Cadiz v Sevilla – Copa del Rey Round of 16 1st leg – Preview

Never mind ‘Never Give Up’, perhaps ‘Expect the Unexpected’ should be considered as our current club slogan, such is the roller-coaster nature of our on and off-field endeavors in the past decade or so.

You would think we should be accustomed by now to multiple squad and managerial changes, but yet not even the most realistic Sevillista could have suspected that less than half way into, what on paper at least, looks like a semi successful season, that we would have sacked and appointed a new first team coach! We are currently in the last 16 of the Champions League, Copa del Rey, and comfortably 5th in La Liga, a mere two points behind World Club Champions Real Madrid… but as we all know, this wasn’t an entirely true reflection of how things were going.

Yes, Eduardo Berizzo was sacked, much to the relief of Sevilla supporters who have been less than satisfied with the direction the team has been heading, but to the dismay it seems of the general public, who funnily enough have no interest in Sevilla Football Club, not to mention have any idea about what was going behind the scenes at our club. The general ill informed, but understandable, feeling was that having recently been diagnosed with cancer, and the proximity to a major holiday, should have been good enough reason to keep Berizzo at the helm.

Thankfully, sentimentality was thrown out of the window in favor of a more realistic yet necessary decision. With a contract that was due to expire in 2019, Berizzo, with an inevitable severance package, will surely be financially sound for a while, and hopefully the time off and space away from the stresses of football, will give him the opportunity to focus on a full recovery. Despite his uninspiring few months at the helm, I am sure I speak for all Sevillistas in wishing Berizzo all the best , and I am sure health permitting he will be back coaching a team in La Liga soon enough.

So, on to tonight’s big match, the 1st leg away to local neighbors and high flying Segunda side, CF Cadiz who knocked out Real Betis in the last stage (in quite spectacular and hilarious fashion) should prove to be a stiff enough challenge to blow off any post winter break cobwebs. We have a fairly strong squad to choose from, which surprisingly includes N’Zonzi. An injury free night ahead of the weekend derbi would be just as important as a win in this game, as we always have a 2nd leg at home to make up for any slip ups down on the South coast.The players had a successful training day in front of our fans on New Year’s Day, so should go into tonight’s game feeling refreshed and ready to impress our new coaching team… who I almost forgot to mention!

Welcome, Vincenzo Montella! and welcome back club legend Enzo Maresca (pictured above) to the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan! Your first job is to navigate three local derbies with convincing wins, and to play attractive football along the way. The fans expect nothing less. Understood? OK let’s begin!

A new chapter in the history of Sevilla FC awaits… we are ready!

Vamos mi Sevilla!

Transfer Update

Despite his recent well publicized trip to England, N’Zonzi is back in Sevilla, and back in the squad to face Cadiz, so that is a boost to the team, especially ahead of the Betis game. Although it remains to be seen whether or not he will feature, or even see out the month before the transfer window closes, it looks like a new coaching team has been the main reason we may see him once again in a Sevilla shirt. Personally I would delighted if he is back in favor and can get back to his best and stay with the club for many years to come.

On the incoming side of things, rumors are we are chasing Everton forward Sandro Ramirez, who despite a successful season at Malaga and subsequent move to England, has failed to hold down a starting place in either Ronald Koeman or Sam Allardyce’s sides. With his pedigree in La Liga he ‘on paper’ looks like a handy addition to our squad, if we can indeed get him.

It will be interesting to see how much of a say Montella will have on new additions and departures.

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