Transfer Deadline

An away win yesterday means we’ve got 4 points, an undefeated start to the season, and at any rate slept overnight in 3rd place on the table. But of course today could be even more decisive for the club: that’s right, it’s the last day of the transfer deadline.

There’s been enough action from the offices at the RSP already, and enough holes left behind, and enough smoke and rumors, to suggest that we may see a bit of activity yet this summer. There’s a few unwanted Sevilla players who yet need to find a home, a few players around the globe who may yet find a home at the RSP, and there’s always last-minute big-money offers to break our hearts by stealing away a Bacca.

The main interest here is Sevilla, of course, but feel free to also comment on moves around Eruope. Especially if it’s about former Sevilla players (if Negredo ends up in Madrid or Valencia or Atletico or…well, there are a lot of places I hope he doesn’t go.)

Anyway, whatever happens, this is your place to post your predictions, observations, frustrations, and possibly just despair at missed opportunities or deep cuts to the squad. Deposit emotions here, basically.

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Medel To Cardiff

It’s official: Medel has been sold to Cardiff for €13M. A not-insignificant sum for the club, and I won’t miss the red cards, but this is a pretty big departure. Thoughts?

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Ilusión, For Better Or Worse: 2013-14 Predictions

With the conclusion of back to back games against first Mlodast (a resounding 1–6 away win in a Europa qualifier) and Manchester United (a 1–3 win on the road in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial), Sevilla has completed their preseason schedule and can now look forward to their season opening date with Atlético. Before a ball had even been played this preseason, many sevillistas had begun to harbor more hope and optimism than had been seen in these parts for many years, due largely to a series of savvy purchases and sales by Monchi and co. Before these last two games the excitement had continued to build as the team swept through an admittedly not-too-challenging slate of games undefeated while at times showing glimpses of dazzling play, pace, and forward-looking purpose from several of the new signings. Maybe this year things are going to be different, the Sevilla fan might have heard his heart whispering to him in quiet moments.

And THEN. The Mlodast away game saw explosive attacking, great finishing, and–perhaps most unbelievably–a decisive away win in a competitive match. And the Manchester game…well, it was just a silly old testimonial, and it was hardly United’s first team out there, but again, more than the result it was the way the team played–like a team with an identity and a purpose. During the game Aaron noted on Twitter that the departure of Negredo and Navas has freed the team to think in new and different ways, and it seems at this early stage that in general the players and coaching staff is taking full advantage of that opportunity to make a new team.

A Spanish term for all of this is dar ilusión, which means “to give hope”. But of course ilusión can also mean, simply and literally, “illusion”…we could be dealing with either of these as we sit on the precipice of a new season. It’s an exciting time to be a fan–we’ve played a couple games that actually mattered already, but are yet to play an important game against real, tough competition, so our imagination is the limit right now. That same hope can be pretty unsettling, too, though–who knows how the team will look against weekly Liga competition, or if we’ll return to the same old impotence away from the RSP? That same suckitude this year would hurt all the more for the promise we’ve all witnessed this past month. In a couple weeks we’ll have cold, hard reality to grapple with, but for now, we have only a little actual data but we’ve seen just enough brilliance to fuel a lot of ilusión. So I thought this moment of relatively uninformed and unbridled enthusiasm would be an interesting opportunity to take the blog’s temperature: what are you guys’ predictions for the season? Where do you think we’ll end up in La Liga? How far will we go in the Copa? And what’s going to happen in the Europa? Let’s all throw in some predictions now, and in a few months we can all look back and sadly laugh at our naïveté. Lets hear what people are thinking, and enjoy this moment–whatever kind of ilusión we’re dealing with, there’s more than I’ve seen in some time, and for now that’s pretty thrilling.

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Manchester United Friendly Tonight 8:30 PM Sevilla Time!

Man U Game Day Photo

Sit back and enjoy, there are nil points involved just the pleasure of playing the world’s most formidable opponent in the most formidable stadium. Alexis Ferguson will be there in the stands and maybe Bobby Charlton and Denis Law too. All this to recognize the career of Rio Ferdinand, one of the best defenders around when he’s paying attention. So thanks Manchester, gracias Del Nido for organizing this.

It’s nicer still coming after our UEFA victory and having rested some of our best players.

It’s live on SFCTV and syndicated around the world by the usual people, 8:30 Sevilla time.

Now the questions, because I’m still spinning dizzy with two games in 24 hours:

  • Will Rooney be playing? is he fit or even interested?
  • Will a topless girl invade the pitch waving the flag of Gibraltar?
  • How many goals will we put past De Gea and how many will Gameiro score?
  • Are United a different team under Moyes?
  • Will Emery tell Kondogbia to ‘fool around on the pitch’ so that Ferguson does not get any ideas about buying him?
  • Will Medel kick any chairs or bottles of water?

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Mladost – Sevilla Match Preview & Comments

emery

Here’s your chance to be Unai Emery, manager of Sevilla FC. 

These are the facts

You have an important UEFA qualifying game in Montenegro with a solid 3-0 home advantage followed by a friendly in Manchester the very next day, and the new league season looming fast and your presidente is breathing down your neck.

You have a new team, nine new players hand picked from the Western hemisphere.

Your veterans are two Argentinian and two Spanish players.

(Navarro 13700 mins, Reyes 9100 mins, Fazio 9008 mins and Perotti 6703 mins)

Your Spanish playmaker, la perla Reyes is injured, your other Spanish veteran (Navarro) is being ousted by young Alberto Moreno, and your Argentinian playmaker is still fragile after a series of injuries.

Your fifth most veteran player (Medel, 6500 mins) is suspended.

All your season will be tainted if you do not qualify.

These are the questions

Who should be replacing Navas in this game?
What is your gameplan? Defend first and protect your advantage or finish it with an away goal?
What are you telling your boys? Stay cool or it’s the most important game of the season?
What is your teamsheet and who was the first name you wrote on it?
Are you still angry that the first leg was not televised after you spent hours at the hairdresser having your curly fringe expertly glued to your forehead?

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Sevilla – Mladost Match Highlights

We don’t usually do post-match posts, but since the game wasn’t televised, here are some video highlights from today’s 3-0 win. (They’re the two videos over on the right.)

 

Not a bad performance at all by the look of it. Very excited to see what this team can do. Thoughts?

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Sevilla – Mladost Europa Qualifier Match Comments

After one of the busiest transfer seasons in recent memory, Sevilla ends its pre-season and reports for work a little earlier than most teams for their Europa qualifier match. These qualifiers of course carry a fair share of painful memories for Sevilla fans: in 2010 the team failed to qualify for the Champions League when they lost to SC Braga in the final qualifying round, and the following year they failed to advance to the Europa League when they lost to Hannover 96 in the qualifying round. Today’s qualifier marks the closest we’ve been to European competition since. Obviously the best answer would be to just qualify directly for these tournaments, but as you’ll likely remember from last year, this team isn’t exactly interested in the most direct route to anywhere.

But “this team” is a radically different one from the team that finished 9th in La Liga and sneaked into Europa thanks to the shoddy financials of several Spanish teams. There are the obvious and notable departures of Navas, Negredo, and Palop as well as absences of other frequent contributors Botía, Manu del Moral, and Stevanovic. But there’s also a pretty impressive collection of young new talent arriving to the first team this summer: Rabello, Jairo, Bacca, Gameiro, Vitolo, Marin, Rusescu, (and, you know, a huge pile of cash thanks to the previously mentioned departures). The list of promising arrivals is definitely longer than the list of painful departures, and for that reason it seems like Sevilla fans in general and in particular at this site are feeling optimistic about the direction the team’s headed. Hopefully that means we see a different result this evening.

Of course, not all of those exciting new names will be participating tonight: most notably, Kevin Gameiro picked up a slight muscle strain last week and won’t suit up. In addition, Medel will begin serving out his absurd ban from last year, Cicinho is of course still injured, and Kondogbia hasn’t yet returned from his vacation after winning the World Cup with France this summer. Those absences mean we’re almost certain to see some of those new faces in the starting XI today–should be interesting and more than a little nerve-wracking.

[A quick note about how well we’ll be “seeing” all those new faces: since the club couldn’t reach an agreement with GolTV, the game won’t be televised in Spain or on a big international network. So I guess when I say that we’ll see some new faces, what I mean is that we’ll squint at amorphous flesh-colored pixel blobs and try to guess which name goes with all the blobs making kick-like motions at the small ball-like blob.]

Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, our opponent is Mladost Podgorica, who finished 6th place in the 12-team Montenegrin First League and thus earned a spot in Europa qualification thanks to two teams above them being disqualified from European competition because they failed to obtain an UEFA license. That’s right: we’re facing a team that finished in the middle of the table but still managed to qualify for European competition thanks to non-sporting disqualifications of teams that did better than them. Obviously I’d make fun of them and this crappy second-rate league if the exact same words didn’t apply to us. Anyway, Mladost squeaked by the first round by beating Videoton on away goals, then overcoming Senika in the second round. Obviously they’re huge underdogs today against Sevilla, but Sevilla have stumbled at this stage before; here’s hoping that tomorrow we’ll be talking about the amazing fulfilled promise of Rabello and Vitolo, and not cursing Monchi for another season of poor signings.

The game’s just five hours away–obviously be sure to swing by for comments, commentary, and hopefully more than a few links to quality streams. The season’s about to begin, you guys. Let’s do this:

VAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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