Finishing in fourth and the Champions League is set to be make or break for Sevilla’s future as the Spanish giant tries to find its way forward
April 2019 fact: there’s no official confirmation regarding Sevilla’s head coach for the 2019-2020 season.
Also fact: such a decision will surely depend on the team being able to end in fourth and snap that golden Champions League ticket.
With only a handful of games to go, let’s set the chess pieces on the board. Let’s start with Joaquín Caparros, the current manager, who wasn’t so at the beginning of the season. His actual job was being Sevilla’s football director, a way of remaining close to the first team although not actually being able to coach it. That job was appointed to Pablo Machín in summer 2018.
A Pablo Machín who is no longer a member of the club after being sacked last month.
Then we have to add Monchi into the mix. After leaving Spain in summer 2017 to start an adventure as AS Roma’s sports director, both parties parted ways a few months ago and suddenly he was out of a job. So his return home as Sevilla’s prodigal son wasn’t only expected; it was 100% a necessity for a club who had lost part of their identity and core values.
Bad results and defeats bring chaos and instability with them. And that’s usually bad news for presidents. In Sevilla’s case, Pepe Castro has managed to weather the storm to date even if the team got knocked out in both Copa del Rey and Europa League in an unceremonious manner. He’s ‘safe’ for now, but not finishing fourth could potentially spell trouble for him in front of the fans.
What about the 2019-2020 season?
The last month of LaLiga will tell if Sevilla end fourth or, unluckily for them, they finally land a spot in the Europa League. Such thing would dramatically decrease the level of income next season, forcing the club to rearrange their squad and spending accordingly.
Such matters would have to rest heavily on the manager’s shoulders. And that’s maybe the biggest issue Sevilla face in the next few weeks: they still are aloof to the name of the man who will sit on the bench next season.
Castro hasn’t ruled out Caparrós at this point, in a pretty surprising statement due to the fact that the current coach announced that he suffers from leukemia. He seems to have things under control though, as his illness reportedly doesn’t interfere with his daily job and he showed enough spirit to publicly tell Betis supporters to “suck it” after winning the Sevilla Derby last week. Sevilla fans, of course, loved it.
Caparrós has the charisma, the attitude and the experience in his favor, and he also was one of the main architects of the current squad. But Monchi will have an input on the decision-making for next season. And he might want a younger, up-and-coming manager who has proved his worth in humbler sides. Pepe Bordalás of Getafe fits the bill perfectly.
At this point, Bordalás hasn’t answered positively to the contract extension Getafe offered him months ago. He’s playing the waiting game while fighting to achieve a historical feat, as Getafe are also battling to land that sweet fourth place in the standings. His job at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez has been excellent, consistently squeezing the last drop of performance out of a team that was originally built to avoid relegation and pretty much call it a day.
Monchi was asked about Bordalás three days ago and denied any agreement with him… at this point. We’ll have to wait and see. The truth is that Sevilla need to steer the into the proper channel as soon as possible and next summer will be a crucial one for all the parties involved.
Caparrós, Bordalás or whatever wild card Monchi has hidden up his sleeve; the bitter taste of disappointment left by the current season will be a tough one to swallow for whoever sits on the bench of one of Spain’s biggest sides.