Are Real Betis out of Sevilla's shadow?
Real Betis have risen from the depths to become the top side in Costa del Sol this season
I’m ignoring the big questions that surround the north London power shift and looking over to the Costa del Sol, to Andalucía, to ask whether their has been a similar power shift in La Liga.
This season has seen the unprecedented rise of Real Betis, a Seville based team that seemed to always be living in the shadows of its bitter, but globally recognised rivals Sevilla CF.
In my view, the power has certainly shifted. Sevilla are stuck on 35 points in 12th whilst Pepe Mel’s drilled Betis team lay in sixth, a mere one point off Malaga in fourth who are undoubtedly nervous about the revived Betis side.
So why has this shift occurred? Where Sevilla are having serious troubles financially, Betis are thriving on a low budget team made up of succesful loan signings.
This includes players from the likes of Parma, in the form of classy winger Dorlan Pabon and Arsenal’s Costa Rican international Joel Campbell. This may be considered a lapse of judgement, having two of your best players earmarked for another club come the end of the season. But who’s to say they can’t replace them or even upgrade come the summer? After all, they may receive a surge of cash as a result of finishing in the spots bound for Europe's top competition.
Having a successful loan plan has been critical in Pepe Mal’s side reaching this peak in their game, and it hasn’t helped Sevilla that due to their rocky financial situation they have had to sell some of their best players.
However Sevilla certainly have the squad to change things around with the likes of Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas, Ivan Rakic, and Alexis Medel. Surely at the end of the day it comes down to poor management and a lack of commitment.
However, this shift in power could lead to greater things and a complete change around with who controls La Liga, as we have seen with Atletico Madrid’s dominance over local rivals Real. I’m asking are Barcelona next on the agenda? There is certainly a long way to go until that point, but only time will tell.
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