I was on the fence at the end of last season (not sure which thread but you can defo quote me on my stance) but said he deserved another year in charge. Fast forward 6 months and the wheels are appearing to come off, worst thing is we’ve been here before - before the covid lockdown and the EL mini tournament Lope’s Sevilla were also flat and pathetic, then Sevilla came bursting out of the gates after the lockdown to secure 4th coupled with a fairytale EL tournament where almost everything went our way - a season to remember.
Lope has not done the same wonders this season with no extended break and is still found wanting against big teams. Jury is leaning against him but you have to ask if he does leave who would replace him? Gracia is struggling at Valencia, Pellegrini likewise at Betis, Marcelino was in charge of one of the blandest Sevilla teams in the past decade and didn’t even see the season out, though to his credit Valencia did look ready to take the next step under his stewardship before the Lims pulled out that step (pun) and he is still available. I can’t really name any manager from France, Italy or Germany who would be interested in this position so options are limited.
From what I have seen on the pitch and gathered transfer-wise, the 4-3-3 just isn’t the optimal tactic with this group of players. Look around Europe and only the best teams in each league have the quality to field a side of 433 (ManC, Liverpool, Chelsea under Lampard, Real, Barca, P$G, Ajax) with each player having both the technique and intelligence to play their role and cover for others. Sevilla do not have a squad of that quality, not even a starting 11. Adding Papu is a good move on paper but he isn’t a winger, he plays best as an attacking midfielder in a 4231 or even a 3421, same goes for Oscar, I would really love it if Sevilla try a 3421 but Lope is hellbent on the 4-3-3 and starting Rakitic and Jordan together.
There are also some questions transfer-wise, Rekik is a bleh transfer and one that was more panic than well thought out. I’ve been screaming for a decent backup DM/ ball-winner for 2 seasons and would probably never understand why the club went for De Jong rather than Aleksandr Isak given both were transferred for a similar sum, surely the latter fits the team physically and age-wise.
So my requirement is simple - 4th or bust. That is the absolute minimum.