By Rodney Ballantine
After an eventful season, full of ups and downs over the year, which finally culminated in what some will say, was a somewhat lucky outcome, achieving a Europa league spot for next season, Sevilla, have stated their intentions for next year with the installation of Marcelino García Toral as manager, taking over from Gregorio Manzano. There has been no doubt that the club, as of late has been going through the transitional stage, with ins and outs, as previously explained in some of my previous articles, and that their was an obvious apprehension about, if Manzano was the man to lead Sevilla in the future, with names such as Luis Enrique and Puel being those mentioned to replace him. They have chosen however to name someone
who was never mentioned on that list, and what will therefore come to those who speculated on those names of replacements, among myself included, a surprising selection, but who is this new manager and what can we expect him to provide Sevilla next season.
Times have changed at Sevilla, the club, through their recent successful and prosperous recent history, have become more demanding and have started to want the bigger things in football, one of the things that comes hand in hand with being successful. Since Juande Ramos, the team have been trying to get the right mix together, but have so far up until now not achieved that. Something that Toral will be hoping to instill as soon as possible, with clubs in Spain, and the continent not well known for their patience. A good start will be imperative, and the goal for the season has to be a finish in the top four of the league which will bring with it, a place in the champions league. Apart from this, good performances in the cup competitions
will be demanded, with Sevilla being famous for being a cup team more than a league team. So does the credentials of Taron match up to those of what Sevilla needs in this moment in time and will he be able to meet those high standards?
Toral carved out a less than spectacular carear as a footballer, playing for teams such as Real sporting de Gijon, Real Racing Club de Santander, Levante UD and Elche from the period of 1985 – 1994. He played in centre midfield and represented Spain as a youth international and won the World Youth Cup in 1985 which took place in the Soviet Union.
It had been as a manager where he has had more success and recognition, but has not been tested before at a club of the size and
stature of Sevilla. He has had success in helping teams ascend divisions, for example, taking up, CD Lealtad, RC Recreativo de Huelva and Real Zaragosa in the past from the respective divisions that they were in.
It was with Real Racing Club de Santander where he has had the most significant success, over two spells at the club where in his first he helped the team classify for the UEFA Cup and reach the semi final of the Copa del Rey (both for the first time in their history) and then in his second spell with the club he was granted with the task to keep them in the first division for another year in 2012, something that he achieved.
So is He what Sevilla need? for me, I thought Luis Enrique was the perfect choice, because he has experience in Spanish football and is used to high pressure situations, having played for Barcelona and Madrid, but he has decided that Italy was the perfect place for him to continue his development.
If you are looking along the terms of knowledgement of Spanish football then I think they have made a good appointment, but maybe a bigger name would have been better, although, another team, Porto of Portugal took the decision one year ago to
appoint an unknown called Andre Villas Boas, and they ended up having their most successful season in their history, winning everything they entered. So with that in my mind, appointing a somewhat unknown can work well, or have the complete opposite effect, Sevilla will be hoping that they can get back to where they were a few years ago, top
four football and winning cups, time will tell!