Moving Along in NerviónBy: Anthony | September 8th, 2010
Losing a cup tie in the second leg when you hold a 3-1 lead going in, followed by an early and disappointing exit from the Champions League to a much smaller, lesser known team is extremely disheartening and hard to swallow. Unfortunately these were two circumstances that us in Sevilla had to endure already this season even though we are only officially one week into our La Liga campaign. The character of a team is really displayed in situations like this and in Sevilla we are strong.
A 1-4 victory against La Liga newcomers Levante may not seem like a result which would bring a derailing train like Sevilla back on track, but confidence is everything in football, ladies and gentlemen. Clearly with the talent amongst our squad there is no way we should have lost to Braga in the Champions League, especially by such a convincing margin at home. This past weekend we showed glimpses of the old Sevilla that many people have grown to love. Beautiful one touch football with dangerous flank play, it was a beautiful sight to see us get back to the basics and most importantly, get a much needed confidence boost.
Not only in my opinion was the victory against Levante in the opening match a sigh of relief, but the arrival of Martín Cácares to replace the departed Squillaci was also very comforting. Cácares never really got his time to shine in Barcelona but speaking with a Uruguayan friend of mine and as well as being familiar with him from his time at Villarreal, I am very confident that this is an ideal replacement. Staying on the subject of defence – it really seems that Del Nido and Monchi alike are focusing much on what we have prided ourselves on in the past few seasons and that mentality seems to be that the less goals we concede, the greater chance we have of winning matches. Of course this is true and along with Cácares, we have brought in experienced former-Valencia defender, Alexis and Dabo from St. Etienne in Ligue 1. Bolstering our backline was clearly the aim of the Sevilla management and along with Konko who netted two goals this past weekend, I believe we have more than succeeded in doing so.
Of course defense isn’t everything in football (unless you’re Italian of course) and more than anything, this season will truly tell us if we have a major problem. That problem of course is scoring goals and our (so far) €15m flop Álvaro Negredo will have to have one hell of a season for us to fulfill our hopes of Champions League football for next term. A huge weight that was lifted off our shoulders was when Luis Fabiano declared that he wanted to stay in Sevilla and put pen to paper to extend his contract a further 2 years. The saga that seemed to drag on all summer (as it seems to every year) is hopefully now put to rest as O Fabuloso stated what we all prayed for.
This weekend we travel back home to take on a team who once has “Super” as the prefix to their name. Indeed that is some feat if you can manage that. Anyone who knows La Liga, knows of course, that team is Deportivo la Coruña. The Galician side are coming off a boring 0-0 stalemate at home to Real Zaragoza and although they seemed to lack any creativity from what I saw, Depor are a team you always have to be aware of. They consistently pull off defeats against La Liga’s big boys of Madrid and Barcelona season after season so of course we cannot take them anything but seriously. One positive sign for us is that we are fortunately not traveling to their fortress of the Riazor where they are nearly impossible to beat. Having said that, we must somehow adopt the same mentality and make the Sánchez Pizjuán our fortress as it was for much of last season.
It will be interesting to see how all these new faces will fit into defence and how they will play alongside each other and although it is scary, I am very excited at the prospect of Alexis and Cácares holding the backline together and moreover, leading the team up field.
All we can do now is hope that we have got the right frame of mind and from there on we just stick to our game, and the results should follow.
Vamos mi Sevilla.