El Día Después

So. That was heartbreaking/frustrating/disastrous/(fill in negative adjective here). Sevilla lost a very important match which cost them a spot in a final, a guaranteed spot in Europe, AND the several million euros Europe would’ve brought, all in one game. It was frustrating for those reasons, but it was also really terrible because I think we’re all getting to a place where we really hate those colchoneros. And finally it was frustrating because the game seemed so damn winnable, and it felt like if we’d just played slightly less error-prone defense and if our finishing had been even a little bit sharper, we’d be celebrating a pretty comfortable win today. It’s not so much a bitter pill as an entire meal of bitter chewable pills.

Anyway, I woke up this morning wondering where we sit now, what goals we should now have for the season, and what we learned. Here are a few of my thoughts, and I’d love to hear yours:

  • Antonio Reyes is worse than just awful; he’s wildly inconsistent and offers a fleeting glimpse of brilliance just often enough to merit inclusion in important matches. If he didn’t play well every 8 matches he’d never get on the field so he could flippantly lose possession all the time. I would prefer this–I would prefer he always sucked. It’s gotten to the point that I’ll probably resent him for playing well the next time he has an outstanding game sometime next month or whatever.

  • Similarly, I can’t imagine why we’d ever need to play Navarro at left back again, barring perhaps Alberto being run over by a train. The kid has proven himself in games big and small, so play him. Case closed.

  • Speaking of injuries and defensive personnel decisions, Spahic’s loan exit sure looked very suspect last night as we watched our CBs give up two goals by foolish mistakes in the first half hour of a game in which we absolutely could not concede. I know Del Nido said he left in part because he wanted to leave, but we must be down to whatever pesos we can still find in the couch cushions to make that move at this point in the season, with so much to play for and so much required to get it. An injury to any of our three remaining CBs means we don’t have the luxury of sitting whichever defensive liability looks to be the most disastrous on a particular week, and they haven’t looked especially inspiring, so that option is one I suspect we’ll miss at some point before the season’s over.

  • And on the subject of what’s left for the season, our path to Europe is now only through the top end of the table. I’m not clear what the dual conditions of both CdR finalists qualifying for CL and Malaga’s disqualification from Europe will mean for qualifying for Europa. Usually the former scenario means that 7th place gets to go to Europa, but if Malaga finishes in the top 7, will their situation mean the last Europa spot is 8th? Regardless, the team clearly has some work to do, as there’s probably not going to be a scenario that sees 12th place doing anything but selling players all summer.

  • Which brings me to my final point, which I was trying to make last week: we need to win these next three games against three bottom-dwelling squads. We need the points, we need the positive results, and we need the momentum.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Any takeaways from yesterday? What are your expectations and hopes for next season? Show the world your undying optimism or brutal realism in the comments below!