After Spanish giants Barcelona and real Madrid dominating Spanish football for decades, it finally looks like a team could finally rival them for the La Liga title. This team is Sevilla and after three successive Europa league triumphs, new manager Jorge Sampaoli had a big task on his hand when taking over in the summer.
Sampaolis Copa America success is what caught many peoples eye and after Unai emery going to French giant’s PSG, he was the perfect fit for Sevilla. Once taking over in Spin he implemented his style of play very well. He has an organised way of playing with the defenders being very compact. He enjoys wingers who get back and help the defence and a striker who is lethal in front of goal.
Since his arrival, we have seen players such as Steven N’zonzis career rejuvenate who is no longer a ball winning central midfield player, but chips in with goals and assists as well. We have also seen the rise of Spanish winger Sarabia who is one of the most talked about players in Spain with 6 assists and 11 goals in just 21 games. He has also worked wonders for the defence as well who collectively have only conceded 22 goals all season. This is an amazing achievement considering Barcelona has conceded 23.
Currently perched at 3rd in La Liga, Sevilla has a reputation for getting through games by the skin of their teeth. This was not shown last night in their 2-1 win over English champions Leicester city. Infect, it was Sevilla who went home disappointed when the final whistle blew.
The most surprising part of Seville’s rise is the lack of superstars they have in the locker. However, a reinvigorated Wissam Ben Yedder has been vital to his 8 goals this season.
After losing key players in the summer such as top goal scorer Kevin Gameiro and polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, sampaoli had a big job on his hands when taking over. Along with these players leaving came the criticism and many people doubted Sampaoli when he first took over. Many people thought he wouldn’t be able to handle a club as big as Sevilla but his track record in Argentina and his Copa America success spoke for himself.
Many people believed the arrival of Sampaoli would signal the downfall of Sevilla. Seeing them drop out of La Liga’s top 4 and with losing the key player’s things only got worse before the season started. With 3 losses at the start of the season to Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Uefa super cup and Spanish super cup final many thought it would be another mid table season and they could compete with the top team again. However, overtime they grew in confidence and Sampaoli finally got his style of play across. With a win over Atletico Madrid, they went top of the league and are now the bookmakers 3rd favourite to grab the title.
The 4-2-3-1 formation they play gives free roles to creative players such as Vitolo and Ben Yedder. It also lets N’zonzi have more of the ball and dictate the game from deep. The key role in this formation is the defensive side of the back four and two sitting midfielders this is the reason they don’t concede many goals. The attack minded full backs which are very important in the modern game give them good width with Benoit Tremouinas on the left and Mariano on the right.
Overall, Jorge Sampaoli has worked wonders at Sevilla in the short time he has been there and with his tactical style of play and brave ideas he continues to surprise many people across the globe!