Things are not going to plan, quite a few of Sevilla’s biggest fans are starting to ask questions, doubts are starting to whirl around mundo Sevillista, even here at MonchisMen, home of Sevilla FC’s most devout fans.
What about the defence? the midfield? the team selection? the rotations? about Emery? what the hell’s happening to Perotti? where will we finish in the league? Are we in a relegation battle? Why have we conceded more goals than 95% of the teams in top flight European football?
And today is the day that Del Nido faces the supreme tribunal and if that meeting doesn’t go to plan, only an appeal to the supreme court of Strasbourg will keep Del Nido in charge of Sevilla FC. Reports I am reading suggest that the tribunal have asked for an increase to the prison sentence.
I’ll try to answer some of these questions with customary optimism.
Our local rivals Betis have something in common with Sevilla FC this season, they also brought in 14 new players and they too are having a torrid time trying to establish order. Ironic that manager Pepe Mel is blaming the ‘rotations’ on Betis’s poor form. Although it’s worth mentioning that Betis paid €4.6m total for their 14 new players. Betis are still under administration and have to send off financial reports weekly to ensure their existence. At least Sevilla FC are one of the most ‘liquid’ clubs in la liga.
So what about Emery?
In his favour, Emery has managed to field a competitive team in every game. Despite all the changes and at the height of the injury crisis he cobbled together a team that competed at the highest level. I remember the team landing in Manchester, flying overnight from Eastern Europe and giving the all powerful Manchester United a thorough investigation just a few hours later with only four changes to the team. Then Medel and Kondogbia were ripped out of the squad yet Emery’s team continued to compete – later, matching Barcelona in Camp Nou.
But that doesn’t give carte blanche to Emery and now it seems that some of the shine has worn off. As several of our astute commentators have observed, Sevilla have failed to dominate games, even home games where the opposition have been down to ten, or nine in the case of Rayo Vallecano. To be fair, that is true. But Emery has claimed that his concept of play will mean goals at both ends and Emery has answered critics by saying ‘I prefer to win 4-3 than 1-0’.
Those words will probably come back to haunt Emery.
Because of the difficult start to the season, and the injury crisis, followed by this intense schedule where Emery has recovered some of his injured players – crunch time has arrived early. Yet I don’t believe that Emery is going to leave Sevilla any time soon and remind everyone that Sir Alex Ferguson was almost at the exit door when things changed for the better. Expect the first major squad rotation against Slovan on Thursday.
Perotti has committed crimes against Biris, which the Biris deserved in my opinion. Some of the language used against both Perotti and Fazio over social networks has been repugnant. Then Perotti got into a scuffle with radicals on the street, which I can’t imagine improved the situation. To culminate matters Perotti scored the penalty against Freiburg, threw his shirt to the ground and stared aggressively at the Biris. The love affair was certainly over. Now Sevilla FC have to play Perotti to maintain his value and it’s strongly rumoured that he’s off to Italy at the first opportunity.
After the Madrid game, I took the opinion that Beto needs to save a higher percentage of shots. It seems that every time the opposition arrive they score, the Osasuna game is a good example, in Madrid he saved one. Time for Javi Varas to return. But what can we do with the defence and the midfield?