Elements of inevitability exist in various forms throughout our lives, aspects that we can feel approaching on the horizon. Things may be going quite well in one moment, although we can know that trouble could be ahead. In some ways, that is the current situation for Espanyol and manager Rubi.
This past Sunday brought a fourth consecutive league loss for Los Periquitos, and it was one that fans will prefer to forget. Local rival Barcelona dominated at the RCDE Stadium, earning an emphatic 4-0 victory. Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembélé dazzled the crowd and the opposition, with the result dropping Espanyol down to tenth place.
At one point in time right alongside the Blaugrana at the top of the table this season, recent weeks have put a serious dent in confidence and form.
Mario Hermoso has enjoyed an impressive start to 2018-19, while striker Borja Iglesias has proven to be one of the best signings from this past summer. Should we have seen this drop coming? Was it always bound to happen? Hindsight of course makes this a bit easier, but there were warning signs that all was not quite right for the Catalan club.
Seguim, pericos. Diumenge vinent, nou partit.
— RCD Espanyol (@RCDEspanyol) December 8, 2018
September saw losses at Alavés and Real Madrid, while dropped points versus Rayo Vallecano and Real Valladolid produced some concerns as well. Remaining in the top four will require an ability to defeat the league’s best squads and secure wins against the teams in the bottom half of the table. That simply was not happening for Espanyol.
Defensive issues are currently plaguing Rubi’s group. Espanyol have allowed 12 goals in their last four LaLiga games, a number that desperately must improve if they still dream of chasing European qualification. The Barcelona derby’s history dictated that this past Sunday was going to be a struggle, but the last few weeks also showcase a club on the brink.
Espanyol and Rubi grabbed the attention of Spanish football fans with a wonderful beginning to the 2018-19 campaign. Results have not been going their way lately, and now is the time where the club have to prove their worth.
Two big overall tests arrive before the winter break in the form of Real Betis (16/12) and Atlético Madrid (22/12). Ultimately, Espanyol will definitely not have it easy.