Debate: Sampaoli v Monchi

Hey guys (or ladies?!) this was coming up in the comments so I wanted to frame it as a question/debate.

We’ve all put lots of faith and thrown lots of love towards Monchi for his incredible work directing the team over the last ten years.  But this offseason, there seemed a very clear turning point the moment that Sampaoli came on board.  Monchi still had secured the signings of Kiyotake, Sarabia, and Ben Yedder (though I think BY was officially finalized after Sampaoli was signed).  In my view, those guys have all performed pretty well (though we obviously are also having a debate about Kiyotake who seems on his way out, fairly or not).

But once Sampaoli came on there has been a clear preference for latin Americans and for Argentinians in particular.  I consider Mercado, Kranevitter, Ganso, Mudo, Correa, and Vietto as “Sampaoli’s” signings.  I’m leaving out Nasri, though am curious what you all think.  He came after Sampaoli arrived but seemed like much more of a Monchi signing to me.  Did I miscategorize other transfers here?

Have Monchi or Sampaoli's signings been better?

More broadly, I’m feeling (as always) anxious about what happens if/when Monchi leaves.  None of us here can argue with the results that Sampaoli is putting together on the field (a CdR embarassment aside).  We are having a spectacular season.  But, in my view, it is a result of Sampaoli managing a great set of Monchi’s players, not the ones he has pushed the team to bring in….



Comments 37

  1. I don’t think it’s that clear because even before the club have had important Argentine players, just think about Fazio, Banega, Pareja or other South Americans like, Luis Fabiano, well Cristóforo, too. Julio Baptista, Adriano? The South American import has been strong for a while.

    Did you read somewhere specific that there would be some conflicts of interest and importance between the two bald leaders here? Because I didn’t.

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      that’s totally true and fair. im not saying that just because a player is south american its a “Sampaoli” signing. but if you heard the names we were linked to during the offseason, they changed very sharply the moment Sampaoli was arrived.

      who was the belgian guy we thought we had finalized? praet? im totally forgetting now. but your criticism is fair and this is not necessarily a real or clear distinction.

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    I guess I would probably also put Lenglet in with Monchi’s signings though we haven’t seen him play yet. And I’m not sure about Sirigu who was signed when Soria went down and we got panicked about GK cover… Anyway, let me know your thoughts.

    1. Undoubtedly Monchi is becoming an expert of the French market, especially with Krychowiak’s success. I’m optimistic that Lenglet will be a good feature to the club… and while he’s only 21, being a captain at a club in Ligue 1 at that age isn’t something to be overlooked. The guy has a lot of potential and he can become big here. If he gets to the level of Laporte or Umtiti… that would be close to perfect…. but why not even reach Varane’s level?

      There was a photo of Monchi as he was traveling to have the meetings and all that… in his laptop, there was a scouting program that he uses…. it was like a video game, but he definitely got a good hold of it.

  3. The only player on the list in my opinion that hasn’t contributed is Ganso. He’s been terrible. Other than that, everyone else has contributed, some more than others. Correa gets some flack, but he’s a really young talent that has flashed at times. We paid alot for him, so I can’t see us turning him loose anytime soon. He will be a very good player for us if we are patient enough with him. Krane hasn’t been good at all imo, but still gets minutes. Maybe Sampaoli sees something I fail to?

    All in all not a bad offseason.

  4. Say what you want but Sampaoli’s signings has been underwhelming this season, yes he’s producing great result but with Players signed by Monchi. As far as French league is concerned , it’s a gold mine for scouts , i would hate to lose it for south American market.

  5. In overall, the signings that are regarded as Monchi’s, are better I would say.

    Comparing them head to head, Ben Yedder is better than Vietto, Sarabia is better than Correa, Kiyotake is better than both Ganso and Kranevitter… meanwhile it must be admitted that Mudo is better than Kiyotake and a decent player, solid asset for the team.

    Time will tell if Mercado will be better than Lenglet, but Mercado has also done quite well in many matches and currently he is seen as one of the 3 starting CB’s. He’s a fighter and although sometimes gets schooled, he always tries to win balls and creates danger up front, especially in free kick crosses or corner kicks.

    Pretty sure that all of the signings after Sampaoli had the ‘nodding’ of Monchi, however, Sampaoli is still young in the scouting game, especially in Europe, so not always the latinos shine in Europe. La Liga could be considered a ‘football heaven’ for them mainly because of no barriers in the language (except Brazilians to some extent), but Monchi’s scouting system is a proven one and he is a professional in this kind of thing. I think that Sampaoli should not intervene a lot in Monchi’s decisions. Sure there must be an understanding of the coaches requirements, but in overall as I understand, the transfers are done like this:

    Sampaoli: I need a striker

    Monchi: Here are 3 picks that I have for you to choose from

    Sampaoli: (It’s either): I will go with that one! (or): I’m not satisfied with any of these, please consider my alternative picks (or): Not satisfied, do you have other alternative picks for me?

    Therefore, there is a close cooperation on choosing the players to transfer… then there’s negotiation etc. However, one can’t help but think that, especially with the signings of Ganso and the loaning of Kranevitter…. these were additions coming straight from Sampaoli’s mind and mouth (requested to Monchi).

    Normally, 90% of the time (how other clubs work) the sportive director of a club has the final say in the transfer, while the coach will only provide a request through player profiling, for example: I need a striker who is a target man, tall and strong, and who is lethal in the box.
    Then Monchi begins working… and so on.

    I still like to think that all the signings were first presented to Sampaoli and he chose from the picks of Monchi. Clearly, the indication was: ARGENTINIANS – HIGH PRIORITY! Moreover, I still remember the statements of Sampaoli before the start of the season that he will try and make Ganso the new Pirlo. While clearly failing on that (not Samp’s fault though), it must be agreed that this was a high risk gamble, as people in Brazil were already suggesting that Ganso’s work-rate and skills deteriorated after his multiple knee injuries that he suffered while at Sao Paolo.

    Had we been unlucky with midfielders injuries (God forbid!), then we would have to rely on Ganso… and he is not the player to carry the team to important victories, although he had some flashes of good performances… especially the one vs. Alaves with that backheel pass to Ben Yedder… but that’s clearly not even near to enough of what a midfielder should do at Sevilla.

    Thankfully now we have Nasri, Mudo, and close to signing Jovetic, who can also provide cover at the AM position if necessary.

    I’d say that beside Kiyotake, Ganso should also be loaned out or sold as there’s clearly no future of him at the club. Now that we’re most likely out of CDR, he will see less and less minutes on the pitch, as we are entering the important part of the season where any mistake costs a lot.

    The same would go to Kranevitter…. if we somehow end up signing a defensive midfielder… no place for him here. Not sure how the deal was set with Atletico, but he better goes back there and get loaned to a mid-table club where he can get more minutes. Although, it will not be surprising to see him still get minutes even in important matches under Sampaoli…. they must be related to each other or something…. or it’s an honor gesture to please Argentina NT and Simeone… though the latter will most likely leave Atletico in summer.

  6. well its complicated…usually the coach doesnt give names,but positions,like ShendM wrote above..and Monchis has saw us all these years that he loves both S.America and France market.So i dont think that is Monchi vs Sampaoli at all.Of course Sampaoli loves to work with Argentinians,that’ssure,but he also can accept everything else,if it’s like Nasri case.He always mention Nasri as the most important player so far.He gave Ben Yedder changes,Iborra too..If you see beyond the picture,its easy to understand why Kiyotake didnt play.Its the same reason Konoplyanka left.Its same reason Ganso is on the bench,althought much money spend for him,so maybe they give him a last change to prove himself.So to me Sampaoli acts fair so far.Of course he made mistakes,anyone who works hard does.But his rotation and general management of the squad is super.And best argument for this,is player’s statements after the games,or in interviews.
    So i think both our big man in our team have the same characteristic:Ambition.Anyone who doesnt have that,stays outside.They have truly,in the edge of madness,ambition,and we are lucky to have them.

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  7. I think it’s more of a case of Sampaoli being a first time manager in Europe and wanting to have some players that he’s familiar with, either that he’s coached against previously (Ganso) or that he has prior knowledge of based on coaching connections he’s made throughout his career (basically the Argentinean guys we brought in). But we didn’t bring a single Chilean player in despite being linked to every single one of them except Vidal, Alexis and Bravo. So it’s not like he’s trying to recreate past successes.

    Of the guys mentioned, I think Sarabia, Ben Yedder, Mudo and Mercado can be considered unmitigated successes. Vietto probably belongs in that category as well, since he’s scored nearly as many goals already this year as he did in his breakout season with Villarreal two years ago.

    The question marks are Kiyotake, Kranevitter, Ganso and Tucu. I’m as frustrated as anyone that Kiyotake has been marginalized after starting off the year so well, but I think the thing that has contributed most to his loss of playing time is the arrival of Nasri. Nasri has forced Mudo out wide, and since he’s gotten here, he’s been absolutely indispensable to our attack. When he was injured, Sampaoli opted for Ganso over Kiyotake. I’m not sure why or how that change in the pecking order occurred, although Ganso was injured when he arrived and Kiyotake’s playing time evaporated after the first international break which happened to occur at the same time Ganso got healthy.

    I understand the frustration with the Kranevitter signing. I don’t think it was solely a Sampaoli signing though. We’d been linked with Kranevitter before he went to Atletico. I imagine Sampaoli saw him as capable of playing the Marcelo Diaz role, and he must have shown that ability at River Plate because Argentina is comfortable playing him there as the heir apparent to Mascherano. But after years of having Medel, Carrico and Krychowiak, we expected a combative defensive midfielder, not a positionally sound ball shuttler. He just seems kind of redundant in our current system. I don’t know if that’s because Sampaoli has changed his plans since he signed on in June. But Kranevitter is not a bad player, he’s just not a guy who’s style is going to be impactful in the system we run.

    Ganso’s been the biggest disappointment. There’s always been questions about his pace and stamina, and that’s been immediately apparent. The class is obvious. Given time, he’s the best passer on the team. But it’s not clear what Sampaoli envisioned with him. If you want to play him in a Pirlo role, you need a destroyer with him. Was that supposed to Nzonzi, who has too much class on the ball to be classified as that, or Kranevitter? Or was he brought in to be a CAM, which makes little sense since we had already added Mudo, Kiyotake (granted, not Sampaoli’s guy) and Tucu Correa?

    I consider Correa a prospect at this point. I didn’t expect him to contribute in a big role this year, and he’s shown enough flashes to invest some time into. I have no idea what position he should be playing. Maybe he’ll eventually emerge into a Vitolo-like role. But I think we should give him time. It worked with Cristoforo and it would have worked with Jairo if we held onto him. If we bring in Jovetic, maybe we look to loan him out to get some playing time.

  8. I love this photo of monchi and sampaoli! It’s like they cooking up a cunning plan, while grinning and saying; “La Liga won’t know what’s him them this season”. With Sevilla so far in 2nd place and only 4 off Real Madrid, it’s proving true haha

    I hope we topple Madrid on Sunday it would make our season even more exciting. As amazing as Real Madrid are right now, we have the game, mentality, fight, amazing home form, great crowd, manager and talented players to give them one hell of a match and beat them maybe! 🙂

  9. @Chris Lail thank you for the great news, on both fronts. Jovetic a top player, monchi works his magic again. If we can keep monchi and sampaoli we can go to the very top of the ladder, everything is in place right now! 🙂

  10. Even better news, we are likely to keep Nzonzi till beyond 2019! I’m very excited for what’s to come, what a few exciting months in store for 2nd half of season! 🙂

    1. Debt? The books were balanced around 2013-14…. now we’re in a considerable surplus, especially after the recent EL wins and constantly selling key players.

  11. As it seems… we will not be signing any other player, or at best, only another CB, because of Carrico’s surgery and the uncertainty of the time it will take for his full comeback.

    Therefore, the defensive midfielder position is neglected and we will be left on the mercy of N’Zonzi, Iborra and Kranevitter. Oly N’Zonzi has what it takes to be a starter and the other ones, especially Kranevitter are not Sevilla material.

    While other teams, like Leicester, are reinforcing the midfield… we on the other hand, are not looking forward to reinforcing the midfield and it seems that the LB talk is disappearing… leaving us with only 1 LB in the whole squad!

  12. Moreover, reportedly Sirigu is wanting to leave after failing to make it to the first team (duh!). So now, we will most likely have Soria as the second goalkeeper, which is way better.

    2 homegrowns (Soria not fully homegrown but played since 2013 in Sevilla C team) in the first 2 goalie spots, way better than anything else.

  13. Again i’m disappointed with our board for not signing any DM . I hate to be negative but with a proper DM or holding midfielder alongside Nzonzi could’ve taken us to a new level. I still hope Kranevietter or Ganso step up, although i’m not sold on Krane , guys just hates the tackles,touching ball in dangerous areas. Our first real test will be RM home in league.

    1. There’s a slight bit of hope left with the rumors of Torreira and Rodrigo Caio. Torreira is a typical DM, quite young at 20 years old, however, he’s a starter at Sampdoria and in a quite good form lately. Meanwhile, Caio is a CB but can also feature as DM, as he did with Brazil in the recent Summer Olympics, doing pretty good.

      With Carrico’s surgery and the unsure time of his comeback, we are really in need of another defender with midfield operation capabilities. Caio would fit into that bill nicely, however, what is worrying is the statement of Sampaoli that there will be no more signings, unless someone leaves.

      Therefore, in order for someone to be signed/loaned, we need some departures. Sirigu is on his way out and of all the others, he is the one that is most likely to leave, as negotiations with Nice are in the advanced stage. A good riddance I’d say, considering we have our boy Soria who can cover up nicely for Rico just in case. Soria overcame the injury and is ready to play, wouldn’t be surprised if he even gets a start tonight… why not?… he needs some playing time.

      Another rumor that circulated before in December, that is still on the line but not as much talked about as before, is that of Leonel Vangioni. For him to come though, we would need a free foreign player spot, and that will be possible only if Kiyotake, Ganso or Kranevitter leaves. Kiyotake has the most likelihood to leave out of the 3, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ganso also leaves… would love if Kranevitter leaves too… but Sampaoli is still trusting him, so he will most probably stay.

      Let’s see what happens next, but I’m very optimistic that the management will take the squad seriously and not leave us in the situation where we’re one injury away from N’Zonzi for a chaos in the midfield. Tonight, N’Zonzi and Mariano are not called up for resting purpose, therefore we will have a midfield composed of either Iborra – Krane or Ganso – Krane…. both options scary to see in the lineup, let alone watching them play.

      The LB spot is also quite urgent, as we don’t have anyone to cover there in case anything happens to Escudero… or just wanting to rest him. Mercado can play as LB, but he was disastrous in the few time he featured there…. not a natural spot for him, so hopefully Vangioni comes.

      To sum up, below the best and worst case scenarios:


      Kranevitter and Ganso stay, Kiyotake and Sirigu eventually leave (or not) but we don’t sign or loan in anyone else. The team will be left with only 1 proper midfielder, and no defensive midfielder that can tackle or be the engine of that area. Moreover, no LB cover for Escudero. The other parts are fine.


      2-3 out of Kranevitter, Ganso, Kiyotake and Sirigu leave, we sign/loan Torreira or Caio, and sign/loan Vangioni. As for another CB that Sampaoli wants, that is not urgent, having Parjea, Rami, Mercado and Lenglet, with even Iborra as an emergency CB cover just in case, we are all set in that part. Add to that Carrico’s return in the next couple of months, it will be all fine.
      The other parts are fine.

    2. Additionally, there is still a rumor of Aleix Vidal returning, which would serve as RB or RM in certain occasions. Mariano has only Mercado as a cover, and Mercado will have plenty of work in the CB area with the 3 CB’s system, as Lenglet will most likely cover mainly for Pareja who will not be able to handle all the matches at 32 (nice point made by a member here before about Pareja’s age, sometimes we forget that he’s 32 given his great recent form).

  14. Guys, any suggestion for an online news site about Sevilla or that covers Sevilla transfer rumors etc. beside ElDesMarque, OrgulloDeNervion, EstadioDeportivo, ElMundoDeportivo, AS and Marca?

  15. Anyone knows what the matter is with Puerta’s “retired” number 16 shirt?

    One thing that the RFEF doesn’t allow any other number beside 1-25 for the squad players, however, the club retired the number and it was only available for the youth squad players to wear it (perhaps Sevilla Atletico too).

    Anyway, when Fazio came back on the short loan stint, they gave him the shirt with the nr. 16. Now, in yesterday’s presentation, it could be seen that Jovetic was given the number 16….. are they messing around with that or what? Is the “retirement” of the number still in force or what happened… does anyone have more info on this?

  16. I’m sure 16 was retired, however it’s the only number left.

    1 Sergio Rico

    2 Tremoulinas

    3 Mariano

    4 Kranevitter

    5 Kolo

    6 Carriço

    7 Krohn-Dehli

    8 Iborra

    9 Vietto

    10 Nasri

    11 Correa

    12 Ben Yedder

    13 David Soria

    14 Kiyotake

    15 N’Zonzi

    17 Sarabia

    18 Escudero

    19 Ganso

    20 Vitolo

    21 Pareja

    22 Franco Vázquez

    23 Rami

    24 Mercado

    25 Sirigu