Cadiz v Sevilla – Copa del Rey Round of 16 1st leg - Preview

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Never mind ‘Never Give Up’, perhaps ‘Expect the Unexpected’ should be considered as our current club slogan, such is the roller-coaster nature of our on and off-field endeavors in the past decade or so.

You would think we should be accustomed by now to multiple squad and managerial changes, but yet not even the most realistic Sevillista could have suspected that less than half way into, what on paper at least, looks like a semi successful season, that we would have sacked and appointed a new first team coach! We are currently in the last 16 of the Champions League, Copa del Rey, and comfortably 5th in La Liga, a mere two points behind World Club Champions Real Madrid… but as we all know, this wasn’t an entirely true reflection of how things were going.

Yes, Eduardo Berizzo was sacked, much to the relief of Sevilla supporters who have been less than satisfied with the direction the team has been heading, but to the dismay it seems of the general public, who funnily enough have no interest in Sevilla Football Club, not to mention have any idea about what was going behind the scenes at our club. The general ill informed, but understandable, feeling was that having recently been diagnosed with cancer, and the proximity to a major holiday, should have been good enough reason to keep Berizzo at the helm.

Thankfully, sentimentality was thrown out of the window in favor of a more realistic yet necessary decision. With a contract that was due to expire in 2019, Berizzo, with an inevitable severance package, will surely be financially sound for a while, and hopefully the time off and space away from the stresses of football, will give him the opportunity to focus on a full recovery. Despite his uninspiring few months at the helm, I am sure I speak for all Sevillistas in wishing Berizzo all the best , and I am sure health permitting he will be back coaching a team in La Liga soon enough.

So, on to tonight’s big match, the 1st leg away to local neighbors and high flying Segunda side, CF Cadiz who knocked out Real Betis in the last stage (in quite spectacular and hilarious fashion) should prove to be a stiff enough challenge to blow off any post winter break cobwebs. We have a fairly strong squad to choose from, which surprisingly includes N’Zonzi. An injury free night ahead of the weekend derbi would be just as important as a win in this game, as we always have a 2nd leg at home to make up for any slip ups down on the South coast.The players had a successful training day in front of our fans on New Year’s Day, so should go into tonight’s game feeling refreshed and ready to impress our new coaching team… who I almost forgot to mention!

Welcome, Vincenzo Montella! and welcome back club legend Enzo Maresca (pictured above) to the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan! Your first job is to navigate three local derbies with convincing wins, and to play attractive football along the way. The fans expect nothing less. Understood? OK let’s begin!

A new chapter in the history of Sevilla FC awaits… we are ready!

Vamos mi Sevilla!

Transfer Update

Despite his recent well publicized trip to England, N’Zonzi is back in Sevilla, and back in the squad to face Cadiz, so that is a boost to the team, especially ahead of the Betis game. Although it remains to be seen whether or not he will feature, or even see out the month before the transfer window closes, it looks like a new coaching team has been the main reason we may see him once again in a Sevilla shirt. Personally I would delighted if he is back in favor and can get back to his best and stay with the club for many years to come.

On the incoming side of things, rumors are we are chasing Everton forward Sandro Ramirez, who despite a successful season at Malaga and subsequent move to England, has failed to hold down a starting place in either Ronald Koeman or Sam Allardyce’s sides. With his pedigree in La Liga he ‘on paper’ looks like a handy addition to our squad, if we can indeed get him.

It will be interesting to see how much of a say Montella will have on new additions and departures.






After the new year’s break, it somehow feels that we haven’t player in a very long time.

New coach, same players except Arana, but he didn’t make the list, instead we have N’Zonzi. Not sure if Arana is even training as of now, and a bit weird that Montella has only called Escudero up, so we only have 1 LB for the match tonight, not even Carole.

Anyway, I was going to post a half-season analysis, but now it doesn’t matter too much since we have a new coach, and only at the end of the season we can make a deeper analysis if Montella fulfills his contract until the end (I hope he proves himself worth this second part of the season).

Some of the key things that need to be improved, as I’m very optimistic that we have the players to do so, just need a good approach, are:

  1. The deadly counters of Emery era

  2. Fighting for the ball, a lot of fouls in the middle of the pitch and more yellows

  3. Defending as a team

  4. Playing as a team, no place for unnecessary selfishness!

For tonight, I’d predict something like this, supposing Montella will go at 4-3-3 immediately:


Mercado - Kjaer - Lenglet - Escudero

    Pizarro  - Banega - Mudo

Sarabia/Navas Correa/Nolito

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Arana couldn’t contractually obtain a work permit before Jan 1st so he couldn’t even train with the team. Part of the red tape, it should just be a couple of days now.

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No Ganso in the squad v Cadiz. That’s 3 coaches then who don’t rate him?

I think in all fairness, he should’ve obtained the permit way before, at the moment of signature. Heck, Vidal trained for 6 months for Barca (even Luis Suarez because of his personal FIFA ban but a bit shorter, not sure), so why wouldn’t the almighty Arana train immediately?

This will only prolong his adaption, because there’s no better chance at performing than CDR and especially at this early stage. I’m starting to think our staff dealing with documents and bureaucratic stuff are a bit off… they didn’t learn from Muriel and Ganso’s Visa issues in the UK.

Yeah… it seems that the coaches tend to overlook him, regardless of who they are. Some of the reasons could include his impression of laziness in the training because of his playing style, his slow pace and lack of defensive effort (even though he didn’t do too bad lately when trying to recover balls). It has a lot to do how he gives the impression in the training. I think he is a totally different player when training and when playing in an official match, which is a big issue for every coach.

The 11 that trained in the open training session had Navas at right back, Nbonzo in the centre and Muriel up front, and of course the press are touting this as gospel. One thing about Montella is he doesn’t like to give away the starting 11, and I doubt he’s over confident, so it might not be so gospel.

Vamos sevilla! Let’s see what 2018 with montella will bring!


Tonights team

Sergio Rico; Corchia, Kjaer, Lenglet, Escudero; Pizarro, Nzonzi, Banega; Navas, Nolito and Muriel.

4-4-2 ?

Good start with the goal by Nolito and that’s great for the new manager. But excuse me for thinking we’re still playing the same shit football.

0-2 goal for Navas, long pass by Kjaer, defender fails to control, Navas nips in, one look for support and nothing, Navas decides to shoot, goalkeeper gets his angle totally wrong, goal.

fantastic! cant watch but looking forward to hearing your thoughts. hey Navas, maybe you should go for goal more!

Can confirm it’s the same shit football.

it would’ve been tough to revamp the entire system of play in what, three days? i’ll take a result for now and worry about style in another couple weeks.

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I know Rene. It’s just that it’s clear we have a lot of work to do before were back on track.

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Vamos sevilla! Strong first half!

Not sure if we are looking more dangerous as a team with Montella, or it’s just Cadiz and players giving their best to have a place in the starting eleven, especially the ones that do not have a guaranteed place.

Anyway, a good first half and we should keep it like this. Some defensive errors now and then, but nothing major.

The real test is on Saturday, but first let’s make sure we don’t screw this lead up in the second half and why not get another goal or two to secure the quarters.

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The Cadiz goalkeeper is worse than ours, hence the two goals.

The long ball over the top has been useful, the goal of Navas, a post by Sevilla and another defence splitting move. But we are so useless defensively that anything can happen. When the defence is sorted it will solve the problems of attack.

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I think we are the most suitable team for Man Utd’s tactics under Mourinho. He likes to exploit teams like ours, where we keep the ball because we think we’re good at it, then make a stupid mistakes somehow in the middle or close to our zone, and then they counter and score. All they will need is 2 players up front (as always) to cause us trouble. Montella needs to urgently work in fixing the defense, and if it means signing a new CB then so be it.

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