Here is the post I’d imagined BEFORE the debacle in the RSP:
“Remember back at the half season marker and our hopes were soaring? Inching towards Champs league spots and kicking ass in europa, we were riding a collective high. And I posted that we needed to calm ourselves because the first half of our season would again be savagely difficult and we would likely drop in the table. We did, and predictably, spirits plummeted, skies fell, and we started calling for the head of Emery. But then we started winning again. Apparently playing well again. And last night, we kicked the ever loving shit out of our hated rivals Betis to cement ourselves in the quarterfinals. But it goes further, a win against Valladolid and a loss by Athletic Bilbao away at Villareal and we’re just 7 points out of Champs League spots. Dare we dream?!”
Now, with the humiliating defeat to Betis at the hands of Jeremy’s curse of the Saag Paneer (I simply can’t see it as a coincidence that Saag Paneer is green), I can’t write that above post with either gusto or factual accuracy. We now have a VERY tall order to try and turn that tie around. Making things worse, it will be without Iborra (yellow accumulation) and Carrico (2-3 weeks with an injury). Worse still are the suddenly cacophanous rumors surrounding Captain Rakitic’s departure for, of all places, Atletico. A move which would feel a lot like a slap to the face for me.
So is the sky falling again then? Was that last 6 game win streek a mirage? Admittedly, my stream was such a horror show that I could barely tell what was happening on the pitch against Betis. It seemed like we had chances and they didnt. Like we dominated and they didn’t. Unfortunately, they scored twice, and we didn’t. But that’s football…. Or is it?
Undoubtedly, this team seems to have wild unpredictable swings of form. It’s unclear to me if that is the fault of the manager (perhaps by such inconsistently structured lineups and odd substitions), team leadership (maybe Rakitic is distracted by these rumors), or individual performances (Coke was apparently atrocious after recently having played quite well and Gameiro missed shots he had recently been bagging). I don’t know. I’m at a loss.
What I do know is that aside from having the challenging task of winning by two goals away next Thursday (something which I wholeheartedly know we are capable of), nothing else I said in my non-posted post is particularly untrue. We have been playing well recently. We DO have a soft schedule for the remaining 11 games of the season (considerably softer than what remains for Bilbao). We DO have everything to play for.
So for me, the sky isn’t falling just yet. This is what I signed up for as a Sevilla supporter. Three quarters of the season and our fates are totally undecided. We could still have considerable glory before this season is completed, or abject misery.
It will start tomorrow, on Sunday, where we need to regain our focus from these derbies and recognize that we can not let what should be three straightforward points slip away. Valladolid is on the brink of the relegation zone, so they’ll undoubtedly be motivated, but whoever takes the field (and I’d expect considerable rotation and rest for players needed next Thursday) had better be ready to let out derby aggression on on this poor unsuspecting team. Be damned that Valladolid will be emboldened by having just shocked Barcelona. We have no excuses.