Paul Murray´s Match Preview – Real Sociedad v Sevilla

Paul Murray´s Match Preview – Real Sociedad v Sevilla

Saturday 21st November 2015

After the spineless and disastrous 2-0 defeat at Las Palmas two weeks ago that resulted in the dismissal of manager David Moyes, Real start again, after the 2 week International break, under new manager Eusebio Sacristan.  He will hope to get off to a winning start and finally record our first home victory of the season.

It is unusual for us to be so poor at the Anoeta and if we are to climb the table we need to improve our home form dramatically and quickly.  This is the initial challenge faced by Sacristan who will have to find a way to motivate the players who appeared so unconcerned by our plight under Moyes.  In my opinion many players have shown an absence of pride in their performances so far this season and this criticism can be very much laid at the door of Carlos Vela who’s lacklustre form has been a huge disappointment.

The inconsistent form we have shown so far this season cannot be solely laid at the door of David Moyes.  The club must share the responsibility of the failure of the team to find a system that delivers results and they are comfortable with. Should we play a pressing game or should we counterattack?  The players don’t seem to know what is expected from them and they have responded with confused performances tht have no obvious pattern discernible.

Sporting Director Loren often seems to avoid taking any responsibility for the recent failures at the club,  but there can be little doubt that we have been going backwards for the last 2 seasons.  Our record of signing new players, who have actually improved the first choice team has been non existent.  This area is clearly the responsibility of Loren who has squandered the substantial funds that have been made available too him.  He should be held accountable for this ongoing failure and join David Moyes in seeking alternative work.

There is little doubt that the overall standard of the squad of players we have available to us is high, but we have not found a style of play that utilises the talent we have available.  The quality of the squad has improved but the actual first team appears to be heading in the opposite direction.  This is a strategic error than needs to be corrected now.

It is my opinion that Moyes never discovered what his best team was, and his hesitancy and inconsistent selection policy exacerbated the uncertainty.   His tactics were often one dimensional and his lack of ability to effectively communicate with the players meant that even if he had a brilliant tactical plan, he was completely unable to explain it to his players.

The club knew he could not speak Spanish when they employed him and so must share the blame for this very basic failure.    The Moyes era will be seen as a failure as we are in exactly the same position as we were when he arrive a year ago.  However the Maria Christina Hotel have done very well from his stay in San Sebastián and will obviously miss him!

It remains to be seen what Sacristan will bring to the club.  His track record indicates that he specialises in the development of young players, bringing them on and into the first team.  This philosophy is very much in tune with the ethics of our club but it is normally a long term policy.  I am uncertain if it is appropriate in the situation we currently find ourselves in now.  I hope I am incorrect.

Early reports from player interviews indicate that Sacristan wants the team to press the ball in higher areas, pressuring defenders into mistakes.  This is a very basic tactic but can be very effective and I believe we should have employed this system already.

I hope our new manager can find a way to galvanise the players and restore some pride and heart into the team.  I believe our team lacks a leader on the pitch and it is essential that someone steps up to  fill this role.  Inigo would be my choice to be captain as his commitment is never in doubt.

Bet 365 offer the following odds for the match:

Real Sociedad to win 17/10, Seville to win 9/5 and Draw 13/5.

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