About doing the right thing in the defense, I’m also quite intrigued about it. There is definitely something about not even allowing the opponents a shot on goal for 2 matches (vs. Girona and Las Palmas), although Girona could’ve easily scored with that penalty there and that Pons chance (lucky flick by Lenglet).
It also comes down a lot to luck… we are having tremendous luck so far this season and it all started with that 93rd minute post from Emre vs. Basaksehir in the CL play offs. If it weren’t for luck, we would be out of CL and who knows how things would go from there.
Then not to mention the crazy luck vs. Liverpool. In any other night, it would’ve been 3-4 to 1 at the first half with no chance of comeback. We were annihilated there, and only a miracle saved us from a heavy defeat. They were creating a chance like every two minutes or so in the last 20 mins of the first half, it was absolutely crazy. So not sure if the defense can be hailed as heroes there, rather the luck and the goalpost during the penalty.
Still not sure what to expect from this team. I don’t like the heavy rotations, as it is definitely not necessary at this point as you mentioned, too early to experiment a lot, but maybe better now than never. Every coach that we had came up with some weird ideas and if it worked, we praised them, if not their heads were called (not only us here per se, but Sevillistas in overall).
Sampaoli also had a good first half of the season, then as the majority of us predicted, the players ran out of fuel and crashed during the second half of the season, specifically from February and onward. January was still good.
With the way that we’re playing now, and compared to the strategies used by some other teams, especially Man Utd (Mou style), is that we are trying to kill the game off, not giving the opponents much hope or desire to do anything, kind of giving the impression that we’re settling for a draw, then BAM, we surprise them in the second half. That is kind of the reason why the stats show 0 shots on goal for Girona and 0 for Las Palmas. With Emery, Sampaoli etc. it would’ve been at least 3-4 shots.
Berizzo played differently with Celta though, they were more pragmatic and didn’t try to control the match, but they’ve done a lot of damage to the opponents, especially from the counters.
We are slowly (not quite yet) getting back the counter-attacking mojo that we had before. After all, if Mourinho and some other managers use it with their multi-billion valued teams, then why can’t we do so? We were dominating all the matches with Sampaoli and even got Barca to a 50-50 possession at half time, but we didn’t win all the matches… drew a lot that shouldn’t been drawn and lost those that shouldn’t been lost.
There is still time, but we as Sevillistas are used to win only if we dominate and play a great game. We are still kinda dominating with Berizzo, but playing a bit uglier, yet keeping on winning, which matters the most. I’d take trophies vs. exciting play any given day. We are tired of playing great and exciting only to end up never winning La Liga or going to a CL final or something similar in our lifetime as Sevillistas.