It’s fair to say that 2016 won’t go down as a vintage year in the Real Betis history books.
A fairly fortuitous 10th place finish, despite being in the bottom half of the table for the majority of the season, and no fewer than FOUR different managers in the calendar year – Pepe Mel, Juan Merino, Gus Poyet and the current manager Victor Sanchez.
A season of peaks and troughs once more – with hopes raised, the ‘project’ back on track and the future looking bright in May with Torrecilla’s arrival and Poyet’s appointment, only to be dashed away by November when Poyet’s tenure doesn’t quite pan out the way everyone expected and Betis have 11 points from 11 games are a playing a dire style of football.
Hey good news though, Gol Sur has been demolished and is well on its way to being erected. This will triple the south stands capacity and take the Benito Villamarín total to an impressive 60,000. That’s Angel Haro sticking to his pledge during his Ahora Betis Ahora campaign for presidency.
Now he just needs to “build a united Betis” and we’ll be well on our way!
So 2017 here we go. We’re starting it in 14th position, two points worse off than we were last season just before Pepe Mel was sacked, but with optimism ahead of us.
This Sunday we take on Leganés who are two points and two places below us and are one of the few teams to have a worse goal scoring record; Garitano’s men have managed a rather feeble 13 goals in 16 matches, compared to Betis’ 18. That being said, we can expect a goal-fest on Sunday!
Joaquín and Felipe Gutiérrez (major injury more below) are definitely out of the game, Ryan Donk is a major doubt and Bruno isn’t looking too clever, but we’ve got Rubén Castro so all is well.
Round Up: News & Transfer Rumours
- After lighting up our campaign last season Charly Musonda’s year long stay at the club is over, rather prematurely. He joined back up with his Chelsea team mates in December and his future remained uncertain but it has now been confirmed that he won’t be continuing at Betis for the rest of the season. It seems that Conte wanted to reinforce his midfield with Oscar heading off to China to swim in a pool of cash and Victor Moses off to the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria, but he may yet join up with Roma. This is disappointing news for béticos as he was magnificent and exciting last season but he has failed somewhat to set pulses racing as high this season.
- Promising Betis youngster Fabian has joined Segunda outfit Elche on loan for the rest of the season.
- Summer signing Zozulia could be out the door this January. He’s played 91 minutes since he signed a three year contract this summer from Dnipro. He didn’t get a look in under Poyet although he/Torrecilla signed him and isn’t getting much of a sniff under Victor.
- Fellow summer signing Nahuel Leiva could be off the books as well and there are plans to get rid of French midfielder Jonas Martin too! That could be three new players all gone by the end of January – shocking management if you ask me. However, the below news could change that.
- It came out today that Felipe Gutiérrez has damaged his cruciate ligament. It’s not been revealed how badly but his right knee will be assessed by doctors again in 2 to 3 weeks time. It came in training during a clash with Piccini – looks like the Italian can’t do much right on the training ground either! Not great news at all this.
- Juan Merino has left Betis B and is officially the manager of Nastic. The saviour, stalwart and calming influence so often for Betis when they were between managers has been announced as the manager of Catalan club Nastic. His latest stint at Betis first team manager came early last year in between Mel and Poyet, where he did an outstanding job. Best of luck to him!
All in all the club are very much alive and kicking despite the problems at the surface (and under the surface).
Remember – manquepierda y Mucho Betis!