Today Sevilla beat Espanyol 4–1, and at any rate are within 3 points of Champions League as they go to sleep tonight (Bilbao play Levante on Monday; we’ll see what comes of that). That realization made me think of Rene’s post from the halfway point of the season. At that point, we’d managed 30 points from 19 games (or ~1.6 points/game), and Rene noted that while that put us on pace for something like a 6th place finish and entry once again into the Europa League. Rene wondered if we’d be happy with that finish, though, since as the half-season closed we’d been playing a bit better and seemed to be coming into our own as a team perhaps capable of more than that.
And now here we are at the close of jornada 32, on 53 points. We’ve gone from 1.6 points/game in the first 19 games to 1.8 points/game in the 13 games since, and at this point I think we’ve all spent enough time dreaming not just about snatching that 4th place spot in La Liga but also maybe sneaking into the Europa semis (and beyond) that we’ll be at least a little disappointed to end the season with only a ticket back into the Europa.
So what’s my point? Well, for one: Rene had a pretty prescient observation back then, and I thought this was a good time to point that out. We have, you know, good writers here. For another, it’s interesting to me the value of perspective when considering how satisfied we are with our team’s (and coach’s, and players’) performance. If you told me we’d be within a game of the Champions League in week 32 before the season started, I’d say that sounded about right (I start every season believing every signing was a perfect signing, and the team is going to be incredible from week 1). A few weeks in, after the sale of Kondogbia…I’d think you were dreaming. At the halfway point when Rene wrote the above post, I’d be cautiously optimistic but more than a little skeptical. Maybe in some ways the most important thing isn’t where we end up this season, but the consistent improvement in the team’s level of play this year, and the outstanding performances they’ve been putting in for basically the last two months. It’s been a long time since being a Sevilla fan was this fun.
So, you know…vamos.