During a press conference this week, Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido commented about Sevilla and the relative stature of his club and our favorite Andalucían outfit. Along with typical upcoming opponent boilerplate, Garrido commented that Sevilla is a reference point for his club based on our last decade and the success we’ve seen and how we’ve accomplished it. I found the comments interesting in part because it really puts this past decade in perspective as far as the way we arose without riches just as the rest of world football was becoming increasingly rapidly monetized, and success without outlandish operating budgets was becoming more and more rare. We ARE a reference point, and regardless of where we end up in the table this year or if we are on the verge of a down period for the club, no one can deny that what we did in the last 10 or so years is truly remarkable. Yay Sevilla!
But it was also interesting to me because it sort of crystallized the importance of this tie in the Copa del Rey: Villarreal is just coming out of a couple years’ worth of suffering after losing Pellegrini and the success he brought in the 2000’s, and have (this season, anyway) firmly placed themselves at the front of the rest of La Liga. This is obviously happening just as a consensus is forming that Sevilla is necessarily experiencing a return to the norm and that our buy/sell policy, while incredibly shrewd and effective, comes with an expiration date that may well already be past due. In that sense there is a feeling that Villarreal has arrived just in time to take our place not just in Spain but also in Europe. So this game, in addition to being a key matchup in the defense of our title, represents a chance for us to prove that we are still relevant in the “best of the rest” discussion, and that while we welcome Villarreal’s rise, we are certainly not passing any torches any time soon.
All of which to say: this game is BIG! Let’s get the W! Game is at 2ET, which by an unfortunate coincidence is just when class starts for me. I miss you guys–anyone going to be here to enlighten us with in-game commentary and updates?
¡¡¡¡VAMOS MI SEVILLA!!!!