This season has blazed by. And suddenly, we have just two games left in La Liga. As pointed out in our twitter feed, this has really been a tale of two teams. An away team and a home team. But you could also slice it differently and say that its a team of La Liga and a team of knockout tournaments. The former has been pretty mediocre, rightly sitting 7th in the table, while the latter has turned in some great performances and proven they know how to progress through tournaments against complicated opponents (even acknowledging that we’ve had some fortunate draws along the way).
We sit in 7th, thanks to our own inconsistency and utter failure to ever take 3 points away from the RSP. We have no one to blame but ourselves for this extremely tepid showing. But its hard not to feel some disappointment given the raised expectations so many of us had going into the season. We’ll do a post-mortem on the season later presumably. Going into these final two matches we are 7 points ahead of 8th, so we can’t fall any lower, but are 5 behind 6th, making it essentially impossible to imagine we’d climb higher. Because we are also in the Copa final, this means that we are guaranteed to play European football next season. If we win the Europa League then we’ll go direct into the CL group stages. If we lost the EL final but win the Copa, we’ll go direct into the Europal League group stages. And if we lose both, then the 7th spot will become an EL qualifying round spot. So at least we’ll keep our streak of European football intact.
Is there anything worth paying attention to for this game tomorrow? The Liverpool game will still be ten days away. So there probably isn’t much need for rotation just yet. But I think it could be an important chance for guys like Escudero who will now need to fill in for Tremoulinas to show up and step up. Llorente and/or Munoz are likely to see some time and maybe make a claim to why they should see the pitch in either of our finals. It’s possibly a chance for Coke to play a bit more on the RW, for Reyes to get some match opportunities and see if he can contribute in the meaningful matches. And of course, its one more chance for Konoplyanka. A guy who, even now, many of us are hoping will suddenly turn into the player we hoped he’d be at the beginning of the season, but up to now can be considered a disappointment.
Hey Kono, if you’re reading this, make us eat our words. Dominate in the EL and or CdR finals. Show a full 90 minutes of what you’ve otherwise only done in flashes. If you do, all sins will be forgiven.
Anyway, its been a very odd season. A team that has been wildly inconsistent and always able to lose to the weakest opponents or to defeat the mightiest. La Liga is effectively finished for us, besides perhaps some pride avoiding a season without an away win. But these next two matches will hopefully set us up for our two finals and give us some time to recuperate and adjust to the immense number of injuries/absences we’re expecting to have.
Sorry for the slightly uninspired post. But regardless…. VAMOS!!!
PS. Every day between now and the EL final, everyone here should find a little bit of time to troll at least one Liverpool fan. We can/should keep it classy. But lets remind these entitled EPL fans that their league isn’t as good as ours, and that WE are the defending champs. For some pre-researched material you can start by skimming this. But my goodness, this match is going to be wild… Getting butterflies thinking about it already.