Saved by April. Marítimo was very close to disgrace this season, but a great performance in the month of April brought them enough points to save an otherwise poor season.
Lito Vidigal’s cagey tactics clearly didn’t suit the type of players he had available, and the results were quite predictably disastrous. He left very early and Milton Mendes arrived. His impact was positive, but it was mostly the effect of moving to a tactical approach that suited better on the team.
Soon the team was back to poor results as no real model was implemented yet, and the team was mostly depending on individual talent to decide games. Rodrigo Pinho’s excellent form brought some points but not enough to avoid a very low position at the end of February.
Milton Mendes was inevitable sacked as well, and Spanish Julio Velazquez arrived to finally bring some order to the team, even if the star Rodrigo Pinho became seldom available after mid-March.
Renê Santos moving to midfield, Zainadine and Leo Andrade forming an unchanged duo at the back, and the likes of Edgar Costa, Jorge Correa and Joel given more important roles in attack played a decisive role on Marítimo’s excellent month of April: 4 wins in 5 games, including defeating the strong Braga.
The team’s mindset under Velazquez was so good that the fans are allowed to hope for a much better season next year. Pinho won’t be around, but there’s good talent in Joel, Alipour, Guitane, Correa and Milson for attacking opponents next season.