For the entire time I’ve been writing match previews for this site, one of the first things I usually do is check to see where our opponent is on the table, how many points they have, their recent form, etc. As I prepared to write about our match with Espanyol, I thought to myself that it seemed like they’d had a generally poor season. I looked on the table to see if my perceptions bore out in their current position, and sure enough, they’re in 11th place, with 43 points. Pretty bad, but not, I guess, that atypical for Espanyol, a team I more or less associate with consistent mediocrity. “Poor Espanyol, they don’t suck exactly but they’re never great. Sucks to be a sucky mid-table team!”
I thought all of that in the .2 seconds before I saw Sevilla tied with them in the table.
So, could we win this game? Sure. Should we? I don’t know…look at the stats and it’s hard to argue we’re not this team’s equal. Of course if you look at the squad list, you’d think this would be an easy 3 points at home. But you know better than that, because you’ve seen all of these players, these players with great reputations or the constant siren song of potential and future promise, you’ve seen them all season. You know. You know that they’re capable of wonderful things, but all too often you see them underperform, underwhelm. So you, like me, are probably not feeling super confident, and maybe not even especially hopeful. I haven’t checked recently, but I think it’s still mathematically possible to get a European spot. The truth is mathematics is a poor barometer for this team, because math doesn’t have a way to account for indifferent suckitude, although I think Desartes was working on an algorithm for this before he died of pneumonia.
Without that knowledge, though, we’ll have to learn our grim future one crappy game at a time. Best of luck, fellow Sevillista travelers.