Sevilla are struggling domestically this season, currently sitting 12th in LaLiga. The Andalusians are ten points off league leaders Real Sociedad and just four clear of bottom-placed Huesca, a level of performance at odds with their fourth-placed finish last season.
They finished level on points with Atletico Madrid in third in 2019/20, and coupled this achievement by winning a record sixth Europa League title. In Europe, however, Sevilla have maintained their level of performance – they sit second and are unbeaten in Champions League Group E, level on points with leaders Chelsea and six clear of third-placed Krasnodar.
“We are the team that has played the most games in Spain, 65 games,” Monchi said to ElDesmarque in comments carried by Marca. “We’ve had the least rest and we’ve had to play two finals. This abnormality has to be reflected and we have to try to turn it around and make something that isn’t normal, such the preparation of an atypical season, from an excuse into something that can be used as motivation.
“I understand that people can criticise myself and Lopetegui, but I think we have the best possible coach. He’s shown me so many things, many of which I didn’t know before taking the step to bring him in. I’m only happy that today he’s the coach of Sevilla.
“Twenty days ago we played at Stamford Bridge and there was talk that Sevilla was the only Spanish club capable of going toe-to-toe with the top European teams. I don’t have to defend my coach because he has defended himself in the best possible way – with results, good performances, involvement, taking advantage of the squad, revaluing players. The best defence he can do is through his work, and he’s done that cum laude.”
Monchi is the man most credit with Sevilla’s phenomenal performance in Europe since the turn of the century. Born in San Fernando, he spent his entire playing career at the club before becoming sporting director in 2000, when Sevilla had been relegated to the Second Division. Aside from a brief spell with Roma, it’s where he’s remained ever since.
Featured image courtesy of Wyscout.