Diego Alonso has had a far-from-perfect start to life at Sevilla. After an impressive draw against Real Madrid in his first game, there was hope that he would offer the solution to their poor start to the season. However, the former Uruguay manager has still yet to win a league game at nine attempts, with the most recent loss coming against 15th-place RCD Mallorca. The Champions League has not been any better for Alonso. Sevilla are last in their group with just two points and threw away a two-goal lead in their most recent game against PSV to lose 3-2. Now, only a win will allow Sevilla to dispute the Europa League this season.
The Sevilla hierarchy has thus far shown absolute support for their manager, but Victor Orta’s most recent interview (adapted from AS) was the first indication that his time may be running out. Orta, Sevilla’s sporting director, was once again present for Sevilla’s away trip and spoke to the media about his team’s recent run of form. He recognised that the club “is going through a difficult period. The bad results are a reality, and you can’t hide them; instead, you have to analyse them. I don’t want to ask for more patience. We need to start winning games, but I see progress, and we have recently been playing good football, but the results just aren’t coming.”
On Diego Alonso, Orta indicated that he still has hope that the former Atlético Madrid player can turn things around, but did not shy away when asked about whether drastic action may need to be taken; that is to say, sack their manager. “He hasn’t lied in any way about what his playing style was going to be and how he analysed teams…I don’t feel cheated.”
The inevitable question was always going to be asked: will the manager need to be sacked? Orta did not avoid the question, “I fear it, but in football, you have to do hard things. It’s hard, but results are everything.”
On the crucial upcoming game against Lens, he said, “They have improved. The atmosphere in the stadium is difficult to play against, but when PSV went there, they played well and dominated the ball. We need to have personality, but most of all, we need to be effective at both sides of the pitch.”
Finally, when asked about the upcoming January transfer market, he indicated that they will be busy. It is evident that additions are needed to the side if they wish to turn around their form, especially given they will be losing players to the Africa Cup of Nations. “We will be working on arrivals and departures. I haven’t spoken to any of the agents of our players to take a decision, but we need to be active because it is our obligation as a club.”
GSFN | Finn Entwistle