The most bittersweet Champions of Seville | Sports

 The most bittersweet Champions of Seville |  Sports

“Julen Lopetegui has two more years on his contract. The first one who has to reflect is me and, probably, change many things that I have done”, affirmed Monchi, Sevilla’s sports director, after confirming a historical fact: chaining three qualifications for the Champions League due to his good position in the League. But Sevilla is not happy and the debate about the continuity of the coach is intense outside the offices of Sánchez Pizjuán.

Sevilla, which in January was postulated as the only team capable of fighting Madrid for the League, has been suffering a slow decline in the second round that calls into question the work of a coach who, however, has fulfilled the basic objective proposed for the club. “Julen has a valid contract. I have said it 15 times, there is no other way than to continue with the Lopetegui project. He is very reliable”, settled Monchi in Cope Sevillein a first balance of the season that will conclude on Sunday with the match against Athletic in Pizjuán.

Sevilla started the campaign like a shot, but began to show signs of alarm in the Champions League group stage, where they were eliminated in an affordable group behind Lille and Salzburg. At the end of the first round, Sevilla was in second place, with 39 points, seven behind Madrid, the leader. He took 10 points from Atlético de Madrid and 11 from Barcelona. On matchday 24, Sevilla was second, just four points behind Madrid and 11 behind Atlético and Barcelona. The transfers in the winter market of Martial and tecatito Corona were two firm bets by the club’s leadership to fight for the League. Just then, when the possibility of fighting for the title began to be talked about, the team began a slow decline. Since the triumph against Elche in February, Sevilla have only won three games out of 13, drawing eight and losing two. In January they had fallen in the second round of the Cup against Betis, eternal rival and later champion; In addition, the fans received very badly the elimination in the Europa League in the round of 16, against West Ham.

injuries and friction

Injuries and the coronavirus have undoubtedly taken their toll on a squad that over the last three months has shown an alarming lack of physicality and mental freshness. Only goalkeeper Bono and central defenders Koundé and Diego Carlos maintain the good level offered throughout the course. Navas and Acuña, the starting full-backs, have suffered injuries and have relapsed without regaining their best rhythm. Fernando’s long-term injury has left a midfield where Rakitic and Jordán seem exhausted without a reference to him. Papu is irregular, Suso has barely played and the team’s star striker, En-Nesyri, has only managed two goals in the last 15 games he has played. Martial, between injury and injury, has only achieved one goal since he arrived in the winter market, while the tecatito Corona has offered quality details, but without breaking.

There has not been a good atmosphere in Sevilla in recent months. Lopetegui’s press conferences are usually far from reality and information began to leak about the bad relations between the different levels of the club. Especially between the coach and the medical services. Jesús Navas, Diego Carlos, Montiel, Acuña, Delaney, Fernando, Papu Gómez and En-Nesyri suffered relapses for playing early.

The coaching staff pointed to the medical staff for not making the players available to them and the doctors warned of excessive haste by Lopetegui.

Having achieved the objective of the Champions League, however, heavyweights in the squad like Navas are betting on the continuity of the coach. “He has done a great job. We are all with him”, affirmed the captain. Lopetegui, in addition, was manned by the footballers at the conclusion of the match against Atlético, with the Champions League in his pocket.

Monchi feels a lot of respect for the work done by Lopetegui. He signed him against the general wish of the fans and the facts have proved the manager right. Three qualifications for the Champions League, a Europa League in 2020 and a team that practically never loses; It is also the team with the fewest goals scored in the First Division (four defeats and only 30 goals against). However, doubts fly over Monchi’s head. Sevilla football does not fall in love and the fans show their discontent with a style that he considers conservative.

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