Recently…

Sevilla lost this morning to Rayo Vallecano. I didn’t see the game, but the match reports I’ve read sound pretty familiar: long stretches of offensive ineffectiveness punctuated by defensive lapses result in a loss against a team that didn’t look particularly great, but managed at any rate to top Sevilla. I hate to say it, but this is starting to sound like Sevilla’s script under Marcelino. How familiar is this script of late? Consider:

  • With today’s loss, Sevilla have dropped three consecutive games in La Liga and four straight against first division teams.
  • Combined score in those four losses: Sevilla 3, Opponents 10.
  • In their last 10 games, Sevilla have managed to secure 9 points of the 30 available.
  •  One game shy of the midway point, Sevilla’s record is a picture of mediocrity: 6 wins, 6 draws, 5 losses. 19 goals for, 19 against.
  • Those numbers are good enough for 7th place in the table, 6 points from 4th and 9 from 3rd (which will swell to 12 if Valencia beats Villarreal today).

We talk a lot about managing expectations around here, and with good reason. The club is looking to sell Cáceres and Perotti this transfer window, which I assume is a move that is totally justified by our financial situation. And I’m fine with that, truly–I would rather finish 10th place forever if it meant the team was honest and spent within its means rather than have them overspend in an attempt to buy titles like the big two. I totally buy into the idea that for Sevilla to be financially stable while La Liga is sucked dry for the sake of RM and Barca, on-field sacrifices must be made. That’s fine. I’m not asking the team to challenge for the title every year. But at the same time, even living within our humble means, this is a quality roster full of great players like Negredo, Kanoute, Navas, Perotti, and Rakitic, among others. There’s no other way to say it: this team is underperforming. Beyond the numbers above, the team looks lost and disjointed on the field, and they simply have far too much firepower up front to be this bad at moving the ball up the field and kicking it at the goal.

I’m not the type that screams for firing the coach, mostly because the likelihood is almost always that a new coach, with his new system and the pedigree that allows him to consider working for Sevilla, will be worse than the current coach. I would almost always prefer to see what the current coach can do over a few years instead of the increasing destabilization the club has fostered over the last four years of coaching changes. And it’s not really any different with Marcelino, really. It was obvious when the club fired Manzano that Marcelino wasn’t the guy they wanted, and aside from the near-hiring of Bielsa, Sevilla isn’t ever going to have a dream hire available to them. All of which is to say that I don’t think firing Marcelino is going to fix anything, and it’s not that I want that. But I AM saying that right now the team is playing way under its abilities, and that’s frustrating to see. And I’d like that to change.

What do you all think? Any thoughts about our current situation and how to get out of it? Leave your comments below and let’s see if we can fix everything before our mid-week Valencia return match!