Sevilla – Rayo

If the season ended right now you wouldn’t hear many complaints from this Sevilla team, which is going to be forced to run around a grass field two more times before they are mercilessly, finally done running around grass fields for this season. Last match was, of course, depressing, and it will be no small feat for some of these players to pick themselves back up after the double-whammy of a Betis home loss and all but exclusion from Europe. This horse is down, and shooting it would be the generous thing to do.

On to positives:

1. This deserves its very own post, but the generally agreed upon Best Player Ever for Sevilla will appear in his final match in the RSP. Frédéric Kanouté has been included in the squad, and one can only assume that he will see the field today in spite of his injury. It’s pretty obvious why Big Freddy is number one for us: 127 goals, 258 matches, 6 trophies, and a thousand dancing butterflies. He glides, he flits, floats, and twirls. He is the gazelle. He is the giraffe. “I saw Freddy Kanouté play,” is something I will say to myself later in life. He is the most graceful player I’ve ever watched, often found doing something like a football Aikido or fast-motion Tai Chi. It’s underestimated, since most fancy footwork is offensive and designed to disequilibrate the defender, that one can be creative in holding and steering the ball, but that is Freddy’s ballet: one of gravity and possession. Rarely has he beaten people on the dribble – that’s Navas’s forte; Freddy dances to keep the ball his. Like Keanu fighting Agent Smith at the very end of the Matrix, Kanouté’s dance comes from a quiet, inner calm as opposed to a fiery competitiveness. Dance once more, Freddy.

2. Will we see Campaña and/or Babá play a full 90? With Negredo suspended and Kanouté hurt-ish, one might suspect that Michel is left with only one option up top: the Babanator. Who knows, though. Maybe Michel thinks Manu is due following two easy biffs at midweek. He’s usually a 1/3 great chance guy. I can see that. Also, with Medel missing the rest of the year, it would be a great chance to see Campaña get some quality minutes ahead of known commodities like Rakitic (bummer season) and Fazio (occasional Medel stand in). I would again like to highlight that Cala and Fazio played tremendously last week, which is something to say for two players who were our 3rd and 4th best CBs coming into the season.

Don’t know if I’ll be able to see any today, but I hope to at least catch the later part of the match to see Kanouté one last time.