Something very strange was happening in the Nervión neighbourhood of Seville earlier this season. The locals are so used to hearing the celebrations of the Sevilla FC fans who pack the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán week in week out, but it was quieter than usual. That’s because there were no LaLiga Santander wins to cheer about. When club football paused for the World Cup, Los Nervionenses still hadn’t enjoyed a three-point haul at home, with three draws and four losses from seven fixtures, making this the deepest they’d ever gone into a season without a home league win.
However, that has all changed in the first weeks of the new calendar year. It may have taken until January 8th 2023 for Sevilla FC to finally win that first home game of the league season, but they have now ripped off four consecutive victories at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, defeating Getafe CF 2-1, Cádiz CF 1-0, Elche CF 3-0 and RCD Mallorca 2-0.
The fans at the famous Sevilla FC stadium have something to cheer about again, as Jorge Sampaoli’s side have moved up to 12th place in the table, after having found themselves in the unfamiliar position of the relegation zone just a few weeks ago.
The home support has been key to the resurgence, with the fans remaining loyal throughout this difficult season. Sevilla FC have had over 35,000 supporters inside the ground for each of these past four games and the way they passionately sing the club anthem before kick-off has created an electric atmosphere, one that the players have responded to.
The importance of Sevilla FC’s World Cup stars
Interestingly, the best Sevilla FC performers from these past few weeks are players who have just come back from successful World Cup campaigns with their national teams. Goalkeeper Bono and striker Youssef En-Nesyri went all the way to the semi-finals with Morocco and have carried that momentum into the resumption of LaLiga Santander, with Bono having conceded just one goal across these four home victories and with En-Nesyri having rippled the net three times.
World Cup winner Marcos Acuña has also made a major impact. Before the World Cup, the Argentine was the backup left-back at Sevilla FC, but the injury suffered in Qatar by the starter Alex Telles meant Sampaoli had to rely on his fellow countryman even more and Acuña has responded, scoring two goals of his own during this recent home run and assisting one of En-Nesyri’s strikes too.
Gonzalo Montiel, the man who become a footballing legend by converting the winning penalty for Argentina in their shootout win over France, has also played a lot of minutes for Sevilla FC since the return of club football and has also helped with the return to good form.
Sampaoli is turning it around
Coach Sampaoli also deserves credit for turning Sevilla FC’s season around. When he was brought back to the club by sporting director Monchi in October, the Andalusian club were 17th in the LaLiga Santander standings. Now, they’re up to 12th and fears of relegation are being shaken off.
The 62-year-old has achieved the turnaround in form by using a variety of tactical formations, from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-5-2. He rarely maintains the same shape for two weeks in a row, but his players are starting to understand his overall philosophy of getting the ball forward quickly, while the constant variation to the formation is keeping all opponents who visit the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán on their toes.
Sampaoli and Sevilla FC’s aim now is to take their positive form on the road with them, as they have just two wins from 10 away games this LaLiga Santander season. But, for now, the fact that the crowd is roaring with joy again is a beautiful sound for Sevillistas.
© LALIGA - 2023