Hindsight is a wonderful thing. With this wise, old owl I wouldn’t have sat down for two hours last Sunday evening to watch Betis play Sporting Gijón. Alas, due to my inability to look into the future, I did sit down and watch a dire match that ended 0-0.

It was in stark contrast to another match I watched that day which involved our intra-city rivals. That game was entertaining, exciting and packed with goals, seven to be precise, as Sevilla ran out 4-3 winners away to Osasuna.

Time to up our game Betis.

As part of that plan for upping said game, Víctor and Torrecilla have combined brains to complete two signings this week.

First of all we welcome talented central midfielder Rubén Pardo. The 24 year old from Logroño, La Rioja, is welcomed with open arms as we desperately need someone to pull the strings in the middle of the park, dictate play and create chances.

ruben pardo real betis sociedad

With Eusebio Sacristán in charge at Real Sociedad, Pardo wasn’t getting much of a look in despite featuring heavily in other campaigns. He’s a talented lad and has represented Spain at every level after from the senior team. He’s only played 240 minutes since August so he’s likely to be a little rusty but I’m hoping he can play a big part in the short time he’ll be at Betis, having only arrived on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Joining Pardo this January is Alin Tosca. Who you may ask…

Tosca is Romanian international who plies his trade in the centre of defence. The 24 year old has signed a permanent four and a half year contract from Steaua Bucharest. Sporting Director Torrecilla has commented that Tosca is an adaptable player and can play as one of three central defenders or in “other positions”.

The two players have managed to have a couple of training sessions with the first team and have arrived in good condition. They are both available for Sunday’s game if Víctor wants to include them from a technical point of view and have already been included in the squad list. In fact Pardo has said to journalists that he’s at the disposition of the manager if he needs me against Barcelona. Cejudo (technical) and Jonas Martin (knock) are missed out of the squad.

As for Sunday’s game, Betis will be welcoming that famous team from the north-east of Spain or the autonomous region of Cataluña, depending on who you speak to.

Yes FC Barcelona are coming to town.

An excellent team no doubt and the game is a huge challenge, but as Víctor says, “they don’t win all the time, even with Messi.”

Very true, sir. For now let’s take the stance of plucky underdogs. We’re familiar with this viewpoint and sometimes we even do well and entertain the fans. Let’s do this again.

messi against real betis

Operation Stop Messi

If Víctor and co just focus on Messi then they’ll get punished by Suárez, Neymar or about four other players. Betis need to be solidly set-up, be able to break fast and most importantly take whatever chances they are presented with to be able to take anything from the game.

Early kick-off tomorrow so make sure you set your alarm clocks. 11am UK time and 12 noon in Spain/CET.

Mucho Betis!