Hello and welcome back to my blog! I have now reached the end of my first season in charge of Real Betis and There are many stories to tell you. Without further adue, allow me to take you through what happened.
It was a mixed pre season as the players adjusted to a new style of play like I outlined in my introductory post. 3 wins from our five friendly fixtures which included a testimonial for Espanyol’s Javi Lopez who was a graduate of the Betis youth academy.
A superb start to our domestic campaign as Sergio Leon led us in a victory at home to Atletic Bilbao but we could not sustain the form. A 6-0 hammering from Levante along with a Spanish Cup 4th Rd exit to Second tier Extramadura on away goals were obvious low lights in the opening half of the season.
We did manage to shine in europe with a 100% win record in a group of Trnava, Basel and Krasnodar.
Inconsistency was our fault again after the Christmas Break as we flitted between the sublime and the ridiculous. It wasn’t to be in Europe either as Red Bull Leipzig of Germany secured a victory in the second league at our own stamping ground.
The final league table presents us in a disappointing position, all in all i just couldn’t get the tactic playing the way I expected it to in the ME. Maybe a rethink of our formation is needed for a better second season.
Giovanni Lo Celso had a well known buy out clause in his loan from Paris SG but it was unfortunately beyond our financial reach. The good news is that we’ve managed to secure him on loan for a second season with another £27,000,000 buy out agreement.
Only four of the team managed a average rating of more than 7 – Sidnei, Junior Firpo, Sergio Canales, Sergio Leon. Sergio Leon led the way on goals with a massive 23 in 48 games and he was ably assisted by Junior Firpo who set up 9 in his 45 games played. Pau Lopez kept a surprising 20 clean sheets this season despite our problems. These five players along with Lo Celso should be the spine of our team next season.