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Sevilla: year one without Monchi


Sevilla has been one of the great successes of Spanish football over the years, with their five European titles and a shining example of excellence. Now Monchi is gone, someone we saw as the vital cog, and Sevilla are unsettled. Will the hole he leaves, and the example he set, be noticeable, and will the structure left behind be able to continue along a similar path? The other day I read an interview by my Sevillian colleagues with Oscar Arias, the man charged with replacing Monchi. He came across as a sensible man, with no pretentiousness or timidity. An ideal organisation means: "everyone is needed, nobody is indispensable". It is now time to see if Seville can fulfil this. If the Monchi reset will work.

Sevilla's new coach, Eduardo Berizzo, getting his team prepared.
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Sevilla's new coach, Eduardo Berizzo, getting his team prepared.Julio MuñozEFE

Leavers and joiners at post-Monchi Sevilla

There have already been some casualties. They sold Iborra. Loan players Nasri, Kranevitter and Vietto have left. Rami is already looking towards Marseille, as is Vitolo to Atlético and Nzonzi to Juventus. The Premier League is courting Sergio Rico. "It looks like a dismantling," someone commented to me. But is it not just the same as other years? Sevilla have sold players summer after summer. And they are already signing: Muriel, Pizarro, Amavi... up front, midfield and defense. Names that may mean little to the general public, but didn't they say the same about those players that came in before, did well, and were sold on for much more? And the bet on Berizzo has been very well accepted.

Iborra has now left Sevilla to become a Premier League Fox.
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Iborra has now left Sevilla to become a Premier League Fox.Toni RodriguezAntonio Pizarro

Sevillian calmness and patience required

Of course there is a feeling of unease, because Monchi was Monchi. But Sevilla is in good hands, even above the differences between Del Nido (whose son is vice president), and the so-called 'Utrera group', centred around the president, José Castro, and former president Roberto Alés. With a club split between two groups, there are clear differences between them. But all are true Sevillistas and the disagreements have never gone so far as to hurt the club. Yes, Sevilla is at a crossroads, but it will suffice to have institutional calm and patience from the stands to overcome it.