Seville lands in a disappointing downfall

It is only three years since Sevilla lifted the Europa League trophy in front of an awe-inspiring crowd in Cologne.

From big wins against Roma and United to a breathtaking game against Inter, Sevilla took their sixth Europa League title, and their first in four years.

For a while, between 2019 and 2022, Sevilla looked like a challenger to LaLiga’s ‘big three’: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. The Palanganas often finished fourth.

This not only resulted in a Champions League spot. Sevilla threatened the traditional Spanish football hierarchy.

Sevilla were as adept in the boardroom as they were on the field. The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium spawned talent after talent. Some were great, Pablo Sarabia, Wissam Ben Yedder and more recently Jules Koundé. Some were less impressive despite strong stints. For example Vitolo, Steven Nzonzi and Clement Lenglet.

Year after year, Sevilla forged more and more competitive teams with bigger and bigger signings. That was, until it all went bankrupt.

Sevilla are almost halfway through the La Liga season and have just 11 points in 14 games. That’s good for just two wins and seven total losses, putting them in dismal fashion 18th.

Unlike the stories of Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers F.C. with many gradually depressing seasons, Sevilla’s downfall has been harsh.

Out of season business

You can probably link Sevilla’s inadequacy to their relaxed approach to the summer 2022 transfer window.

Sevilla parted ways with Jules Koundé in his most lucrative transfer of all time. Also sells Diego Carlos and Lucas Ocampos, among other recognizable names.

To replace the reliable central defenders of Kounde and Carlos, Sevilla turned to former Bayern defender Tanguy Nianzou and Marcao. The Spanish side acquired those two for around $30 million combined.

After that, Sevilla replaced three players from last season, Ocampos, Munir El Haddadi and Anthony Martial, with three players. Sevilla brought in Isco, Kasper Dolberg and Adnan Januzaj.

Not exactly the best return.

While every club will welcome a $67.4 million profit from transfers, no one wants to do that by losing some key players. While it’s understandable to transfer Kounde, Carlos and Ocampos for big bucks, their replacements have proved mediocre at best.

Nianzou was average and Marcao only played in seven games due to multiple injuries. Dolberg, Januzaj and Isco have scored zero goals together this season. Isco, with two assists this season, reportedly left Sevilla after an argument with Sevilla sporting director Monchi.

Sevilla had to sell its players now instead of letting them go for free later. But they certainly could have found better replacements after selling them. It would come back to nip them in the bud when the season started.

Chaos on and off the field

Sevilla’s season started with a bang; a bad. Sevilla lost several winable games early in the season.

Sevilla lost 2-1 to both newly promoted Almeria and midtable Osasuna. Despite a 3–2 win over Espanyol, Sevilla entered another scoreless drought.

Saddled with Champions League fixtures and a heavy schedule, Sevilla would go winless for an entire month. Julen Lopetegui, the overseer of Seville’s rise to prominence, paid the price with his job. The breaking point was a grim 4-1 defeat to Dortmund that put his Champions League dreams in grave jeopardy.

New manager Jorge Sampaoli is only slightly better. Sampaoli saved qualification for the Europa League with a 3-0 win over FC Kobenhaven; the club’s only victory in the competition. Yet it has only gotten worse. Aside from a narrow 1-0 win over Mallorca in October, Sevilla remain in the midst of a LaLiga downturn.

Answering the demise of Seville

Sevilla needs more than a bigger bank and better results. It needs an overhaul in the tactical department. Sampaoli is in his second period as coach of Sevilla. He is more famous for leading Chile to its first Copa America title.

Sampaoli is a cautious coach. He likes to control the pace of the game by keeping possession and attacking only when the time is right.

In all teams under his guise, there has been some experimentation with the composition of the team.

The same goes for Sevilla, as Sampaoli bounced between a 4-2-3-1, a 5-4-1 and more. But one element remains the same; possession of the team.

All of Sevilla’s victories with Sampaoli have been achieved when Sevilla had more than 55% possession. That’s why teams like Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Manchester City have devastated Sevilla; they prevented them from having time on the ball.

That, and a conservative defense that minimizes risk and doesn’t break out in tackles, leads to many low-quality opportunities.

Sampaoli’s measured approach has placed Sevilla fourth in pass attempts and fifth in passes completed. Most of Sevilla’s attack comes from shot rebounds, which would be expected given Sevilla average around 12 shots per game.

Sampaoli has also made his team very slow and patient. Sevilla played the fourth most passes in its own defensive third, had the seventh most touches in LaLiga.

Sevilla’s slow, cautious approach has made it one of the league’s worst offenses, although it’s to be expected when you have out-of-form players like Isco, Erik Lamela, Rafa Mir and Oliver Torres leading the attack .

What Seville needs

Sevilla can get off to a flying start with a series of winable winter games to get out of the relegation zone. They first play Celta Vigo, 17th.

After that, Sevilla will face Getafe, Girona, Cadiz and Elche. Those teams are all number 13 in the current table or worse. In fact, Cadiz and Elche are the only two teams below Sevilla in the table.

The club will keep me updated on what’s going to happen and I hope it’s as soon as possible. We need a left-back, a left-back, a midfielder and an attacker who can give us strength. I don’t get distracted by things I can’t fix myself.

Jorge Sampaoli, van FC Sevilla

Sampaoli has already come to the point. Sevilla have reportedly signed Rennes centre-back and France U21 international Loïc Badé to provide cover in defence, and with plenty of salary room to work with, Sevilla could certainly rumble into the Premier League and Ligue 1 looking to more promising players.

Seville can respond to this rapid demise. Sampaoli and Los Nervionenses will try to make a big comeback to avoid total embarrassment and a possible financial collapse.


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George Sampaoli,Julien Lopetegui,La Liga,Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium,seville,Spain,struggling,World football news

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