¡Viva el Sevillismo! Sevilla fought hard and long against a fairly equally matched opponent (the comments will disagree). Marcelino deployed all of his options in a desperate attempt to find that golden, tying goal that would send us into extra time, giving us a great chance to go through. Among the many opportunities that were there for the taking, Negredo and Escudé come away the most culpable for failing to convert: Escudé on two golden-opportunity headers at the top of the 6′ and Negredo on two beautiful through balls that he (1) failed to control, and (2) failed to control.
Kanouté was a beast for most of the night, setting up back-to-goal and pulling down clearances, crosses and other punts, and steering them to his left = Navas. The “campeón mundial” (as SFC TV continually referred to him) sent in any number of crosses. Some met Sevilla heads. Some met the GK. Some met German heads. Other players chipped in a strong showing: Perotti was very active – beating his man several times down the left or cutting in, Trochowski was mostly engaged, feeding the strikers and creating danger on his own, and Coke, once again, found plenty to do behind Navas in creating danger. Negredo did his best up top, but I have to agree with the commentators on one point: he makes the impossible seem simple, and the simple seem impossible. I love the man, but he didn’t deliver on two clear-cut opportunities. It must be acknowledged that were his hitting the post a goal, it would completely change the previous sentence. He played all out, as is his tendency.
All in all, this is a major blow to Sevilla’s season. Many (all?) of us picked Sevilla to win the EL. This was even after the first leg of the qualification was played. Obviously, we have a lot of faith in our team. But where is that faith now? Marcelino is already being called out. The players are being called out. And I would like to say that this is not fair.
We were drawn against the most difficult opponent of any team in the EL draw. Heck, I would have preferred Roma ahead of Hannover. We played well in two games against them. Of course, failing to move on to the EL group stages is a blow, but really, we have a WHOLE SEASON ahead of us. Let’s not throw in the towel. We failed to meet our expectation in EL, but we have two more competitions that are just as important. Sulking is what the big clubs do when they fail to meet expectations. I’d like to think that smaller clubs rise up behind their team regardless. I know we struggle to walk the line between Big Club/Smaller Club, but I’d rather enjoy the season this time than bemoan something 9 months away from the final whistle.
If we want consistency, we’re going to have to demand consistency. Consistency is not one or two matches. It’s 38. See what we do in La Liga this year. As was mentioned in the comments, if we qualify for CL (which is a decent possibility) we will find ourselves back in the driver’s seat for new signings, etc. Then we are going to rally behind Marcelino, the team, etc. All I’m calling for is a more measured approach. The EL is a big deal, BUT the season should not be capsulized into one narrative yet (“We got knocked out before EL group stages”), or it will just be good old, sad-sack defeatism.
Are we excited about the season? Are we enthused about new signings, new manager, etc? Then hold onto that baby while we drain out the bath water. Grab hold of those bootstraps!
Sevilla! Sevilla! Sevilla! Grande eres!