This last week was pretty tumultuous for our beloved team. I nearly had a heart attack as our name sake, Monchi, announced his departure from the club, the team refused to allow him to leave, and he then gave his heart wrenching explanation of why he left but how he was willing to come back and serve the team he loves…
Honestly… It’s been a wild ride. I feel very strongly that Monchi is perhaps THE reason that our team has won nine trophies including five Europa League titles over the last ten years. Yes, the team is bigger and goes beyond just the contributions of one man. But I do believe that his contributions have been bigger than anyone else’s anywhere in the organization. I think if Monchi did leave it would be somewhere between very bad and catastrophic for the team. No one is happier than me that he is staying.
So then, what better time to take a look at his work over the last year. Since his job is to find and bring in new players, it seems logical that an assessment of Monchi should build on an assessment of the teams’ incorporations over the last year. Being as objective as possible, you’d have to argue that his results have been mixed. At two points earlier in the season I took some time to assess the team’s new signings (in October and February), lets do a final wrap-up and also toss a grade on there for Monchi as well. Here are the grades I gave along the way (February first then October)
- Rami: A/B-
- Nzonzi: A-/B
- MKD: B+/A-
- Mariano: B+/B-
- Escudero: B/Incomplete
- Andreolli: B/A-
- Konoplyanka: B/B-
- Llorente: C-/C-
- Immobile: D/D+
- Kakuta: Incomplete/Incomplete
- Monchi: B+ (only graded in February)
So what do the final grades look like? Let’s go through…
- Rami: Yeah. He was an absolute rock once he got over his early season health issues. No one should be surprised that he’s on the French team right now. Final Grade: A.
- N’zonzi: He did have a rough start but got better and better as the season went on. Final Grade: A-.
- MKD: Was one of the least heralded signings we had coming in to the season. But he played a crucial role with his grit and determination. He beat out Konoplyanka for the starting role and absolutely earned it. Heart wrenching that he suffered such a gruesome injury and I think we all hope that he’ll have as speedy and as full recovery as possible. Final Grade: A-.
- Mariano: Never fully took over RB from Coke as many of us expected. But he did improve throughout the season. I’m a little surprised that Barca have supposedly expressed interest in him (I didn’t think he did THAT well) but we’ll see what happens. Maybe they’ll send Vidal back to us in exchange 🙂 Final Grade: B+.
- Escudero: I think he did acceptably if unspectacularly well on the left side. Tremoulinas had a really strong season giving him less opportunities to contribute, but generally performed well when given those chances. Final Grade: B.
- Andreolli: We forget now, but he really contributed in a major way early in the season when our CB position was a total injury trainwreck. Of course, he became a victim of that trainwreck as well. But its hard to know if we would have managed to even qualify for the EL (falling from the CL) without him adding some unglamorous stability on the back line. Wishing you the best wherever you land next season. Final Grade: B.
- Konoplyanka: Apparently I was in a generous mood in February. I consider him a really big disappointment. If Leicester City are actually interested in paying 28 million Euros for him, then be my guest. Immense talent. Completely unrealized up to now. Final Grade: C+
- Llorente: While we’re talking about huge disappointments… At least you gave us the goal in Turin that ultimately enabled us to win our fifth Europa League. You always seemed to play with passion (even if not with very much quality). But aside from that? Final Grade: C-.
- Immobile: Truthfully… I don’t think you got a very fair chance. But nothing really to add on this note since February so… Final Grade: D.
- Fazio and Diogo: Bringing back old friends really didn’t work out well for anyone involved. Final Grades: D.
I think that Emery maybe deserves his own set of discussion… I had very mixed feelings about him throughout the season. I still don’t understand why we were so impotent away from the RSP. Many of his team selections were baffling to me. And though it worked out, I still think we should have performed better in La Liga. I believe he also is a large part of why we brought in Llorente… Which didn’t exactly work out too well. But he also led us to two tournament finals and won the important one in Europa. I’d love to be harsher with his grade, but when you raise a trophy and qualify for the Champions League, you have to call the season a success. Final Grade: A-
And then Monchi… It’s so unfair to judge this man as the pure average of the players he brings in. Look at the turnover at teams like Barca or RM. They typically incorporate 3-5 players per season, nothing like the 12 Monchi had to bring in on an absolute shoe string budget. What should we realistically expect as a success rate for a task like his? Truthfully, I have no idea. The immense number of injuries this team suffered only made the task harder. He certainly wasn’t flawless. But when you look at the top end of that list, you’ve gotta feel like he didn’t do too badly either… I’m going to be a little generous and perhaps top him up by half a grade (I mean, clearly we’re biased here, our damn site is named after him). Full Grade: A-
The truth of the matter though is that if this team hadn’t somehow won the Europa, the season would be considered a huge failure. Probably everyone would be reduced by a half or full letter grade… But, we DID win. And we DO have another Europa trophy in our cabinet and Champions League football to look forward to next year.
And again, Monchi will have his work cut out for him. In typical Sevilla supporter fashion we are already bracing ourselves for departures. Banega is already gone. Rumors are swirling about Gameiro, Krychowiak, Tremoulinas, and N’zonzi among others. Of course this is to say nothing of Emery or even Monchi himself. As per usual, it will be a wild off season for our beloved team once again. Incoming rumors are raging as well with Praet, Kiyotake, Lucas Perez, and Ben Yedder among the names being linked to our club. We will need a whole lot more time before we can begin to assess this coming offseason but I am truly grateful that it is Monchi at the helm of the ship, guiding us towards future glories presently unknown.