The end of pre-season is approaching. In less than two weeks, the ball will officially start rolling in Spain, and so, Sevilla FC will spend the last few days working solely on preparing for the new season. In fact, there's barely a week of preparation like this, as next week will be the first week of the season, with the game at Cornellá-El Prat on the horizon.
After three tours outside of Spain, interspersed with some transition work at the training ground, what is certain is that Julen Lopetegui's side are showing signs that they've understood the new manager's philosophy. Its characteristics are well defined, and the players haven't wasted any time in expressing them in the friendly matches so far. The results speak for themselves, with eight wins out of eight, whether that's over 90 minutes, 45 minutes, or even with two 30-minute halves in the Opel Cup. There's been 21 goals so far, and defensive stability. In fact, Sevilla haven't conceded more than one goal in any of their games.
The style of play proposed by Julen Lopetegui has been on show during these weeks of preparation
Against opponents in the Bundesliga and the Premier League, including the European champions, Sevilla have looked in good physical shape, with a high press, a quick counter-attack and good movement of the ball. All these situations have been consciously worked on since the new manager arrived, and will go on to be the basis for success in the immediate future. Also, the fast integration of the new signings has positively affected the development of the philosophy, with footballers who appear to have cut short the normal period for adapting, at least at first glance. To make matters even harder, the academy players have responded to the call, meaning that the set-up of the squad is no longer definite.
The last two matches arrive this week, both against Spanish sides. On Friday at 21:00 they will face newly-promoted Granada CF at Nuevo Los Cármenes, while, just 24 hours later, the Francisco de la Hera de Almendralejo will host the tribute match to José Antonio Reyes against Extremadura UD. In order to prepare for both matches, the team return to work on Tuesday at 20:00 at the training ground behind closed door, after a day of rest on Monday. From Wednesday to Saturday, training starts at 9:30, with a rest day on Sunday.