair but incredible inconsistency we play them of the park. Braga weren’t helped by Sergio Abreu’s sending off but we were always winning this game. Good of Nene to get back in the goals, he has been a bit quiet in the last few games.

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Two thirds of the way through the season and we are in the European places, top scorers and top conceders!! I really can’t complain and the up and down nature of our performances is both infuriating and entertaining in equal measure.

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Join us next we to see if we can stay with Benfica, I’m not sure we are going to catch Lisbon or Porto especially with our defensive frailties a third place finish is maybe do-able. In all honesty a UEFA cup place is all I really want, something to get so of the bigger name regens through the door.

You can follow Rob on Twitter @Taitanator

Building Brazil – Part 7: Consistently inconsistent

Anybody reason for Season 3? Rob Tait has been steadily building a team of Brazilians to compete in Portugal. Will this be the start of something big? Catch up with part 6 here.

Welcome back to season 3. Last year we finished 8th in our first season in the Primeira Divisao. A good start, even the board said so, however things were not all rosy at Brazil Base 2.0. Inexplicably Wood Utd do not have a high reputation in world football so we can’t attract any real talent and we are lacking funds, all this can be summed up in the following negotiations.

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Julio Cesar’s love child Wlad follows suit, even the young ones don’t think much of us.

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1999 was the year of the Wlad in Brazil, Wlad Reg is on £10,000 a week. He is a regen of some DMC, he must be good as evidenced by his unwillingness to join our merry band. All this negativity has pushed me over the edge and in a fit of rage I sign.

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I’ve bought him before and been unimpressed but a) I’m desperate b) He might thrive as the alpha fish in the little Brazilian pond and c) I’m really really desperate. So desperate in fact that I have to sign Walter Zenga’s regen as keeper cover (Free transfer) and this lad also free as DMC cover. I know they don’t hail from the land of Samba but quite frankly I don’t care right now, this idea is floundering.

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A mini bonus occurs just before the season begins when a couple of young guys take a holiday to Madeira at the beginning of August only to lose their passports so they agree to stay to help our for the season.

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It’s Rai and Branco reborn. This is the squad that will take on the top flight of Portuguese football in the third year of our adventure.

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The season opener is against Academica we are the hosts and I’ll be lining up like this, our starting 11 contains 9 Brazilians and two Portuguese players, Carlos – GK and Vieira Frederico – DR.

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Well oh my, I don’t know what I was getting all upset about, excluding the first four minutes this was the perfect game and the perfect start. da Costa introduces himself with a brace and Laelson doesn’t need any introductions.

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That’s it then, blog over, it won’t get any better than this.

Obviously I didn’t stop there, after the first match of the season I’m thinking we can win the league, maybe we can.

Game 2 is away to Estrela Amadora and check this out. Even Savio gets on the score sheet, big fish small pond I knew he would be alright.

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I’m happy, the team are happy, what a start to the season, we are flying, all they needed was a little time to bed in and get accustomed to their new home.

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Seriously dude, are you joking, what is your problem…….. NO. Unfortunately Mega Da Stupid Head spreads his dissatisfaction around the dressing room and sweet innocent Laelson gets caught up in all this mess.

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I really don’t understand why they have picked now, after an excellent start to the season to decide that they want to leave, get signed by a “Bigger” club and never play a game ever again! To remedy this potential disaster I go out and panic sign Robson. At least his stats look good.

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It doesn’t help though our home match against Alverca is a dull affair that ends 0-0. We had a fair few chances but are woefully inaccurate.

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The next game is worse, this time our poor shooting accuracy means we concede a soft goal and end up on the end of a 0-1 defeat to Belenenses.

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Coming up next is Braga, they are a fairly decent side and so I’m a little worried. The result and the game tell two different stories, it looks like a solid 3-1 victory for us however of the 15 shots we have only four are on target, plus they scored an own goal. I’ll take the win, hopefully it will boost moral but we seem to have gone back to our inconsistent best. It’s gonna be a long season.

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Let’s put all this negativity behind us, up next is the first round of the Taca. A good cup run will boost our reputation and then these lads will change their mind. We travel to second division opponents Penafiel. After 69 minutes we are cruising to 3-0 victory, the wonderful Nene has scored a hat trick. We make hard work of the last 20 minutes though and sneak through 3-2.

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A nice 2nd round tie on the 8th November, can’t say the same about our next league match, away to Sporting Lisbon.

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It was a shock, we were 0-1 down only to come back and snatch a late win Nene and Rai “reborn” with the vital goals. It was a close game and could have gone either way, a draw would have been fair but I’m not complaining.

I feel like the best way to describe this team that I’ve assembled is flamboyant but temperamental and this couldn’t be more evident than in our next result. A home tie against Salgueiros should present little problem for a side that has just gone toe to toe with the second best team in the league and won, and for 65 minutes it didn’t. 3-0 up at half time and cruising, we concede three goals in nine minutes and only to score a late winner and then hold on for the final nine minutes to avoid an embarrassing draw.

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Seriously guys, why do you want to leave? We are building something special here.

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All this unrest is affecting our focus and for a team that is already unpredictable at best I need less drama not more. Farense take advantage winning an even contest, they only had 5 shots on target. I’m starting to worry about Carlos.

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In typical style we come back strong against Leiria, da Costa (Rai) has been an excellent loan acquisition, I hope they don’t recall him.

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We must be doing something right as I am awarded a little trophy at the end of the month.

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Unfortunately receiving this award, being 3rd in the league and having the same colours as Brazil are not enough to convince young Guto (Romario) that he should sign for us. This struggle to sign any of the young regens is getting me a little down.

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Round two of the Taca takes my mind off the growing challenge of signing good players. This is the first time that Laelson and Nene have scored in the same match, I’ve dropped Savio, once again he seems wildly inconsistent, even more so than the rest of these jokers and I’m left wondering why I thought it would be any different this time.

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Another nice tie for the 3rd round, little bit of a run developing here, I feel like we are an excellent cup team we just have to be peaking at the right times and we can beat anyone on our day.

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In the league though these guys are going to send me to an early grave, we are 3-0 up again at half time and again we try really hard to throw it away. Da Silva will be out for a month which is a shame as he is probably our best player.

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Our inability to play 90 minutes of football finally catches up with us against Vit. Setubal, we couldn’t get away with it forever but it is still annoying especially when we were 2-0 up at half time and we scored in the 85th minute to make it 4-3 only to concede a minute later.

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I decide that this must be Carlos’ fault, he is out and young Walter Zenger Mk2 is in, he’s not Brazilian but neither was Carlos, hopefully he will be good, he does look it and at some point I’ll sell him for millions.

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Well that is 11 games in the league and time to call it a day for this update. Come back next week to see how young Ange Bug does in goal, he’s a developing talent so I’m a little worried but he is also the future and maybe even a way to make some money.

League wise I couldn’t really ask for much more and if we can keep this up european qualification is on the cards and that might even attract some players. I’ll leave you with the league table.

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You can follow Rob on Twitter @Taitanator

Building Brazil – Part 6: Jogador de grande nome

What did he say about a big gnome? Rob Tait is here with the end of season 2 of his Portugese adventure with Uniao Madeira. His all Brazilian squad have been a mix of Brazil and Norwich so far, but how will season two end? Catch up with part 5 here.

Welcome back to the final third of the season, 12 games to see how high we can go after this crazy first season in the top flight. At the end of the last update we had just won three in a row against top five opposition and I was high as a CM kite. The first game of the update and Leca come to the Barreiros, a close games but we take the three points.

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Our winning run has not gone unnoticed and want away Brazilian international Antonio Carlos is interested in joining little old Uniao. I still haven’t spent that money the board gave me at the beginning of the season and this guy is a “jogador de grande nome” (big name player) so I just have to do it, also I wronged him on my Roma save and promised I would make it up to him.

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Antonio’s arrival immediately unsettles the whole team including centre back partner Peu and just like that our little resurgence is over.

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Or is it? We have developed some bounce back ability, this Nene might be a bit of a find. Every unknown Brazilian I sign is a bit of a shot in the dark but he seems to be doing it at the moment.

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We then beat Varzim away in another game where I can’t believe they scored two goals.

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Before dispatching Academica, competition for his starting place brings the best out of Marquinhos who bags a hat-trick.

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That’s 7 wins from the last eight games and everyone is starting to believe we belong in the top flight. Which is why away to Vit. Setubal we lose 0-1 after conceding a 77th minute penalty, that was one of the two shots they had on target the whole game!!!!

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After that game hosting Sporting Lisbon was always going to be tough and it was, they are still a way ahead of us.

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Confidence is gone, we are about as resilient as cheese cracker so when derby day rolls around the following week we do nothing but wallow in our own self pity against Maritimo.

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The Easter break can’t come soon enough for us. A couple of weeks off to think about resurrection and all that. It works though as we win the next three games, scoring 13 and conceding only 2.

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Those three wins leave us in 8th. Our final game is at home to Benfica, we have 53 points and a long shot at 6th if we win but we could drop to 9th if we lose.

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The season is finished off in style with a 2-0 win against Benfica, Laelson nets his 20th of the season and Nene adds another. Results go against us though and it is 8th place after all with Porto crowned champions.

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We have been infuriating and also a little unlucky this year but in the end 8th is pretty good going I think. I’m not really sure where to go from here though. I need a little bit more quality for those close games but I also need to make some money as our finances are consistently precarious. I will worry about all this another day. For now here are some season stats to round off the year.

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Helcinho still getting it done, he has been good.
Da Silva and Leonidas are both good left wingers, it is a shame they can’t both play, maybe Leonidas can play wingback.
Laelson got better as the year went on and 20 goals is a good return, hopefully he will kick on.
Nene was a good signing towards the end and some of those 7 goals were vital.
Marquinhos was a bit hot and cold, he might have reached his peak.
Peu and and Antonio Carlos will hopefully gel next year, Antonio needs a full season before judgment as he has made a slow-ish start.
Centre mid and the full backs are my areas of concern.

The annual awards see a Radek Bejbl get the European Footballer award, no team or individual awards for Madeira United. DMC Sergio Duarte retires and I won’t be going after his regen he peaked in Division 2 and Jefferson isn’t too bad. Dunga might even retire soon as well.

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I’m going to do some serious cost analysis and marketing in the close season we need to expand the Uniao Madeira brand in order to afford and attract the better Brazilian players. Until next week…

You can follow Rob on Twitter @Taitanator

 

Building Brazil – Part 5: A vida é uma montanha russa

My Portugese is coming on well thanks to Rob Tait. One phrase a week is all I need. This week, Rob sets about trying to get Uniao back on track with their team full of Brazilians. Is second season syndrome still biting hard? Catch up with part 4 here.

Hi all, part one all ended a little bit negatively last week, we lost three in a row and the board couldn’t make up their mind if they were delighted or expected better. I think I was expecting too much from the lads so I’m going to calm down a bit and not let the pressure get to me. I’ve told the boys of an ancient proverb “a vida e uma montanha russa (life is a roller coaster) and we’ve just gotta ride it. With the wise words of Ronan Keating ringing in their ears we travel to Lisbon.

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Building Brazil – Part 4: Fortalecimento or not?

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.

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Building Brazil – Part 3: Capoeira Countdown

Off we go back to Portugal, where Rob Tait is building a Brazilian legacy. Is promotion on the cards? Catch up with part 2 here

At the end of part two I was waxing lyrical about my front four and how good they are, I know this is the Portuguese second tier but you can only beat what is put in front of you and we have been. It is the last push now, 12 games to decide the league title.

The first match and our mate Gil Vincente comes to visit. He puts up a good fight and it is close but when you have our fire power it’s never over and young Laelson pops up at the death.

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Building Brazil – Part 2: Magic in Madeira

Rob Tait is back in Portugal for part two of his latest project. He’s building an entire team of Brazilians with the first task of getting out of the Portugese second division. Catch up with part one here

We finished part 1 three points clear at the top with a nine wins, one draw and a loss. Unfortunately while I was writing Part 1 I managed to lose the last three games I’d played by forgetting to save and then closing the window by mistake. It means that Marquinhos isn’t injured and Newcastle didn’t get beaten by Forrest. We also won the game we drew in the replay. With that out of the way Maia visit the “Tree House” that’s what I’m calling our stadium since we are Wood Utd. We continue how we finished part 1 with a simple victory.

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