Sevilla derby escape won’t help them avoid crossroads ahead

Sevilla managed to avoid defeat in the Seville derby against Real Betis on Sunday evening, drawing 1-1 via a goal from Kike Salas, heading home when Los Nervionenses looked least likely. The result meant that Sevilla extended their unbeaten run against their city rivals to 11 games, and saved something from another frustrating season in Andalusia.

Last year they had another joyous Europa League triumph, seemingly sent by divine Jose Luis Mendilibar miracle, but this time round there will be no need for Sevillistas to work out how to buy tickets to the UCL final, nor how to find out where to get Europa League final entry from.

Manager Quique Sanchez Flores remains coy on his future, but it has become public knowledge that a top half finish will mean a contract extension for the coming season. Albeit, the Sevilla hierarchy appear to see this as simply a potential extra cost this summer.

Amid the candidates to replace Sanchez Flores have ranged from Osasuna’s Jagoba Arrasate, out of contract, Getafe’s Jose Bordalas, Leicester coach Enzo Maresca and finally Real Madrid Castilla coach Raul Gonzalez.

It’s a list, presumably formed by Sporting Director Victor Orta that should cause concern in Nervion, as the only thing that unites the four coaches is that they all used to play football at some level, showing a distinct lack of critera for the job.

Arrasate and Bordalas are proven quantities in La Liga, who base their sides of intense pressing, and direct football, having worked with modest squads for most of their careers. Both experienced and having dealt with difficult situations, and sizeable clubs.

On the other hand, Raul Gonzalez has ample experience at one of the biggest clubs in the world at Real Madrid, but with five years at Castilla, without promotion or relegation forming his entire managerial curriculum, his main argument for the job has to be his name and his experience as a player. While he could be a great coach, it would be a step into the unknown, and a leap of faith based on their belief in his ideas and person.

Meanwhile Enzo Maresca has carried out excellent work at Leicester, having won the Championship in his first campaign, playing excellent football that stems straight from the Pep Guardiola school, prioritising the ball first and foremost. Yet this too is his first job, although working in his favour is that he also has experience of Sevilla as a player.

Ultimately, Orta and President Jose Maria del Nido Carrasco will have to set a course for the future for Sevilla. This past season, given the state they inherited the club in, and with little time or money to manoeuver, can be allowed a pass. But whatever little patience the fans have left, will not last long, and the initial signs look dangerously similar to those problems that have plagued the club in recent years.

La Liga - Club News