Villarreal – Sevilla Match Comments

I imagine the mood of these two teams will be quite different when they face off this weekend. Sevilla of course is coming off their debut which saw them play outrageously bad defense but outrageously great everywhere else on the field, and in the aftermath sort of becoming one of the biggest stories of pretty much anywhere in the early European season. Villarreal, however, is about to play their fourth game in 11 days, two of which were very difficult games that saw our Spanish friends eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Monaco. So from the perspective of stamina, morale, momentum, etc, Sevilla I suppose is the favorite.


But of course “momentum” as a sporting phenomenon is mostly bullshit, and Villarreal is playing at home, and using very early season games as an indication of how a team’s going to play is often a fool’s errand. Also Pato looks like he’s going to be a great signing, and did I mention our defensive tactical approach thus far appears to simply be “please God don’t make us play defense”? So I don’t agree we’re favorites, and while I won’t put money on Sevilla winning tomorrow I am counting on being thoroughly entertained. Vamos!

Comments 56

  1. Sampaoli said that he hopes that Iborra stays here during his pre-match press conference. I’d be very surprised if he leaves at this point.

  2. Do you like Pato as a player Jeremy? I’ve never seen anything special in Pato even after the extreme hype in the Milan days. He’s not even near the level of Soldado in my opinion. Why do you think he will succeed in Villarreal particularly?

    1. Post

      I don’t, particularly, but I think he has the potential to be dangerous on his day, and I worry that our back line gives anyone a chance for “their day”. (Of course we’ve only seen them play one game in La Liga, and who knows how they’ll look tomorrow.) Anyway, Pato scored against Monaco, and I won’t be shocked if he scores against us.

      I think more broadly, Villarreal right now reminds me of 2010, the year Sevilla finished fourth and then failed to qualify for the CL in the playoffs. We followed that up with several years of mid-table mediocrity and financial troubles which were only relieved in 2013 when we sold Navas and Negredo. We tried to make the leap to being a CL team, failed, and it took us a long time to rebuild and recover from that. More than whether or not Pato scores against us this weekend, he to me is a worrying symbol of a (I assume) hefty spend on salary that didn’t pay off in CL money, and a decision that could weigh the club down for years.

  3. The game last year between Sevilla and Villarreal at Sevilla was maybe the best football game of the year. It represented everything right about the beautiful game. It helped me switch from being a fan of what Sky sports calls the best league in the world to what my eye tells me is best league in the world.

    I expect another highly entertaining game on Sunday.

  4. Valencia lost again this time to Eibar, Valencia currently sit bottom. And leganes held atletico to a draw.

  5. sad cristoforo going to fiorentina, though that seems like a good spot for him… sounds like a full transfer?

    and crazy that kono not even in the team list for the villareal match. yikes. just a few more days left of the transfer window.

    cant watch the game tomorrow as i’ll be on a flight. looking forward to all of your comments.

  6. Not convinced that the Cristoforo-transfer is the right move! As I understand it is a loan with an “obligatoria” buy-clause. So they have to buy him at the end of the season, yeah?
    In that case: thank you for your effort, Cristoforo! Too bad with your injuries – you definitely had the potential to be a key-player at Sevilla FC.

    1. Most definitely. I mean… he’s miles ahead of Kranevitter at this current form right? Sometimes I can’t understand certain decisions from the management, however, in them we trust.. as always.

  7. Today marks the death anniversary (9 years) of our legend, Antonio Puerta. Rest In Peace!

    Let’s win this one for Puerta tonight!

  8. In other news, the new England NT coach Sam Allardyce reveals how he attempted to call up N’Zonzi for the NT squad, as N’Zonzi played only for France youth levels, not senior NT. The attempt failed, with N’Zonzi refusing to represent any other country but France… quite interesting and a high level of patriotism from our guy here!

    1. Wrong translation from ElDesmarque… it turned that FIFA blocked the move, as N’Zonzi played for France U21 before. They told the England NT that they can eventual appeal the decision but it would rather be unsuccessful, so they ditched that option. Not sure though what N’Zonzi thought about that… he would most likely be ready to play NT football, England is not a bad choice (although sucks in major competitions).

  9. Won’t see this game live, but i’ll catch the recording in the morning.

    I’m sure Vietto will get the start, especially as he’s facing his old club. But if Sampaoli insists that he isn’t changing strategy, why start both strikers again? We’re not losing either player to any NT so rest won’t be needed. I’m curious to see how we’ll lineup in central midfield. We can’t leave ourselves open like last game against Villarreal, a formidable counter-attacking side.

    Also on Konoplyanka, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it. If we lose him, it gives us the chance to sign a player to complement the forward line and/or our wing position. We shall see.

    And as always… ¡VAMOS MI SEVILLA!

    1. Konoplyanka close to signing with Schalke… the latest rumors. Zenit and Lokomotiv from Russia are also very interested in him. Given that he’s already out of the list for an important match like vs. Villarreal, I think we’ll see him depart in the coming days. And sure, a nice replacement will be needed.

  10. Rico, Kolo, Vietto, Kiyotake, Nzonzi, Sarabia, Vitolo, Pareja, Vazquez, Rami, Mariano.

    Something like:

    Only one striker this time and Kolo and Rami return. Looks like a strong line-up and we will need the best to win this one!

    On the bench: Caro, Mercado, Iborra, Ganso, Correa, Kranevitter and Ben Yedder.

      1. Btw, it’s more how Jolazo structured it. Sampaoli won’t change the style as he pointed out in a recent press conference. So we will still have 3 at the back, but now a more solid back with Rami returning and Kolo is way better than Mercado on the left, as he’s a LB by trade anyway.

        However, an ideal back line would be: Carrico – Rami – Escudero/Kolo with Mariano and Vitolo to complete the 5 from the 5-3-2 formation. Not sure if Pareja will ever get back to his old form and he’s done too many errors so far to have a green light for me. Hopefully he’ll improve, but I cannot see him getting minutes before Carrico in any way possible.

    1. Nice lineup… knew that it was going to be one striker away. Sampaoli is still testing, but I guess it will be two strikers at home vs. mid-table opponents and one striker away vs. any opponent. We might also see one striker at home vs. top opponents this season, and in all matches in CL. I’d fancy Ben Yedder more than Vietto as a lone striker, but let’s see what happens tonight.

      Expecting a great match and 3 important points of course.


  11. Looking like that 3-5-2 lineup again. All depends on where Vitolo plays. Still very flexible with Mariano & Kolo on each side, where the formation can vary a bit. Looking forward to how well Sarabia plays. And of course, it should be a joy to see Mudo on the pitch.

    1. It’s been a long while (after 2014-15) since I’m very excited ahead of an away match of Sevilla. The home matches were usually totally different under Emery, but the away matches… don’t know. He even dodged the question by giving a ‘meh’ and cliche answer when Chris interviewed him regarding that issue.

      If we win this tonight and if we hold on to having the majority of possession, mixed with a couple of decent signings and proper departures, we can be in for a spectacular season. It all depends how it will work tonight, the system when we are forced to play with only 1 up front as tonight. Should be fun anyway…. let’s see.

  12. We have too many guys on the left side of the attack. Mariano is the only one on the right half of the pitch. Switch fields. Use the whole length of the pitch.

  13. Not bad, we didn’t concede, that’s the most important thing so far. It’s a very even match, and both teams showed signs of danger. Our defense now is more balanced and Villarreal are not being able to have a party in our half as Espanyol did… but we also are paying the consequence of playing with one striker up front, not creating concrete scoring chances.

    Vietto is useless outside the box… I still think Ben Yedder would do a better job here, even though Villarreal are playing carefully in the defense and not many errors from their side.

    Kiyotake very poor so far with a lot of mistakes… Kolo not bad but still can’t trust him, and Pareja is often isolated in the right with no one there to pass. Don’t know what that is about, but Pareja has been seen way too often raising his hands in a sign of ‘who to pass to?’ Not a good signal.

    Let’s see what happens in the second… but it sometimes feels that we’re in this for the draw and not for an actual win. Hopefully we see a positive change in the second, with more offensiveness. This Villarreal are not a side to fear!

  14. Not the same kamikaze style like last game. The defence is working under more normal circumstances, but it’s hurting the attacking play. Kiyotake with some bad decisions in the first half.
    We have had quite alot of crosses from both Mariano and Kolo, but they lack quality and I’m not sure that is really the gameplan.
    More Vazquez and Kiyotake-magic in midfield must be the simple solution. That will leave more space for Sarabia and Vitolo as well. So just do that!

  15. Dull, boring match. Did we train crossing into the box at all? Mariano and Kolo wasted crosses all night long. Kiyotake lost countless balls and Vietto very useless up front alone, but even when Ben Yedder came in he wasted a lot of chances in counters.

    Mudo was literally his own nickname tonight… add to that invisible, but won’t bash him as everyone has their off days, even Messi… so yeah.

    Rico man of the match, saved our asses there a lot of times, and Vitolo was the only outfield player worthy to mention and that showed signs of making the difference in the match, yet unfortunately didn’t.

    We basically played a mere 4-4-1-1 formation and while the defense was less chaotic than last week (still quite chaotic though), the attack was almost non existent. The only positive note in our attack and midfield were a couple of fast pulled counters, that couldn’t get materialized well in the end.

    It’s not bad to draw away vs. Villarreal, however, this Villarreal is very weak, and they’ve missed 3-4 starters and Pato was injured in the first half. Plus, they had a lot of internal issues with Marcelino (the architect of their squad) being sacked etc. We should’ve beat them!

    What surprises me is that we haven’t actually made 1 shot on goal, yet Villarreal had 5, but the possession at the end of the match is: 38-62% for Sevilla. Weird!

    Not quite optimistic after this dull performance, but there are a lot of things left to improve and hopefully Sampaoli is taking serious notes as the signals are not that good. When going ultra-attack, we conceded 4 while scoring 6, a bit of luck involved surely and it was only Espanyol who allowed us that. When going balancing play, our attack is non-existent yet the defense still shaky, we make 0 shots on goal, allow 5 and it takes a heroic performance of our goalie to save us. The signal is very bad… hopefully things get fixed soon as we will face Juve in Turin in about 2 weeks and we might risk a total annihilation there.

  16. Oh and 20 games and counting without an away win in La Liga! At least we hold a negative record!

  17. Rico was the player of the game. Despite the advantage in possession there were a lots of giving the ball away. Lucky to get a point, if Villarreal had some better finishes it would have been a worse outcome.

  18. Thanks for the comments guys. Guess I’m not too upset I missed it.

    How was ricos distribution? Better than before?

    1. We mainly played the ball on the ground out of the back, which he was fine at. It put a lot of the onus on Nzonzi to dictate the distribution out of the back, and he was largely fantastic today. Didn’t play many of those diagonal balls to the sideline that he likes to hit into row 15.

  19. Villarreal should’ve scored a couple goals off our bad passes out of the back that were intercepted. Rico saved us. I think we deserved to lose that game. No attack and dumb stubbornness to not just boot the ball upfield when in danger.

  20. Couldn’t catch the game again as it was at 0415 here (who comes up with these godawful times, I’m not interested in watching overrated galacticos wipe other teams off the face of the earth every week), but gathering your opinions this was a game to forget. I sort of expected an attacking game but 7 shots with just 1 on goal speaks about the quality and tempo. I am pleased we got a clean sheet away from RSP for once though.

    Seeing how the team lined up I’m pleased rami is back in and the defense should be more solid after this, Pareja can still do a job but probably not 2 games a week given our style of play and the amount of pressure he would be under. I’m also glad Rico had a good game, maybe the loan signing of sirigu is taking effect?

    Still, with just 2 days left till the window closes I don’t expect much reinforcements, having a 3rd striker come in would be nice but I just don’t see it and expect Fernandez to be that guy though I’d still rather have munoz. Cristoforo leaving for Fiorentia is regrettable as I feel he has a lots to offer and that leaves us really thin at defensive midfield; even before the game reports were saying we received bids for BOTH N’zonzi and Iborra, imagine losing them both on deadline day then we’re stuck with the on-loan and reserved Kranevitter for the entire season, that gives me the chills. I’d still want one more center back but won’t expect one. Hopefully the final deal will be Medel, Inter should let him go anyway, they have Melo and Kondogbia on top of him along with Brozovic, I sometimes wonder how they manage to attract and keep so much talent despite being on the fringes of Europe every season, wish we could do that too.

    1. I also wonder often how Inter manages that? I mean… they had one ‘perfect’ season winning the treble with Mourinho, even though it required Eto’o to play as full back and the whole team being extremely defensive minded, playing ugly, wasting time etc.

      Really can’t understand it. I may cut some slack on Ac Milan, who truly are a big name in Europe, even though they failed to achieve anything important for a long long time. But Inter… quite weird. The most shocking for me was when the agent of Banega stated that “It is every Argentine player’s dream to play for Inter”… then even Simeone got rumored a lot at one point with coaching Inter. Maybe it has something to do with Javier Zanetti? Not sure.

  21. p.s: Just noticed, but that is a hilarious photo of Pato 😀

    I also agree with ShendM that he was over-hyped at Milan

    Another Brazilian who failed to keep his career going on the trajectory that was expected of him

    1. It’s always risky when a player is over-hyped at the age of 18. Pato was a good guy in overall, not the type of Balotelli… but I really couldn’t see anything special in that player no matter how much they rated him at the time. Being forgotten around 22 is never a good sign for a player’s career. He was quite unfortunate with injuries, but still, I never thought he was an above average striker… and being an average striker is not bad at all in today’s football.

  22. The ‘deadly’ duo of Lyon, Lacazzete and Fekir are injured and will not play against us in the first match between the teams in CL. Lacazette is out 3 months, so he is also very likely to not play in the second match vs. Sevilla on 7th of December, while Fekir will be ready to play by then.

  23. Damn, schizo-Sevilla is back? Thank goodness for Sergio Rico. If Villarreal had their main strikers fit, it would easily have been an away loss. First official clean sheet, so at least we’re getting better at the one end.

    That’s too bad for Lyon. They could’ve made this group a bit interesting. I don’t like playing depleted teams.

    Last 3 days of a crazy & inflated transfer window. Hopefully no more shock departures.

  24. Soria linked with a loan move to Leganes.

    While the newest and most exciting rumor so far is out… Samir Nasri to Sevilla????

  25. How about this scenario:

    We sell Konoplyanka, free the foreign quota for CL and sign Nasri?


    We sell Iborra and sign Medel? (this would mean one of the foreigners will have to free the quota to make room for Medel, whether it is Ganso, Correa, Kranevitter… who knows?

  26. this offseason is pretty crazy. nasri is intriguing for sure… but is he in good form?

    id love medel. id be very sad to see iborra go. but id be very happy to have medel join.

    very weird about how we’d have to handle the foreigners… kranevitter hasn’t really convinced any of us, but then what? we’d still need to add another domestic player, right?

    soria also might be getting loaned out. must be super frustrating for him. he wins the EL with us last season playing a huge role, gets an unlucky injury and now likely shipped away.

  27. I’m not happy about the Nasri rumours at all

    He strikes me as another Konoplyanka , lazy and moody and doesn’t work hard enough for a starting place. Since he left Arsenal he has featured rarely for Man City, and I don’t see him bringing any positive vibes to the Sevilla dressing room either. Should he sign for us though, I’d be more than happy to be proved wrong.

    1. There is a significant difference between him and Kono, especially skills-wise. However, you are right to be pessimistic and it’s understandable for everyone else to be, as his recent form was crap. He had an injury that kept him out for a considerable time (around 4-5 months) since December 2015, and he always struggled to get minutes in City. Anyway, he is still a proven quality winger (Arsenal golden years) and he has still a couple of years left to be on top form I guess.

      One thing is certain, he is countless miles better than Konoplyanka and is not selfish at all. Not sure whether he’ll be able to contribute much in the defense, but I think we get him more for a third option striker (to play up front with Vietto or Ben Yedder) rather than a winger. I doubt that he can do Vitolo’s job in the right or left wing, running around the field all by himself… but he is known to breakthrough in the opponent’s box well, makes killer passes often and has a decent shot. He can be used also for as an attacking midfielder if Mudo is not available. Even though I’d like to see more of Correa as he had an outstanding pre-season, I’d still give Nasri an upper hand on that. Ganso is going to be used more in a more central midfielder role rather than an AM like Mudo I suppose.

  28. An interesting analysis of Orgullo de Nervion regarding the contrast from the Espanyol match to Villarreal.

    vs. Espanyol = 11 shots on goal, 70% possession, 20 balls lost (mainly bad passing), 6 goals scored, 4 conceded.

    vs. Villarreal = 0 shots on goal, 65% possession, 5 balls lost (similar), 0 goals scored, 0 conceded.

    So basically, statistically speaking, we dominated both matches, but the difference is that in the first we actually did something productive when we had the ball in our feet, while in the second match, we had the ball even more, but just passed around without creating any danger up front. Luckily we didn’t concede though.

    A huge contrast… yet not sure which style will be more preferred by Sampaoli in the long run. We’ve seen the latter style that was used vs. Barcelona… no danger at all. There was a good mix of styles vs. RM and we almost beat them, while dominating them.

    There are 2 weeks for Sampaoli and the guys to work things out. Let’s see what happens next.

    The next 1-2 signings and departures will also tell a lot about the squad quality. We better act wisely. Monchi and Samp, don’t disappoint us!

  29. There is a lot of hype over Las Palmas lately. They’re being hailed as the Leicester of La Liga… HAHA!

    Let’s see what happens after they play 6-7 matches in La Liga and actually face a decent/serious team. Our next match is against them and I hope we will teach them a lesson or two, while bringing them down to earth at the same time.

  30. Leicester talks after two games?! Haha, it’s good for Las Palmas though. They’ve been a steady side since the latter part of last season, so they deserve a bit of praise. I wonder which team Roque Mesa will be playing for once that game comes around?