With Sevilla’s 2-1 victory over Naples today,
the preseason has ended [UPDATE: no it hasn’t, we have one more game on the 14th against Depor], and it’s now time for games that have actual meaning and impact, starting with a very crucial match in 10 days to gain entry into the Europa League. But before we look ahead, let’s take a minute and look back at how the team has performed in the last month, and what (if anything) we’ve learned from the matches.
I only saw the second half of today’s match, so my insights are going to be pretty limited. But I was impressed with Sevilla’s sense of purpose and comfort on the ball: countless possessions that started in the backfield beat high pressure with two or three one-touch passes in triangles, and then moved quickly through the midfield to a flank, where Navas or Perotti did what they do to put in a cross or cut in to a dangerous position in the box. Also present was a much more direct counterattack, where all of the above happened in three touches instead of ten. Overall I was very impressed with what I saw, even if at times Sevilla seemed to back off and absorb pressure deeper than I would’ve liked. When they did, there were times Sevilla looked organized and composed, but too often the defensive efforts looked too “nervous”, as English announcers always say. Still work to be done there, but again in general things are looking promising, and I was left with the impression that the team has a stronger sense of identity than they did last year. At this early stage I’d give Marcelino a positive grade.
Obviously this was just one half, and I’m sure others of you saw more of the preseason action and have more insightful things to say, so add your thoughts in the comments: what was good this preseason? What was bad? Who impressed, and who has work to do? Who would you be totally happy to see leave before the end of the transfer window, and what positions need reinforcements?
While you ponder these questions, here are highlights from our matches:
Xérez 0-3 Sevilla
Córdoba 1 – 4 Sevilla
Sevilla 5 – 0 Espanyol
Naples 1 – 2 Sevilla